Renewing Wedding Vows: this is not to be confused with a second marriage, or a church blessing after a civil marriage ceremony. For second marriage/wedding details click on the following link: second marriages. The definition here is that two people are renewing their faith in their marriage and love for one another and to be eligible to do so means that the couple must be already legally married to each another.
There are many reasons why a couple may wish to go through the process of renewing wedding vows. All include a reaffirmation of love for one another.
– often couples have come through a traumatic event, which has made their bond even stronger. It is recognition of their survival and strength of support for one another.
– it is a platform upon which they can let others know how much they mean to each other
– previously they may have had a “quickie” wedding. This will be a more thoughtful occasion where the couple can put in place the things they feel they missed out on before.
– it may be to celebrate reconciliation after a period of separation
– it may be to celebrate the institution of marriage and placing emphasis on its value. In this instance the couple will usually hold the renewal of their vows on a significant wedding anniversary, e.g. 10th, 25th, 50th, 60th, 65th.
Legalities when renewing wedding vows:
It is a condition of Christian Services that the couple is legally married. However, the service itself is not a legal ceremony. There are no rules as to the content of the service. That is very much an individual requirement. For example, some couples choose to have their original rings blessed again. Others buy new rings to add to their existing ones. Some do not bother with this aspect at all.
Traditions when renewing wedding vows:
Historically this Celtic tradition was conducted on the 1st of May. However, nowadays couples may choose any date. It is a very personal event, but some customs are:
– for the event to be held in a sacred place
– for the husband to walk his wife down the aisle
– for the bride to recreate certain scenarios, e.g. her bouquet, the cake, wear her original wedding dress, etc.
– to invite the original attendants – bridesmaids, grooms, ushers, etc.
– to use the original wedding vows
– to display the first wedding photographs
Quite often couples choose to ignore the traditions completely, choosing a setting to reflect whom they are today, writing their own wedding vows for one another.
What else needs to be considered when renewing wedding vows?
– who to invite: not only your original bridal party, but your children and grandchildren will play an important role. The occasion may be as large or small as you wish.
– informing guests: either by word of mouth or invitation, depending upon the formality of the occasion
– any formalities: there are non. The occasion will be as formal or as informal as you wish.
– any dress and/or colour codes: there are non. You should indicate your choice of dress code on the invitation. If not sending invitations one may assume it will be informal attire.
– gifts: these are not usually given. However, certainly a guest may wish to give a gift if the couple is celebrating a significant anniversary. The couple may wish to give a gift to each other.
– choice of music: if you are stuck for ideas click on the following links – classical music and popular love songs.
– choice of bible readings: you may consider any of the following – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, Genesis 2: 18-24, John 15: 9-12, Psalm 128: 1-4, Mark 10: 6-9.
– catering: you may choose to celebrate with a cake and some drinks. Alternatively your choice is limitless from an informal picnic or BBQ, a semi-formal finger buffet, or formal dinner party.
– venue: you may choose to go back home afterwards to celebrate, or alternatively book a venue of your choice
– fees involved: depending upon the number of guests and length of service there may or may not be church fees. Other expenses are totally dependent upon the type of occasion you wish your renewing wedding vows to be.
By now you will have gathered that you have total freedom when organizing such an event. There are no set protocols, which you must follow. Finally, it should not be a stressful event, keep the emphasis on the celebration of you as a couple.