The Ultimate Guide to Renewing Your Wedding Vows (2022)

Vow renewals are a heartfelt way to celebrate your love and reaffirm the promises you made to each other on your wedding day. If you are thinking about having a vow renewal ceremony, know that a joyous celebration of your marriage can be planned easily and confidently with a little guidance from the experts.

What Is a Vow Renewal?

A vow renewal is a celebratory ceremony for a married couple to reaffirm their commitment to each other. They are especially popular on milestone anniversaries (10, 25, or 50 years); however, there is no rule as to when to have one.

“The most important thing to remember is not to get caught up in ‘wedding planning’ again,” says Natasha Anakotta of American Marriage Ministries. “Vow renewal ceremonies should be unique and meaningful while wholly re-committing yourselves to each other.”

Meet the Expert

Natasha Anakotta is the outreach and operations manager of American Marriage Ministries, a nonprofit ministry and wedding authority providing free officiant ordinations, advocacy, and support for friends and family wishing to perform legal wedding ceremonies.

A Socially Distant Vow Renewal Overlooking New York City

(Video) A Beginners Guide To Your Vow Renewal Checklist and Everything You Need To Know

Why Do Couples Renew Their Vows?

Vow renewals are held for any number of reasons. Perhaps the couple was only able to have a small wedding or elopement and now wishes to have more guests present. Maybe they've overcome an illness, infidelity, or other situation in their marriage and want to re-commit to each other. Other couples may be so crazy in love that they simply want to say “I do” all over again. For romantics, planning a surprise vow renewal for your partner can be a way to re-ignite the flame of passion.It may also be a way of saying goodbye. One particularly moving vow renewal was held in hospice for a couple, complete with flowers and cake. Two days later, after promising to see her husband in heaven, the wife passed peacefully.

Does a Vow Renewal Require a License?

From the perspective of each state in the union, a vow renewal is purely ceremonial. You are not required to obtain a marriage license or use a registered church minister or officiant. There are no legal documents involved, and it can be held anywhere at any time. This means:

  • You’re not limited by marriage laws, religious restrictions, or location. Why not make it a destination vow renewal and take the family? Or go to a romantic spot with just two of you and the officiant, as there is no need for official witnesses.
  • You can choose anyone to preside over the ceremony. Since it's a public speaking role with no legal obligations, your officiant can be your local pastor, a longtime friend, your original best man or maid of honor, or a hired wedding professional. Even your children can take part in performing the ceremony.

Friends or family members who perform the vow renewal often wish to present the couple with a commemorative renewal of vows certificate as a keepsake. Because it’s not a legal document, they can be creative and personalized.

How to Plan a Vow Renewal

There is no standard protocol for planning a vow renewal ceremony, so you’ll have lots of freedom to create a meaningful celebration. Here is a general planning guide.

Decide the details.

Whether at an international destination, a restaurant, or your home, your celebration can be as formal or informal as you’d like. While vow renewals are not a sacrament in organized religions, you may still want to hold it in a place of worship. Check with local churches or hire a nondenominational chapel.

Hire a photographer and any other key vendors.

Just like you would for a wedding, it's important to determine which vendors you'll need when bringing your vow renewal to life; at the very least, you'll want a photographer there to capture every special moment. You should also consider whether or not you want to work with a wedding planner or coordinator, florist, musicians, and caterers, depending on how complex you want the celebration to be.

Choose a date and send invitations.

Once you select the location and date, send an invitation reflecting the tone and formality of the event. As vow renewals can be anything you want, your invitation will tell the guests what to expect and whether you are providing a meal, cocktail hour, or a champagne toast and cake.

Pick your outfit.

You don’t need a wedding dress, veil, or tux—wear what you want. That said if you'd like to get dressed up for the occasion that is perfectly fine, too. Whatever you choose, your outfit should reflect the formality of the event.

(Video) Why You SHOULD Have a Vow Renewal Ceremony

Meet with your officiant.

The officiant can deliver a welcome that outlines some of your married life experiences. You may have readings and well wishes from guests before you say your vows. Ideally, read your vows aloud to each other. Follow up with a blessing by the officiant, a big kiss, and walk out to “your song” to greet each guest personally.

Vow renewal etiquette has only one cardinal rule: Gifts from your guests are not to be solicited or expected. You can, however, present each other with new or upgraded wedding rings.

