Second Weddings

Vow renewal

Hello everyone! I hope this is the right place for this thread -- it's the best spot for it that I could figure out!

My husband and I are considering renewing our vows at either our five or ten year anniversary. We decided to elope, so none of our family or friends was at our original wedding. We had initially planned to the big ceremony thing later, but it got pushed to the side, as is so easy to happen.

Recently, we've been considering renewing our vows so that our family and friends can celebrate our love with us, but there are a few things I'm not sure about. My husband, who has never been married before, wants to essentially have a wedding with the exception of the wording of the vows. He wants me to wear a wedding dress, have attendants, etc. I'm not so sure this is appropriate, considering we will have been married at least five years when we do this. However, we've talked to a few of our friends, and so far they are all very enthusiastic about the idea of finally having a wedding for us. I seem to be the lone dissenter, and it's hard to tell my husband that he's never going to get to have a wedding (this is my second marriage, so I've already done it once). I do, however, love the idea of having a great party to celebrate our marriage.

So with all of that in mind, I have a few questions that I hope you don't mind answering. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but we would be inviting around 80 (100 tops) people.

- Is it okay to have a vow renewal at our five year anniversary, since we didn't have a wedding? My thoughts were that, if it's going to be like a wedding, it would be better to do it sooner rather than later.

- Is it okay to wear a wedding-style dress, but maybe in ivory? Another option I've considered is something along the lines of a bridesmaid dress, but in white or ivory. I'm pretty sure that even if I did go the wedding dress route, it would be something simple (not overly poofy, short train, etc).

- I've read that you shouldn't do the walk down the aisle thing. Then how does the logistics of it work? One idea I had considered was my husband and I walking down the aisle together.

- Is it appropriate to have any attendants? My husband wants to have groomsmen because he thinks his friends will be upset with him if they aren't included. Would one groomsmen and one bridesmaid be an acceptable compromise?

- Should I carry a bouquet? I understand you can decorate with flowers all you like, but I'm not sure about this point.

- What sort of cake should we have? Should it be a wedding cake, or just something that reflects the two of us? I've heard of people recreating their original wedding cakes, but since we didn't have one, that doesn't apply to us.

These are the main questions that have been bothering me, so I hope you all can give me some guidance. Thanks in advance!

Re: Vow renewal

  • edited December 2011

    Personally - I think it is entirely up to YOU and what you and your hubby want to do!  My husband and I eloped last month, but are going to do a renewal on the date we originally had planned to do our wedding...and its going to have elements that do look like a "wedding"...but I think that it is going to be great to re-live my wedding moments :).  I'm also going to have attendants...wear a wedding dress etc. Sooo its totally up to you dear - just enjoy and do whatever will make you, your hubby and your budget happy :)

    BabyFetus Ticker BabyFruit Ticker Anniversary
  • RosaleenDhuRosaleenDhu member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Having a similar problem here; got married in a hurry (12 days' notice) due to military reqs, and now planning a renewal of vows to invite people to. I'm pretty much deciding to treat it like a wedding, and if people get offended, they don't have to attend! ^_^ I don't see any reason why a ceremony you're planning to share your relationship with your friends and family should have anything to do with "socially appropriate" (as far as High Society Manners is concerned). It's your day, your party, and if you want to have attendants, or a wedding cake, or walk down the aisle, bloody well DO it. Unless you're inviting Miss Manners, I don't think anyone's grading the level of appropriateness at your party.
  • edited December 2011

    1.) totally appropriate to renew your vows for your 5th anniversary
    2.) YES, it is okay to wear a gown.
    3.) Yes, you can walk down the aisle, but you may want to omit "who gives this woman to be married" -- duh.. you are already married LOL!
    4.) YES, you can have attendants. It is an opportunity to honor the woman in your life who have been there for you through life and your marriage.
    5.) A bouquet is fine -- an up to you.
    6.) again... cake is up to you. You can go traditional or more fun like a "groom's cake" would be.

    A vow renewal is NOT a FAKE wedding. It is a reaffirmation of love and committment between a husband and wife. If you go into it recognizing that it is its own special event then you will have a great time. Call it what it is "Vow Renewal" and you will be good to go.

