The vow renewal ceremony is a wonderful way to reinfuse some love and light into a long-term relationship. For most vow renewal participants, the idea is to proclaim their persisting love in front of family and friends, but there are many different reasons why couples choose to take a second walk to the altar. Whether to “certify” a pair of new wedding bands – hey, it’s as good a reason as any! – or to signify renewed commitment after a rough patch, the vow refresh may be just what you need to bring some good vibes back into your marriage. Here are some more specific reasons why couples renew their vows.
1. Relational Repair: They Want to Reaffirm Their Love After a Difficult Time
It’s not uncommon for couples to weather storms together – a loss of a loved one, a life-changing diagnosis, an incident that challenged each other’s trust, a period of time spent long distance. In order to signify strong relational repair, couples may decide to rewrite their vows with a new frame of reference and real-life experience. An apology or acknowledgement of the challenging time period may be expected. Couples who opt to go this route often choose to have a small, more intimate ceremony with few or no guests, especially if vows are especially vulnerable.
2. Anniversaries: They Want to Celebrate Their Love After an Anniversary
Anyone who has made it to 10, 15, 20 or 25+ years of marriage not only deserves to have a grand vow renewal ceremony, but a huge party with family and friends to follow! These massive milestones should be celebrated loud and proud, and there’s no better way than with a recreation of the original big day. Often, couples take the traditional wedding anniversary gift and weave it into their theme. For example, the traditional gift for a 25th wedding anniversary is silver, so plenty of metallic silver décor is to be expected. Some other great years and gift themes that would translate well into party décor include: 15th anniversary (crystal), 17th anniversary (wine or spirits), 30th anniversary (pearls) and 34th anniversary (food).
3. Change of Heart: They Want to State New Vows
It’s normal for a person’s view of their relationship to change over years of marriage. Perhaps your younger, less experienced self didn’t take your vows as seriously as you might now and instead just used whatever generic ones your officiant presented. Having a recommitment ceremony allows you to restate your promise to your significant other from scratch. This time around, you might opt to speak from the heart or include poems, song lyrics or other personal touches that mean something deeper to you and your spouse.
4. Ring Recertification: They Want to Honor New Wedding Rings
Some couples who are particularly religious or superstitious find that they need to have a new set of wedding bands re-blessed in order for them to be valid. Perhaps they want to have an officiant redo the ring exchange ceremony, complete with the traditional wedding ring vows, as a superstition or a sweet way to make your shiny new bands a bit more special. However, expensive new rings aren’t required to renew vows. In fact, many couples simply use their original rings or exchange silicone wedding rings with custom engravings to signify the occasion.
5. A Party Excuse: They Want to Throw a Big Bash
A vow renewal ceremony is as good a reason as any to throw a big party! The couple who loves to entertain and spoil their friends can use their vow renewal as another reason to put together a get-together that everyone will remember. This is a great reason to get all of your nearest and dearest together in one place and enjoy a memorable night of dining, drinking and dancing together. You don’t realize it when you’re young, but your wedding is one of the few times in your life that all of your loved ones will be together in one place for a happy event, but a vow renewal reception gives you a second shot.
6. Do-Over: They Want a Second Chance at Wedding Planning
Speaking of second shots… Often, couples grow up a whole lot during their early years of marriage and their tastes change between original ceremony and vow renewal. Additionally, many pairs find that they have a lot more financial resources the second time around, which means they have the option to throw a much bigger, much more elaborate bash. It’s not uncommon for couples who eloped or had a courthouse wedding to use their vow renewal 10 or 20 years later as a way to finally throw the party of their wildest dreams. This time around, the bride and groom might choose to go grand with a destination renewal, a live band or an over-the-top wedding gown.
7. Vacay Renewal: They Want a Reason to Go On Vacation
Need a reason to get away? Renew those vows! Couples often host destination vow renewal ceremonies and keep it small with a select few guests so they can combine a big trip with a big milestone. The beach is an especially common spot to host a vow refresh. It’s also common for newly renewed married couples to go on a second honeymoon after they say, “I do, still.” So if you’re looking for an excuse to go on vacation, this is as good as any!
8. Just Because: They Know No Excuse Is Needed
Ultimately, it’s important to know that you don’t need a reason at all – besides loving one another, of course – to have a vow renewal ceremony. Remember, your part two can be as private, as public, as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, so don’t feel like you have to follow a certain formula or adhere to a specific theme. Every couple deserves to celebrate their enduring love in the way they choose to do so, and it’s that personal touch that makes vow renewals so special!