Wedding Vow Renewal Etiquette

What more perfect way to recommit to your partner and celebrate your years of love with friends and family than with a wedding vow renewal ceremony. It’s a time to reflect on your life and the solid bond you have built together. Celebrate how far you have grown together, and how much more in love you are today than on your wedding day.

In my own experience the wedding vow renewal ceremony has become more and more popular for couples over the last 10 years. It is chosen by couples for a variety of reasons – the main reasons being:

  • The most popular type of renewal of vows ceremony is to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary from 5, 10, 20, 25, 40, 50+ years.
  • A sort of wedding do-over after a wedding has gone very wrong for reasons such as family interference, sickness, bad weather or even guests who behaved badly!
  • Some couples opt for a smaller more intimate wedding, or get married overseas, or elope, and then choose to have a larger wedding vow renewal ceremony down the track or on a wedding anniversary milestone.
  • Couples who have overcome a rough patch or a separation and want to celebrate their newly stronger relationship and love for each other.

Wedding Vow Renewal Etiquette

When planning a wedding vow renewal ceremony there are some guidelines to consider if you choose this type of ceremony. However if you do wish to recreate your wedding ceremony then these wedding vow renewal etiquette do’s and don’ts may not apply.

Wedding vow renewal celebration

Etiquette Don’ts:

  • Wedding gift registry – vow renewal ceremonies aren’t typically gift giving occasions. The exception is if it’s a significant milestone anniversary, i.e. 25 or 50 years.
  • Don’t wear a traditional wedding dress because you are already a wife, so not really appropriate.
  • As you are already married there’s no need to have a bachelor or bachelorette party to celebrate your “last night out as a single person”.
  • A bridal party or attendants i.e. bridesmaids, maid of honour, groomsmen, or best man, aren’t needed.
  • A large tiered wedding cake. If you would like a tiered cake simply choose decorations that make it look different from a wedding cake.

Etiquette Do’s:

  • Send out physical invitations. If your ceremony is casual and it doesn’t matter greatly if guests don’t RSVP, then fine to send invites via email.
  • Write your own vows and focus on your future together rather than bringing up anything from the past.
  • Think about a ceremony that is fun and casual.
  • Wear a dress that suits the occasion in any colour – including white!
  • Choose to re-dedicate your wedding rings or purchase new wedding rings to mark the occasion.
  • Have a carefully selected bouquet of meaningful flowers, but don’t toss it after the ceremony.
  • Include your children, other close family members or pets (fur babies!) in the ceremony by giving them a role to play.
  • Let guests know gifts aren’t necessary.
  • Toasts and speeches should focus on your continued love for each other, how far you have come together and the future ahead, rather than how you met.
  • Host a reception (party!) after the ceremony for your family and friends and enjoy the occasion together.
  • Make the day all about you and your partner – do things your way!

Planning a wedding vow renewal ceremony together is much less stressful than planning your wedding, because it’s more personalised and intimate. Use the wedding vow renewal etiquette lists as considerations for your planning. However this time around, YOU get to decide what you want, and YOU get to make your own rules for the ceremony!

Celebrate the fact that you and your partner are making it in a world where many marriages do not.

At the end of the day when you love each other for all time – why wait for a reason to celebrate the journey you are on together?

Thanks to my extensive experience as an Auckland wedding celebrant I have performed a large number of wonderful wedding vow renewal ceremonies. This means I can offer you qualified advice and guidance when it’s needed to help create your perfect personalised ceremony. Contact me and together we can plan your own special wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Glenys xx

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