There is a growing trend for couples who are already married to make a new commitment to each other and renew their vows, often spending much more on their vow renewal ceremony than their original wedding!
One award winning celebrant looks at the main reasons for the increase in vow renewal ceremonies.

⦁ Your first wedding was out of your hands
Whilst the term “arranged marriage” usually applies to two partners being chosen for each other by their families, an “arranged wedding” describes families taking over the organisation of the ceremony from the couple – both can be very good reasons for a vow renewal further down the line.
Arranged weddings
How many couples have had the organisation of their wedding taken out of their hands by well-meaning parents who are often footing the bill? Perhaps the guest list included distant family members and friends of the couple’s parents with a “traditional” ceremony at a “traditional” venue. Sound familiar?!?

Vow Renewal
Photography by Simon Duggan

As couples become financially independent down the line, they can renew their vows and have the ceremony they always dreamed of – surrounded by their own personally chosen guests, at whatever location they want.
This is the ideal reason to opt for a destination vow renewal ceremony overseas, combining a specially dedicated ceremony reaffirming your love for each other with a holiday in the sunshine and some fabulous photos to post on Instagram to boot!
Arranged marriages
In some cultures your lifetime partner may be selected for you by your family. You marry someone you don’t yet know very well, and it is only over time that you fall in love with them.
Couples wanting to celebrate this profound realisation can nowadays choose to renew their vows, this time saying them from a position of love as well as respect.

Vow Renewal
Photography by Simon Duggan

⦁ People change over time
Life experience changes us. We grow up. We grow older. We have children. We change jobs. We are not the same person we were when we got married.
Life’s wake-up calls
There are times in everyone’s life when we receive a wake-up call. Perhaps ill health or the death of someone close to us makes us come to appreciate our partner all the more – and wanting to renew a commitment to each other is a fantastic way to do that.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Married people sometimes spend a long time apart – overseas postings, pressures of work, even splitting up for a time.
This is when renewing your vows can really draw you and your partner back together, to reconnect and find that closeness once more.

Vow Renewal
photography by Simon Duggan

⦁ Married first time without the ceremony
A register office is the place to go to legally contract your marriage when you do not want a religious element to your ceremony. It is also the cheapest way of getting legally married.
These days most register offices also offer ceremonies at approved venues such as hotels and stately homes but it was not always so.
More and more couples who originally had a disappointingly quick register office marriage are now choosing to have a wedding blessing with an independent celebrant who can build their perfect ceremony around their values and ideals.
This celebration might be close to the marriage date and have the appearance of a wedding ceremony or it could mark a milestone anniversary many years later in the form of a vow renewal ceremony.
Importantly this symbolic commitment of two people in love can be wherever you want it to be – a forest, a clifftop, any building you like, any country you choose, it is totally bespoke.

Photo by Jack Hartley

Couples of two different faiths or belief systems who originally opted for a neutral register office marriage rather than convert to a different religion are also turning to an independent celebrant to officiate a wedding blessing for them too.
These personal vows may blend elements of both cultures and incorporate rituals from both faiths to create a unique hybrid ceremony to pledge the couple’s commitment of marriage to each other.
Again, whether it is at a similar time to contracting the marriage or renewing the vows many years later, a celebrant-led ceremony is unique to each couple.

Vow Renewal
photo courtesy of Jack Duggan

Vow renewals are the new weddings!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity that vow renewals present!
Suppliers should wake up to the fact that many couples wanting to make a renewed commitment to each other may be prepared to spend much more on their vow renewal ceremony than they ever did on their first wedding!
And couples should go out and search for an independent celebrant or officiant who really resonates with them and take the opportunity to renew their vows and have the wedding ceremony they always dreamed of – whatever the reason.

Vow renewal photography Jack Hartley
Vow renewal photography Simon Duggan
Biography photo: Juanma Segura

 Biography: Debbie Skyrme is an award winning independent celebrant officiating weddings, vow renewals and elopements in the Spanish sunshine.

Personal, profound ceremonies from the soul. Your destination wedding ceremony may be closer than you think! Photography:

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By CelebrantSpain

I am Debbie Skyrme, an international award winning bilingual celebrant officiating weddings, elopements and vow renewal ceremonies across Spain. As an experienced former UK Registrar I am now delighted to officiate symbolic ceremonies as an Independent Celebrant in Spain. With my trademark warm smile and a gentle sense of fun I celebrate wedding ceremonies in some of the most beautiful venues and locations in the Mediterranean. Your destination wedding may be closer than you think!