What is a vow renewal ceremony? Have you thought about renewing your wedding vows and don’t know where to start? Are you worried that you won’t get an individual experience or somehow not be able to transform your life story into a meaningful event? Not so! Here are new and exciting ideas you could use to make your vow renewal ceremony meaningful, memorable and unique.
Increasingly, people are choosing celebrant ceremonies to personalize significant occasions in their lives. The understanding, connection and unique nature of the ceremonies a celebrant can create for you are significant, emotional and real.
A renewal of wedding vows is a unique ceremony to affirm love for each other, after anything from a year to eighty years of marriage. There are a multitude of reasons couples may choose to have this ceremony. Today, when unitedly we have all been apart from our loved ones for so long, a family reunion is a poignant and meaningful reason to renew your vows when you meet again. It can also become a new and exciting family tradition!
A ceremony of love, commitment and connection, renewing your wedding vows, is the perfect excuse for a family reunion. How you choose to hold that reunion is up to you, but here are a few fun tips to inspire you.
A day to remember, favourite memories,
Make the day you renew your wedding vows one to remember
Have you always loved Elvis? Met at a club singing your heart out to Oasis? Were you at school together or did you meet at work? Was it a blind date or a fleeting encounter which led to your wedding and life together so far?
Maybe the day you got married represented the traditional approach to a wedding? Maybe it was planned by family and you had little or no input or simply, you had no money to have the party you wanted? When you choose to renew your vows, you can choose to have the ceremony (and party!) you always wanted or the one which reflects your life and love together over the years.
Incorporate music into the ceremony, recreate your memories with rituals of love and continuity. Ceremony rituals such as handfasting or cocktail blending can work so well at renewal ceremony as it gives you the opportunity to include those you love. Equally you may not have had any chance to personalize your original wedding ceremony and when you renew your vows with a celebrant you can incorporate all the love, stories, tenderness and humor you want.
A vow renewal ceremony can be so thrilling, as the second time you stand up together in front of family and friends you have even more memories than before. Now is the time to celebrate with your children, your grandchildren, your furry friends or anybody else who plays an important role in your lives together.
Storytelling; your story, past, present and future is at the heart of all my ceremonies and with your renewal of vows, we can weave your memories into a meaningful ceremony totally unique to you.
One brave, but rewarding, way of doing this is to invite your friends and family to share their memories of your life together with your celebrant. That way, the whole story can be told, and memories you had forgotten about may become part of the ceremony. Afterwards you could have them printed as a book, with pictures of the day and your life, leaving spaces for people to write personal messages.
Hire a cottage or holiday home to celebrate your vow renewal with family and friends
Have a homestay this time. Renewing your wedding vows need not be a formal occasion, nor should it be expensive or official. One of my favorite ways of celebrating renewing wedding vows is when couples choose to hire a large holiday home or connected holiday cottages for the whole family to stay and be involved in their renewal ceremony. This way, multi-generational families can come together over a holiday at home, sharing the preparation, excitement and joy of watching beloved parents or grandparents renew their wedding vows and declare their love for each other, all over again.
Overseas travel is restrictive this year (2021), however there are so many gorgeous places to stay with all your family within the UK. The wonderful team at Petite Weddings UK http://www.petiteweddings.co.uk can help find the perfect location or specific holiday destination. Companies like Lyme Bay Holidays https://www.lymebayholidays.co.uk/ on the Jurassic Coast will help you find an ideal place near the sea.
Close to where I live is Furley https://furleycottages.com/ whose 8 acres of land have lakes, streams, cottages and breathtaking views. There are many beautiful spots at Furley to hold your ceremony, yet for me, around the majestic centuries old oak tree, is probably the most special.
Create a photo tree of your life together from your wedding day until your vow renewal day
One beautiful and deeply moving trend I have seen at weddings which could easily be replicated at renewal of vow ceremonies is to have a photo tree. With your new ceremony, you could hang or display photos of those who were at your first wedding day, alongside new members of the family, absent friends and new-found friends.
Similarly, you could show photos of your life together over the years, your past and your present leaving beside them some disposable or instant cameras (back in fashion) for your guests to take pictures on the day showing your future?
Begin a memory box
Ask your guests to bring something which reminds them of you as a couple since you have been married. This could be anything from a photo to a keepsake from your original wedding day to a stone from a beach where you once spent a holiday together. Maybe your guests could write a letter explaining what they love about you as a couple. What values do you represent within your married life that they have always admired?
These wonderful supportive objects can then be treasured in a wedding renewal memory box, either opened on the day or shared together afterward with a glass or two of champagne.
Color theme your vow renewal ceremony to reflect who you both are now
Many couples will have had a traditional white wedding, which is undeniably gorgeous. However, perhaps the only chance you had then was to inject your colour choice and personality into your wedding was to theme your bridesmaids and flowers. Not so this time around. When you renew your wedding vows, why not choose a color which reflects your personalities and life story? You wouldn’t necessarily paint every room in your house white. Why have an all-white vow renewal?
Colors can be deeply symbolic and for centuries people have looked at the meaning to represent an important landmark in their lives. Red for example is traditionally used in many Asian and Indian weddings as an auspicious and significant color. It also looks amazing in clothing and decoration.
Create a unified family ceremony
Increasingly, there is a trend for families to introduce new members of their family, babies born, adopted, welcomed through second marriages with a naming ceremony held by a celebrant. Since the pandemic, such rituals and moving ceremonies of passage, touching and affirmative of new life have been put on hold. If you are thinking of renewing your vows, why not combine the occasion with a naming ceremony for that new life in your family?
If it is your child you could ask your celebrant to create a unique ceremony for your family, one which renews your vows and commitment to each other at the same time as asking your friends and family to welcome your new person?
A family reunion can become a new and exciting family gathering as you celebrate with a ceremony about unity and love.
Have a Staycation and create a party at home
Have fun with your renewal of vows! Inject some pizzaz into the day, with an over-the-top theme. Create some excitement and have fun planning a party again. Why not turn your house into a cruise ship? (Stay with me here!) Fabulous food, cabaret music, lights and the chance to really dress up.
Ships Captains can legally marry couples, so why not have your celebrant dress as one! I for one, would love that … Younger family members could dress as little pirates and get involved in the party. Just no slipping off to the lifeboats at sunset.
Wear the same outfits, not new ones, and ask your guests to do the same
Admittedly this could be a hard one and probably not that ideal for a wedding renewal ceremony. I certainly could not fit into the dress I wore twenty-five years ago, and it may well look somewhat dated (gold corset top anyone?). It would be fun though to try! Even if it’s only a nod to the original outfit, like a headdress or tie.
A new take on wearing the same outfits could be to ask your guests to do the same with clothes from the year you first got married or that era? Sustainability in clothing is so important to the environment and there are so many fantastic vintage and recycled wedding shops online now, that finding a perfect outfit for you and for your guests to choose from has never been easier.
Have fun – not a new idea, yet probably the best. After all, the renewal ceremony of your vows whether you choose a themed, fun ceremony or a meaningful romantic occasion for a small intimate group of friends, remember it is your story and one to celebrate.