Renewing Your Vows: Making It a Family Affair

By Lisa Gofberg with contributions by Kim French February 9, 2016

This year will be a big year for my husband and me. 2016 marks our 15th wedding anniversary! After fifteen years and a home, awesome twins, many jobs, business ownership (and more) later, I guess you can say life is busy. And with that, we don’t always do the best job at carving out time for each other.

I think it is safe to say that many couples fall into the same trap. The day-to-day grind gets in the way of the one-on-one time that relationships need and deserve. So how can you honor your marriage when these big anniversaries roll around? Vow renewal!

Vow renewal is a special way to honor your relationship, plus you can include people who are important to you. Add an amazing destination, and you have a recipe for a perfect renewal experience! Now more than ever, resorts and venues are working with couples to create memories with the perfect vow renewal. Parents today often want to include their children in the ceremony and there are many ways to make them part of this special day.

  • Go traditional and have little ones as flower girls or ring bearers.
  • Older children can be attendants and stand up with you during the ceremony.
  • Ask your child to perform a reading or a song during the ceremony.
  • Have each child carry flowers down the aisle to create or add to your bouquet.
  • Have your children walk you down the aisle.
  • Include a vow to your children that you will continue to be committed to your family some parents will give a small band to their children as a sign of their commitment.
  • Have a unity ceremony. Have each family member pick a color of sand and take turns filling a beautiful glass container, making a beautiful keepsake for your family.

These are just a few ways to include all the members of your family in the renewal ceremony. But now, where should you have the ceremony? Sure, you can celebrate in your backyard or at your local church or temple, but let’s face it you and your spouse deserve something fun, special and unique! Think destination!

Here are some spots worth checking out when planning your vow renewal:

  • At Mexico’s Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Rivera Maya and Rivera Nayarit, vow renewal coordinators will help create unique ceremonies, including a candle lighting ceremony, sand blending ceremony, sea shells ceremony, or any other type of ritual that you might have in mind. My favorite part? The resort offers a live feed broadcast of the ceremony that family members who can’t attend can watch in real time back home. What a great way to make sure everyone feels included.  

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Photo courtesy of Velas Resorts

  • Do it up Vegas-style! While there are seemingly endless options for ceremony locations, The Venetian Las Vegas offers an elegant destination for small vow renewal ceremonies. While this may be ideal for families with older children, all ages are welcome to join in the ceremony.

  • At Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California, children are welcome to be a part of vow renewals. Whether it's as a flower girl, ring bearer, attendant or another role, Fairmont Grand Del Mar not only welcomes family involvement, they encourage it! As a self-contained resort destination, Fairmont Grand Del Mar will fulfill your renewal dreams from start to finish.

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar

  • Take to the seas in St. Croix and renew your vows with Caribbean Sea AdventuresThe folks here will help you plan a beautiful, unique vow renewal. Choose from sunrise or sunset ceremonies on-board (your captain can perform your ceremony!) or head to nearby secluded Buck Island for a quiet ceremony with just you, your spouse and family. Want something completely different? Go for an undersea SCUBA ceremony!
  • If the beach isn't your thing, head to Alaska to renew your vows on a glacier! Pearson's Pond Inn in Juneau, Alaska, will help you do just that. They also offer locations alongside a glacier-fed lake or in a beautiful rainforest garden. What better way to celebrate your love than with a new experience together as a family? Pearson's Pond encourages families' participation, and enjoys helping to make every family member a part of the experience.
IMG_2919.jpgPhoto courtesy of Seanna O’Sullivan and Pearson’s Pond

So what is it really like to renew your vows and include your children? Last year, fellow Macaroni Kid Publisher Mom Kim French and her husband chose to renew their vows after ten wonderful years of marriage. Kim had wanted to renew her vows and include her (then-future) children since the day she and her husband were married.

Kim states, “Fast forward 10 years, and I was ready to make it all happen. I even had the two children!” Although she originally dreamed of a renewal in Aruba, the reality of life led them to Maine for a weekend-long celebration and ceremony.

Kim explains, “To make the day special for our daughters, there was no question that they would stand with us as our original wedding officiant re-affirmed our vows as a family." For the ceremony, "We let our friend and notary public take her knowledge of our ten years of marriage and create our vows, just as she had done for our wedding. We knew that she would include our daughters as part of our story, and that the girls would love to hear their role in our love story."

"Throughout all of the planning, it had quickly become obvious to me that this renewal wasn’t about 'me' anymore; it was about us. Our beautiful family of four, committing our love to each other, with our family and best friends as our witnesses. Our vow renewal was absolutely perfect. It wasn’t at all what I thought I wanted, but it was absolutely what I needed.”

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Photo courtesy of Kim French