Main image: Polly A Baldwin
Vow renewal ceremonies are ceremonies marking continuing dedication and devotion in a marriage. Making the decision to have a renewal of vows ceremony with a celebrant will ensure a personalised and memorable ceremony takes place.
Why have a Vow Renewal?
There are numerous reasons for choosing to have a vow renewal ceremony including:
- To mark a specific anniversary
- Your first marriage ceremony wasn’t what was hoped for. This applies to:
- Those who married during the pandemic with limited guest in attendance
- Those who had to have a well-attended wedding day
- Those who had a religious marriage ceremony
- Those who adhered to family traditions and expectations
- Those who married abroad and want to share the occasion with family and friends who couldn’t attend the marriage abroad
- Those who had a disappointing ceremony or wedding day the first time round
- You have different lifestyles or interests such as being part of a re-enactment group or are new followers of a spiritual belief and you want a ceremony based on this lifestyle or belief
- There have been some hard or testing times which you have overcome and you want to reaffirm your union.
- Your original ceremony was on a strict budget, and you want to make new memories
- You want a handfasting ceremony
- Your wedding photos didn’t turn out as you hoped, and you want some new photos
- Your life has changed, and you are a different person than you were at your original marriage or wedding
- Just because you want to
Where Can a Vow Renewal Ceremony Take Place?
Renewal of vows ceremonies can take place anywhere as they aren’t restricted by legal obligations. They can be held in a home, garden, a field, a beach, a hotel; anywhere that can be hired as a venue or an outdoor space which won’t cause a public obstruction.
Hiring a Celebrant for Your Vow Renewal
When booking a renewal of vows ceremony, a professionally trained wedding celebrant will create you a personalised and unique ceremony. Celebrants are storytellers, creative writers, and some of us would define ourselves as ceremonialists, skilled in the creation and narration of ceremony.
Reasons why you should hire a celebrant include:
- Your ceremony won’t be scripted like those many registrars use
- Your family and friends can be included with specific roles
- You can use any music
- You can hold your ceremony in your choice of venue
- You can hold your ceremony on a date and time which suits you
- Your celebrant will make suggestions for your ceremony if your require them to
- You can create your own unity ceremony
- You can include religious/spiritual wording or customs if you want to
- You can write your own vows to each other
- You will receive a copy of your ceremony
- Your ceremony will be personalised throughout and not scripted. (Yes, this has been mentioned before, but it is so important we have mentioned it twice).
What Vows Can You Say During a Vow Renewal Ceremony?
Why are vow renewals called vow renewals when the reality is you won’t say the same vows you originally said during your marriage ceremony? How can you renew your vows if you say different vows? Perhaps we should rename this ceremony?
The vows you say can be what is important to you. They do not have to follow anything traditional, religious, or legal as they do during a marriage ceremony.
Vows can be romantic, funny, lighthearted, factual statements, spiritual or quotes from poems, songs, or your favourite film.
It is your ceremony marking your continuing commitment to each other and you can and should say words which are relevant and important to you both.
Do You Have to Buy New Wedding Rings for a Renewal of Vows?
Many couples do buy new wedding rings and others regift their original wedding rings during the ceremony. If new rings are purchased and exchanged, what happens to the original ones? Are they put away in a drawer or worn on the other hand?
If you do not want to be wasteful, regift your original wedding rings. You can have them polished to remove scratches making them look like new rings, the choice is yours.
Children and Grandchildren at a Vow Renewal
Image by Assassynation
Your children may not have been at your original marriage or wedding ceremony, but they can be at your vow renewal as can any grandchildren or other children. Children love being part of creative and entertaining moments so why not give them a role within your ceremony or include a unity ceremony they can be involved with.
Some unity ceremony suggestions for children
- Placing handfasting ribbons/cords
- Ring security/warden/bearer
- Making a fingerprint tree or ceremony canvas
- Signing your certificate
- Tree/seed/spice/ herb/flower planting
- Keeping an oathing stone safe until it is needed
- Carrying your vows
- Passing round an anniversary box
- Bubble blower
- Flower Dude/ Petal Girl
- Best Man
- Bride security
- Walking in with you
All of these are age dependent and confidence roles. Making sure a child/teen or a person wants to take part willingly within your ceremony is important as some do not want to be the centre of attention and would feel anxious, nervous, and uneasy.
What to Wear for a Vow Renewal Ceremony
Traditionally those holding a vow renewal ceremony wear wedding attire, with some wearing their original wedding suit or dress. Tradition is following something which is old and at times outdated. If you want to wear wedding attire, go for it. If not, wear whatever you want to wear. It’s your ceremony, your day of celebrations, your relationship you are celebrating.
Having Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, and a Best Man/Best Woman at a Vow Renewal
If you want to follow with traditional marriage and wedding traditions at your vow renewal ceremony, you may decide to appoint people traditional roles. If you decide to break with tradition and have a more alternative or family inclusive ceremony you could appoint a Best Person, Chief Barks maid, Best Dog, Flower Dude, Brides men, Grooms mates or any other titles you choose to use.
How Much Does a Vow Renewal Ceremony Cost
Celebrants are mostly self-employed, and fees are variable across different geographical areas. Wedding celebrants who offer renewal of vows ceremonies charge between £500-£1000. A lot of hours go into creating a personalised ceremony and many celebrants spend around 20hrs gathering information from our clients, researching ceremony content, creating unity ceremonies, creating each ceremony, reading it to our clients for approval, travelling to a ceremony venue and leading a ceremony. Our fees reflect the time spent and the creative writing skills we possess to write each ceremony.
For a Memorable Vow Renewal Ceremony, Book a Celebrant
If you want to mark your vow renewal with a unique unscripted ceremony, book a wedding celebrant to create it for you.
Blog by Choice Celebrant Training