Sample Renewal Vows

You've built a life together, so there are no style guides—it’s your story. Consider affirming your original promises and include experiences or lessons learned during your marriage. You might speak to the hurdles you’ve overcome together, the joys in your lives, and how you’ll continue to support your beloved as you move through life side by side.To get you started, here are some examples:

“For much of my life, I dreamed about my wedding day. I thought about the person that would be standing beside me and what things would be like after that magical day had come and gone. I wondered if there was such a thing as a perfect, lasting union. Now, __ year(s) later, I know that we have a healthy and loving marriage. True love like this is rare and difficult to find, but I know that I have found it in you. In the time that we have been married, my life has changed because of you.”

“You have challenged me to do things that I didn't think possible. You have a passion for life that inspires me to be the best person I can be. Because of this, I find myself continuing to fall in love with you more deeply each day. You are my best friend, my confidant, and my one true love. Today, I want to thank you for loving me, unconditionally. I'll keep loving and supporting you and stand by your side no matter what challenges we face together. I still look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, and vow to continue loving you now, always, and forever.”

“__ year(s) ago, I took you as my husband/wife—knowing in my heart that you would be my faithful companion, my lifelong partner, and my one true love. As we stand before our loved ones [and God], I pledge to stay by your side as your wife/husband/partner, in sickness, in health, in joy and sorrow, through the good times and the bad. I vow, once more, to love you without reservation, to honor and respect you. I will continue to support you, protect you from harm, and to comfort you in times of distress.”

“With my whole heart, I promise to remain devoted to you, to continue to grow with you in mind and spirit, and to practice patience, kindness, and understanding. Once more, I vow to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”

FAQ

(Video) The sweetest vows you'll ever hear 🥲 #shorts

FAQs

What do you say when you renew your wedding vows? ›

“On our wedding day, I pledged to love you in sickness and in health, and for better or worse. The past year has tested those vows, but our enduring love for one another has prevailed. I come here today to make a fresh start, to renew our vows of love, honor, and fidelity, and to reaffirm my love for you.”

What should you not do at vow renewal? ›

Don't expect gifts.

This is a vow renewal, not a wedding. While it's not appropriate to put “no gifts” on your invitations, you shouldn't expect to receive any. Your gift is the presence of your friends and family sharing in your special day.

How many times can you renew your vows? ›

Whenever you like! Vow renewals are often conducted at intervals of 2, 5, 10, 25, or 50 years, but couples can have one anytime they want, or not at all. Some couples decide to renew their vows after they've had children, after a difficult period in the relationship, or after an important milestone.

How do you write your own vows for a vow renewal? ›

Vow Renewal Wording Outline:

Talk About Your Spouse: Detail out things that you admire about your spouse. Talk About Your Relationship: Detail out things that you appreciate about your marriage. Make Promises: List out new promises for your marriage.

What is the best wedding vows you ever heard? ›

Sweet Wedding Vows
  • “I promise to never lose our spark and to always do the little things to make you happy.”
  • “I will always love you no matter what.”
  • “I promise to always make you laugh and to laugh together.”
  • “I vow that we will be a family forever.”
  • “I could never get bored when I'm with you.”

What is the best way to renew your vows? ›

Since a vow renewal isn't a legally binding event, there's no need to get another marriage license. Instead, along with your officiant, you'll exchange vows, recalling what you said when you were first married. You could also vary the verbiage and write original vows.

What color do you wear for vow renewal? ›

You don't necessarily even need an ivory or white gown, vow renewal dresses can come in any color. We especially love silver, gold, and blush gowns for a statement-making vow renewal dresses!

Do you exchange rings at a vow renewal? ›

The couple can choose to exchange the same vows, or they can prepare new vows. During the ceremony, rings are also exchanged between the couple.

How long should a vow renewal ceremony be? ›

The ideal length for a vow renewal ceremony is 20 to 25 minutes. This includes the processional and recessional. If you go longer, guests will feel like it's overdone and less meaningful.

Do you wear a wedding dress to renew your vows? ›

If you'd really like to wear wedding attire, The Knot recommends wearing your original dress or tuxedo if at all possible. If not, a cocktail dress or an evening gown are appropriate vow renewal dresses as well. The style of the dress will be determined by the casual or formal nature of your event.

What is the purpose of renewing your vows? ›

A vow renewal ceremony, gives you the chance to once again express your love in a ceremonial setting, to reaffirm your commitment to each other and perhaps include any children too. It's something many couples find strengthens their relationship.

