David and Victoria Beckham did it; so did Celine Dion. And Matt Damon and his wife of almost eight years, Luciana, just did it last month. But renewing marriage vows isn’t just for music legends and movie stars, and your guest list doesn’t have to include George Clooney. The celebration of love can come in all shapes and sizes. Here are five ideas for rediscovering romance and saying I do all over again.
WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS
What’s more romantic than heartfelt, personal vows? If you didn’t write your own vows the first time around, now is the time to put your pen to paper. Even if you did, why not take this opportunity to write new ones now that you know a little more about your spouse? If you’ve been through hard times (and what couple hasn’t experienced a few bumps in the road?), you can talk about how that’s made your love stronger. But focus on the positive: if you’ve learned more about what makes your partner loveable, don’t hesitate to include that, too.
MAKE IT A FAMILY VACATION
If you feel like the family needs time away together to bond, but you’d also like to renew vows with your honey, there’s no reason you have to plan for two separate occasions. Save up for a family vacation that includes a romantic night for Mom and Dad. It’s not just a great way to rediscover what makes your marriage special, it’s a terrific way for your kids to see that despite arguments and the wear and tear of everyday life (Who’s driving the kids to school? Whose turn is it to take out the garbage?) Mom and Dad are still going strong.
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KEEP IT SMALL & SIMPLE…
If your wedding was a major event, with multiple logistics to keep track of (catering, wedding favors, The Dress, and so on) you may want to make this occasion a more intimate affair. Keep it to just a few close friends and family, or really keep it simple by making it just the two of you (and whoever officiates the vows).
…OR INCLUDE EVERYONE
The flip side of an intimate affair is throwing a huge party, which might appeal to you if you had to keep things minimal the first time you exchanged vows. Maybe you and your spouse eloped, or tied the knot at City Hall in a no-frills event. Or maybe your wedding budget meant cutting Aunt Alicia out of the festivities. By eliminating expenses such as fancy invitations or pricey catering (make it a potluck party!), you can throw a budget-conscious bash that includes everyone and focuses on love and commitment instead of the little details that can make having a wedding an exclusive—and expensive—affair.
DON’T FORGET THE HONEYMOON!
When David Beckham and his wife Victoria (the artist formerly known as Posh Spice) renewed their vows, they followed it up with a romantic getaway to Paris. Your budget may not allow for a trip to the City of Lights, but that’s no reason you can’t choose to forgo a family vacation and make your time off more like a good old-fashioned romantic trip out of town. Arrange to have friends or relatives watch the kids (you can ask the for the favor in lieu of “wedding” presents) and book a vacation for just the two of you, even if it’s just for the weekend.