Many married couples choose to reaffirm their commitment to one another by renewing their wedding vows.
What is a renewal of vows ceremony?
This ceremony is for any married couple wishing to celebrate their renewing of vows in a unique and personal way.
Often these ceremonies are associated with a special wedding anniversary, but the ceremony is just as appropriate for couples at any stage of marriage.
It is sometimes particularly relevant to those who have been through a difficult period and have put a strain on their relationship but wish to celebrate their renewed commitment to each other.
The renewal of marriage vows ceremony is also a perfect opportunity for couples who have been married abroad to share their celebration with family and friends in the UK.
Where can the ceremony be held?
Couples who wish to have a religious ceremony should contact their local church or religious community.
Who can arrange a ceremony?
Any married couple can arrange a renewal of marriage vows ceremony.
There is no restriction with regards to area and it does not matter if you do not live in the area where you would like to hold your ceremony.
What does the ceremony contain?
The renewal of marriage vows ceremony has a range of sections available with choices to make within those sections, helping you to create your own ceremony.
According to your preferences, the ceremony can contain the following sections: introduction and welcome; acknowledgement of any children of the marriage; reading; renewal of vows; re-dedication of ring(s); giving and receiving of new rings or gifts; words from a previous wedding guest; further reading(s); signing of certificate; witnesses and closing words.
A 'celebrant' conducts your ceremony but will not be acting in any official capacity, even if the celebrant also works as a registrar.
A renewal of marriage vows ceremony is normally 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes depending on the number of options and readings chosen. A souvenir certificate is signed during the ceremony by the couple and two witnesses.
- The renewal of marriage vows ceremony has no legal effect and is not legally binding on those who participate.
- If the ceremony is held in the register office itself, please note that the Register Office is classified as a 'private venue' during the ceremony.
- Your marriage certificate will need to be shown before a renewal of marriage vows ceremony can be booked.
It is possible for a couple who are already married to each other to marry again in accordance with the law. They may wish to do this because they have reason to doubt the validity of their first marriage or simply because they wish to fulfil the legal preliminaries and requirements of another marriage ceremony. If you think that this is more appropriate to your needs then you can obtain further advice from the Superintendent Registrar.