Tuesday 24 January 2017

Renewing your wedding vows, would you?

I've often wondered why people renew their wedding vows after a number of years being married. I just asked my husband what he thinks about it and he gave me a nervous look and said he thought it was a bit weird. I wouldn't say that's my thoughts but I think it does need thinking through before you rush into it. 

We've now been married for fourteen years but have been together for twenty-two. I Suppose because we waited quite some time, we were able to have the wedding we wanted rather than one we felt we ought to have. Our actual marriage ceremony was just perfect and if I'm honest I can't imagine recreating that as it was so incredible and surely a once in a lifetime event?

We were new Christians and truly felt the the power of the words that our vicar said about us now being in an eternal relationship together with each other and with Jesus supporting us. We are like a three legged stool and our marriage won't work if the third leg (Jesus) isn't part of it. That ceremony and the car journey afterwards to the venue were for us probably the best parts of the day, the times when it just felt like the two of us I suppose.

However saying that, I can certainly see the attraction in getting to plan a wedding again and perhaps being able to do it all differently to how you might of felt obliged to have the original one. I'm an organiser at heart and planning a big event puts me in my element and gives me a fun challenge - perhaps I ought to look at a career in wedding planning?

I spoke to a number of friends about renewing their vows and most were positive, saying they would certainly consider it but when pressed I generally found they all had reasons of why they might renew their vows. For example if their loved one was terminally ill, if their first wedding had been low budget or very rushed, or perhaps if a boisterous well-meaning mother in law had taken over. A couple also said that if their marriage had been through really tough times and they hadn't thought they would make it but now the relationship was back on track they would certainly see that as a reason for celebration and to reconfirm (or in some cases mean the commitment for the first time) their vows to each other.

Image: Man & woman holding hands from Shutterstock

For anyone thinking of reconfirming their vows, here are a few factors you might want to think through -

1.  Choose a date for the vow renewal, do you want it to be on a significant anniversary or such?

2.    What vows do you want to use, the same as the first time? Something different or do you even want to write your own?

3.    Where will you make this commitment, is it important to you to do it in a Holy building like a church or temple or would you be just as happy outdoors?

4.    Who will host the vow renewal? As it is not a legally binding ceremony you don't need anyone official to officiate so you can do it yourself if you like or a lovely idea is for the original Best Man and Maid of Honour to do it.

5.    Will you have guests there so this is a public declaration or is it just about the two of you? Or perhaps a small number of family like your parents or children? Generally most renewals don't have an official bridal party or groomsmen like the first wedding but to be honest it is your day, so do what feels right for you.

6.    Are children invited? This can be a controversial one but nowadays many weddings and parties are child free and to be honest it is your big day so you decide.

7.    Will you have a party afterwards? If yes, then all the usual considerations have to be thought through. Use a service like VenueFinder to help you source a great location and then plan the party in consultation with the venues team.

8.    What food and drink will you serve? Do you envisage the day (or night) encompassing a family BBQ or hog roast? Or is it more formal and there will be cocktails and canapés?

9.    Will there be toasts at the party? Do you want to speak? There are no hard and fast rules for row renewals so you get to decide.

10.   What will you wear? Are you going for the full white bridal dress, wearing your original dress again or maybe something more low-key that you feel really beautiful in.

That should give you a good head start and plenty of food for thought. If you are planning a row renewal I'd love to hear why you are doing it and leave any helpful comments for others in the same situation.

Be blessed, I wish you a marvellous time. Mich x

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