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Marriage Renewal of Vows

We'd Like to Renew Our Marriage Vows

Dear Eenie:

My husband and I would like to renew our wedding vows on-island.  What do we need to do?

Still In Love


Dear Hearts:  My very best wishes to you both!

The only thing you need do is to select an officiant, and arrange a date, time and place.  You may be asked for a photocopy of your marriage license (just for proof that your marriage actually took place, lo those many years ago.)

Your ceremony can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose.  If you choose to have it in a church, and invite everyone who attended your original wedding, you must contact the secretary of the church and arrange the date and time.  Some local churches have a residency requirement or “proof of Island connection” in order for folks “from away” to use their facility.

Some ministers will only officiate in their respective churches.  Others, like most Justices of the Peace, are willing to go to beaches, go out on boats, climb onto roof walks, or go to any number of other unconventional sites.

When I do a vows renewal, I ask the couple for a brief history of their life together.  I weave the details into a ceremony that I have written just for vows renewals.  Each officiant does things differently. You should make your thoughts known to them at first contact.

Of course, you must plan a fabulous place to have your post-ceremony dinner.  No expense should be spared in this regard.  Have soup, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and celebratory drinks a’plenty!

I wish you years of continued love and happiness.  (Have a sip o’champagne for me!)



[Photo credit:]

Catherine Flanagan Stover, the Nantucket Town and County Clerk, is also a Justice of the Peace who has officiated at over a thousand weddings.  Her advice, however, comes from birth and early years on Nantucket, forty years of marriage, seven children, and experience as a lay midwife, postpartum counselor AND funeral director and embalmer.  She also holds a Massachusetts real estate broker’s license and is a prodigious reader, crafter and cook.  Send your questions about anything from the cradle to the grave to Eenie at [email protected]