The renewal of marriage vows is a special celebration for a married couple. It is often held on an important anniversary (tenth, twentieth, fiftieth, etc.) or when a couple has gone through a difficult time and wants to reaffirm their commitment. It could also be the large and expensive celebration that could not be carried out the first time they were married. There are certain guidelines you can follow to renew your vows, but there will be many ways to adapt the experience to the wishes of you and your spouse.
Plan the ceremony
Know the ideal moment. All married couples can renew their vows at any time, but having a particular reason could make the event more special. Maybe you have married in a municipality where your loved ones have not been able to witness that great day. Maybe you have not had enough money to have a great wedding the first time, but now you are sure to organize a huge event. Maybe you or your partner have gone through a very difficult time, like an illness or a job crisis, and you want to show that your love is stronger than ever. Maybe they have come together again after a separation and want to reaffirm a mutual commitment.
- While these motives, in addition to special anniversaries, are excellent for renewing marriage vows, in reality you should do so when you both want to. There is no specific rule to make this decision.
Decide if you want a large celebration or an intimate gathering. Decide if you want a great ceremony with great fanfare or an intimate gathering with your family and close friends. Maybe you want to organize a big party to see those you have not seen in years or just because you’ve been married for 25 years and want to celebrate the love you have. Maybe you want something small and intimate with the most special people. You and your spouse should agree on what kind of celebration you want before you start.
Make a budget. A ceremony to renew the vows could cost as much money as the first wedding or more depending on your extravagance. If you decide to have one, a large part of the expense will go to the food and alcohol that is served at the reception, so keep this in mind when planning. In addition to deciding how much you will spend, you must also choose what type of event it will be. You can invite many to a meeting in the backyard of a house or an elegant reception room. You can waste your budget on elaborate cocktails and beautiful attire, but make everything more informal; You could also organize something of both.
Choose the location for the meeting. Choose a place with enough area for the guests and express the impression you want to leave. If you plan to organize a large celebration, then you must plan at least six months to one year in advance, only then all guests can make the necessary travel arrangements and will not collide with their plans. This will also give you more freedom to choose the premises, as many reserve very quickly, but if you feel more spontaneous and want to renew your votes in a few months or less, you decide!
- However, if you just want to have a small celebration, you could make the reservation less than six months in advance. Although doing it beforehand will always be recommended.
- When choosing the place, keep in mind your guests. If you are more interested in choosing an exotic destination than having a large number of guests, do not worry much. However, if you prefer a large attendance, you must choose a location a little closer.
Choose your outfit Depending on how formal your celebration is, you may want a traditional wedding dress. You could also opt for a prom dress for one of the wedding colors. Since it’s not your first wedding, according to the label you will not have to wear white if you do not want it. The veil will also be optional. You might even consider putting on your original wedding dress, if you still have it. If your husband is in the army, he could put on his uniform. In addition, gifts such as jewelry or cufflinks could be made for the big day.
- You can even consider wearing your original wedding attire in case you still have it.
- Because men rent out their tuxedos instead of buying them, it is likely that the groom does not have the option of wearing his original suit. If that is your case, you can rent a similar style if you plan to organize a ceremony similar to the first or opt for a more sober suit. If you belong to the Armed Forces, you can wear your uniform.
- They can also give each other gifts, such as jewelry or cufflinks, so they can use them on the big day.
Prepare the details. Now that you have a secured date, you must inform the date to your friends and close relatives before sending the invitations. Then, you will have to plan all the details. Ask for quotes and start leaving deposits. You might need a catering, a bartender, musicians, a DJ, floral arrangements, decorations, a photographer, favors, a cake and invitations.
- You will also need some kind of efficient, but since you are married, it will not be necessary to hire someone who has a legal license to officiate a marriage. You can ask a clergyman, a friend or a close family member to direct the ceremony, even a member of the original bridal group. If you have older children, the one who officiates the wedding could give it a special touch.
- You can decide if you want a three-story cake or not. Some consider that it is not necessary for a celebration of this nature, but if you really want it, you could send it to be done. If you did not have a cake like that at the first wedding, you’ll have every reason in the world to want one now!
- While it would be nice to have some items that you have had in your marriage at the renewal ceremony, like a similar flower arrangement or dance the first dance with the same song, try to make the renewal of the vows different from the wedding itself. After all, you and your spouse are in another stage of life and the important thing will be to commemorate that.
Make the invitations
Make a guest list. The extension will depend on you, but you must take into account the budget. If you are going to have a reception, you will also need to make a list of the people you would like to be present. Some couples choose to walk together towards the altar without the reception, while others want the participation of the ladies and gentlemen of honor of the original wedding. Many couples also choose to include their children or grandchildren in the ceremony.
- Remember that, if at the first wedding you had ladies and gentlemen of honor, their function was to be witnesses. This time the ceremony will not be an official or legal matter, so you will not need more witnesses. However, you can have them with you or just invite them to show them that they have been and still are important in their lives and in their relationship.
