Vow renewals are gaining popularity which means that more people are talking about them and more people are choosing to have them. If you’ve been in a conversation recently where you found yourself bluffing when this topic came up, you might have a few questions that need answers. Stay tuned if you don’t want to be caught out again: we’ll cover everything from wedding renewal ceremony basics to vow renewal wording ideas.
What is a vow renewal?
A vow renewal is a ceremony to renew a married couple’s commitment to each other and celebrate the joint life they’ve led so far. It can be as formal or informal as you like, from a full recreation of your wedding to an intimate ceremony on the beach with just your children present.
Who is involved in the reaffirmation of vows?
If you want to renew a marriage vow but don’t know who should be present, the answer is: whoever you want! A wedding vow renewal ceremony is a completely optional event (there are no legalities involved) and it will be extra special with the right people. While a couple can choose to involve anyone they like, some common people to include are:
- Members of the original bridal party
- Close friends
Big or small, the choice is yours – just let it be your decision as a couple and not something you feel pressured into. If you want it to be just you two and a celebrant, that’s totally fine. You want to invite 100+ people? Go for it! What will make your day memorable?
Why do couples do it?
There could be any number of reasons why couples choose to do a wedding vows renewal ceremony. Here are a few of the most common:
- To celebrate a milestone anniversary
- To renew commitment after a difficult time in a relationship
- To have the wedding you never had (usually when difficult circumstances at the time of your marriage didn’t allow for your fairytale wedding).
The size and scale of your marriage vow renewal depends on the reason you’re doing it in the first place. The renewal of wedding vows is special – so it deserves to be celebrated in style, but if a big hotel ballroom with 100 guests ain’t your style, here are some simple vow renewal ideas to make your intimate day even sweeter:
- Photos with signs or banners that say things like ‘we still do’ and ‘still his Mrs’/’still her Mr’
- Board titled ‘our story’ where main events of your life together are documented. To make a truly unique piece of memorabilia, have guests add memories of you in a nice marker
- Write your own vows on vow renewal cards – they can be framed and put up in your house
- Match outfits with your kids (warning, if you have teenagers they probably won’t think it’s quite as cool as a 4 year old might!)
- Surprise your wife or hubby by proposing…again! (Can be an extra sweet moment for the girls to plan a surprise if they didn’t get to the first time around).
When to do a vow renewal
We’ve all heard of a 25th anniversary vow renewal or 50th wedding anniversary vow renewal, but what about another ceremony and reception after just 5 years, or ordering 10 year vow renewal invitations? Most couples wait a while after the wedding to renew their vows – others do it every year on their anniversary. Neither way is wrong and you should do what feels right to you as a couple.
Usually when your wedding vows renewal is on a big milestone like your 25th or 50th wedding anniversary it is likely to be a bigger event with more guests – similar to a wedding anniversary party. If you renew your vows every year, the ceremony is more likely to be small, as it could get expensive over time.
What to consider when planning a vow renewal
The first question to ask is: where will we have it? The location will determine how many guests you can invite, so consider how big you want your guest list before falling in love with a particular venue.
The second question: will we have a reception? While some couples view it as over the top, others are bursting with vow renewal reception ideas and love a chance to get creative. Just make sure the venue matches the guestlist. There’s nothing worse than giving your guests claustrophobia or knocking around in a venue that could accommodate double the amount of people present. The other main factors when choosing a location are budget and how formal you want the event to be.
Because there is no legal aspect to your renewal of wedding vows, you don’t need an ordained minister or celebrant present (although there’s no harm in getting a pastor/priest to say a few words, if that would be meaningful to you). Some people are still in contact with their original celebrant and choose to invite them to their anniversary vows as a sentimental gesture. Since no legal aspects are required, many couples choose to have a family member or friend host the event, acting as a celebrant of sorts.
The actual vows
A wedding renewal wouldn’t be complete without wedding renewal vows! Recommitment vows are a beautiful thing and the best part is that you can say whatever you want. Maybe you did traditional vows at your wedding and want to write your own this time. Get creative and express in your own unique words just how much your spouse means to you. If you’re feeling a bit tongue tied, you can research vow renewal wording samples to get you started – but try to personalise it some way so that your spouse knows you are speaking from your heart.
