A vow renewal is a celebration of the love and marriage of two people. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the role multiple generations of your family and dear friends have played in supporting you and the positive impact they’ve had on the success of your marriage. No matter whether you’re marking a milestone anniversary, formalizing an elopement, or signaling the end of a difficult time, it’s time to get creative with your planning and find ways to incorporate these very special people into your vow renewal ceremony.
- Ask your older children to officiate the ceremony. Since a vow renewal ceremony doesn’t have to be officiated by a clergyman or other registered person, your older children (teenagers or older) can act as officiants. This role can also be filled by other family members or close friends.
- Ask an older married couple, such as your parents or grandparents, to offer blessings and wisdom. There is no one better to provide inspiration or advice than another inspiring older couple whose marriage has lasted many years beyond your own. Use their expertise to add substance to the ceremony in the form of a blessing or words of wisdom.
- Invite your younger children to share wishes for you. The sweet and brilliant innocence of your children will come shining through if you allow them to express their hopes and wishes for you and your spouse uncensored. Should the exchanging of vows and shared wisdom of the older couple induce tears and somberness, the younger children will undoubtedly provide moments of whimsy.
- Have a younger married couple in your family collect written wishes from guests. As you do your planning, enlist the help of a younger married couple (or two), such as an adult child and their spouse or niece or nephew and their spouse, to ask your guests to bring a note of wishes or congratulations to the ceremony. They can gather the wishes and notes from guests before the start of the vow renewal ceremony or during the reception. After the celebration, read the notes with the younger couple(s). This is a wonderful way to mentor those who have been married for less time than you, just as you have been mentored over the years.
- Light candles to remember deceased loved ones. The lighting of candles is a lovely and respectful to acknowledge loved ones who would have attended your vow renewal service, but are no longer present in body. Alternatively, you can opt to have a moment of silence accompanied by the ringing of a bell or striking of a gong for each deceased loved one.
Celebrating your love and marriage with the dear friends and the many generations of your family is truly a special occasion. Taking the time to also celebrate the role they have played in supporting you, and the positive impact they’ve had on the success of your marriage makes it all the more so. Use these five creative ways to incorporate your family into your vow renewal as they are or as inspiration for your one of a kind celebration.
Have other great ideas for incorporating your family into your vow renewal celebration? Share them with us in the comments!