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Renewing Marriage Vows in Paris or Venice....

Renewing Marriage Vows in Paris or Venice....

Jan 8th, 2007, 09:52 AM
  #1  
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Renewing Marriage Vows in Paris or Venice....

Hi-
I'm in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Europe with my husband and 3 children ages 4, 8, and 14. We'll be travelling the 1st 2-weeks in August 2007 and our plans include Paris, France and Venice, Italy.

I am considering surprising my husband with a renewing of our Marriage vows (it will be our 17th). Has anyone done this in either of these 2 locations? I'm looking for a Christian ceremony. I don't even know where to begin researching this so, any info you can pass along will be extremely helpful.
abhodges is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 10:07 AM
  #2  
 
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There is an amazing trip report by Statia about her renewal ceremony in Venice that will inspire you! I'll try to find the link for you.
marigross is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Can't help with Venice, but a friend of mine tried to do this a couple of years ago in Paris and found it was virtually impossible. Every source they tried proved to be futile since neither one of them were French citizens. I didn't participate in the efforts, so I don't know the details of what they tried and who they contacted, so they may not have made the correct inquiries. If you belong to a specific denomination, I might suggest you go through your church offices to see if there's a church in Paris, or Venice, that would assist with this. Sorry I can't be more help, but wanted to give you info on what little experience I'm familiar with.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Found Statia's marvelous report. Print it and snuggle up in a cozy chair with a glass of wine

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34437042
marigross is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Reading the Italy thread sounds like a good idea if someone actually did this. The above post suggests the people were actually trying to get married, as that is what citizenship would be necessary for (really, citizenship is not the issue, but residents of 40 days or so, as I recall). Renewing of vows and some ceremony have nothing to do with getting married, because the people already are married.

It doesn't really make any sense to do this in a place that means nothing to you where you don't speak the language and do not belong to a church. That's my opinion, anyway. Trying to call this a religion thing by requesting a Christian ceremony makes it much much more difficult, as many churches do not want to entertain tourists and won't do things for people that are not part of their regular congregation or parish. YOu can always do a secular thing with no problem in Paris, as it has nothing to do with religion or the law in that case. There are several firms that can arrange those kind of events and in very lovely places, although I'm sure it is expensive. But trying to make this religious makes it difficult, especially since most of the churches in Paris are Catholic (not all, of course), and I think they really wouldn't do it for casual visitors who didn't belong to their parish.

I used to think this was only a modern thing (and I think it has increased, and is influenced somewhat by the destination wedding craze), but when going over some old memorablia at my parents' house last year, I found a weathered newspaper clipping of a wedding vow renewal ceremony that my grandparents had in a small town in Ohio back in the early part of the 20th Cen, and they were Catholic, and it was done in the church.

There are several companies that do this in Paris as a symbolic thing, if you are willing to go that route, here is one of them, check out the "services" section:
http://www.weddingsinfrance.com
Christina is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Contact the American Church in Paris, http://www.acparis.org/ and ask if this is possible.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Better yet, have your pastor contact the American Church in Paris and ask if it's possible.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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I second the last suggestion. The American Church in Paris ought to be able to help you with this since this is not a *wedding* but a renewal of vows. (Marriage in France is a civil ceremony). I believe there is also an english-speaking Anglican Church in Paris.

Have any thoughts about fitting hotels for this festive occasion?
travelhorizons is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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In Paris, you can also contact the American Cathedral (Epicopalian), Anglican (Church of England) St Michael's (Evangelical) and St George's (Anglo-Catholic), all of whom are I'm sure quite happy to help you. There is also an English-speaking RC parish of St Joseph's (Passionist Fathers).
In Venice there's St George's Anglican: http://www.stgeorgesvenice.com/wedding-baptisms.htm
Alec is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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LJ
 
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Renewal of marraige vows is a long standing tradition in some faith communities that has recently increased in popularity. For those who wish to renew vows in the traditional mode, most denominations have a service (or at least the outline of such that you can "embroider" to meet the needs of the couple) that involves a member of clergy.

As an ordained minister, I have had the privilege of presiding at a number of these for members of our church community. I would not be able to do so for strangers who visited our town for that purpose alone or combined it with a vacation unless they had previous ties to our church. I think this is fairly routine operating procedure because of the faith implications of taking vows in convenant with God.

Statia's was not a church ceremony performed by an ordained priest or minister which clearly did not make it any less important or moving to the participants. I am certainly not suggesting a religious ceremony is impossible, but there are other ways of addressing this need.
LJ is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 12:24 AM
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Hi LJ,

A thoughful and valuable perspective. Just want to add that the American Church in Paris is ecumenical, so previous or current ties to a denomination (if that's what you were referring to rather than ties to a congregation) may be of less significance to a pastor there.

Everything one does while on vacation needn't be frivilous. In fact, many entire vacations aren't.

Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:43 AM
  #12  
LJ
 
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Dave,

I absolutely agree. Friends have asked if I would assist them in a Renewal of Vows ceremony at a vacation spot we share every year. They are not of our church family and I would be way out of my jurisdiction.

However, we have pretty good role-models in our church history that suggest that breaking the rules is often a good thing. So this summer I will be officiating at a very special service for a couple that have been fighting a life-threatening illness for 2 years now. Do I think the Spirit is any less present because it is not officially sanctioned? No way-in fact, I am bookmarking this thread for a possible renewal of vows for my DH and self next time we are in Paris-I am just so glad such a possibility exists.

In fact, I will push the powers-that-be to be more liberal here on our home turf to allow for just such an open-minded approach to making a vacation more meaningful.
LJ is offline  
Jan 12th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #13  
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions (and Statia's link)! Going to make a cup of tea and read over them thoroughly.
abhodges is offline  
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