Saying “I still do” is becoming extremely popular. An excellent way to celebrate a significant anniversary, vow renewals are unique options for those looking to reaffirm their marriages. A recent study from Saga revealed that 1 in 14 50-pluses had either renewed their vows or were planning to. Whether you’re renewing 10, 25 or 50 years on, vow renewals offer the opportunity to celebrate with those closest to you all over again.
Vow renewals provide more freedom than tying the knot via a church wedding or civil ceremony, which makes for a more personal experience for yourself, your partner and your guests. Here we explore just five of the things you can do in a vow renewal that you couldn’t do the first time around at your wedding.
1. You can hold your renewal absolutely anywhere
Whilst many choose to return to the place where they married to renew their vows, the possibilities are endless when it comes to your renewal ceremony venue. When planning your vow renewal, you can let your imagination run wild, hosting it on the beach, in the park, at home, at your dream holiday destination, in a library or museum, or at a stunning Georgian mansion like Gosfield Hall.
2. Anyone can officiate your ceremony
As a renewal isn’t legally binding, there are no rules regarding who can officiate the ceremony either. This means you can ask a family member, friend or even your grown up son or daughter to act as your celebrant. You can hire an officiant it you’d like proceedings to be a little more professional.
3. You can say “no” to the dress
You don’t have to wear a wedding gown for your wedding day, but saying “yes” to the dress is traditional at a church wedding or civil ceremony. With a vow renewal, both the bride and groom can wear whatever they like as The Knot details:
“Feel free to dress up. If you’re the bride, you could even wear your original wedding gown if you’re comfortable with it. Or choose another dress—a pretty cocktail dress, formal evening gown or a nice suit, depending on your taste and the formality and style of the celebration. Skip the veil if you want, but wear a hat or flowers in your hair if you’d like. Carry flowers or pin a corsage. If you’re the groom, you might wear your original tuxedo or suit (or uniform if you’re in the military), updated with a new tie or vest. Or choose a new ensemble for this celebration.”
4. Your guest list can be a little more intimate
Couples are becoming pickier about who they invite to celebrate with them, and devising a guest list for a wedding doesn’t come without its pressures. For most, a guest list is about satisfying other family members, with many inviting long lost cousins to appease grandma or the mother-in-law. With a vow renewal, however, people expect proceedings to be more intimate, meaning you can stick to inviting close family and friends that have played active roles in supporting you over the years.
5. You don’t have to spend a fortune
Your wedding may have cost you an arm and a leg but with your vow renewal you can forgo a lot of wedding must-haves in favour of a simpler ceremony and reception. Your vow renewal attire, for instance, won’t be as pricey, unless you want to foot the bill for a second bridal gown. You don’t have to spend lots of money to create a memorable and special renewal ceremony. We do recommend though that you hire a professional photographer to capture every moment of this extra special day.
Don’t let the pressure of planning your vow renewal stop you from enjoying this meaningful occasion. Read our tips for staying sane and relish every moment.