Vow renewals are an amazing opportunity to reconnect and reflect on your marriage. The most important thing to note is that you are taking time and energy to focus on your relationship and celebrate your love and appreciation of one another. This can re-spark all those feelings of why you decided to marry so many years ago, as well as honor all the new things that you learned about each other through your married life thus far. Through all the new life experiences you've had, in that moment you are vowing to accept your partner for who they have become and to continue to love and honor them through the unforeseen journey ahead. Don't think of a vow renewal so much as a second wedding; it's much more a personal celebration of your life together. Vow renewals don't have one set ceremony or approach, so if you are considering one we've got some tips to get you started.

How Soon

One of the biggest questions couples have is when is an appropriate time to celebrate a vow renewal. And the answer to that is, there is no one perfect time - the decision is up to the two of you! Discuss what feels right to you and what value you each would find in a vow renewal. Maybe your parents never made it to their 20th anniversary, so making it there in your marriage feels like a success. Maybe you've realized you've lost some of the promises you made to each other on your wedding day and want to restate them. Whenever the time and inspiration feels right to you as a couple is when you should do it.

Who to Invite

There isn't a set number of guests to invite to a vow renewal. You could plan an intimate elopement renewal or a giant fiesta! Since a vow renewal isn't as formal as a wedding, you can invite whoever you want, without feeling obligated to invite those you don't. This shouldn't be about spending your night meeting and greeting - this is a night for you and your partner and the vows you are remaking to each other.

Ceremony

The vow renewal ceremony can be the most confusing part for couples to plan. Again, don't think of this as a second wedding. You don't need to walk down the aisle; there doesn't even need to be a walk to the altar. It might be as simple as standing up during a dinner party to pronounce your renewed vows of love for each other. As far as the vows go, it's a must to write your own. This is a great time to reflect on the things that make your relationship special and what you value most for the future.

Who Officiates

This is another reason why we love renewals: anyone can officiate! Since this isn't a legally binding ceremony, you aren't confined to whom can perform your wedding. You can pick whoever is close to you two; even your children could officiate! Adding this personal touch is so sweet and will make the memories even better. Or, if you want to be a bit more traditional, a licensed officiant can also renew vows. 

As local Lake Tahoe wedding officiant Meredith Richmond says "To me, vow renewal ceremonies seem to go to a deeper level of emotions. The couples know exactly who their partner is and what they are really vowing to commit to. There's also another level of romance that adds to the experience. Vow renewals are usually more intimate than a wedding and it's something that really takes an extra step to plan to add into a very busy life. They are some of my favorite ceremonies to perform!