Why you should renew your wedding vows in Paris
Why you should renew your wedding vows in Paris
Why you should renew your wedding vows in Paris. As a Paris vow renewal and wedding photographer in Paris, I have the good fortune to meet beautiful couples from all over the world. One of my favorite events is a Paris vow renewal. Some of you may be familiar with marriage vow renewals, and some of you may not.
Years ago, my grandparents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. My mother thought it would be a really nice idea for my grandparents to renew their vows at the same church where they were married, with their maid of honor and best man, surrounded by family and friends. My mother was an amazing planner, one of the best, so she organized everything. First, there was the ceremony at the church where they originally got married. There were invitations and programs. Grandpa wore a sharp looking suit and grandma a really pretty mauve dress. They had a vow renewal ceremony at the front of the church, I was just a teenager, so I don’t remember much of it except that they seemed to really enjoy it and it had a lot of meaning to them.
After the ceremony, my mother arranged to have my grandparents collected in a vintage 1940s car, the same kind of car that would have whisked them away from their wedding ceremony. My grandparents were thrilled, this was such a nice and special touch. Afterward, there was a reception back at my grandparents’ house, with a huge spread of food, flowers, and lots of drinks and fun. A veritable family reunion with my grandparents’ best friends in attendance. It was quite the party and a big deal was made of it. I remember as a teenager being a little perplexed by this concept of a vow renewal. What was the point of this if you were already married?
Vow renewals seemed to have popularity in the 1980s, and then you didn’t hear of them again. Until I moved to Paris in 2014, and in 2016 began photographing couples. Vow renewals are back, and in a big way.
I was speaking with a long-time friend of mine the other day, in fact, she had been my maid of honor at my wedding. She herself has been married more than 25 years to a wonderful and funny man. She told me that she didn’t see the point in a vow renewal, I never understood vow renewals-did they forget from the first time?
This was her thinking about vow renewals. I’ll admit, before I became a vow renewal photographer in Paris, I maybe thought the same. But now that I’ve been photographing vow renewals in Paris, I understand their meaning so much more than before. Here are some of my thoughts on Paris vow renewals.
Paris is the perfect place for a vow renewal
If you’re coming to Paris on a vacation anyway, or if you’re coming for a special occasion, there are many romantic cities in the world. Venice and Rome in Italy, Santorini in Greece..there is of course a list. But after having traveled to quite a few countries, I can say that Paris pound for pound is the most romantic city in the world. I think it’s the architecture, the lore, and just the feeling you get when you’re in Paris. It’s romantic, you just can’t deny that, and for that reason it’s a perfect city for a vow renewal.
Vow renewals aren’t just for long-time married couples
I used to think, like for my grandparents, that you had to be married 40 years to have a vow renewal. My clients have taught me otherwise. While I have photographed couples married 25 and 30 years, most of my couples have been married 10 or 15 years, some have been married less than 5 years. Now why would a couple married just a few years want to do a vow renewal?
Because weddings are a big deal, and a big party, and people spend tons of money on one day. The cake is delicious, the ceremony touching, and all the family and friends are there to celebrate this fantastic union of two people. But in all the hoopla, what’s often missed are the key moments between the couple, the moment they affirm their marriage vows. How many of us remember what happened on our wedding day? It goes by in a whirl of activity. You spend so much time with your family and friends, very little time is spent with the person you just married, and while pledging your vows in front of family and friends and the whole world to hear is the thing you’re supposed to do, the meaning behind the words can be missed with all the stress of a wedding day.
What a Paris vow renewal allows you to do
Renewing your vows in Paris allows you to focus on each other, no distractions. Face to face, you can communicate to each other, with the magnificence of Paris behind you, what really matters. What your spouse really means to you. Let’s face facts, in daily life, we’re busy. Our spouse is just supposed to know that we love them, after all, we married them, right? The stress of work, the stress of family, the stress of finances, the just plain stress of life can get to us. We don’t often remind the one we love how much we value them or how much they mean to us, it can get lost. Maybe we think they should know this already, they should know we love them. But who doesn’t want to be reminded of this bond, who doesn’t want to hear these precious words?
You mean so much to me.
I love that you care so much for me.
I appreciate all the work you do.
I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side in life but you.
Life can be so hard. I’ve met couples who’ve had serious health issues, life threatening health issues. Their vow renewal in Paris was life and love affirming.
I’ve met couples who struggled with infertility, that cause strain on their marriage.
I’ve met couples who own businesses together and are so busy they don’t even get to spend much time together.
I’ve met couples who’ve experienced extreme loss.
A vow renewal is a very personal, intimate, and meaningful way to formally say to your spouse, hey I’m here for you, I love you, life has thrown some dirt in our faces, but we’ve got each other and we’re here for each other. Let’s celebrate our wedding, let’s celebrate our marriage, let’s celebrate the moment we fell in love and the love that binds our hearts together.
How a Paris vow renewal works
You’ve decided renewing your vows in Paris would be a wonderful and meaningful thing to do. Now, you have just a few decisions to make:
- Would you like the services of an English speaking officiant or celebrant? Officiants and celebrants add something very special to a Paris vow renewal. The ceremony can be non-religious, or it can incorporate scripture or other meaningful words and passages.
- Some couples opt to speak their words to each other without an officiant or celebrant. In this case, couples jot down their thoughts on a notepad, cell phone, or in beautiful vow renewal booklets, which you can find from artisans on Etsy. They’re a beautiful souvenir of your special day in Paris.
- Would you love the services of a photographer to not only capture the ceremony, but to capture some gorgeous photos of the two of you all around Paris?
- Some clients love to pamper themselves with hair and makeup from a professional, and either wear their original clothing, or a beautiful new outfit. You can even rent a gown in Paris.
- Most of the couples I work with for a Paris vow renewal would love to have photos of their vow renewal day. Typically, we start at the Eiffel Tower for a view of the famous landmark for the vow renewal ceremony. After the ceremony, we continue with some photographs around the Eiffel Tower and then head to other parts of Paris, such as the Louvre. Most of my couples love to end their vow renewal morning with a champagne toast at a café, or even tea or coffee.
Your Paris vow renewal can be designed any way you like, after all, it’s your special day! Contact me below to learn more about planning your special vow renewal day in Paris.
So, now you can see that a vow renewal in Paris is a very special thing. It’s personal, and meaningful and a whole lotta fun too!
If you’re looking for a fantastic photographer who will not only capture some amazing photos of your Paris vow renewal, but help you plan your entire day and recommend vendors you may love, please reach out!
You can also see my vow renewal packages here.
I hope to see you in Paris!
English Speaking Paris Photographer and Destination wedding photographer
I'm an energetic American English speaking Paris wedding and engagement photographer, who loves to create dreamy, romantic, colorful and light infused images for beautiful couples visiting France. I can't wait to meet you!