Renewal Wedding Vows

A vow renewal ceremony is a symbolic way for a couple to publicly reaffirm their love and commitment to each other. If you're interested in renewing your wedding vows, there are several different approaches to consider.

Reciting Your Original Vows

One approach to a vow renewal is to simply have the couple recite their original wedding vows before the officiant blesses their original wedding rings. If your original wedding vows still reflect your feelings towards each other, this can be a beautiful way to reaffirm your feelings and commitment.

Anniversary Vows

Perhaps the most common time for a vow renewal is when a couple is celebrating a landmark anniversary. In this case, the couple may recite newly written vows as part of a special dinner with family and friends.

Here's an example of the wording for this type of celebration:

It's hard to believe that 20 years ago today, I pledged my love and commitment to you. We promised to love, honor, and comfort each other as we worked to create a family, home, and life together. Today, I renew my vows to you in the presence of God, our family, and our friends. I love you now, always, and forever.

Another possibility for this type of vow renewal might be:

How little we knew of love on September 25, 1998. We were just two children trying to build a future based on notions of book love, movie love, and other people's relationships. Now, we've learned that marriage is a choice. Love, once formed, is never finished. My love for you grows each day, as I continue to choose to be by your side. I happily renew my vows to you, promising to be your wife, friend, and partner.

Including Children in Your Vows

If you wish to make your vow renewal a family affair, there are several different ways to include your children. For example:

  1. If you don't have a traditional officiant, you might have your child act as the officiant by reading from a script that you've prepared.
  2. Your child might read a poem you've selected.
  3. Children might be called upon to share their wishes for the family as you move forward.
  4. Your family might light a unity candle to symbolize your bond.
  5. The children might choose to stand up with you in place of the traditional wedding attendants.
  6. You could hire a professional photographer to take a family portrait, having the children wear clothing that is similar in style to yours.
  7. Family members might exchange matching rings or tokens to symbolize their commitment to each other.

Celebrating the Marital Bond after a Serious Illness

When one partner faces a serious illness, it puts past troubles in perspective. A renewal of wedding vows can be an opportunity for joy as the couple moves forward with their lives.

The ill partner might say:

Amy, when I was first diagnosed, my greatest fear was leaving you behind. Thank you for being by my side throughout my treatment, honoring our vows to stay beside each other in sickness and in health. I am so happy that I get to continue life's journey by your side. Once again, I vow to love, honor, and keep you, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

The supportive partner might say:

Jacob, on our wedding day I promised to love you in sickness and in health. Your battle with cancer this past year has tested those vows, but I believe our enduring love for each other has prevailed. I come here today, in front of our loved ones, to reaffirm my desire to be by your side no matter what the future holds. It is with great pride that I take you, from this day forward, as my husband.

Moving Forward After Infidelity or Marital Discord

Sometimes, as part of the process of moving forward after an extramarital affair or other difficulties in the marriage, a couple has a vow renewal ceremony to symbolize their new commitment to making their marriage work. In this instance, it is usually better not to share the intimate details of the marital difficulties unless it is a very private renewal ceremony.  However, your renewal vows can touch on the challenges the relationship has faced.

For example, a spouse could say:

In the years of our marriage, we have faced many challenges. I have not always honored you and my original wedding vows to their fullest.  Having come through our difficulties, I want to pledge my commitment anew to you. I love you, honor you and vow to work with you to build a stronger bond together from this day forward.

Another approach would be:

Sustaining a marriage requires hard work and sacrifice on the part of both spouses. I know that in the past we’ve both made mistakes and done things we’re not proud of, but my love for you is the one thing that has never faded. Today, I reaffirm my commitment to you. I promise to be your wife, partner, and friend from this day forward.

Reflecting on the Past and Planning for the Future

Renewing your wedding vows provides a unique opportunity to reflect on where you've been and where you hope to go as a couple. Although vow renewal ceremonies have no legal significance, they can provide special memories for many years to come.

Consider preserving your vows from this event by creating framed artwork using one of the One Heart Weddings (printable background graphics) and your favorite font.

See our vow renewal invitation templates.

Written by: The Printable Wedding Team