1. Knowing Why
Planning a vow renewal is a big undertaking! Your first important task is knowing why you want a vow renewal ceremony. Your passionate reasons are the foundation for the event, and it will affect every single decision.
Common reasons for vow renewals are:
- You had a big wedding, but now you want to reaffirm your love more intimately.
- You’ve been married 20 years or more.
- You were married in a courthouse or eloped, and now want a traditional wedding ceremony.
Vow renewal etiquette is far more lenient than wedding etiquette, however- knowing your reason makes it easier to know what to do, and what not to do. While there aren’t rules to do or die by, we’ve got some tasteful tips that will make planning your day a breeze!
A vow renewal ceremony allows you to really focus on your spouse. It’s an amazing way to publicly show your gratefulness for one another. In a world where only half the population is married, you are truly a miracle!
2. Do’s and Don’t’s
Your vow renewal ceremony can be as intimate or as extravagant as you wish. Most vow renewal ceremonies are small with only close family (and a great photographer) in attendance. But if you want to go big, and share this event with everyone who knows you as a married couple, then take your moment to shine!
Some questions you’ll want to ask yourself are: How many events? Are any pre-parties or special dinners in order? How many people are we looking at inviting? But here are some do’s and don’ts that apply no matter if you have ten people coming, or a thousand.
- Don’t hold bachelor/bachelorette parties.
- Don’t give bridal showers.*
- ~ ~ ~
- Do mail invitations and require an RSVP.
- Do have a special dinner, or party in your honor.
Before you say we’re taking all the fun, don’t worry- there are exceptions. If you’re celebrating a marriage milestone, 20+ years of marriage, then a gift shower is possible provided someone throws it for you.
*A bridal shower may be given to a “bride” renewing her vows, if she originally did not have a traditional wedding. This is more common at 1-3 year vow renewals. An example might be: the spouse headed for the armed forces. They might marry in a courthouse or elope because though a traditional wedding was desired, it wasn’t possible given the time frame.
3. Ceremony and Reception Etiquette
What should the bride wear? Some people say, since the renewing of vows isn’t an actual wedding, and the bride isn’t an actual bride, that she should not wear a wedding dress. But this is 2018, and it’s quite common for a bride to wear a wedding dress to her vow renewal. You are spending the money, this is your day and we agree- you should wear what you wish to wear.
What about flowers? Flowers are perfect for every occasion, and your celebration is no exception. Choose your bouquet with care, and decorate according to your own taste, and affordability.
What about food? Just pick out what you’d like, based on your tastes and budget. For the cake, it’s suggested that it NOT be a wedding cake, but honestly no one will complain about cake as long as it is beautiful and delicious. People should come to wish you well, to dance and to eat, not to judge anything you’re doing. Plan for well-wishers, for that’s who they should be.
What about dances? Dance with your hubby! Try putting a spin on the old traditions, instead of dancing with your father- dance with your son! (Or do both) Your guest’s hearts are sure to be touched. And after the first dances are over, invite everyone to party!
4. Where To Spend Your Money?
Some things, you look for the cheapest, some- the absolute best and some- just a happy medium right down the middle. At weddings and vow renewals, most of the money is spent on venue, catering, entertainment, the bride’s dress and the photographer.
When doing your budget, you’ll come up with your total and then begin trying to cut extra costs. But one way to trim costs isn’t to trim them at all. Spend the money on things that will last beyond the day. Does your husband need a new suit? Can your kids wear their finery again? Will you re-wear your shoes? How many years will your beautiful photos last? Need we say more?
- Outfits for your kids.
- Your husband’s suit (if he needs a new one).
- Your shoes.
- Your photographer.
- Choose a dress you can wear again (or alter your original wedding dress)
5. Making An Intimate Affair More Intimate (Focus on Your Spouse)!
At the end of the day (literally) it’s about you and your husband. In your whole event, the most important people to make happy and be considerate to is yourself and your spouse. Think about what your spouse needs and wants. Here’s a few things we thought of, to make it easier on you and your hubby.
- Consider having an ‘unplugged ceremony’ by inviting your guests to sit back and relax, let the photographers handle the pictures. Request that phones be placed on silent, and for guests to please retire to privacy if phones must be used.
- Leave 30 minutes of uninterrupted alone time between the ceremony, and pictures/reception.
- Slip into something sexy and comfortable for the reception/dinner/dancing.
- Have a surprise planned, a memorable twist to your event. (i.e. gift, entertainment, announcement)
- Plan your exit. (Be certain your kids are with their babysitter, hide your getaway car, plan carefully so you can relax knowing all is in good hands.)
- Have a babysitter to be responsible for your kids ALL DAY (even while you’re with them).
- Wear any color you want, including a white dress.
- Write custom vows or reaffirm those you’ve already taken. Maybe even exchange new rings!
Focus on you and your spouse! Plan ruthlessly, and relax on the day of the ceremony. Have a blessed vow renewal!