    Like a PP, my husband and I got hitched with no wedding because we were both in the Military and we couldn't fit it in. Add to that a surprise pregnancy and yep -- no wedding. This year will be our 5th anniversary and we are renewing our vows with the whole 9 yards... cake, dress, dj... everything. We've been planning for almost 2 years.

    Happy planning girl! The great thing about a VR is all fo the fun and none of the "Is he the right man for me" worries!

  • edited December 2011
    I am not a vow renewal bride.  But I have seen and heard an awful lot of discussion around this issue.  Here's my take on this:
    a.  it's important to call it what it is, a vow renewal.  And to own up to it being that.  The people who love you don't deserve to be fooled into thinking they are witnessing a wedding, when it is in fact not. (Not that any of you said you were doing this.  I've just heard this a number of times on the Knot.)

    b.  military deployment gets a buy.  You have someone else (uncle Sam) telling you how and when to live your life.  But everyone else who chose to elope and now wants to have the big celebration with family and friends, you get a side eye.  Maybe your intent is true.  But most people will at least consider that this may just be a gift grab.  Yes, I know you have no desire to receive gifts, you just want to celebrate.  I'm talking about appearances.  The only occasion where is it really 100% ok to throw yourself a party is a wedding.  (And once you get old enough that you don't give a flying leap and you throw your own birthday parties...) A vow renewal is not a wedding, and doing it for your 5th anniversary makes it an anniversary party as well.  Think about what is really prompting you to hold this event.  What were the burning issues that made you decide to elope and skip this celebration that is now so important to have?  There are probably other life situations that I (and others like me) would give a pass to, such as a dying parent, a serious illness, etc.  What I would NOT give a pass to is something like, "we didn't have the money to throw the party then, and we couldn't wait to be married."  "we didn't want to have our parents telling us how to throw the party, so we eloped.  But now we are married and living on our own, so its our party to throw."  My answer to that is simply, "not having a party to celebrate your marriage is the consequence of your decision to elope.  All decisions have consequences, and adults consider those and weigh them out before they make a choice."

    c.  If I (and I am certainly not alone) feel this way, then at least some of your guests will too.  If you feel like Rosaleen, and figure those who feel that way can stay home, then you are probably fine.  You certainly don't have to care what I think, or what anyone thinks.  But since you are so concerned about what "the rules" are, I thought you might like a 30,000 foot view.  Once you decide to hold the event, do what makes you happy.  If your guests are going to judge you, it'll be for holding the event at all.  ~Donna
  • edited December 2011
    like the PP said you want to make sure you stear clear of a gift grab. We have put it out to our guests NO GIFTS!! We don't want anything other than their company. It is hard because a good number of my family and friends keep telling me to register because "you never had a shower"... I just tell them I think it is inappropriate to request gifts.

    sidenote: my MOH has been telling those who INSIST on giving us something to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • RosaleenDhuRosaleenDhu member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Brilliant plan! I might steal that ^_^
  • handfast4mehandfast4me member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I agree with Right1--unless it's miltary related, I'm not sure I'd be much for it.  Also, although I haven't heard it in this thread (thank you, ladies, for your considerate and thoughtful wording, I truly appreciate it), sometimes ladies come on this board and say something to the effect of not having a "real" wedding because they went off, just the two of them to a JOP.  Well, that's what DH and I did, purposefully.  We chose not to have the big hoopla.   Although I do understand the wish for the big ole' throwdown, which DH and I have considered for our next handfasting (you do at least 2 handfasting ceremonies, and one, additional, legal ceremony if that's a consideration), but since most of our friends are not Pagan, I'm not sure they'd understand the full implication of the ceremony.  And then there's the skyclad part.  LOL!  That's for a different discussion.   I just wonder if I'd even care to "celebrate the love" of couples that I know who are already married.  Just a thought. I guess it depends on the couple. If they were Pagans, and they needed another ceremony to carry them into the next life, then yes--and I went to one last summer.  But to the others, who are just for this life, I just don't know.  

    And, just to clarify, although it's OK to TELL people to pass it on to others that you want no gifts, to print anything at all in the invitations about gifts, even to say no gifts, is not proper. 
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • edited December 2011
    My husband and I did a courthouse ceramony and will be renewing our vows next march. I am treating as it is the first time since we didn't get to share it with all our friends and family. Reading all the posts makes me feel so good that others share my feelings. I wish you all the best of luck and enjoy your day!!!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards