Luckily, there are few rules when it comes to renewing your vows, and this freedom of choice is exactly what draws couples to this special ceremony. Make it even easier on yourselves and hire the services of an event or wedding planner, especially if you decide on a destination vow renewal. Whatever your reasons are for renewing your vows, we’ve come up with a 9-step guide to help you visualize your ideal ceremony.

 

1. DECIDE WHEN
…to renew your vows. We say, no time like the present. Some couples choose to renew their vows to mark significant anniversaries, some choose to renew following important life events, and some even renew every single year. That’s the great thing about renewals, there are no rules!

2. PICK WHERE
…you want to reaffirm your love. Choose somewhere meaningful for you – feel free to get creative. You’d be surprised at how many places that cannot or do not host wedding parties are more than happy to help you with a small, intimate celebration of your love. A destination vow renewal can be just as exciting as a destination wedding but far less stressful!

3. CHOOSE WHO
…will share this special day with you. Some couple host their own renewals, while others have their children or close friends do the honors. Keep the guest list limited and you’ll save yourselves a lot of hassle. And since the ceremony isn’t legally binding, you can choose anyone you wish to be the officiant of the ceremony, even your Golden Retriever!

4. SEND INVITATIONS
…to the lucky ones, that is
if you have decided to invite your loved ones to join you. Don’t forget, this day can be just about you and your partner and you might be able to skip this part altogether, especially if you are doing a destination renewal. Think green and opt for electronic invitations, we like the ones at Paperless Post.

5. PRE-PARTY
…like it’s the first time around…or not. Since it is counter-productive to have a bachelor(ette) party, use this as an excuse to catch up with old friends, but this time do what you all really wanted to do the first time around – go out for a nice meal together, or better yet, take part in a cooking class!

6. WHAT TO WEAR
For the ladies, you can definitely wear white, but not something that looks like a wedding dress. Those who cherish nostalgia may opt for wearing their original wedding dress, or a altered or dyed version of it. Decide upon more or less formal attire, depending on the setting and atmosphere. For the groom, you might wear an updated version of you your original tuxedo or suit, or choose an entirely new look altogether.

7. THE CEREMONY
…should be exactly how you want it to be. If you have an aisle, why not walk down together? Or include children, grandchildren, or pets. Exchange original vows, reflecting on your relationship and what brought you here. Decades may have passed since you last exchanged vows and this will a good time to think about how you feel about your love.

8. THE RECEPTION
…that’s what we’re all here for, right? We all know the party is the most exciting and part, so focus your energies on what comes after your vows have been exchanged. Again, there is no blueprint for this part your celebration, so do exactly as you wish. A family barbecue, an intimate dinner at a swanky restaurant, or a cocktail party – let your imagination run wild. Maybe you want to share from photos from the first wedding and your time together since, maybe you want to give a toast to each other or the attendees, and maybe you just want to dance the night away! Reserve tables and book photographers and DJs accordingly.

9. GIFTS
Skip the registry and ask guests to donate to a charity on your behalf. If it is a big anniversary like 25 or 50 years, you will probably receive some gifts so make sure to personally thank the givers. And between you and your beloved? A nice idea we like is to exchange a piece of jewelry with your partner and wear it on your renewal day, be in cufflinks, earrings, a watch, or even another ring.