Is renewing vows considered a wedding? ›

A vow renewal is not a second wedding. You're not legally getting married again, therefore there are absolutely no legalities for vow renewals. They are purely for you, your partner, and loved ones. That means that there are no rules like getting a marriage license, having a registered officiant, or witnesses.

What you should say in your vows? ›

Examples:
  • “I promise to love you and always be by your side, through all of the ups and downs.”
  • “I vow to always be faithful, and always be your best friend, no matter what the future might bring.”
  • “I promise to always root for you, cheer you on, and be your biggest fan.”
  • “I promise to love and support you.”

How do I start my personal wedding vows? ›

How to Write Wedding Vows Step by Step
  1. Start with a statement about who this person is to you. ...
  2. Continue by saying what it is you love about your partner. ...
  3. Use a story to bring this love to life. ...
  4. Lay out exactly what it is you are promising. ...
  5. Use romantic wedding vows to personalize your promise.
20 May 2022

What should you not say in your vows? ›

9 Things You Should Never Include in Your Wedding Vows
  • #1: Do Not Include Gross Words… ...
  • #2: Do Not Mention Exes. ...
  • #3: Do Not Joke Too Much. ...
  • #4: Do Not Highlight Your Partner's Weaknesses or Vulnerabilities. ...
  • #5: Do Not Talk About Sex. ...
  • #6: Do Not Mention Your Divorce. ...
  • #7: Do Not Include Random Quotes.
17 Aug 2020

What do you say at the end of your vows? ›

Say thank you

With your personal wedding vows you also have the chance to say: “Thank you!” You can express how grateful you are for having each other and for the qualities that you love in one another: I take you to be my husband. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world today, to be marrying my best friend.

Do you have a first dance at vow renewal? ›

The song that made your hearts beat strong and brought back a flood of memories over the years. Well, it's time to select a special song to celebrate your renewed commitment to each other as you plan your vow renewal. One option is to use the song you first danced to.
...
First Dance Songs for Your Vow Renewal.
ArtistSong Title
Van MorrisonBrown Eyed Girl
194 more rows
29 Jun 2013

Who walks the bride down for a vow renewal? ›

Do: Ask a friend or family member to officiate. Since a vow renewal ceremony doesn't have any legal implications, anyone can serve as an officiant, whether it's your minister, your bestie, a relative or even one of your children. Don't: Have a parent escort you down the aisle.

Do you have flowers at a vow renewal? ›

Of course, when it comes to choosing flowers for your vow renewal ceremony, we wholeheartedly recommend that you choose the flowers you like the best! After all, the only 'meaning' flowers have at your anniversary is the meaning you give them!

Do you do favors for a vow renewal? ›

Favors are simply small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation to guests for coming from the couple at a vow renewal. They can be as simple and inexpensive or as luxurious and expensive as you like. Most important, they should reflect the two of you as a couple and the style of your vow renewal.

Who puts the ring on first? ›

In a traditional wedding ceremony order, the vows are followed by the ring exchange. The groom usually goes first, though we invite you to be progressive. He puts the wedding band on the bride's finger while repeating a phrase like, “I give this ring as a sign of my love.” Then, it's the bride's turn.

Do vow renewal have bridesmaids? ›

Again, a vow renewal is a non-official event. That's why you can't have a religious vow renewal, and in law, the ceremony doesn't mean anything. As such, there's no custom for there to be bridesmaids and so on. You're free to arrange the ceremony so that certain people have certain jobs, of course.

Do people still do vow renewals? ›

Vow renewal ceremonies have grown increasingly popular in the U.S. over the last 50 years, and many happily married couples cherish the opportunity to gather again with their families and friends to say, "I still do!"

Can you use a quote in your vows? ›

You only want to use one, maximum two, quotes in your wedding vows. They should complement your own words rather than act as a substitute for your personal insights and promises. Write your speech first, then see if a quote can add extra poignancy or, if you want, humour.

How long should vows be words? ›

Aim to write between 390 to 650 words. This is three to five minutes in speaking length. Keeping the word count around this length will ensure that your vows are concise, articulate, and will keep the guests engaged. Trouble keeping your vows short and sweet?

Do you say I do before or after the vows? ›

In a secular wedding ceremony, which Dent notes is most common today, the wedding officiant will start with an opening, followed by any readings. Then, she says, the couple will do their exchange of vows and immediately follow them with the declaration of intent.

