How Soon After Your Wedding Can You Renew Your Vows?

There are a few points you should consider before you plan.

Photo: Delbarr Moradi Photography

You've always thought vow renewals sounded like a really sweet, intimate way to honor your relationship. Now that you're a married woman yourself, you're probably thinking it might be nice to plan one. After all, your wedding was the best day of your life-why wouldn't you want to recreate that good feeling? You'd be in good company if you do. Celebrities like Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Dolly Parton and Carl Dean, and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon have all re-upped on their commitments. Some married couples make it an annual tradition while others swap vows for a second time in honor of a milestone anniversary, which begs the question: How soon after your wedding should you renew your vows? There's no one right answer, but we offer some points to consider.

Pick a milestone anniversary.

It may feel more special if you renew your vows on, say, your fifth or tenth anniversary rather than your third or eighth. It's similar to celebrating a birthday with a huge party when someone turns 30-the number is a bigger deal and feels more significant than when someone turns 31.

Do it for the correct reason.

Some couples want to show they are still as committed to one another as they were on the day they wed, despite some rough times. Others do it because they want a reason to throw a big party or relive their wedding day with those they love most. Still others who may be having marital difficulties think a vow renewal will give them a fresh start. Make sure your reason for trading vows again is right for you and your husband or wife.

Do it when you think the time is right.

If you don't want to wait for a milestone year, then don't. There's no right or wrong, so if you want to renew your wedding vows on anniversary number three, go for it!

Have a ceremony that reflects the two of you now.

Some married couples choose to keep the renewal small and intimate, with just a handful of close family and friends. Others make it a big blowout. The best vow renewals put the emphasis on vows that note how marriage has changed them for the better and deepened their love and commitment to one another. And that can be done in front of three people or 300.

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