How to involve children at a vow renewal ceremony

Written by kathryn walsh
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How to involve children at a vow renewal ceremony
Hire a photographer to document the day. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Whether you've been married for five years or 25, a vow renewal is a way of celebrating the fact that you're still committed to one another. Once you have children, a vow renewal can be a celebration of your entire family. Unlike a wedding reception, the party you throw after the renewal can be relaxed and child-friendly. Hold the renewal at your home or the home of a close friend and stock the buffet with chicken nuggets and fruit juice.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Unity candle

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  1. 1

    Include children in the renewal invitations. Ask children to draw an illustration of your family to print on the front of each invitation and include children's names inside. For instance, "John and Mary along with their children Emily and Mark invite you to join them for a vow renewal."

  2. 2

    Buy clothing for children that coordinates with yours. If you're wearing a white dress, buy white dresses for your daughters to wear. A boy can wear a suit that matches his father's, or simply wear a button-down shirt that matches his father's vest. Not only will the children clearly be part of the ceremony, but you'll all look coordinated when you take family photos.

  3. 3

    Make children your bridal party members. At a vow renewal, it's not necessary for you to have traditional bridesmaids or groomsmen, so let your friends take a seat and include only your children in the ceremony. Your son can stand with his father while your daughter walks down the aisle with you, or all your children can walk down the aisle ahead of you.

  4. 4

    Ask each child to give a reading during the ceremony. They can read from a religious text or a poem. Help children practice the readings before the ceremony in case there are any words that they don't know.

  5. 5

    Light a unity candle during the ceremony. Give every family member one lit candle. At the same time, all of you can use your candles to light one larger pillar candle as a symbol of your family unity.

  6. 6

    Do a mother-son and father-daughter dance at the party after your renewal. If you have more than two children, each of you can dance with multiple children at once, if you all hold hands and dance in a circle formation.

Tips and warnings

  • Since a vow renewal is not a legal ceremony, anyone can officiate it. If your children are old enough, put them in charge of the ceremony. Write out a script that children can read from.

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