Vow Renewal: Everything You Need to Know

What does it mean to renew your vows?
on April 15, 2024
Read time: 10 mins

Are you ready for your second act as a couple? 

Vow renewals allow couples to retell their love story with an updated script, allowing both partners to reaffirm their vows to one another — with the benefit of all the growth and learnings of their long marriage! 

From the significance of the ceremony to the joy of planning a day that reflects your continued love and commitment, vow renewal ceremonies give couples that chance to celebrate their love all over again. Before you walk down the aisle with your partner by your side, discover everything you need to know about the magic of vow renewal in our guide! 

Key Takeaways
  • Vow renewals offer couples a unique opportunity to celebrate their ongoing love and commitment to each other. It's a chance to reflect on the growth and achievements of their relationship and to look forward to more years together.
  • Unlike the first wedding, a vow renewal ceremony is characterized by its flexibility and personal touch. Couples can tailor the event to their preferences, from a lavish destination event to a simple, intimate gathering, making it truly their own.
  • There's no set rule on when to have a vow renewal. It can be to mark a significant anniversary, celebrate overcoming a challenge, or simply because the couple desires to. The right time for a vow renewal is whenever it feels meaningful to the couple.
  • There's no set rule on when to have a vow renewal. It can be to mark a significant anniversary, celebrate overcoming a challenge, or simply because the couple desires to. The right time for a vow renewal is whenever it feels meaningful to the couple.
  • While the event itself is a beautiful celebration, the true value of a vow renewal lies in its ability to strengthen the bond between partners, celebrating their past and future together.

What is a vow renewal? 

Traditionally, a vow renewal ceremony offers couples the opportunity to renew their marriage vows and to celebrate their love! While it doesn’t need to be their big day all over again, some couples like to relive their love story in the company of their loved ones, usually for a milestone anniversary. 

The vow renewal acts like another mini wedding ceremony, focused on recommitment and reaffirmation of their dedication to one another. 

What happens at a vow renewal?

Vow renewal ceremonies can be anything you want them to be!

While some people opt for a lavish destination vow renewal, others prefer a more private set-up than a traditional wedding, focused on celebrating their married life. Even though planning a vow renewal can vary in the smaller details, from the guest list to the wedding cake — there is usually a traditional format that’s followed. 

Usually, these vow renewal ceremonies involve an officiant, who can be in an official role, or can be your best friend who has been with you throughout your married life! Then each partner says their personalized wedding vows, whether adopting from their original vows or creating new ones that reflect your journey as a couple. 

The day is usually focused on celebrating their journey as a couple, and looking ahead to the next decade of their love story! 

Why do people renew their vows? 

Couples can renew their vows for several reasons. 

Some people do it to celebrate their ten or twenty-year anniversary, seeing a renewal of vows as an opportunity to start a fresh chapter as a couple. This can be a very special moment in any couple's relationship journey, reaffirming their love for one another. 

Other couples decide to go for the whole vow renewal package, with all the wedding planning that entails! They might be looking for an excuse for a big celebration, while others may originally have had an elopement or a small ceremony at their original wedding for financial reasons. 

Therefore, they might relish the opportunity to finally put on that big white dress and tuxedo! Beyond the wedding dress, bridesmaids, family members, and that huge wedding party you always dreamed of — this vow renewal celebration allows the married couple to really relish their special day (without quite the same amount of jitters) and to celebrate all their years of marriage. 

Who knows, a set of new rings might reignite that honeymoon phase all over again! (Wink, wink!) 

When should you do vow renewals?

A wedding vow renewal can happen at any time, with couples usually choosing to renew their vows a number of years into their marriage. 

Some couples do it to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary or to relive their wedding day as if it’s the first time all over again. 

What do you say when renewing your vows?

How do you sum up all your special moments and memories in your new vows? Well, that’s up to you!

For vow renewal ceremonies, there is usually more freedom to stray outside the status quo of the ‘I Do’ format. Instead, couples can speak about their experiences as a team over the last number of years of their marriage, while updating their vows to one another. 

For example, you might repeat the vows that you originally made together, and check off a list of all that you’ve achieved together. You’ve looked after one another in sickness in health, you’ve built the life you’ve always wanted with your wonderful family… So what’s next for your lives together?

With all these changes, there are a few things that stay the same… We’d still be remembering that pack of tissues. *Dabs eye*

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a vow renewal and a second wedding?

    While some people refer to their vow renewal as their ‘second wedding’, this can cause some confusion within the definitions! Vow renewals occur between married couples who are focused on reaffirming their love for one another many years into their marriage. Second weddings commonly refer to the re-marriage of divorced persons to someone new. An important distinction!
  • How many years are you supposed to renew your vows?

    There's no specific timeline or rule about when you should renew your vows! The decision to have a vow renewal ceremony is deeply personal and varies significantly from couple to couple. For example, some couples might renew their vows on a milestone anniversary, to celebrate overcoming challenges in their marriage, or ‘just because’!
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