Do you wear the engagement ring on your wedding day? ›

The truth is, like most wedding customs, what you do with your engagement ring on your wedding day is entirely up to you. You can wear it all day, take it off during the ceremony or leave it at home altogether. There is no right or wrong way to go about this, and the decision is entirely up to you.

What are the 3 marriage vows? ›

"I, _____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish always."

Who goes first in the wedding vows? ›

Traditionally, the groom would say his vows first, followed by the bride, according to Nathan. However, there are no rules for that wedding tradition, and many couples now choose other ways to determine who goes first, particularly at LGBTQIA+ and nondenominational weddings.

Do you get new rings when you renew your vows? ›

It is entirely up to you! A renewal of vows ceremony is a personalised celebration and commitment (again!) to your life partner. You can choose to exchange rings and vows again during the ceremony or not! Many couples decide to re-exchange the same rings but some couples choose to add new ones.

Do you propose when you renew your vows? ›

In order to celebrate that love, some couples choose to not only get successfully married but renew those wedding vows years later. While it is sometimes a decision that spouses come to together, other times, a grand gesture is made and a proposal for a vow renewal is made.

What do you say at the end of your vows? ›

Say thank you

With your personal wedding vows you also have the chance to say: “Thank you!” You can express how grateful you are for having each other and for the qualities that you love in one another: I take you to be my husband. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world today, to be marrying my best friend.

What do you say when you say your vows? ›

Traditional wedding vows typically begin with phrases like, "I, [name], take you [name], to be my [husband/wife], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part." However, your wedding can be as unique ...

How long should a vow renewal ceremony be? ›

The ideal length for a vow renewal ceremony is 20 to 25 minutes. This includes the processional and recessional. If you go longer, guests will feel like it's overdone and less meaningful.

Can I wear a wedding dress to my vow renewal? ›

You can absolutely wear a wedding dress to renew your vows – be it white, ivory, pink, red, or whatever you fancy. The days of white dresses being reserved for virgin or first-time brides are long gone, so you should feel free to wear any dress your heart desires.

Do you have a first dance at vow renewal? ›

The song that made your hearts beat strong and brought back a flood of memories over the years. Well, it's time to select a special song to celebrate your renewed commitment to each other as you plan your vow renewal. One option is to use the song you first danced to.
...
First Dance Songs for Your Vow Renewal.
ArtistSong Title
Van MorrisonBrown Eyed Girl
194 more rows
29 Jun 2013

Why do couples renew their wedding vows? ›

A vow renewal ceremony, gives you the chance to once again express your love in a ceremonial setting, to reaffirm your commitment to each other and perhaps include any children too. It's something many couples find strengthens their relationship.

How do you say your vows without crying? ›

5 Tricks to Keep from Crying Throughout Your Entire Ceremony
  1. Practice Reciting Your Vows. ...
  2. Do a First Look. ...
  3. Think About Your Makeup. ...
  4. Reconsider the Music. ...
  5. Keep Your Vows Lighthearted.
12 Apr 2020

What are the 7 vows of marriage? ›

Alternately, each partner can recite the traditional vows. "I, _____, take you, _____, to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish always."

What should you stay in your vows? ›

The last sentence in your original wedding vows should be one last promise to always be the one. It's the big finish, so make sure you make this last sentence count. Examples: You are the love of my life and I promise to adore you, cherish you and respect you for all the days of my life.”

Who goes first in saying vows? ›

Order of Wedding Vows. Long story short, the groom typically says his wedding vows first in the vow exchange. As is customary, the officiant will give him the floor to speak his piece before giving it to the bride. It's a custom that's carried over from older times in which the husband was more of a focus.

Who should say vows first? ›

Traditionally, the groom would say his vows first, followed by the bride, according to Nathan. However, there are no rules for that wedding tradition, and many couples now choose other ways to determine who goes first, particularly at LGBTQIA+ and nondenominational weddings.

What are the 3 vows of marriage? ›

The vows are: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Videos

1. How To Really Celebrate Your Love Story In Your Wedding Ceremony | Celebrant Ceremonies
(Bluebird Bride Academy)
2. Wedding Planning Tips : How to Plan a Wedding Renewal
(ehowweddings)
3. Our vow renewal!
(Dude Dad)
4. Tips on Writing Your Wedding Vows
(The Wedding Planning Store)
5. Rob and Nicole Vow Renewal 2022
(Robert E Connolly)
6. Kim kardashian hollywood[Renewing Our Wedding Vows]Full process and series
(Unique KKH)

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