Why wedding vow renewal is special
"Since it's not legally binding, you can renew your vows on any year or in any setting," says certified wedding planner Michele Ann Rowe. "But the 25th anniversary is the most popular year couples choose to do so," says Rowe.
Perhaps you want to renew your vows to celebrate making it through a rough patch in your marriage, or you simply want to be reminded of the promise you made to each other. Whatever the reason, we asked Rowe to share some of her favourite venues for tying the knot all over again.
1. The place you met
Was there a particular restaurant, coffee shop or movie theatre where the two of you first met? "If a specific location is sentimental, it can be a wonderful spot to say ‘I do' a second time," says Rowe.
If it's a restaurant, perhaps you can make arrangements for them to serve the same meal that you shared the first time you met. Or if it's a small theatre, maybe they can cue up your wedding video for a private screening before you renew your vows.
Get creative. The best part about a recommitment ceremony is that there's no traditional rules or protocol to get in the way of your wedding anniversary celebration – you can make it whatever you want.
2. Your backyard or garden
There is nothing more meaningful than renewing your wedding vows in your own backyard.
"Many people choose to mark the milestone of years together right in the spot that they have spent them," says Rowe. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or just your own small spot of paradise, this can be an inviting setting.
Page 1 of 2 -- Discover more special venues (a ceremony for two or globe-trotting cruise?) to renew your wedding vows on page 2
There are plenty of ways to add personal touches: Hold a bouquet of flowers that are plucked from your garden, for example. Or perhaps you planted a tree together in your backyard when you were first married -- renew your vows under its shade while your family looks on and it's about as special as it gets.
3. An isolated spot, just for two
A twist on renewing your vows is to have a pared-down ceremony with only the two of you. No guests, no officiant, just you and your significant other. Write your own vows, light some candles, toast each other with a glass of champagne and enjoy this intimate moment – after all, you're the only two that matter. "Keeping it simple keeps the focus where it should be – on your love and commitment," says Rowe.
4. A destination renewal
Did you dream of a destination wedding the first time around but just didn't have the time, funds or freedom to plan one? Now is the time to plan a getaway: Ireland, the Caribbean, a safari in Kenya or a cruise to Alaska -- wherever your heart desires.
"The most romantic wedding I ever witnessed was an intimate renewal ceremony on a cruise ship deck, at sea, with a blazing sunset as the backdrop," says Rowe. "A destination wedding often recharges the romance and creates new, loving memories."
If you can't steal away, even a local outdoor setting can feel like a "destination" wedding. "Try a beach, lakeside, a park or a mountain retreat," says Rowe.
Write your vows and include family
No matter where you choose to hold your ceremony, try to write your own vows if possible. And if you want to include any family members such as children or grandchildren, ask them to write a few words to say at the ceremony too -- it will make it a memorable family experience.
Finally, a gift registry is not appropriate at a vow renewal. "It's not an opportunity to upgrade your china," says Rowe. "If your guests insist on a gift, kindly ask them to donate a contribution to your favourite charity."
Page 2 of 2