As with every aspect of your special day, the rings are up to you. Maybe you got married young and had to go budget on your original wedding rings. Now might be the perfect time to finally get the big rock you’ve been dreaming of for 10 or 25 years. There is no ‘necessary’ element in a wedding vows renewing. Instead of traditional rings, you may want to do something else meaningful to celebrate your continued commitment, such as:
- Matching or complimentary tattoos
- Other pieces of matching jewellery – possibly engraved or maybe even designed by the two of you
- Planting a tree
- Necklace with kids’ names engraved
- A donation to a cause close to both of your hearts
- An engraved wallet or watch
- A temporary ring made of plant matter to be used as symbolism just for the ceremony.
Vow renewal decorations depend on the type of event you are hosting. Feel free to throw traditional wedding decor out the window if you like and think about what will truly reflect you and your spouse’s tastes. Are you a fun couple who would like a balloon arch or nature lovers who would adore a wooden arbor adorned with greenery? Maybe you’re a devout couple who want to incorporate your beliefs into some thoughtful decorations. Decor could also match a theme or your location, like bohemian or beach.
Should we have a wedding party?
A wedding party for your vow renewal can make it really fun, especially if you’re still friends with your original bridal squad. It can even double as a reunion of sorts as you get together to celebrate a commitment still going strong. Another popular idea for a wedding party is to ask your children to stand up with you. Depending on their ages, you could have them as flower girl/page boy or bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you’d prefer not to have a wedding party, you’re not alone, and that’s totally okay. There will be than enough willing people around to help out – both before and on the day.
Who to invite
When deciding on your invitations for vow renewal, who to invite can be a tricky subject. Vow renewals are generally smaller than weddings (although they don’t have to be!). Let the size of the event and venue guide you and then start with your ‘non-negotiable’ guests and work your way outwards. Everyone in your acquaintance doesn’t need to get an invite – just the people you feel will help add meaning to the day. You certainly don’t need to recreate your wedding guest list!
Are guests supposed to bring gifts?
Gifts aren’t expected at a vow renewal and often the couple will add a little note requesting no gifts. However, if you’re a guest who would like to buy a gift for a vow renewal and are looking for ideas, often a voucher for an experience like a couples massage or an extreme sport like skydiving can be great for a couple who already have most things they want.
Choosing vow renewal stationery
When choosing wedding renewal invitations, you may feel like there aren’t many options available. The best thing about sites like Paperlust is that you can choose from any of our wedding invitations and customise them to make your ideal wedding vow renewal invitations. It’s that easy!
Renewing wedding vows invitations should fit the theme of your event. For an elegant reception dinner at a hotel, consider calligraphy or Letterpress printing. For a garden ceremony in your backyard, floral renewal of vows invitations would be perfect. Planning a family-focused affair? Consider renew wedding vows invitations using a photocard picturing the whole gang.
If you are planning a big event with lots of guests, like a vow renewal on your 25th anniversary, you may want to consider vow renewal save the dates. A vow renewal save the date is a good idea for out of town guests or if your celebration falls in a busy time of year (i.e. around Christmas).
More formal vow renewal ceremonies call for a complete stationery suite. Why not select a design you like and get the whole set so that you only have to make one decision? You can customise all of our designs with our online design tool and create the perfect vow renewal program, RSVP cards, menus, place cards and thank you cards.
Vow renewal invitations wording
How do you get your renewal vows invitation wording just right? A good place to start is having a look at some sample renewal vows wording for inspiration. You can completely write your own or mix and match some of the templates you find. Remember to consider spelling – there’s nothing worse than a typo on an important bit of stationery and trust us, using your ‘vowel renewal invitations’ to invite people to your ‘vowel renewal ceremony’ is just going to get people thinking about grammar even more! Yes, that’s a spelling mistake we see constantly. At Paperlust we have a team of professionals to look over your design changes and wording to make sure your whole invitation suite looks not only stunning but professional. Your vow renewal just got easier.
Now that you’re all worded up on vow renewals, the ins and outs of planning the event, as well as vow renewal invites 101, you are ready to start browsing. Don’t let this planning be the same ball of wedding stress all over again – we’ve come so far since then, right? Once all the details are organised, it’s time to sit back and crack open the bubbles. Cheers to many more happy years!