Renewing Your VowsAre you and your partner thinking about saying “I do”… again? Well, you’re not the only ones… couples choose to renew their vows for a variety of reasons. Renewing your vows doesn’t mean that the vows you took on your wedding day weren’t meaningful, but it can serve as a reminder of what your commitment to one another really means.

Publicly reaffirming your commitment can be very powerful and a great asset to a healthy marriage. It is a great time to reflect on the blessings and tribulations you have been through together and what to look forward to in your future. Whether you are restating and amending your original vows or writing new ones, make sure they include reasons you love your partner, how your love has grown, how he/she has made you a better person, and what you pledge to do in the future.

Reasons to Renew Your Vows

You already had a wedding, but want to marry legally. Some couples have a wedding some time before making their union legal, due to family circumstances, timing, and other reasons. Making your commitment a legally binding agreement is an important reason to renew vows.

You are legally married, but want to have a wedding. Some couples may choose to put off a formal wedding for one reason or another. Even if you are already legally married, you may find that it is important for you to share this with your loved ones as a public proclamation of your commitment to your partner.

You want to celebrate a milestone. Are you coming up on a 5-year, 10-year, or even 50-year anniversary? If so, your wedding day may seem like a distant memory. You may be interested in renewing your vows on a particular anniversary as a way to celebrate how far you have come together, reaffirm your commitment, and exclaim, “Here’s to 50 more!”

You have survived an experience that tested your marriage. Maybe you and your spouse were separated for one reason or another — a legal separation, military deployment or other long distance relationship. Or maybe you have overcome another stumbling block — such as infidelity, addiction or illness. When you have been through a major event like this, you may choose to renew your vows as a symbol of moving forward together.

You may also consider renewing your vows regularly, even if it’s on a smaller scale. This may mean that you write down vows in the form of love notes that you share with each other on every anniversary. Or maybe you periodically re-read the vows you made on your wedding day. Make it a fun tradition.

Vow-Renewal Etiquette

Focus on the ceremony. A vow-renewal ceremony will still require some discussion with your partner regarding budget, venue, guest list, etc. However, the purpose of renewing your vows is not simply to throw another big party or elaborate wedding, but to focus on the vows themselves, and what they mean to your marriage.

Keep it intimate. Vow-renewal ceremonies tend to be more intimate. If you already had a formal wedding, it may be best to limit your guest list to close friends and family. You may choose to have a close friend, adult child or family member officiate at your ceremony for a more personal touch (that is, if you are already legally married). Discuss what is appropriate with your partner.

Avoid turning it into a second wedding. If you are renewing your vows, you do not need to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. You may choose to have your children play a role in the ceremony or have a tribute to your original bridal party. Also, it is usually inappropriate to register for gifts since you are not starting your household together.

You and your partner may choose to renew your vows with one another as a way to refresh, celebrate, and in some cases, repair your marriage. A vow-renewal ceremony centers around your guests being able to witness the vows and commitment you are reviving with one another. Take time to think about why renewing your vows is important to you as a couple and how these vows will serve to strengthen your marriage moving forward.