Renewing Wedding Vows
Renewing wedding vows can be a great way for married couples to celebrate a special anniversary. A couple that has stood together through good times and bad deserves to celebrate their relationship. By renewing your wedding vows, you are reinforcing the promises kept in the past and affirming them for the future.
A vow renewal can be anything you want it to be. It can be as elaborate as a formal wedding or as informal as a backyard get-together. It can be secular or religious. It can resemble a traditional wedding ceremony or be entirely of your own creation.
Things to consider when planning your ceremony:
The vast majority of vow renewal ceremonies are between two people who are already legally married. However, if you originally married your partner in a commitment ceremony that had no legal basis (for example you did not or could not apply for a marriage license) or if you have any other concerns that your first ceremony was not legal in some way, it is best to contact your county courthouse where your original ceremony occurred.
While the ceremony doesn’t have to be religious, clergy from most major religions generally have no problem performing a vow renewal ceremony. The great thing about renewing wedding vows is that there are no special requirements for the officiant that presides at your ceremony. However, reciting of vows isn’t always a part of each religion’s marriage ceremony. For example, Jewish and Islamic wedding ceremonies typically do not involve the recitation of vows; therefore you may have to meet with your clergy member in the initial planning stages to get his or her input on this aspect of the ceremony.
As with a wedding ceremony, your vision may not fit your budget. It’s important to keep expectations realistic–you and your partner are probably in the thick of life, providing for a family, and keeping up with bills. Now is not the time to go into debt. Sit down with your partner, discuss your finances and set a budget for the ceremony before you begin planning.
There will be people who have opinions about what your ceremony should look like, but remember that the ceremony is about you and your partner. It’s a celebration of the people you’ve become together and the commitment you’ve made and kept to one another. Make it your own.