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Rejuvenate Your Marriage by Renewing Your Vows
Bring back those honeymoon years, every year if you want, with just a little thought and planning.

Rekindle the spark of your early years by renewing your vows.

Do you remember why you married your spouse? Do you remember the excitement and the joy 12 years and three kids later? One meaningful way you can is by renewing your vows.

Why on earth would you go to such trouble? There are many reasons. Do you ever feel significantly uplifted when you attend a wedding that is particularly meaningful or the couple just seems to have a great connection? Do you remember how your parents were on cloud nine after your wedding?

Renewing your vows can remind you of everything you love about your spouse when the day-to-day seems to remind you of how tired or stressed you are. We are truly fortunate people to have another person who has committed to love us and be our life-long companions. They put up with all of our faults and continue to be there for us. Our spouses chose us and we chose them. We weren't bound by the duties of family ties. We chose! Let's remember why.

We all know the economy is tough right now. But this doesn't have to be an over-the-top extravaganza unless you want one. Simple services can be held at home, in a church, a chapel, the courthouse or anywhere your heart desires if your particular faith allows. Since you are married, there really isnít much legality involved. There are no rules of etiquette to break or mind.

Consider planning a small service in your garden or in your home with an officiant. Involve your children as witnesses or as flower girls and ring bearers. Invite your closest friends and your parents or just have you and your children. You can celebrate with a larger group later at a restaurant, at home or a quaint little inn.

You can really have fun with the details. If you are still friends with those that came to your wedding the first time you could find pictures of them when they were at your first wedding and make mementos out of them for a keepsake or as something to use at the party. Use a photo of the couple as their place card if you are doing a seated event, or as a label card for the particular hors d'oeuvre you are serving, i.e. The Atkins Chili Enchilada. This can be particularly fun if they've actually brought these items to your home or served them to you in their home. You could also use the photos in photo coasters; the glass coasters at Crate and Barrel would make a very nice gift.

If you want to have an affair on a more grand scale, begin calling hotels, banquet halls or anywhere else that strikes you as a wonderful place to have a gathering of this size. You will want to take about eight months to a year to plan. If you donít want to hire a planner or canít justify one in the budget, engage your friends for help. How uplifting to help a friend with such an occasion!

Begin with a budget. Decide not to go over that budget and then rank items in order of importance. This process will help you to determine where your funds should be concentrated. You may want to consult a bridal magazine for the appropriate timing, necessary items and budget allocations. Not all line items will apply but this will give you a good budget guideline to work from.

Being married and raising children takes work. Sometimes we all need reminding that these are labors of love.

Angela Gala is principal with Rogers & Gala Creative Partners, a firm that plans parties, weddings, and special events nationwide. She can be reached through her website www.rogersandgala.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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