Published: 24 February 2015 by: Chloe Bassett & Alexandra Shultz

Photo: Shane Shepherd Photography

The perfect way to celebrate a special wedding anniversary, reignite that spark for one another or simply commemorate your marriage, a vowel renewal is a great excuse for a romantic rendezvous to enjoy with your spouse.

Whether you're seeking that fairytale ceremony you never had the first time around or you want to relive your first wedding experience, this is a purely sentimental celebration of your love and commitment to one another. With no worrying about overblown guest lists, seating charts, matching stationary, expensive bridal parties or forgettable bucks nights, how can you resist! 

One of the best things about vow renewals is that there is no stock standard way of doing it; your celebration can be as unique as you like. The first step to planning your dream vowel renewal is picking your dream location. Think of a location that not only appeals to you as a couple but that offers the kind of vow renewal you're after; we suggest you start brainstorming about places you've visited previously and loved, or for the more adventurous, destinations which are firmly placed on your bucket list. Popular destinations include exotic escapes like Bali and Thailand, romantic beach getaways in the Pacific Islands and the Whitsundays, and European hot spots France and Italy. There are plenty of resorts and hotels in these locations that specialise in vow renewal, offer packages (which your budget will thank you for) and knowledgable coordinators which make the planning process a breeze. Keep in mind, vow renewals come inmuch cheaper overall than your initial wedding - a smaller number of guests, lack of costly traditional items and fewer extravagant details means you can splurge on the location.

Just as you did the first time around, begin to plan out a rough budget and make a list of the key elements you'll need, keeping in mind the nitty-gritty flights, transfers, meals, etc. Aim to book your venue six to eight months in advance, or as early as you can to guarantee you get the date you desire, especially if it holds sentimental value, like an anniversary. The whole idea of this experience is to remember and celebrate why you got married in the first place while taking away the enormous pressure of planning a wedding. Vow renewal can be a more relaxed celebration, with a stronger focus on reaffirming your commitment to one another. When deciding on a venue, take into consideration your guest list. Ask yourself will it be just the two of you - or maybe your children will be in tow? Many couples include their children in their ceremony often as escorts to walk Mum down the aisle.

If you still fit into your original gown and tux, you might consider wearing it at your ceremony as a fun little nod to your first wedding. Some couples choose to say the same vows as they did at their original wedding, but many rewrite them to recognise the milestones in their life. If you choose to write new vows, it's often nice to include a small part from your initial wedding. 

When it comes to the style of your vow renewal, there are very few rules to follow. This is dependent on how you and your partner wish to celebrate. Start to think about the style of your ceremony; maybe you'd like a sunset beach ceremony followed by relaxed cocktails and barbeque. The event at its core is to celebrate your enduring love. So, at your reception, let your guests shower you with toasts acknowledging this feat. Another great touch for your reception and guaranteed plenty of giggles, is to bring your original wedding album and compare it to photos of your married life. Make sure you hire a photographer, you'll want these memories captured. A vow renewal is one of the most romantic ways to reaffirm and celebrate your love for one another, a great excuse for that dream holiday and perfect to recapture the true essence of your romance. 

Discover more about renewing your vows at the Great Destination Weddings website and for amazing need-to-know destination information plus a huge range of wedding packages, download the free Great Destination Weddings App.

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