Top Tips for Vow Renewals
Renewing your vows is one of many simple, yet meaningful ways to display your enduring commitment to your partner. A lot of couples use vow renewals as a symbol of closing a chapter in their lives. This chapter may have been particularly stressful, and they would like to start afresh. Or it could be that they want to reaffirm their love for one another as a change is about to occur in their lives.
Why have a Vow Renewal?
Vow renewals also provide couples an opportunity to have the intimacy that they may not have had at their wedding due to putting their guests before themselves. One of the biggest regrets from couples is not spending enough time celebrating with each other on their wedding day as they would have liked – a vow renewal is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your love more personally, either alone or with your closest friends and family.
Planning your vow renewal should be significantly less stressful than planning your wedding day. It shouldn’t be as nerve racking of an experience, as you’ve already gone through the commitment to each other. This is an endorsement of that love for one another. There are no expectations of what your day should be like, other than your own. It is also an opportunity to do what makes you happy, instead of worrying whether everyone else will be enjoying themselves!
This isn’t a Re-run of Your Wedding!
How you celebrate this day is entirely up to you. Your vow renewal can be as formal or informal as you like. You may decide to have a ceremony followed by a drinks reception or a full day event with a sit-down meal. Contrary to popular belief, your vow renewal doesn’t need to be a re-run of your wedding! So pick a venue that caters well to your chosen style. You should consider how many people you would like to be in attendance; a vow renewal is a warm and intimate celebration.
Many choose to renew their vows on the anniversary of their wedding to commemorate their special day; however, you can have your vow renewal whenever you like, there is no obligation to have it on your anniversary. So if your wedding anniversary doesn’t suit, how about the day you met or when you started dating? What is key is that the time is right for you both and perhaps represents a period in which you want to pay particular tribute to your commitment.
Make it meaningful for who you are NOW!
Make sure the day is focused on you and your partner and do what makes you happy. Whether that is a more opulent style or casual celebration, there are no rules! We advise couples to try to decide early in the planning process how formal your event and dress code will be, as this will set the tone for your day. It is important though when inviting your guests you clearly communicate the plan so they know what to expect.
Unlike a marriage, a vow renewal does not require a license. It is purely ceremonial, so can be conducted by anyone. Though some couples decide to have a celebrant, it is not essential, and it can be an opportunity to have a friend or family member conducting the ceremony. You can also incorporate your children or other guests who may not have been present at your wedding. For example, if you were married during the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have a number of guests you wish to spend this special day with. Having a celebrant may however, bring you peace of mind and help bring structure to the proceedings. Celebrants can also guide you on readings, poems, quotes etc. that you may want to incorporate into your ceremony. If you are using a family member/s, we recommend appointing one individual to oversee the planning of the speakers and the music on the day, as this can lift some of the responsibility from your shoulders.
Your Guest List will be Different from your Wedding
A vow renewal is a fantastic opportunity to have the guest list you perhaps didn’t have at your wedding. You may wish to condense the list you had, making it just your nearest and dearest. As many people find their wedding guest list comprises of many people they do not really know, your vow renewal can be a day dedicated to those you have close relationships with. Or if you were married during the global pandemic, why not invite those you wished you could’ve had there and let them celebrate your love in person? Since being married you may have nurtured new friendships that are very meaningful to you, this could be an opportunity to involve those people in your special day
The day is completely yours- no traditions needed!
As you are already married, a vow renewal doesn’t have a set symbolic act like a wedding, so again it’s up to you what you would like the climax of your ceremony to be. Some decide to buy new wedding bands, however others decide to take a different approach, like other symbols of unity. Hand-fasting is an old Scottish Tradition for wedding ceremonies but can also be effective in your vow renewal. If you have children, you could fast you and your children’s hands bound to symbol of your family and what you have shared together. Another Scottish wedding tradition you could adopt is sharing the Quaich. The Quaich is a two handled ‘loving cup’ which when drank from seals the bond of two people and seals the bond of two families, making them one. The Quaich symbolises the love and trust implied by the bond and could also be passed to family members. You could also light a unity candle or use sand-blending as symbolic gestures.
I think we can all say that the last couple of years has made us re-evaluate what truly is important in our lives. Those nearest and dearest to us will most definitely sit high in the priority list for most! The renewal of wedding vows may not have been something that you ever gave much thought to. Here at SHBT Weddings our experienced team would happily have a chat with you to see how a vow renewal might work for you from the intimate small celebration to the merriment of partying into the wee hours!
Get in touch with us for more information on renewing your vows!
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