Combining your wedding anniversary celebrations with a vow renewal ceremony

Combining your wedding anniversary celebrations with a vow renewal ceremony

A wedding anniversary is the perfect time to reflect on the years you’ve spent together as a couple and to remember the vows you made to one another on your wedding day. And what better way to combine the past, present, and future than with a wedding vow renewal ceremony on your wedding anniversary?

Renewing your marriage vows gives you the opportunity to declare your continuing love and to make a commitment to one another for the future.  A humanist ceremony is non-religious, personally tailored to you — and it can take place anywhere!

Traditionally, each wedding anniversary has a different gift associated with it – and flowers too. Depending upon the number of years you’ve been together, the anniversary gift might provide the ideal theme for your vow renewal celebration. Let’s take a look at the best anniversary traditions for turning into celebratory themes.

1st Wedding Anniversary – Paper

Paper chains, paper lanterns, confetti, and handwritten poems can all be part of a first anniversary paper-themed celebration.

Couples whose wedding plans were affected by the coronavirus lockdown might have opted for a small ceremony, or even an online ceremony. For those couples, the idea of a rewedding on their first anniversary is most appealing, as it enables them to have the wedding they really wanted.

If your wedding plans were affected by the lockdown, and you’re thinking of how to celebrate with friends and family, a Humanist Ceremonies celebrant can help you to plan a rewedding, along with vows and symbolic acts such as ‘tying the knot‘.

5th Wedding Anniversary – Wood

If you’re renewing your wedding vows on your fifth anniversary, why not hold your ceremony in a woodland setting to celebrate the traditional theme of ‘wood’?

With rustic signs directing guests to your chosen spot, and a wood-fired pizza oven for the catering, you’ll have everything covered!

Photo by Alex Miller

9th Wedding Anniversary – Willow

From a handcrafted celebratory arch to a traditional picnic hamper, willow makes a fantastic theme for an outdoor vow renewal ceremony. Willow is known for its strength and flexibility – something couples who’ve been married for nine years will know all about! For an intimate, family-focused ceremony, how about a picnic theme?

10th Wedding Anniversary – Tin

Tin planters and candle-holders make for a simple but effective decorating theme for couples celebrating a decade of married life by renewing their vows – perfect for a ceremony in the garden!

15th Wedding Anniversary – Crystal

Whether renewing your vows by sunlight or candlelight, the addition of crystal vases and candle-holders will certainly add an extra sparkle to your day.

20th Wedding Anniversary – China

Of all the traditional gifts which lend themselves to becoming a theme for a vow renewal celebration, china is probably the easiest to incorporate because, what would be more fitting than a vintage tea party? There are many companies which hire vintage china for just such an occasion.

25th Wedding Anniversary – Silver

Everyone knows that the 25th wedding anniversary theme is ‘silver’, but that doesn’t stop it being special! How about incorporating the symbolic act of lighting a unity candle into your ceremony with silver candlesticks? Or get the children and grandchildren involved with making some homemade decorations from tin foil for the ultimate DIY ceremony?

Silver wedding

40th Wedding Anniversary – Ruby

A bouquet of ruby red roses is the perfect way to blend together a 40th anniversary theme and a vow renewal. Ruby red is also fabulous for a colour-themed celebration.

50th Wedding Anniversary – Gold

A golden wedding anniversary is a huge milestone often celebrated at a party with family and friends. Surprise your guests with a vow renewal ceremony. There won’t be a dry eye in the house!

Next steps

If you’d like to plan a vow renewal ceremony together — or plan a surprise celebration for your spouse — talk to your local celebrant.

'My humanist ceremony was the most special day of my life. All my family were blown away. Both my parents said that they'd never been to a wedding that was more personal or heartfelt.'
Madeleine, 34

Read our wedding blog for feature ideas, inspiration, top tips, and real-life humanist wedding stories.

If you're planning your wedding now, then contact a celebrant as early as possible.