Vow renewals are a heartfelt way to celebrate your love and reaffirm the promises you made to each other on your wedding day. If you are thinking about having a vow renewal ceremony, a joyous celebration of your marriage can be planned easily and confidently with a little guidance from the experts.
A vow renewal is a celebratory ceremony for a married couple to reaffirm their commitment to each other. They are especially popular on milestone anniversaries (10, 25, or 50 years), however, there is no rule as to when to have one.
The most important thing to remember is not to get caught up in ‘wedding planning’ again. Vow renewal ceremonies should be unique and meaningful while wholly re-committing yourselves to each other.
Vow renewal etiquette has only one cardinal rule: Gifts from your guests are not to be solicited or expected. You can, however, present each other with new or upgraded wedding rings.
Vow renewals are held for any number of reasons. Perhaps the couple was only able to have a small wedding or elopement and now wish to have more guests present. Maybe they've overcome an illness, infidelity, or other situation in their marriage and want to re-commit to each other. Other couples may be so crazy in love after the first year of marriage that they simply want to say “I do” all over again. For romantics, planning a surprise vow renewal for your partner can be a way to re-ignite the flame of passion.
A vow renewal is purely ceremonial. You are not required to obtain a marriage license or use a registered church minister or officiant. There are no legal documents involved and it can be held anywhere at any time. This means:
You've built a life together, so there are no style guides—it’s your story. Consider affirming your original promises and include experiences or lessons learned during your marriage. You might speak to the hurdles you’ve overcome together, the joys in your lives and how you’ll continue to support your beloved as you move through life side by side. To get you started, here are some examples:
“For much of my life, I dreamed about my wedding day. I thought about the person that would be standing beside me and what things would be like after that magical day had come and gone. I wondered if there was such a thing as a perfect, lasting union. Now, __ year(s) later, I know that we have a healthy and loving marriage. True love like this is rare and difficult to find, but I know that I have found it in you. In the time that we have been married, my life has changed because of you.”
“You have challenged me to do things that I didn't think possible. You have a passion for life that inspires me to be the best person I can be. Because of this, I find myself continuing to fall in love with you more deeply each day. You are my best friend, my confidant, and my one true love. Today, I want to thank you for loving me, unconditionally. I'll keep loving and supporting you and stand by your side no matter what challenges we face together. I still look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, and vow to continue loving you now, always, and forever.”
“__ year(s) ago, I took you as my husband/wife – knowing in my heart that you would be my faithful companion, my lifelong partner, and my one true love. As we stand before our loved ones [and God], I pledge to stay by your side as your wife/husband/partner, in sickness, in health, in joy and sorrow, through the good times and the bad. I vow, once more, to love you without reservation, to honor and respect you. I will continue to support you, protect you from harm and to comfort you in times of distress.”
“With my whole heart, I promise to remain devoted to you, to continue to grow with you in mind and spirit, and to practice patience, kindness, and understanding. Once more, I vow to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”