If the pandemic lockdowns and gathering limitations forced you to have more intimate weddings, but you and your partner plan to do a vow renewal ceremony/anniversary reception in the next year or two when it’s safe, we present the ultimate guide.
What is a Vow Renewal?
A vow renewal is one of many ways married couples re-commit to each other.
Vow renewals allow a couple to celebrate their marriage regardless of how long they’ve been together. No rules exist for when or how to celebrate making this a truly personal celebration. Vow renewal has become more popular and necessary for couples who still desire to throw a memorable nuptial event surrounded by loved ones.
Wedding planning or any other “rules” do not necessarily apply to planning vow renewals—except this one.
Book your venue first. Dates book fast, especially at popular places and as we’re seeing a rise in weddings. Speaking of the venue, you can renew your vows in a restaurant, at home, in a ballroom, or in a garden. Your options are unlimited. The best part is that a lot of the pressure of finding a perfect location isn’t as heavy as it is with a wedding. After you’ve secured the venue, start booking any other help you’ll need, whether it be caterers, a DJ, or decorators, but you can skip a licensed officiant since you’re legally married already.
You’ll still need someone (maybe a friend or pastor) to “officiate” the ceremonies.
Save the Date and/or Invitations?
Like a wedding, asking guests to save the date (once one is set) is an important step for planning for multiple reasons.
If the point was to invite those who couldn’t make it to the original wedding, then sending out these two pieces of correspondence will help you properly estimate who can and won’t make it. If the ceremony date is near or falls on a holiday, save the date invitations give guests time to plan. If your renewal ceremony will be catered (and if you had one at your wedding), then you’ll know having an accurate guest count helps manage how much food you’ll need, which, of course, directly affects how much you’ll pay for food. Invitations also help communicate to guests if your ceremony will be formal or informal and if kids are allowed or should be left at home. So much key information is shared in invites, so plan to send out two invites. This also helps prevent having to log every important detail guests need onto one invite. There might be a detail you don’t know at this stage of planning that will have to wait for a formal invite.
Last, if you are wondering who to invite, the guestlist for the original wedding is a great place to start.
What to Wear: Recreate the Wedding or Dress Down?
For the vow renewal ceremony, a traditional wedding dress or tux is not needed if the couple wants to dress down.
Just remember the outfits you choose should reflect how formal or informal the event is. The venue may naturally lend itself to a specific attire. A beach ceremony is best suited for loose and flowy attire. A golf club may require at least resort casual attire. A restaurant wedding, depending on the restaurant itself, can vary widely. Outdoor weddings are open to personal needs.
What you chose to wear should be based on what you feel is appropriate—again, there are no rules to follow.
Saying I Do Again: Writing the Vows
Writing the vows is probably the most interesting part of planning.
Since the majority of weddings that took place during the pandemic were either done between the couple and a few loves ones, in a garden or in a court, you can repeat the traditional wedding vows in the vow renewal ceremony if you choose to do so. For those who want to write their own custom renewal vows, maybe consider how your views of marriage have changed since the first wedding.
Whatever you write, let it come from the heart of your marriage.
Here is a quick vow writing guide:
- Look to poetry, books, or even religious books for inspiration.
- Research how to write wedding vows.
- Include how you and your partner met, everyone loves to hear a good story about how a couple first met.
- Describe how the relationship has grown, gone through ups and downs, and maybe add some funny stories.
- Come up with new promises you want to make to your partner.
- Feeling bold? Get creative with a new ending. Say “I do” in your own way.
Book Your Vow Renewal Venue at the Rosen Plaza
At the Rosen Plaza, we work hard to put you at ease on your big day.
We take care of planning and organizing for you. Also, our chefs can whip up delicious dishes that will surely be the talk of the event—next to the loving couple and the amazing vows. The best thing about having your venue at a hotel is you and your guests can walk to your rooms after the celebration and get a good night’s sleep.
If you are still worried about the health and safety of you and your guests, we have implemented several new safety measures so you and your guests can party with ease. Our associates work hard to maintain a clean environment by disinfecting common areas and to reduce contact, the banquet staff will serve guests their food. Read all the details on our Rosen’s Total Commitment page.
Reach out to our wedding specialist, Kari Bina at (407) 996-1715, for more information on planning a vow renewal ceremony at Rosen Plaza.