Renewal of Wedding Vows

by Steve Pritchard-Jones


Frequently asked questions

What does a vow renewal ceremony entail?

A vow renewal ceremony is very similar to a traditional wedding ceremony. The couple will enter through a short processional, exchange vows, before continuing on to the celebrations. Some couples may wish to include rituals, readings etc. The ceremony may, or may not include guests.

Why do couples renew their wedding vows?

Renewing your vows is a lovely way to show how much love you and your partner have for one another.

Some couples choose to renew their vows to rejoice the birth of a child, or when family members who were absent at the first wedding return back home, or when one partner has overcome a serious illness or injury and the couple want to celebrate what they see as a second chance in life. Some couples may choose to renew their vows so that their children may witness the occasion, and some may want to do it just because they want to!

Here are a few examples why couples choose to renew their vows…

Landmark Anniversary

Surviving some ups and downs

It’s time to have the wedding of your dreams!

Reassessing your vows in your relationship

A romantic gesture

Can I renew my wedding vows anywhere?

Having decided to renew your vows, you now need to decide where to hold your ceremony. Perhaps it will be at the original wedding venue or you may choose the family home, your favourite place, or a favourite hotel, in a park, or down the pub! The choice is yours!

Here are some ideas:

– On the beach

– At the same location you had your wedding

– Overseas

– Dream holiday destination

– At home

– In a park or garden

– In a library or museum

How long is a vow renewal ceremony?

The length of a vow renewal ceremony depends on the elements you choose to include like readings, stories, and the length of the vows themselves. Typically, a vow renewal ceremony will last between 30 and 40 minutes.

Is it legal to renew wedding vows?

A vow renewal has no legal standing or implications as it is purely ceremonial in nature. As such, you are free to orchestrate it as you wish without any legal or religious matrimonial restrictions to adhere to.

So when is the right time to renew your wedding vows?

As a vow renewal ceremony has no legal standing and is purely ceremonial, it can be done at any time after the wedding. For some couples, there is no better way to commemorate a milestone wedding anniversary such as the 10th (tin), 25th (silver), 30th, (pearl), or even a 50th (gold), than with a vow renewal ceremony.

In essence there is no right time as it is entirely up to the couple!

Who can officiate a vow renewal ceremony?

As a vow renewal is not a legal ceremony, essentially anyone can officiate it. You can ask a family member or friend, or you can Steve at Top Note Ceremonies, or even book the same celebrant who officiated your wedding!

The beauty of a vow renewal ceremony is that you can structure it an extravagant event or an intimate ceremony just shared between you and your partner. There are no rules or restrictions, and as you’ve already experienced your wedding day, you don’t have to include traditional wedding elements like flowers, bridesmaids, best man etc, if you don’t want to. Some couples treat themselves to a second honeymoon!


Remember…..there is no standard protocol for planning a vow renewal ceremony.

Decide the details.

Couples can renew their vows in a place of worship, or on the beach, on a mountain top, or at home. There are absolutely no rules surrounding the location, so it’s completely up to the couple!

Select a date and send out invitations.

Once you select the location and date, send out an invitation. As vow renewals can be anything you want, your invitation should reflect the tone of the occasion and will tell the guests what to expect and whether or not you are providing a meal and pre drinks drinks etc.

Choose your outfits.

You don’t need a wedding dress, veil, or morning dress. Wear what you want. That said if you’d like to get dressed up for the occasion that acceptable too.

Meet with Steve at Top Note Ceremonies

Steve will work with you to write a ceremony that outlines some of your married life experiences. You may have readings and music as well as messages from your family and friends before you say your vows. The ceremony may conclude with a few poignant words by Steve, and you will walk out to “your song”, and even a kiss!

Vow renewal etiquette has only one fundamental rule: Gifts from your guests are not expected. You can, however, present each other with a personal gift or new wedding rings.

Please remember in the modern world, the world is your oyster. Your choice….your way!

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Steve Pritchard-Jones

Steve Pritchard-Jones

I am an independent civil celebrant conducting weddings, celebration of life/funerals, commitment, civil partnership, renewal of vows, adoption welcoming, naming, pet funerals, internment or scatter of ashes, memorials service, and even divorce ceremonies in Shropshire, West Midlands, Mid and North Wales, Derbyshire, Staffordshire & throughout the UK.

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