Renewal of Vows Ceremonies are a great way for couples to celebrate their ongoing love, and show their devotion to each other once again. We asked a few of our Celebrants what is so wonderful about Renewal of Vows Ceremonies and they have given us some real-life experiences of being a part of them.
Tanya Jones loves conducting Renewal of Vows Ceremonies and here she tells us a bit about why.
In your experience why have the couples you worked with decided to have a Renewal of Vows Ceremony?
Some of the couples I’ve worked with have decided to have a Renewal of Vows to mark reaching 30 years of marriage; because their daughter and her family were visiting from Australia; and to rededicate their wedding rings after a robbery.
Tell us about what happens during the ceremony
As always, it is entirely up to the couple! It may be a sort of re-run of their original wedding ceremony, using the original vows, but with some added wording to talk about their life together since then; it may be something completely new, perhaps with more light-hearted moments; or, not a ceremony as such at all, but a sort of pre-dinner announcement.
The structure of the ceremony also varies, with many couples either choosing to already be in the room with the guests right from the start, or to walk (or dance!) in together. The couple may choose to mention friends and family who have been with them along their journey and, of course, the children – and grandchildren – who have joined them along the way. They may talk about hardships or difficulties they’ve endured, but which they’ve overcome together and are now looking to the future.
Have you had any unusual requests or performed a ceremony at an out of the ordinary location?
Well, the most unusual so far has been a request to perform a rededication of wedding rings after the originals were stolen. The whole thing was a secret from Duncan’s wife until the morning itself! It was a very simple, short ceremony on the beach, attended by Duncan and Sam, Sam’s parents and me. It was a really special occasion and I felt so lucky to have been a small part of it.
What is your favourite memory from a Renewal Ceremony you have been a part of?
It’s probably Duncan and Sam again. It was really just the way he didn’t take his eyes off her the whole time – it was incredibly moving. Also, the fact that he went to so much trouble to make “putting their new rings on” (as he put it!) so much more than that.
Why do you think couples should consider having their own Renewal of Vows Ceremony?
There are so many different reasons! Apart from the ones already mentioned: a chance to have the wedding you really wanted but couldn’t have; reaching a milestone anniversary; facing something difficult and coming out the other side; your original wedding photos were awful(!); an excuse for a big get-together, which can include the couple’s extended family and friends they have made during their married life.
Whatever the reason, first and foremost it’s about the two of you showing each other the strength of your commitment; and if that comes along with a party (large or small), what a great bonus!