Send the invitations. The invitations should make it clear that they will have a ceremony of renewal or reaffirmation of votes. Although the original ceremony has been organized by your parents, this time the name of your parents should not appear on the invitation. You or your children should organize the party. Try to send the invitations at least two months in advance so that your guests have time to confirm their attendance and make the necessary travel arrangements. Here we present some options that you can write on the invitations:
- If you are going to organize it, you could say: “You are cordially invited to the reaffirmation ceremony [or ‘renewal’] of the marriage vows of Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez [or” Ana and Jorge Rodríguez “].” Then you can include the specific details of the party.
- If your children are going to organize it, you could say: “The children of Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez [or” Ana and Jorge Rodríguez “] invite you cordially to the ceremony of reaffirmation of the marriage vows of their parents”. Then, you can include more information about the event.
Take into account the label for the renewal of vows
Organize the ceremony and reception. This time, you must organize your own reception and ceremony. While in the past, your parents or close loved ones may have supported you financially, you should have your own budget for the most important thing. However, there may be exceptions in case your renewal of vows is close to the date of the original wedding and you have never had a party.
Skip the gift registry. Most people believe that it is not necessary to have a gift registry in a renewal of vows. The first time, your guests could have given you a new set of dinnerware, paid for your honeymoon or simply given you money to start your new life with your spouse. This time, it can be considered in bad taste to ask for gifts when you have an established life as a couple. However, once again, if the renewal date is close to the wedding date, you may consider organizing a gift registry in case it is really necessary.
- The same applies to a bachelorette party, since you are supposed to have already married and generally repeat this celebration is not appropriate.
Skip the bachelor or single party. Many people who have renewed their vows near their wedding date and who never had a single party wanted to have one. However, many do not believe that this is a good idea, because these celebrations are supposedly the “last night of singleness”. As you have already married, it is possible that you can no longer have it. Even so, you can celebrate with a group of friends, but refrain from the riskier aspects of a traditional celebration like this.
- Similarly, it omits the launching of the league and bouquet in the reception, because these traditions are associated mainly with the idea of ending your life of singleness. On the contrary, consider the possibility of guiding the guests in a series of fun dances to finish a little with the formalities.
Renew your wedding vows
Write your votes. It is not obligatory, but since the purpose of this ceremony is to renew the wedding vows and celebrate the continuous love that you have professed to your partner, writing your own vows will give a special touch. If the officiant is a cleric, ask him if you can write something besides the traditional reading. If the officiant is a friend or family member, you must also write what he / she will have to say, as he / she will not have experience in carrying out a ceremony of this nature.
- In your votes you can say whatever you want, but you should focus on the positive aspects and the future, instead of talking about the difficulties they have overcome. You can mention them, but the most advisable thing is that they have a positive tone.
- You will not have to write your votes either. You can tell the officiant everything you want him to say and reaffirm your love in that way. I could ask you: “Jorge, will you continue being Ana’s husband and will you continue having a happy and loving marriage?” You and your spouse will answer “yes” and that will be enough to reaffirm your commitment.
Carry out the ceremony. You will have several options, because it will not be a regular bridal service. They could walk to the altar with their children or the wife could walk alone to her husband, which will put all eyes on her. They can exchange new rings or wear the usual rings to symbolize renewed faith in their marriage. Family members could read something in their honor. Many believe that no one should walk alone to the altar, so doing it with your husband or children could give a special touch.
- This may also be the excuse to renew your wedding rings. Maybe you’ve wanted to buy some new or more beautiful for a long time and this could be the perfect occasion. If you do not want new rings and you like them as they are, then you can record something special, if you want.
- While you do not need witnesses this time, the original nuptial group could be present standing for sentimental reasons.
Celebrate at your reception. It could be a small meeting in someone’s house or a big party in a reception room. Here you will also have many options. Dance the first track together with your favorite song and do not give much importance to the father-daughter dance. You do not necessarily have to have an elaborate ritual to cut the cake, rather serve it; You could also show a cake of the same model as the original. Ask some people to have their toasts prepared in honor of your lasting love, but also make a couple of toasts yourself.
- You can also have your original wedding album or show the photos of the first wedding so that the guests can remember it. If you have been married not long before the renovation, you can have some photos to commemorate that event.
- Make a toast to the important guests and tell everyone how much you have appreciated them over the years. In return they will make many toasts for you!
- While everyone has an opinion about what a renewal and reception ceremony should look like, in the end you should remember that it is your party and your day, so you should not let others discourage you and celebrate love the way you want to do it.
While the label dictates certain “rules” to follow in order to reaffirm the commitment, the most important thing will be to celebrate the love towards your spouse and have fun with your family and friends. If they have a certain tradition that you would like to keep at the ceremony, keep it even if the label indicates that you should not.
Do not sign up to receive gifts. You can decide to accept gifts if it’s your anniversary, but do not expect to receive gifts to furnish your house as is customary in weddings.