Published February 24, 2016
Couples have chosen to renew their vows to celebrate their marriage. It could be to honor a special anniversary, or it could be as a “do over” because the original marriage was lacking some component, or it could even be a reminder and refresher of the love after a difficult time. Whatever the reason for wanting to renew your vows, we wanted to offer a few tips for its success.
I Do x 2: The Do’s of Renewing Your Vows
Do be mindful of the guest list. A large guest list is what creates the largest expense. Think of who your really want to have there as well as your budget. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. Think about how intimate or how large you want the experience to be.
Do communicate the appropriate attire to guests. You don’t want your guests showing up in jeans and t-shirt to a formal event nor a tuxedo to a backyard bbq. Help them out with suggested attire when you give the invitation.
Do write new vows. A lot has changed from those first vows. Communicate how your love has changed and grown with heartfelt new vows.
Do hire a photographer. These are memories that you will want to reflect back on and a photographer will offer beautiful shots that you can share with family, friends and loved ones for years to come.
Do expect to pay your own way. Renewing vows is a personal choice you and your spouse make. It is just bad etiquette to think your folks, your kids, or anyone else for that matter, will foot the bill.
Do consider budget, venue and guests just as you would any other party. Decide these things together early in the game to avoid conflicts. Begin to consider your need for invitations, catering, bartenders, music, flowers, attire, decorations, and photography.
Do decide if you want to update your wedding bands. You can consider having them engraved or can get new pieces, whatever feels right for your budget and desires.
I Still Do: The Don’ts of Renewing Your Vows
Don’t register for or expect gifts. If people insist, consider asking them to donate to a favored charity. This is time to celebrate your marriage, not update your china.
Don’t walk the aisle alone, if you walk one. Ask a friend, family member or a child to escort you. It is a special opportunity for you both, but doesn’t have to happen as traditionally as it did in the original wedding.
Don’t have a bachelor or bachelorette party or even a bridal shower. Those are designed to be used for the single person’s last night out and to build up things needed for a first home. Consider a more appropriate “girls or guys night out” rather than a bridal shower or stag party, if you do anything.
Don’t worry about officiants and witnesses. This isn’t a new ceremony and your marriage is still legal, so who conducts the wedding and who represents the wedding party doesn’t hold the significance, at least not legally, as it did the first time. You also don’t need a new marriage certificate, so skip that time and expense.