Many couples want to celebrate and reaffirm their love and commitment for one another by renewing their marriage vows, either privately or publicly, and by saying "I do" again. Here are ways that a renewal of your wedding vows can be both fun and meaningful.
Legalities of Renewing Your Marriage Vows
Remember that a renewal of your vows is NOT a legal ceremony. It is only a symbolic, sentimental ceremony.
Generally, for a renewal of vows, a license is not required and paperwork is not needed.
Some officiants and wedding chapels may request to see your marriage certificate to confirm that you are already married.
For the past several years, Registration Offices in the UK have been providing couples with the opportunity to have their marriage vows renewed in public locations. They may also provide souvenir certificates.
Decisions to Make When Renewing Your Marriage Vows
Remind yourself that when you have a public renewal of your wedding vows, you are not having a second wedding. There are also several factors to consider if you opt for this ceremony. Here is what is recommended and not recommended.
- A gift registry
- A shower
- Bachelor or bachelorette type parties
- Attendants such as a maid of honor or a best man
- A procession down the aisle
- A tiered wedding cake
- Keep your renewal of marriage vows casual and simple.
- If you write your own vows, don't draw attention to negativity in your past. Focus on your future together.
- Walk towards one another from sides of the room or area rather than having a procession down a center aisle.
- Re-dedicate your rings or have your wedding rings blessed instead of purchasing new rings.
- You may have a floral bouquet, but do not toss it after the ceremony.
- Have a "no-gift" type of reception.
- You and/or your spouse may make a toast to your guests.
Reasons Why You May Want to Renew Your Marriage Vows
Renewing your marriage vows is appropriate for married couples regardless of how long you have been married. There are commonly cited reasons couples desire vow renewal ceremonies. Here are some of the reasons.
- You were married in a different country and want to celebrate your marriage locally with family and friends.
- It is a special anniversary, such as your 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, etc.
- You and your spouse have had a difficult time and want to start fresh.
- The two of you want to make a public statement of your love and commitment to each other.
- You originally had a civil wedding, and you want to have a religious ceremony now.
" A renewal of wedding vows ceremony can be a meaningful, touching, revivifying ceremony for you and your children, family and friends. As a married couple, it is a time to pause and reflect on where you have been and where you are going. It is also a wonderful example to set for your children and grandchildren. Can you imagine a more beautiful scene than children watching their parents joining hands and hearts as they affirm the magnitude and strength of their enduring love? What greater life/love lesson? I often say at these ceremonies: 'True love does not wither or die. It merely ripens.'" Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb in The Why, Where, When to Renew Wedding Vows Guide
There may be hoops for you to jump through if your marriage was not and is not legal, so if you have doubts about the legality of your original marriage and want to get remarried legally, it is best that you talk with your local government official in charge of marriages.
*Article updated by Marni Feuerman