• 01/02/2024

16 Vow Renewal Ideas to Help You Plan Your Celebration

A couple holds hands during a vow renewal.

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Whether to celebrate your anniversary, affirm your commitment to your partner or have the ceremony you always dreamed of, renewing your vows is a true expression of love. Although typically less formal than a wedding, you can make the event exactly the way you want it. Here are some vow renewal ideas to help you plan the perfect celebration.

1. Dress Up

There are few occasions that allow you to dress to the nines — if you want to go glamorous, then do it! Feel free to wear your original wedding dress or tux if it still fits you. You can also get dolled up in the hair, makeup, and jewelry department. Getting dressed up gives you a chance to take professional photos in the style of a wedding portrait shoot. 

2. Go Casual

On the other hand, many couples choose to wear something less formal at a vow renewal ceremony. This is perfectly acceptable as well. After all, a vow renewal is much more casual than a wedding, and it typically doesn’t last as long. If you want to conduct the ceremony in a T-shirt and shorts, you’re well within your rights to do so. 

3. Choose a Special Date

Many people like to conduct their vow renewal ceremony on a significant date. For example, you could renew your vows on your wedding anniversary or the date that you first met your partner. However, you can also do the ceremony any time that’s convenient for you and your guests. Some couples choose not to invite any guests at all. 

4. Celebrate at Home or a Family Member’s House

One vow renewal idea is to host the ceremony in a house or backyard. Since it’s typically a small event with fewer guests than a wedding, you can probably fit everyone you’re inviting under one roof. 

Going this route allows you to save money on the venue. There’s also a nostalgia factor if you host the event in the house where you grew up or visited frequently as a child.

5. Travel Somewhere New

Feeling adventurous? Why not host your vow renewal ceremony in another state or country? Much like a destination wedding, you can travel to one of the places on your bucket list to make the event truly memorable. Scenic locations like the beach, mountains, or countryside also make a spectacular backdrop for professional photos. Just make sure to apply for a permit if the place you’re visiting requires it. 

6. Reread Your Original Vows

If you love your original wedding vows just as they are, you can reread them at your ceremony. It can be very sentimental to hear your spouse reaffirm the promises they made to you all those years ago. You can add a new section at the end if you want to update your existing vows while still keeping them largely the same. 

7. Write New Vows

Other couples choose to write a new set of vows for their renewal ceremony. This option is a great way to address any changes you’ve faced in your relationship, including ways you’ve grown together and challenges you’ve overcome. 

8. Engrave Your Rings

Some couples buy new rings for their vow renewal. However, many others choose to have their current rings engraved with a special quote or the vow renewal date to commemorate the occasion. This is entirely up to you, as you can also just leave your rings the way they are. 

9. Have a Potluck

Hosting a party can be expensive, with many couples spending around $120 to $5,000 for a vow renewal ceremony with 100 guests. Since a vow renewal is often a more casual event than a wedding, feel free to host it as a potluck party and have guests bring their favorite foods. To avoid getting duplicate dishes, create a sign-up sheet where people can announce what they’re bringing. 

10. Choose an (Unofficial) Officiant

There’s no legal requirement for anyone to officiate your vow renewal celebration. The officiant can be a friend or family member of any age. In fact, you could even have a pet officiate your ceremony!

11. Do a Themed Renewal

Who says you can’t renew your vows in Star Wars costumes or bathing suits? Throw a themed party and encourage guests to come dressed for the occasion. It makes for a fun, relaxed atmosphere and some truly memorable photos. 

12. Dine Out

If you won’t be serving food at your vow renewal, one idea is to go out to eat afterward. Reserve a spot at your favorite restaurant and invite your guests to eat with you. Or, order takeout and enjoy eating at home without the hassle of cooking. 

13. Create a Photo Wall or Slideshow

You’ve likely been married for some time and have made a lot of fun memories with your spouse. One fun vow renewal idea is to compile your favorite photos of your relationship and attach them to the wall or other backdrop. You can also set up a projector and screen to play a home movie of your adventures with your spouse.

14. Go on Another Honeymoon

Another fun vow renewal idea is to treat the event like a second wedding, honeymoon and all. Jet off to the Virgin Islands or go on a safari after you’ve renewed your commitment to your spouse. A second honeymoon can rekindle the passion you felt early in your relationship. 

15. Serve Cake

Although not a requirement, you can certainly have a cake at your vow renewal ceremony. Feel free to keep it nontraditional — think brownies or pineapple upside-down cake. Or, you can splurge on an elaborate, wedding-style tiered cake. Your guests will enjoy it either way!

16. Designate a Photographer

Whether you hire a professional photographer is up to you. One budget-friendly option is to entrust a specific guest with taking photos. You can also invite your guests to use their phones to snap pictures during the ceremony, then have them send the photos to you afterward. 

Vow Renewal Ideas to Inspire You

Hopefully, these vow renewal ideas will help you plan your upcoming ceremony. This event can be as formal or casual as you like — it’s yours to personalize. While you’re planning, have fun and remember that the day doesn’t have to be perfect. Renewing your vows is all about the love you feel for your spouse, and that love will endure no matter what kind of party you throw. 

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