Marriage Celebrant
  Karen Dearing J.P

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What is a Renewal of Vows Ceremony?

"Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes in the twinkling of an eye,

But the friendship between us, the mutual confidence

The delights of the heart, the enchantment of the soul

These things do not perish and can never be destroyed

I shall love you until I die"

Fran├žoise Voltaire lived from 1694 to 1778. Although these words were written about 300 hundred years ago, the sentiment that is expressed remains the same today as it did then.

When couples marry, their love is young and the euphoria they are swept up in is youthful love. Over the years their feelings deepen more into mature love that can be likened to companionship and/or friendship as Voltaire reflects in his words above. I believe that true love real true love remains whether its mature or youthful. But that's the romantic in me speaking.

Married couples request a Renewal of Vows ceremony for a number of reasons, they want to reaffirm the commitment made to each other in marriage, often these ceremonies are referred to as "Reaffirmation of Marriage Vows"

As a celebrant, renewal of vows ceremonies are a privilege to create and conduct. To me it is wonderful to be a part of the celebration of love that has over the years matured and undoubtedly withstood many challenges that life brings. How beautiful to be witness to two people recommitting themselves to each other. Real " The Notebook" stuff.

Although very similar to marriage ceremonies, renewal of vows have one important difference.....they are not legal, a renewal of vows ceremony has no legal standing since the couples are already married, it is purely social significance and it is imperative as a celebrant that the ceremony is conducted appropriately, so that no-one present assumes that is is a legal marriage ceremony. In a marriage ceremony there is the "Asking" it is a traditional part of the marriage ceremony where the couples are required to express their commitment to each other before verbally stating their intentions in their wedding vows. It is an offence in Australia for a person to participate in a marriage ceremony when the couple are already married to each other.

As a celebrant I must be careful when writing and conducting your ceremony, although a renewal of vows ceremony format is similar to the format of a marriage ceremony,  it must not be a marriage ceremony. As your celebrant, I must not use the same format as used in a marriage ceremony. So a renewal of vows must not appear to be a legal marriage. Of course you can use vows as long as they phrased in the past tense they must not be used as per a marriage ceremony,  they are a fundamental part of a ceremony be it a first time marriage which under Australian law  are a mandatory requirement but also a necessary part of the  renewal of vows, worded correctly. However, certain wording is not to be included. After all, what would a renewal of vows be without the vows, right.

Sometimes couples choose to have a surprise ceremony, if yours is a surprise for the guests, then it would be appropriate to acknowledge the surprise with a simple acknowledgement by the celebrant.

As in marriage ceremonies, you can have readings, vows, poems - an introduction is always a nice beginning that leads into the couple's special story, is it a significant event such as a particular wedding anniversary or possibly recommitting yourselves after difficulties or bad times,  whatever the reason, I as your celebrant can help you create the perfect day.

Sample ceremonies are available for your perusal as are readings, vows and poems, the next step is yours to take by contacting me for an obligation free chat to discuss your wishes.

Look forward to hearing from you soon

Karen Dearing

Civil Celebrant

0412 838 361