Renewal of Vows

How to arrange a ceremony

This ceremony is for any married couple that wishes to celebrate renewing their marriage vows in a unique and personal ceremony.

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Often these ceremonies are associated with a special wedding anniversary, such as the tenth, twenty-fifth, fortieth etc, but the ceremony is just as appropriate for couples at any stage of marriage - even to commemorate the first anniversary! 

It can also be relevant to those who have been through a period which has put a strain on their relationship, but who wish to celebrate their renewed commitment to each other.

Any married couple, of any age, and married for any length of time, can arrange a Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremony.  It does not matter if you do not live in the area where you want your ceremony to take place.

The ceremony is put together by you!  Just as no two married couples are the same, no two ceremonies to renew marriage vows will ever be the same.

As you go through the choices and select what you want the ceremony to contain, you will be creating a unique event that you and all your guests will remember.  Take time to consider which options are appropriate and have meaning for you both.

Special people in your lives can take part in your ceremony, your children, guests who were at the wedding and any friends and relatives.  You will also need to ask two people to witness the signing of the Certificate of the event.

A Registration Officer will conduct your ceremony but will not be acting in any official capacity, even if they also work as a registrar.  Registration Officers are trained and experienced in conducting many different ceremonies so do ask their advice on anything you are unsure about.

You can have a ceremony either at your local registration office or at a number of approved venues across the county.  

View a list of the current Cornwall Registration Service fees

What does the ceremony contain?

Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremonies can contain the following sections:

Introduction and Welcome, acknowledgment of any children of the marriage, reading, renewal of vows, rededication of ring(s), giving of new ring(s) or gift(s), words from previous wedding guest, (often Best Man, Bridesmaid or Bride's father), further reading, signing of Certificate, witnesses and closing words.

What other ceremonies are available?

Couples who wish to have a religious ceremony should contact their local church or religious community.

Is there a certificate?

A souvenir certificate is signed during the ceremony by the couple and two witnesses. 

How long will the ceremony last?

Normally approximately 15 minutes but up to 30 minutes if more readings and options are chosen.

Can another couple renew their marriage vows at the same ceremony?

No, the purpose of the ceremony is for a couple to make commitments to each other.  Other family or friends can hold their own unique ceremony at the same venue, on the same day but not at the same time.

I have been married before, can I still have a ceremony?

Yes, as long as you are now legally married.

I want to arrange a civil ceremony in Cornwall - what do I do now?

Contact the Registration Information Service on 0300 1234 181 between the hours of 8:30am - 6:00pm Monday to Friday and they will be able to advise you.

Legal Status

These ceremonies have no legal effect, and are not legally binding on those who participate.