In addition to the many wedding ceremonies I have planned in, I also have three vow renewal ceremonies, which I absolutely love!
When I tell people this they often want to know more, asking what type of couples book them, why they book them and what are they actually celebrating? Have you ever considered a vow renewal?
There simply isn’t one good reason to renew your vows. There are thousands of reasons why you might want to do it. It could be anything from simply repeating the magic of your wedding day to reaffirming how much you love each other, or pretty much anything in between.
Here are two ceremonies that I would like to share with you to show you some different reasons why people have done this.
Anesh & Tina
Recently I have officiated a fabulous vow renewal to celebrate 15 years of marriage for Anesh and Tina.I met with the couple on Zoom, and then at their house as restrictions lifted. They explained that the reason they wanted to renew their vows was because their vows on the day 15 years ago were completely lost amongst a very large Indian wedding. There were around 500 people in attendance, so it didn’t have an intimate or meaningful atmosphere, in fact, Tina said it was pretty noisy – oh dear! They did have a wonderful celebration but the personal touch was missing and sometimes it is these moments which are so meaningful.
Tina also wanted the opportunity to wear a traditional white bridal dress and include their sons in the ceremony. They planned the ceremony for exactly the same time and day as their original marriage, although this time it was to be a very different affair in terms of numbers. Just 16 people were invited, made up of close family and friends.
They wanted an outdoor ceremony and chose a beautiful venue – the gardens of the wonderful Billesley Manor.
On the day, Tina was escorted down the aisle by her father, which was very emotional. The couple included their story, starting with how they met all those years ago. Their eldest son wrote and recited a poem, and he is only eleven. It was so very touching and humorous, what a talent!. They then said their wedding vows – Twilight style as Tina is such a big fan – as well as personal vows which they had written. It was all so very moving. They exchanged rings and we blessed them, and they also exchanged gifts. This was a big surprise for Tina, who gasped, along with myself, when she saw the fabulous diamond ring Anesh gave to her!
The whole ceremony was perfect and just how they dreamt it would be, they were over the moon to recreate their big day, in the way they wanted this time. The feedback they sent over and wonderful photos were the icing on the cake of a beautiful day.
‘On the day Lauren was amazing, professional and very warm to all the guests. She conducted the ceremony beautifully. We loved her approach to the whole process. Thank you so much Lauren for helping to make our day so beautiful and run smoothly just the way we wanted’
Jit & Kuldip
A few of years ago, I conducted a vow renewal ceremony for Jit and Kuldip. Jit approached me as he wished to organise a surprise vow renewal for his wife. It was not only their wedding anniversary, but also Kuldip’s 50th Birthday. He told me that he had spent many years working while his wife brought up the children and looked after other family members, it was also a period of change for them as a couple as he intended to take early retirement the week after the ceremony. So, there were many things to celebrate together!
We met at an M&S café after Jit finished work one day. It must have been difficult to keep it from Kuldip, so it was quite a brief meeting. We spoke about their relationship, and it was clear from the beginning that they had a very close and loving partnership. I provided a template for the ceremony and explained that it could take any form Jit chose. It was for guidance only and a starting point to plan around.
From this, Jit decided that the ceremony was to take place in the garden of the family home, which was fabulous. There was a raised area, which was just right for conducting the ceremony. All the family were to be present: their three daughters, partners, grandchildren, cousins and aunts.
During the ceremony, I introduced myself and welcomed everyone, and gave a brief outline of what was going to happen. I then spoke about the couple’s relationship and their story. In particular I mentioned how much Kuldip meant to Jit and how she had supported him through his life/work, and now how much he was looking forward to spending more time with her. As most couples do, they then had a re-enactment of the legal vows from their wedding day, they also added some personal vows. Jit had also written Kuldip’s as it was a surprise to her!
On this occasion we had a third set of vows in this ceremony. Jit had organised a big screen to show in the garden with the videos to two songs. He said the songs spoke louder than words.
The songs were Bette Midler, The Wind Beneath My Wings, and the fabulous Celine Dion with Because You Loved Me.
Trust me, there was not dry eye in the house. It was very emotional. Jit also presented Kuldip with a birthday present. It was a beautiful necklace which ended the ceremony perfectly.
A vow renewal is whatever you want to make of it, and the benefit of having a Celebrant conduct the ceremony is that we can make it as individual and bespoke as the couple you are.
I hope these two very different ceremonies have given you some ideas on how moving and inclusive this ceremony can be.Have you considered renewing your vows? I’m always here if you’d like to discuss ideas