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To renew your wedding vows is a beautiful thing; celebrating your marriage so far and all of the years to come, and letting each other and the world know that you are still madly in love and would say ‘I do’ all over again in a heartbeat. 

10yearsAside from celebrating a milestone anniversary, there are many reasons why couples choose to renew their marriage vows. Perhaps you want to reaffirm your love after a particularly challenging period in your life, or you had an intimate or secret wedding in a far-off land, and are renewing your vows to celebrate with all your family and friends, or perhaps your dream wedding day simply wasn’t quite as you had planned, and you want to celebrate in a way that feels more ‘you’. 

The most wonderful part of renewing your wedding vows, is the sweet sentimentality of the affair. Even if you had the perfect wedding day the first time around, you may have felt the stress of conforming to tradition, whereas renewing your vows comes with the full freedom and flexibility of celebrating your love wherever and however you wish. Say ‘I do’ in a classical church, or on a tropical mountain-top, or in a gorgeous garden party right at home; renewing your wedding vows is the time to celebrate in a significant place to you and your significant other. However, there are a few guidelines to consider when preparing for the occasion, so we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions, to help you plan to perfection.

Q: Who hosts?

A: Unlike a wedding ceremony, where tradition is for the bride’s parents to host, a renewal of vows is usually held by the couple themselves, but sometimes the couple’s child(ren) will invite guests.

Who officiates the ceremony? 

A: Because this isn’t a legally binding ceremony, anybody can officiate the renewal of your wedding vows, from the tradition of a clergyman to the sentiment of a close relative or friend. 

Q: Who do you invite?

A: A renewal of vows is usually an intimate affair, surrounded by your nearest and dearest, so it’s not the time and place to invite all those co-workers you half-know – save yourself the politics of who to invite / not invite this time around!

Q: Do you have the traditional wedding party/roles?

A: No, you don’t usually have the formality of bridesmaids, groomsmen, a Maid of Honour or Best Man etc., but you may choose to have members of your original wedding party involved for sentimental reasons.

Q: What do you wear? 

A: Dress to impress, as renewing your wedding vows is the perfect place for that sophisticated dress and timeless elegance. Some couples choose to wear the wedding dress and suit from their actual wedding, but it’s not a must-do (so fear not if it doesn’t quite fit anymore!). 

Q: What is the ceremony like? 

A: You’ll reaffirm the vows you exchanged at your original wedding, and then couples usually add their own personal vows to this, especially if you married years ago and can reflect on the journey you’ve been through so far together to get here. 

Q: Do you exchange rings? 

A: Yes, you exchange your original wedding rings, but often couples choose to add a new inscription on the inside, to mark the date of their renewal of vows. 

Q: Do you have a wedding list / accept gifts? 

A: Guests may wish to get you something for personal reasons, but no, it isn’t appropriate to ask for gifts at a renewal of wedding vows. 

Q: Do you have a wedding banquet / reception? 

A: Celebrate however you wish! From an intimate dinner to a full banquet, a garden party to a ball; anything goes. Speeches are usually made and you can even cut the cake again – but avoid tiered cakes, as these are generally reserved for weddings themselves.