Clasped hands of bride and groom

How, Why, and When to Renew Your Wedding Vows

From Big Celebrations to Intimate Soirees, There Are Many Ways To Recommit to Your Sweetheart

Your wedding day was a fairytale filled with love, promises, and hopes for the future. Yet why should you only get to swap romantic vows once? Renewing your vows is a chance to recommit to each other and your relationship, in front of the people that you love. 

A vow renewal ceremony is a celebration of a couple’s love and commitment to each other. It is an opportunity to recommit to the promises made during your original wedding ceremony and express your love all over again. While it may not be legally binding like a first wedding, it can still be a really significant moment for you and your partner. 

While couples can have different reasons for deciding to renew their vows, overall, it is like adding another chapter to your love story. A vow renewal isn’t just a celebration of your love, it’s also a chance to express your feelings all over again. Think of it as a heartfelt sequel to your wedding day, with all the romance and (hopefully) less of the stress.

 Champagne being poured into tray of glasses

What Happens at a Vow Renewal Ceremony?

It all depends on your preferences. Your vow renewal can be an intimate gathering or a massive celebration. It can be formal, or casual, or just plain quirky. It can include a brief vow renewal that lasts around 15 minutes, or a lengthy ceremony where the bride and groom speak their own personalized vows to each other. There are no rules to this kind of event. 

Also, a vow renewal ceremony doesn’t require a legal officiant, yet many couples still choose to have someone special to lead the ceremony. This could be a close friend, family member, one of your children, or even the original officiant from your wedding (which is a swooningly romantic idea). Having an officiant adds a sense of ritual and significance to your ceremony, but it’s also totally optional.

Whatever kind of celebration you want, it’s important to remember that you don’t need some big, special reason to renew your vows. Yet if you’re looking for a little inspiration, then here are seven terrific excuses for a second wedding:

Why Renew Your Wedding Vows?

1. To celebrate a big anniversary

Whether it’s your 15th, 20th, 25th, or even 50th anniversary, renewing your vows is a great way to mark these milestones. So instead of the traditional crystal, silver, ruby, sapphire, or gold wedding anniversary parties, consider a second wedding instead!

2. To rekindle your romance

Between work, housework, children, family, friends, and bills, it’s easy to get swept up in the busyness of life—ehich is why it is important to pause, take stock, and remind your partner of how much they mean to you. A vow renewal is an opportunity to focus on your romantic relationship again and reignite that spark.

3. To honor your journey

Life is full of ups and downs. As a couple, you might have had to face big challenges over the years, as well as losses, successes, and everything in between. Renewing your vows is a way to pay due respect to each other, the strength of your relationship, and the growth you’ve experienced as a couple.

4. To have a post-pandemic ‘do-over’

After lockdowns and social distancing, many couples didn’t get to have the kind of wedding day that they wanted. Thankfully, many are now planning ‘do-overs’ where they finally get to experience the big day that they dreamed about.

5. To go bigger this time around

Maybe you chose to elope for your first wedding or held a small ceremony to keep costs down? But now, you might have the means to throw the big party you never had before, where all your family and friends show up to witness you making your vows. So why not have an all-singing, all-dancing bash for your vow renewal?

6. To get more intimate

…Or maybe it’s the opposite of last time. Perhaps your first wedding was a huge family affair that was completely amazing—and also a little stressful and overwhelming? With a renewal of vows, you have the chance to plan a much cozier event, with just a small cluster of your loved ones. 

7. To forge new memories

Your first wedding gave you memories to cherish forever. But with a vow renewal, you get to plan a second special day to reminisce about together. And if you create a theme totally different to your first wedding, then it will be all the more distinctive. This means that if your first big day was a super traditional white wedding, then what’s stopping you from throwing a lively, Gatsby-style cocktail soiree for your vow renewal? Or an off-the-wall event that reflects your shared hobbies and passions?

When Should You Renew Your Wedding Vows?

As we said, there are no rules here. And you don’t need any reasons! Aside from anniversary milestones, there are some other ideal times for this kind of event:


  • A meaningful date
    Whether it’s the date that you first met, the date of your first kiss, or even one of your birthdays, every couple has calendar days that are special to them. 
  • A special event
    Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Independence Day are all exciting times of the year, perfect for festivities. For instance, you could host a December celebration with a festive winter wonderland theme, a spring soiree with an Easter egg hunt, or a 4th of July bash with a fancy Champagne picnic and fireworks. 
  • A niche International day
    Believe it or not, there is now a “world day” for just about everything, from peanut butter, to butterflies, to beer. So if you both love sailing, then you could hold a nautical-themed vow renewal on World Maritime Day on September 28th. Or if you’re both sweet-toothed, then maybe you’d like to renew your vows on World Chocolate Day on July 7th—and treat your guests to a decadent dessert station to remember, including chocolate fondue and a gooey fondant wedding cake? 

Ready for Your Big Day, Part 2?

Remember that your vow renewal ceremony is your day and you can celebrate it any way you like, at any time, for any reason. You’ve already had one dream event, so ask yourselves—what’s your dream for your second big day?

At Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove, we offer an unforgettable wedding venue that is perfect for vow renewals in New Jersey. Our iconic space has also just had a makeover and has been praised by New Jersey Bride, The Knot, and Wedding Wire. The Il Tulipano team will treat you like family, so get in touch with us today and let’s plan your dream vow renewal.


Want more wedding tips and inspiration? Head over to our blog.