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Vow Renewal after Transitioning: Celebrate a New Chapter in Your Marriage

Published Wednesday, Feb. 14th, 2024

Young queer couple poses outside, wearing cute outfits and one holds a bouquet of white daisies. They are holding hands and smiling happily after a vow renewal ceremony
Vow renewal ceremonies can be informal 'just us' celebrations, or formal 're-wedding' celebrations with all the fun and fanfare of a traditional wedding... and anything in between! (Photo (cropped): Renee / Adobe Stock)

Celebrate your love & a new chapter in marriage with a renewal of vows ceremony



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AMM Audio Articles · Vow Renewal after Transitioning: Celebrate a New Chapter in Your Marriage



Couples reaffirm their marriage vows for many reasons. One meaningful reason to plan a vow renewal is to celebrate a new chapter in marriage following you or your partner’s gender transition. 


Vow Renewals after Gender Transition


Coming out as transgender or non-binary is a cause for joyful celebration. A partner who is transitioning might want to celebrate with a personal ceremony (a naming ceremony, for example), privately with their spouse, or publicly with a community celebration joined by friends and family.


And it’s a wonderful opportunity for you to celebrate a new chapter in your marriage, and reaffirm your love and commitment for each other… Not to mention a chance to walk down the aisle in the gorgeous wedding dress or perfectly-tailored suit you weren’t able to wear the first time around! 




A young couple hold hands following a vow renewal ceremony, wearing a white dress and white suit, smiling happily

Photo: pixdeluxe / iStock

Wear the gorgeous wedding dress or stylish suit of your dreams as you renew your marriage vows! Your vow renewal can look and feel any way you it to, and anyone can officiate it for you. 



Vow renewals can be small ‘just us’ ceremonies, with a couple exchanging new vows privately in front of an officiant, or larger ceremonies held in the company of friends and family. They can look similar to a traditional wedding, or be completely unique and nontraditional. 


Some couples reaffirm their vows shortly after a partner comes out and begins transitioning, other couples wait until an anniversary or another important date to celebrate. Any time is the right time to say ‘I still do!’ to love.


Related: When Should You Renew Your Wedding Vows? Consider These 3 Things

Because there aren’t any legal requirements for a vow renewal, how you celebrate is completely up to your imagination, budget, and tastes. Anyone can officiate your vow renewal ceremony, including children, friends, relatives, and professional officiants. Churches that support queer and same-gender marriages may also offer vow renewal services.


Click the links below for ideas and inspiration for your vow renewal: 



Read all Vow Renewal Ideas & Inspiration




Two photos, showing the same older LGBTQ+ couple embracing and smiling happily together

Both photos: Scott Griessel / Adobe Stock

Any time is the right time to renew your marriage vows, and say 'I still do!' to love.




Applying for an updated marriage license (if possible)


As with most changes in life, there can be a lot of paperwork… 


Trans partners might apply for a revised birth certificate, state ID, or passport with their updated name and gender marker – as well as an updated marriage license or legal marriage certificate.


Some states make this process easier than others, and some states don’t allow it at all, but there’s hope that more states will offer these options in the future. Just this year, Hawaii updated its marriage laws to make the process of changing a gender marker on a marriage license very straightforward (Check it out here: §338-11.5).


If you choose to apply for an updated marriage license, you don’t need to have it signed by your officiant during your vow renewal. If you can’t apply for an updated license because of your state’s marriage laws, you can honor the day with a decorative marriage certificate or vow renewal certificate instead.


Vow renewals are ceremonial (not legal) and you don’t need any additional paperwork or permission to have one. You can mark the occasion with a decorative marriage certificate or vow renewal certificate if you choose to.





Product image showing three renewal of vows certificates sold by American Marriage Ministries in the store

Above (Left to Right): AMM's 'Timeless' Renewal of Vows Certificate; the Floral Renewal of Vows Certificate; and the 'Signature' Renewal of Vows Certificate. These certificates can be personalized with your name and other details, and are available in our online store here.



Real World Inspiration and Examples


Get inspired by these real couples and their trans-friendly vow renewals.






Asked to officiate a vow renewal? 

Check out these helpful resources!




Read all Vow Renewal Ideas & Inspiration



An older couple embrace and pose for a picture, smiling at their vow renewal ceremony. They are outdoors on a pleasant day, behind them are leafy green trees

What to say, what to do, and what to expect at a vow renewal -- for wedding officiants, couples, and guests. Read the full article here. 


'We Still Do...' Vow Renewal Package

Reaffirm marriage vows, make new promises for the future, and commit to love all over again with this unique Vow Renewal Package! This sweet package is for couples who wants to deepen their connection and say YES all over again, and officiants that want to make it all happen. This resource contains everything a couple needs to celebrate a renewal of vows, anniversary celebration, or recommitment ceremony.


Product photo of the AMM We Still Do Vow Renewal Package gift box for renewal of vows and wedding anniversary celebrations

This package includes:

• 1 Elegant Vow Booklet Set with vow writing prompts and pages for finished vows
• 1 copy of AMM’s bestselling The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies
• 1 “I Still Do” pamphlet – A short officiants guide to the vow renewal ceremony
• 3 Decorative Renewal of Vows certificates (Timeless, Floral, and Signature)
• 1 Wood display frame
• 1 AMM Embossed Presidential™ Custom Pen


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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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