{wedding wednesday}

I got a question a few months ago from Sarah about ideas for  a vow renewal/second wedding. She’s already married to someone in army, but they want to reaffirm their vows to one another. I was actually in my best friend’s “celebration of marriage” last year, so I do know have a little experience with this.

Beth & Tyler-174

First things first, I think it’s important to differentiate between a wedding and a renewal ceremony. Beth and Tyler called their ceremony a “celebration of marriage,” which I think is great. They renewed their vows, and Beth got to the wear the white dress she didn’t get to wear the first time around, in front of their friends and family. Three years ago when they got married, it was done in a small ceremony with only a few friends and family {I was there!} witnessing.

I think it’s almost more fun to plan for a vow renewal than a wedding. First of all, you don’t necessarily need to follow the traditional format of a marriage ceremony. You can choose to not have an officiant, or to do things in a different order or use readings that may not have been appropriate at your original ceremony. It might be meaningful to include some of the aspects from your first ceremony, such as your original vows, but be creative! Do things the way that you want to do them this time around without worrying about what people might think.

Beth & Tyler-346

Choose Something Meaningful

Just like a wedding, a vow renewal is a time to show off your personality. Beth and Tyler love wine, so they chose to showcase wine at their reception. Beth is also from Texas, so they decided to have BBQ for dinner. There are so many ways for you to make your ceremony and reception meaningful, and you can find some of my favorite ideas here. And since you’re already married, you already have years of marriage together to pull from for these things. You can choose to have a destination renewal where you had your honeymoon, or renew your vows on your wedding anniversary.

Beth & Tyler-145

Toss Tradition Aside

I think the best part of a vow renewal is that there is no need to follow tradition. In my opinion, nobody should have to follow any type of tradition that they don’t want to, even at their wedding, but this time it’s different. Guests shouldn’t expect anything. So it was perfectly acceptable that Beth and Tyler had pies instead of cake! No need to toss the bouquet or do a first dance. Of course, you are welcome to do these things if you’d like, but nobody expects it. One thing that I think couples renewing their vows should keep, however, are toasts. Toasts are a great way for your friends and family to congratulate you on multiple years of marriage and to wish you many more.

The most important thing to remember about a vow renewal, however, is that you can make it however big or small that you’d like. If you didn’t get the large reception you wanted the first time around, then this is the perfect chance to throw a party for yourselves. On the other hand, you might want something a little more intimate, which is also perfectly acceptable. Feel free to host at a restaurant, ditch the attendants, or skip the dancing. It’s completely up to you!

Beth & Tyler-188

{photography by Stephen Pappas}

Have you ever been to a vow renewal? What are your thoughts on the matter?

And now it’s your turn. Link up your Wedding Wednesday posts below!


Sarah said...

Thank you, Joelle!

I completely agree with you on everything! Our ceremony isn't going to be your typical ceremony, no officiant, and it will be more of a story telling, reflection time. Each of the bridesmaids/groomsmen will share a story or something to say for a couple minutes, leading up to my husband and I renewing our vows. It will be more casual and personal, and more customized to us! I don't think we will have the traditional walk down the aisle, but definitely some sort of significant entrance. Then on to cocktail hour and then the reception! We want it to be a fun and entertaining celebration, a year, 3 months, and 8 days after we got married! :)

I ran into some problems earlier on, as my mother-in-law had some strict ideas on what should/shouldn't be at a vow renewal as opposed to an actual wedding (there shouldn't be bridesmaids if you're not a bride, etc), but everyone else has been completely supportive of making it whatever we want it to be!

Thanks for the post!:)

Eliza said...

This is such a great post! Even though we've only been married since October, we can't wait to do something like this in 10 or 20 years. xo! eliza

Tina said...

I've never been to a vow renewal, and to be honest I've always found them a little tacky. But, I think you make some good points. I can especially understand wanting a vow renewal if your wedding was really small and you didn't get to wear that beautiful white dress the first time around!

And, was that wedding at Walnut Grove in Moorpark?? That's where I was married in June!

Beth said...

Tina, yes that is Walnut Grove in Moorpark...don't you love it! I know my hubby and I did.

We thought about waiting til our 5 or 10 year to renew our vows, but he had just come back from Afghanistan in November 2010, so we thought doing it around our anniversary would be great.

My biggest advice is, do what you want to do! If you want the traditional "wedding," great...if you want something simple and fun, do that! It's your (and your spouse) day, so do what you guys want to do.
Great post Joelle! :)

Natasha said...

I thought that Beth did an amazing job with her "second wedding"! It was a beautiful event and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the post!

smalltown20something said...

My parents renewed their vows at their 25th wedding anniversary party. My aunt did the vow renewal, and they were surrounded by friends and family, some of whom were there at their wedding. It was an awesome day (besides getting a speeding ticket on my way there) and I think everyone had fun!