Many people describe marriage as a rollercoaster: there are inclines, declines, periods of stability, and, sometimes, loop-the-loops. Over the years, the vows you exchanged will become lived realities and challenges. Thus, every milestone deserves a celebration, such as a vow renewal.
Many couples renew their vows to affirm their commitment, commemorate milestones, or redo their original ceremony. On average, you may have to spend $2,000 for your officiant, vendors, decorations, and other aspects, to renew your vows in a church.
A more detailed cost breakdown is provided below, along with some frequently asked questions about the pricing for a church vow renewal.
Cost of Renewing Vows in Church: Price Breakdown
Just like any other wedding, there are multiple aspects you need to handle. Below are the categories of expenses you must keep in mind.
Since you will renew your vows in church, your officiant will be a religious authority. You might be thinking of asking your pastor or priest to perform your vow renewal.
The officiant might charge you for multiple things: the officiating service itself, the use of their facilities and the equipment, and any possible consultations or sessions you may have to attend. The cost of living in your area will also affect the prices.
In general, anticipate spending a couple of hundred dollars for your officiant. Even if they do not ask for a fee upfront, consider giving a donation to the church for the same amount.
Some churches are more popular and ornate than others. While the smaller and more local churches might not charge a fee for the use of their facilities, well-loved and internationally renowned churches will charge you.
Given that vow renewals are smaller ceremonies, you can rest assured you do not need to spend thousands of dollars on vendors. Perhaps you can splurge on a photographer, whose average price ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 for whole-day coverage.
Other vendors, such as musicians, florists, and coordinators can come from the church. Ask your officiant if they offer these services as well. Organists and choir musicians, for instance, may cost anywhere between $200 to $800.
Again, vow renewals are more intimate events. You do not have to invite hundreds of guests; in fact, it is perfectly fine to celebrate only with your closest friends and relatives.
Check with your church about how many guests they can accommodate and the corresponding fees. In some cases, you do not have to pay any fee at all.
Typical church weddings feature a lot of flowers, ribbons, candles, tulle, and more ceremonious decorations. While some of these pieces may already be covered in other fees, you might have to buy some extra. This category may cost you an average of $400.
You may want to include a few wedding traditions in your special day, such as a sand unity ceremony or a candle ceremony. In that case, you have to buy the necessary materials. Expect to pay around $20 to $150 for this category.
Venues will charge a deposit on the off chance that you damage the facility or any of the equipment. Again, the price — and presence of a fee — varies per church, though you should set aside around $200 to be safe.
Frequently Asked Questions About Renewing Vows in Church
Can you renew your vows in a church if you did not have a church wedding?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples had to downsize their wedding. Instead of a church wedding, they may have had to opt for a smaller or outdoor venue. Therefore, a central concern is if you can renew your vows in a church even if you did not get married in a church.
The answer may vary per church, but generally, you can renew your vows in church regardless of the type of ceremony you previously had.
Are we required to hold a reception after the ceremony?
No, a wedding reception is optional after a vow renewal. Even hosting a celebratory dinner at your place will suffice if you have a small guest list.
Do we need to buy new rings?
The answer depends on the couple. If you want to change your ring, a vow renewal is an excellent opportunity to get a new one. If you have the budget, anniversary rings and eternity bands are perfect for this occasion.
If you are content with your ring as it is, or you would rather not spend on a new one, you can just resize it or get an engravement to mark the milestone. You can even do nothing to your ring — it is up to you.
Are there any discounts for renewing vows in a church?
If you are an active member of the church or live within the parish, you may be eligible for a discount. Ask your religious leader about possible discounts.
It can be challenging to provide a highly detailed cost breakdown for a vow renewal in a church, as the prices can vary dramatically based on many factors. To get a more specific idea, check this schedule of fees from the St. Norbert Catholic Church.