Celebs do it, so why shouldn't you? The Beckhams, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Jay-Z and Beyoncé -- they've all performed wedding vow renewal ceremonies.
In recent years, renewing wedding vows has become more and more popular. If couples have been able to stay the course, they're marking their 10, 20 or 30 year anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony.
A sign of romantic bliss? Or is it just that you want an excuse for a good party? You've possibly got more cash to splash than you had first time around. Maybe the wedding dress you chose then makes you shudder now and you want to show you've got more money and taste these days.
Enough of the cynicism. It could of course be that you really want to reaffirm to your spouse the way you feel about them -- even after some tough times.
Sophie Day of wedding planning company Quintessentially Weddings says, "Renewing your vows is a lovely gesture of enduring love and a great way to mark anniversaries -- but beware budgets spiralling and getting caught up in a 'repeat' wedding that is just an excuse to do it again, but in a different style or venue."
Where Should You Renew Your Wedding Vows?
If you're super-traditional, you might plan to revisit the place of worship where you originally got married. But then again, you might like to renew your vows on a tropical beach and take a vacation at the same time...
Rachel Morgan, editor of Wedding Ideas Magazine says,
It's a lovely idea, especially on a prominent birthday or anniversary. You might have made new close friends over the years who didn't come to your actual wedding day and you'd like to share your vow renewal with them too -- or family who couldn't make it at the time. A vow renewal and a holiday in one is a fabulous idea. Many larger companies like Sandals offer free ceremonies when you book a longer break -- which gives you exclusive access to wedding planners and in-house professionals, so that planning your party is simple and stress free. Vow renewals are also a great idea if you've had children. It reaffirms your love in front of them and they can be part of the service, joining in candle-lighting ceremonies, sand ceremonies and so on. Ten years is a great time to renew your vows. Any earlier and it almost doesn't seem necessary.
You may have never considered renewing your wedding vows but suddenly a life event triggers the thought. According to Life Coach Nina Grunfield:
If you choose to renew your wedding vows, rather than have a celebratory anniversary party, it's probably because you want to get serious for a moment. Maybe your marriage has been through a crisis (illness, affair, mid-life crisis etc.) or maybe you're about to approach a potential crisis (empty nest, retirement) and so want to solidify what you have.
Renewing your wedding vows can be an assessment of where you've got to in your relationship, a reminder of what you committed to and a spur to thinking about what you want for your future together.
It could be an excuse to have that beach wedding that you couldn't have when you got married.
It's deep stuff. Far easier to have an anniversary party -- and potentially far less embarrassing for your friends than having to watch you go through your vows again, knowing what's gone between you. It's great to take time and think about what you mean to each other and what you want for your relationship in the future.
And A Word On Wedding Vow Renewals From A Man
Andrew Shanahan of men's wedding website I Am Staggered says,
The vast majority of guys I've spoken to about this are actually very positive about it. They see it as a chance to 'reset' the marriage. Tellingly for the guys it's also the chance to have a ceremony that they fully influence without interference from outside sources.
The other nice aspect of the wedding vow renewal is that it puts the vows at the heart of the day. It's a chance to go back and say the important things that you want your wife to hear and accept, without the distraction of the rest of the ceremony. In that case it's a time to focus in on what you want to say -- forget why you want to say it -- you are making a commitment through the medium of words and that's always a positive thing.
So don't worry about what people will think, or why you want to renew your vows, just focus on the words -- tell your wife what you really want to say and focus your energy into meaning those words and renewing your marriage through them.
How To Announce That You're Renewing Your Vows
Well, you can e-mail, telephone or write a Facebook post to tell the world what you're planning to do. Or be a little more traditionally formal with a printed invitation. According to stationer Vaishali Shah of Ananya Cards, many couples commissioning invitations for the renewal of wedding vows incorporate symbols of what has become particularly meaningful to them during their marriage -- which could be a flower, a color, a poem or a photograph. It's also a time that couples choose to commission a monogram of their initials.
What Should You Wear To Renew Your Wedding Vows?
Well, if you absolutely still love it (and fit into it!) you could wear your wedding dress all over again (maybe with a few discreet alternations). If you've become uncomfortable with certain parts of your body -- your upper arms, say -- then add a lace bolero jacket. Don't be afraid of wearing color -- brights make a real statement and muted pastels can be really flattering. Look at shorter dress styles too -- tea length and cocktail frocks.
Just A Party -- Or Something More Meaningful?
At the end of the day, renewing your wedding vows is a personal decision to be made by you and your partner -- and it can be as public or as private as you want it to be. If you want to go and have a big party to celebrate too then it's your call. If you just want to slip away together for a romantic break then that's fine as well.
The most important thing is that you feel your love and affection for one another has grown and developed over the years -- and that certainly is something to be celebrated.