Each year I get more and more couples contacting me asking for help planning a marriage vow renewal, either in Central Park or somewhere else in New York. I do specialize in ceremonies in Central Park locations, that’s where the vast majority of our weddings, vow renewal and wedding blessings have taken place. We have also conducted weddings in other outdoor spots in New York, mostly other public parks.
The most frequent requests I get from clients are for weddings; that is getting the license from City Hall, having the wedding in Central Park and completing and returning the license. That’s what a wedding is for us. I also have plenty of couples who are already married asking for a ceremony. This might be a couple who have got married in their own country in a fairly basic legal ceremony and are now looking for something bigger and better. Sometimes it’s Brits who have family who can’t travel, so they have the legal ceremony at home with loved ones, and then the New York celebration with those who are able to join them. Sometimes it’s couples where each is from a different country and they have needed to get married quickly for the paperwork, and are now ready to take their time planning the ceremony they’d like along with a celebration. Each couple is different, but in these ceremonies, we often treat it as a wedding, we just don’t need the paperwork!
What I consider to be a true renewal of vows, rather than these wedding blessings, is when we acknowledge in the ceremony wording the history of the couple’s marriage and we celebrate what they have shared and overcome.
I quite often have couples contact me wanting to renew their vows on their first wedding anniversary. One couple who lived in New York had married a year ago in a quick and impersonal ceremony at City Hall. Our celebrant had officiated many weddings but she told me that their beautiful words to each other made her cry. This officiant is bilingual and the wife spoke Spanish as a first language, so we had much of the ceremony in English, with a prayer to the Virgin Mary in Spanish towards the end.
Another popular request is for a vow renewal when someone gets to a big birthday with a round number, and it’s even better when the big birthday falls in the same year as a wedding anniversary. I had a lovely husband contact me to say he’d like to arrange a surprise renewal of vows for his wife who was turning fifty while they were in New York. “I wanted to show her that I still love her today as much as I did when we met thirty-two years ago,” he said.
Sometimes couples might contact me when they have a vacation to New York booked and they decide renewing their vows might be a nice thing to do while they’re in town. It doesn’t have to be when the anniversary hits a round number, it can be a time when you feel your marriage needs celebrating. One husband asked me to help to plan a surprise vow renewal for his wife since they would be in town with their three kids. He felt that the whole family had recently overcome several tough challenges, including a move across the country, so he wanted to mark this and thank them all for their support, in particular his wife. “We have gone through so much together, many ups and downs, changing and raising our children,” he said. “We have seen each other through so many things. It seemed appropriate to start fresh again after almost 19 years.”
One lady whose vow renewal I planned said this; “I think a vow renewal can feel like letting whatever you had go, putting it to rest like in a photo album you can put on a shelf and taking your marriage with all the new vows and put those photos up on the wall in nice frames instead of an album.” I think that’s a beautiful way of putting it.
Each marriage is different. My dad always says that he has no desire to renew his marriage vows because he has never broken them in over 45 years. My mum thinks he says that just because he can’t be bothered with having a party! If you feel the need to renew your vows, for whatever reason, then we can help you to do it in New York – an amazing city to celebrate in. No matter what you have achieved and shared as a couple or for how long you have been together, a vow renewal is a wonderful way to celebrate you love and doing it in New York will make it a memorable event in your marriage.
If you would like me to help you with planning your own vow renewal in Central Park, whatever the reason, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where we pin lots of useful and beautiful things about weddings and New York.