Published: Wednesday, Apr. 20th, 2022
Is there anything as romantic as a married couple still very much in love? Choosing to say, “I do!” all over again? Aside from the bliss of the wedding day, we don’t think so!
Vow renewals are unique celebrations that honor a married couple’s continuing commitment to each other and their marriage. It’s a chance for them to reaffirm the promises they made on their wedding day and make new promises for the future.
Married couples choose to renew their vows for many different personal reasons. Here are a few of the most common:
Couples of all ages, and in all stages of life, choose to renew their marriage vows.
Vow renewals are different from wedding ceremonies because they have no legal components to consider. Because a couple is already legally married, there’s no additional paperwork required to renew their commitment.
This means there are no rules for how to perform a vow renewal!
Couples can say and do anything they wish to at their ceremony – adding in any elements they enjoy, and skipping the rest.
Officiants don’t need to complete or return any legal documents, but many officiants do fill out a decorative certificate as a gift to the couple, which can be displayed in the couple’s home as a keepsake alongside their marriage certificate.
Many vow renewals are officiated by a friend or relative with a special connection to the couple, someone who understands what makes their relationship special.
AMM offers a beautiful selection of Vow Renewal Certificates
Vow renewals are as varied as the couples who celebrate them!
For example, some couples want a renewal ceremony that looks and feels just like a wedding ceremony, and will include a procession to walk down the aisle together, ask friends and family to participate in the ceremony with special readings, and exchange gifts or rings in addition to exchanging new vows.
Other couples might want a simplified ceremony that includes only a few words on love and marriage from their officiant, an exchange of vows, and a kiss, followed by a fun reception with friends and family.
Vow renewal etiquette can feel a little tricky to guests, because it isn’t as well-established as wedding etiquette. This leaves many guests wondering what to expect, and what’s expected of them – especially whether or not they should bring a gift.
This can be even more confusing considering that couples plan vow renewals for so many different reasons, and many guests will have already attended their first wedding!
Our advice is to consider these things when deciding when to buy a gift:
If it’s an anniversary, you might want to give an anniversary gift. If the renewal to celebrate the purchase of a new house, consider giving something that will make their new space feel cozy.
If the vow renewal is part of a sequel wedding or following a courthouse style ceremony or elopement, and it’s the first time a couple’s been able to celebrate with friends and family (because of the pandemic, military deployment, or another reason), consider giving the same kind of gift you would have given them at a first wedding.
If you’ve already given the couple a traditional wedding gift in the past, consider giving them something small and heartfelt, like a handwritten card, a letter describing what they mean to you or what you wish for them in the future, or a piece of artwork that reflects their love for each other.
In general, gifts are never required from guests. But even small gestures can make a couple feel incredibly loved and supported as they recommit to each other.
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