As an Austin area officiant one of the joys I have experienced is the honor of renewing a couple’s vows. Being able to celebrate years of marriage with family and friends is truly an honor.
Whether you are celebrating your fifth, tenth, twentieth, or fiftieth wedding anniversary, (or any other year you choose) renewing your vows is a special way to display your commitment to one another. Though it’s important to remember that this is not a wedding “do over,” many of the same elements from a traditional wedding ceremony are incorporated into vow renewals. Take the opportunity to let the world know that you would marry each other all over again in a heartbeat.
There is no right or wrong way to conduct the ceremony to renew your wedding vows, as long as it is a reflection of who you really are and what your union means to you. It can be as formal or casual as you wish, reflect your original ceremony or be its own distinct celebration.
Since the couple is “man and wife” and not “bride and groom”, a few details of the ceremony are different. The father of the wife does not give her away, but he may escort her down the aisle and place her hand in that of her husband. The wife usually does not wear a veil, unless she is wearing her original gown and veil, but it is considered appropriate (but not necessary) at any age for her to wear white.
In a wedding vow renewal ceremony there is not usually the traditional wedding party (i.e. bridesmaids or groomsmen) but the couple may ask their original wedding party to stand up with them if they so choose. More often than not, it is the couple’s children and grandchildren or other significant family members or friends from relationships developed over the course of the marriage who stand up with them as they take their renewed vows.
Couples renewing their wedding vows often choose to write their own, making them more meaningful and personal, and relevant to the unique nature of their relationship. Basic guidelines for writing renewal vows are simple. Reflect on your years together, through the good times and bad, and think of the ways in which your spouse has come through for you and how you have overcome obstacles together. When writing down these thoughts, try to include specific memories and the emotions they hold for you. Follow this with your hopes for the future and how you will continue to grow and change together in the years ahead.
Renewing your vows is a deeply meaningful way to renew and refresh the bonds of love within a marriage, and to share that love with others in your life together. Above all else, a wedding vow renewal ceremony should be an expression of the unique joy of your life together.
Exchange vows – These may be the same vows you exchanged when you married or new ones written with your shared life in mind. If you decide to create new marriage vows, you may wish to include your children or grandchildren into your commitment speech as well. There is no correct or incorrect way to renew your vows, but they should be made as a reflection of your union and life together.
Exchange rings – Just as in your wedding ceremony, vow renewals include an exchange of rings to affirm your commitment. Either use your original wedding bands or take the opportunity to upgrade your jewelry.
Vow Renewal Song Suggestion
When I Said I Do – Clint Black