I absolutely love all things wedding and elopement. But for me the most romantic thing in the world is when two people say “I do” again. Because in spite of changes and challenges, flaws and failures these married couples still love each other more than anything. Even after many years together they remained two romantic souls who want to celebrate their enduring love with a vow renewal ceremony in Paris. If you are one of these couples planning a renewal of vows then maybe my 5 Paris vow renewal ideas will help make your ceremony and celebration unforgettable.
But before reading my 5 Paris vow renewal ideas let me share my most important advice first: Do it your way – now more than ever! Many of my couples tell me that when they got married they actually did not have the wedding they were dreaming of. Often because their family had certain expectations. So the couple felt that they had to take many compromises. Now for their vow renewal ceremony in Paris they can really celebrate the way the two of them want. And you should definitely do the same!
The following blogpost contains 5 Paris vow renewal ideas. It also includes many stories of my couples who renewed their vows with me, their celebrant in Paris: Why they renewed their vows, after how many years of marriage, how they celebrated their vow renewal ceremony and which style they chose for their celebration in Paris.
1. Good reasons to celebrate your Paris vow renewal
You do not need to be married for 30 years or more before you “deserve” a renewal of vows. Surely many couples take a significant wedding anniversary such as 10, 20, 30 years as opportunity to celebrate their marriage. But you can also celebrate your vow renewal ceremony far before that: Some couples renew their vows to celebrate a new new beginning. This can be after a challenge that they have overcome together.
Also transiting into a new chapter of their lives is a great reason for a vow renewal ceremony. For instance when starting a family or retiring together. Some couples celebrate a vow renewal as a family ceremony together with their children. Some couples renew their vows just because – and this reason is just as good as all the others. Because you actually don’t need an excuse to celebrate your love!
So the first of my Paris vow renewal ideas is simple: Celebrate your vow renewal whenever YOU feel the right moment has come.
Karen & Paul (pics below): The couple from Australia has been married for 33 years. They wanted to renew their vows in Paris just the two of them. Their wedding back then was large and heavily influenced by their families. After having raised their children together they now wanted to share a romantic moment just the two of them with a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower. And you can see on the photos below that the sparks a clearly still flying.
Kristen & Brian (pics below): The couple from California celebrated a renewal of vows in Paris after 4 years of marriage. The two of them made a romantic deal when they got married: They decided to have a ceremony every 2 years on their wedding anniversary since for them 2 is a significant number that resembles 2 souls. Also they want to keep the romantic spark in their marriage. Moreover every time they renew their vows they travel to a different place so that they keep experiencing new things together.
2. Renew your promises in Paris
The wedding vows are the core of your ceremony. Because they express your promises to each other and the values on which you base your relationship. Any relationship and marriage changes over the years just like everything else in the world: You may have entered into a different stage of life together. You may have learned valuable lessons through common experiences. You both have been growing and evolving individually and as a couple. Your Paris vow renewal ceremony gives you the chance to reflect on and recognize these changes.
Then you can decide whether your wedding vows are still perfectly valid after the years or if you would like to “update” our vows: That can mean that both your values have shifted. It can also mean that you want to express your gratitude for the support of your partner maybe in a certain situation. It can mean you simply want to add something that you did not know was important before.
Many couples also did not have the chance to exchange personal wedding vows on their wedding day. Because they got married in a church or city hall where it was not allowed. In this case your Paris vow renewal is the opportunity to finally write personal promises. In case you need help with that feel free to read my tips on how to write personal wedding vows and romantic examples of personal vows and don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, your officiant in Paris.
3. Words & deeds to renew your vows
Your promises are certainly the most important part of your vow renewal ceremony in Paris. But I am sure you know the expression: actions speak louder than words. I wouldn’t say they speak necessary louder but they touch a different layer of our being. So another of my Paris vow renewal ideas is incorporating a ceremony ritual. Ceremony rituals have the power to affirm your vows through a symbolic action. You can express your love and promises more profoundly through this ceremonial act. Below you find a few examples of rituals my couples chose for their vow renewal ceremony in Paris. Feel free to also read my blogpost about ceremony rituals containing even more examples.
Jen & Ivan (pics below): The couple renewed their vows after 5 years of marriage. Because they were about to enter a new chapter in their lives together: parenthood. They were expecting their first baby and were therefore including a timecapsule ritual: They had prepared a baby suitcase. During the ceremony they were adding items such as an ultrasound picture, a baby soccer jersey and a love letter for their baby. After that they closed the suitcase and promised to open it again when their child is big enough. Then they will read the letter together, give their boy the jersey and show him they ultrasound of when he was still in mama’s belly.
