A wedding is a very special occasion in the life of a couple. Sometimes the marriage is short-lived and very soon, the couple is knocking on the doors of the divorce court. But when a marriage survives and the couple continues to enjoy years of wedded bliss, it is surely an occasion to celebrate all over again. And often, the couple feels the need to renew the vows they once made to each other. It is probably a reaffirmation as well as a thanksgiving perhaps, for still being together and growing stronger.
A couple might decide to renew their vows on an anniversary after being together for a considerable number of years – a renewal of vows on the 25th wedding anniversary is very popular, or if a couple is lucky to be together that long, a 40th and 50th anniversary. At other times a couple might have had a few setbacks and gone through a temporary separation and got back together again, this time with a conviction that it will last, and they would like to send that message across to their family and friends through a vow renewal ceremony.
Whatever may be the reason, it is almost as special a day as the wedding day and can prove to be as enjoyable. For a vow renewal ceremony, an intimate affair with family and friends helps the couple to really let down their hair and cherish the special moment, something they might not have been able to do on their wedding day, if it was a big do with all the planning and frenetic pace of affairs. On the other hand, if the couple was on a shoestring budget and could only afford a small celebration at the time of the wedding, they may opt for a fancy vow renewal ceremony, to compensate!
Just as in any other type of celebration, you will need to decide on what scale you would like to have your vow renewal ceremony and accordingly fix a tentative budget. Based on that and the time of year, if you propose to have a smaller, intimate ceremony, you can have it in a garden, on a lawn or even in your yard. For a larger crowd and accordingly a bigger budget, a hotel or dining hall might be more appropriate.
If you are deeply religious you can ask a priest or religious official to perform the vow renewal ceremony. You may also want to exchange rings and have them blessed. If not, you could ask a close friend to lead the vow renewal or you could simply make it spontaneous and exchange vows without anybody officiating.
If it is a very small and intimate affair, you may decide to forego invitation cards and invite each one personally. If it is a larger affair, you would require special invites…
We, Louise and Michael James
invite you _______________
to share our joy as we renew our vows
and reaffirm our commitment to each other
on (date and time)
at (venue and address)
Very often, if the occasion for a vow renewal is a 25th anniversary, the children of the couple are keen to host it on behalf of their parents…
are invited to join us as we celebrate
25 joyous years of togetherness
of our parents,
Sarah and William Smith
While all the planning and celebrating is inevitable, the focal point of the vow renewal ceremony should be just that – the vows. You might be tempted to stick with something traditional like…
"I, Michael, reaffirm my commitment to you Louise, and once again promise to love you, cherish you, honor you and comfort you, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad, as long as we both shall live."
But if you would like to make your vow renewal ceremony special and meaningful, you could try making the vows as personal as possible. If you don’t think you can come up with something entirely original, then look up a few readymade vows and tinker with it a little so that there is something personal expressed in what you’re going to tell your partner at your vow renewal ceremony. It doesn’t have to be eloquent or verbose, it will speak volumes for itself if it comes straight from the heart. When you write your own vows and say it, you can really mean every word and it sounds more genuine and sincere.
Some useful tips to put you in the mood for writing your own vows:
Think about some of your best memories.
The special qualities your partner have brought you through some difficult times.
The blessings that you are grateful for.
For instance, when you are choosing to renew your vows on the occasion of an anniversary, whether 10 years, 25 years, or 50 years.
"Louise, on this day, twenty-five years ago, I gave you my solemn pledge to love and honor you, for better or worse, in difficult times and happy times. The years seem to have flown and we have experienced it all – sickness, trying times, joyous moments, struggles, uncertainties and good times. You have weathered the storms and multiplied the happy moments, sticking by me through thick and thin. You have been a wonderful mother to our children and helped give them values and a rock solid foundation."
"As I look back on the last twenty-five years and look ahead to our future, I renew my commitment to you and vow to keep loving you and respecting you, looking forward with eager anticipation to our life ahead – together.
If a couple has had a temporary split and are back together.
Michael, on our wedding day, I vowed to love you in good times and bad, for better or worse. But as I look back, I realize that I failed to keep my promise. We neglected to give each other and our relationship the nurturing it needed and I deeply regret it. I can now see more clearly where we went wrong and am so happy that we are here together again to renew our vows. Now that we have a second chance at happiness, I vow, with a renewed sense of commitment, to be loyal to you and true to our love.