Post-COVID vow renewals
Well, who would have thought 2020 would be the frenzy that it has so far turned out to be. But although they look a little different at the moment, weddings in 2020 have certainly continued to bring lovers together.
If you have been married under COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 so far, it might have looked a little like this – the celebrant, yourself, your fiancé and 10 or 20 guests present – maybe you did a ‘legals only’ ceremony, just to ‘get it done’?
If you, like many couples around Australia, legally became married recently but the majority of your family and friends missed out on being present… there is a post-pandemic light at the end of the Corona tunnel.
Did you know that while you may have legally gotten married, you can share your vows again when it is safe to do so and party like you always planned with your nearest and dearest around you.
Thanks to resident Tribe celebrant Nicole Penning, we’ve unearthed a bit of the how and why on post-Covid commitment ceremonies and vow renewals.
“It’s what we call in the wedding biz – a “renewal of vows” or a “commitment” ceremony”.
What is this mystical thing I here you say?
When restrictions are lifted to the point where you can have a celebration at home or at a venue with as many people as you like – this is your chance to re-create your wedding ceremony with everyone important to you present.
It might be in late 2020 or even 2021… perhaps the date marks your first wedding anniversary – the perfect chance to renew your vows with your loved one and reminisce over the past year. You survived “iso-life” and came out the other side even stronger that before.
It looks like a wedding, it feels like a wedding, it smells, tastes, and sounds just like a wedding – the only difference – there is no a ‘legal’ ceremony taking place.
You can wear your suit again, you can shimmy into your beautiful wedding gown again (should “post-iso-life” allow it!), do hair, makeup, see the barber, pop on your wedding fragrance and have the re-do of your life!
But this time – with the fan-fare. The celebration, the dancing and hell, even the hen’s day or bucks night warm-up.
Your grandparents may be there as witnesses to sign a celebration certificate.Your parents might be present to hear you exchange your vows with your soul mate, just omitting the legal wording shared on your original wedding day.
Your ten nieces and twelve nephews can be your flower girls and page boys and guard your wedding rings until you get to exchange them all over again.
And how do you create this magical re-creation of your wedding day? With the help of some superstar celebrants of course.
Your celebrant, be it from your original legal wedding, or someone new, can create for you a beautiful ceremony with all the bells and whistles that a normal legal ceremony has (without the legals).
You can have readings and poem, rituals and symbols, you can have Florence and the Machine, Foo Fighters, Toploader or Angus & Julia Stone playing on the iPod or enlist some magical music talent to walk you down the aisle.
But this time – at the end of the ceremony, after all of your family and friends have marvelled at your love for one another, after they have laughed and cried and oohed and aahhed and watched you get ‘married’ again, this time…you get to celebrate it.
You can have your family photos with Aunt Beryl and Uncle Melvin. You can have all the selfies with your besties and BBF’S and post away online while Snapchatting in the ladies bathroom after a few too many glass of bubbles.
“Everything your original wedding should have been – can be – in the form of a “renewal of vows” or “commitment” ceremony.”
You can have it all. You can have your cake and eat it too! Wedding cake that is!
Some couples who have celebrated their marriage twice-over say, they enjoyed the legals-only ceremony so much because it was so intimate, so unique, so them – with only 5 or 10 loved ones present. And once the much-awaited commitment ceremony rolled around, they were so much more relaxed, not as nervous, not worried about anything, because they were already legally married – this time it was just about the celebration and the party that followed with their family and friends. The best of both worlds.
Renewing your vows can still be magical, it can still be beautiful, special, meaningful and heart-felt …. just not ‘legal’. And there is nothing wrong with that.
And do you want to know the icing on that wedding cake? This time – you can have that dream honeymoon to follow – as the world re-emerges a much better, happier, healthy, loved-up place!
Nicole Penning is a an Ivory Tribe listed celebrant, and one of the best in the ‘biz. See more of her here.