Marie & Alex (pics below): The couple from Bermuda Islands renewed their vow in Paris after 10 years of marriage. As a part of their ceremony they wanted to lock a love lock on a bridge in Paris. This ritual symbolized that their love is forever. The love lock had their original wedding date and initials on it.
Please note: Love locks are a beautiful symbol of love. However now far too many people are fixing a love lock. Too many love locks can harm the historical Parisian architecture and even the environment (so many keys in the Seine river!) So consider more sustainable options of this ritual. Such as locking your love lock in Paris during your ceremony. But not by actually locking it to a bridge. The advantage: You can take your love lock back home and keep it forever as a token of your love.
Vanessa & Firas (pics below): The couple renewed their vows after 5 years of marriage. They had been going through hard times together and wanted to make a new start as a family with their vow renewal ceremony. To affirm their determination and promises we performed the handfasting ritual. So I was tying the hands of the couple and their 2 year-old son to strengthen their family bond.
4. Just the two of us?
When it comes to the question whether or not to invite guests to your renewal of vows there is a tendency among my couples do keep it simple. Many couples had a rather larger wedding with all family and many friends attending the first time around. However for their vow renewal they usually want something more intimate to fully focus on each other this time. So they often decide to celebrate just the two of them (as the two lovely couples you can see below).
Other couples however invite a very small and selected number of guests:
Celebrate with friends: Micha & Sean (pics below) had been married for 20 years. Their closest friends were witnessing their Paris vow renewal. As everyone was busy with their jobs and families over the years this was the perfect occasion to travel to Paris together and enjoy a romantic and fun time with friends. Micha & Sean’s 3 children did not join. The couple was therefore holding 3 balloons with the names of their 3 children written on them. The balloons symbolized that they couple always carries their kids in their hearts wherever they are.
Celebrate with your children (pics below): It is always very special when children are witnessing their parents vow renewal ceremony. Because most of the time they haven’t been around yet when their parents got married.
Lori & Adam brought their two small kids to Paris. And their little ones were so proud to be with their parents on this important day.
Louisa & Sean‘s kids were already teenagers when the couple celebrated 25 years of marriage in Paris. So Louisa & Sean wanted to make sure that their probably last trip together all the 5 of them would be meaningful. And what could be better than a vow renewal in Paris to create an unforgettable moment for the entire family? As their Paris officiant I also incorporated a handfasting into their vow renewal ceremony as a family ritual.
Bernadette & Don‘s kids were already grown up when the couple renewed their vows in Paris after 30 years of marriage. On the photos below you can see how much of a blast they all had spending this rare time all together.
Sue & Jeff were blessed to not only celebrate with their children but also already with their first little grandchildren. And they loved that the ceremony location reminded them on their wedding venues in New Orleans.
5. Something old & something new
Another one of my 5 Paris vow renewal ideas is to embrace both: your past and your future. That means why not including memories that remind you on your wedding and love story. And at the same time elements that reflect who you are now and want to become as a couple.
Something old could be: A wedding reading that was read during your wedding ceremony. Saying your original wedding vows again. Exchanging your wedding rings once more. Wearing your original wedding dress. If it is too much out of fashion or simply not fitting anymore get a new wedding dress in the traditional color white. Bring a photo of your wedding. Or anything else that reminds you on your wedding day and love story. Also as your Paris celebrant I am happy to include your long and beautiful love story into the ceremony if you wish.
Something new could be: Choose a wedding reading that you like more than the one on your wedding day. Write new and personal vows for each other. Get new rings for each other and exchange them. Choose a new dress that is maybe not necessarily a bridal gown. Go with different color, outfits, styles than on your wedding day. Originally the bridal color white symbolized the purity and also virginity of the bride. However white is also the color of new beginnings. This symbolic fits for weddings as well as for vow renewals. So the choice is yours, you can’t go wrong.
Vendors of these Paris vow renewal ideas:
Photographers: Chris Perona, Pierre Torset Paris Photographer, TPP Photographers in Paris, L’Amour de Paris, Le Secret d’Audrey, Stephen Zezza, Timeless Paris Photography, Anaïs Guerlin, Catherine O’Hara, Cabrelli, Capucine Henry
Ceremony celebrant: The Paris Officiant
Event planners: Fete in France, Jennifer Fox