On wedding anniversaries, one way to honor the day is through renewing wedding vows. Such ceremonies may go by various names but are usually described as vow renewal or reaffirmation ceremonies. For the married duo, these celebrations offer a way to reconnect, share their love with all those they care about and even improve upon the original wedding ceremony.
Couples often see vow renewals as a more romantic gesture than simply exchanging gifts on their anniversary. These ceremonies are often done to honor major milestones such as the 10th, 25th and 50th anniversary, these reaffirmation ceremonies are also being increasingly used to celebrate any year of marriage. All types of married couples choose to participate in vow renewals. Often these couples are simply looking to celebrate and renew their commitments to each other, especially in a society where divorce seems to be so commonplace.
Another reason why so many couples choose to renew their wedding vows is the improvement in their financial stability. When first getting married, couples typically have less disposable income. Through promotions, raises, investments and savings throughout the years, however, these couples often develop a sizeable savings, money that some may choose to use to get the wedding of their dreams that they were initially unable to afford.
Vow renewals also allow the wedded couple to redo the mistakes or regrets they may have had about their first wedding. For instance, some couples may regret choosing to elope instead of having a wedding ceremony or being pregnant during the original wedding and not feeling comfortable in the dress. Others may have been married by the justice of the peace or clerk at a court house and may wish to have a more passionate and intimate wedding.
Through a vow renewal, couples can rectify these regrets. The celebrating couple can choose to have a large traditional religious ceremony that reflects their faith or culture. Couples may also choose to take the destination wedding they always desired and renew their vows on beaches in Hawaii, on a cruise ship while in an exotic location or even on a mountaintop. A major influence for many couples to have a vow renewal is the desire to share their love with their extended family and friends. Sometimes these ceremonies are even held by a couples children or grandchildren who were not even alive when the couple was first married. An emerging trend in such renewal ceremonies is to have the couple's children escort them down the aisle.
For some wedded couples, the desire for an affirmation ceremony is to reflect on all the couple has been through and achieved throughout the years. A couple that has dealt with some difficult or traumatic issues such as debating divorce, diagnosis of cancer or loss of a child may choose to renew their vows as a means of reaffirming their commitment to each other and to put the past behind them.
At a vow renewal, the ceremony can be as extravagant or simple as the couple desires. The style of the reception, its location, types of invitations and outfits worn can be done to reflect the original wedding. For instance, many brides save their original wedding dress to wear for their renewal ceremony. Poetry, the original wedding vows and readings and reflections from family and friends can also help the reaffirmation become a touching and memorable ceremony for the couple, their family and friends.