“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
This quote by Jennifer Smith is an apt representation of what marriage means and entails. Every couple who has been married for long should know that they are in a special relationship that has stood the test of time. Such a marriage is definitely worth a celebration, and vow renewals are the perfect way to do it.
Whether you want to celebrate your love, or wish to reaffirm your commitment to each other, you can always have a vow renewal ceremony. It can be as small or as elaborate as you wish.
Although planning a vow renewal isn’t as stressful as wedding planning, there are a few things that can make it even easier. But before we look at that, let us first look at something that is very important when planning such an event: Vow renewal etiquette.
You may be wondering why this is important, since vow renewals are essentially personal and more intimate than a regular wedding. However,every celebration whether big or small calls for certain etiquette rules to be followed, and vow renewals are not different. The good news is that the rules are fewer, and more manageable than at a regular wedding. Let us look at what they are.
Vow renewal etiquette
Make your invitations matter
Although a vow renewal doesn’t warrant a proper paper invitation, make sure you plan yours with care. This is because your invitation reflects how serious you are about the entire event, and you want your guests to share the feeling. Whether you choose to go with an electronic invite or the traditional paper invitation, choose your vow renewal invitations with care. Pay proper attention to the text and design and send them out early to give your guests ample time to plan for it.
Forget the gifts
When you decide to renew your vows, you are hopefully at a point in your life where you are comfortably settled. So, forget the gift registry that you had the first time around. Don’t even think of registering at a store. We even suggest putting down “No Gifts” on your ceremony invitation. If guests wish to get you a gift out of joy, let them go ahead. But don’t create any compulsion or confusion in this regard.
Do hire a good photographer for the day
Trust me, it will be worth the money spent! A professional photographer is the right person to capture the special events of the day and document it for you to cherish in the years to come. There will be many meaningful moments, especially if your family has expanded to include more members since the day you were married. So, choose a talented photographer who can create magical memories as the events of the day unfold.
It isn’t a good idea to have a formal wedding party
It is indeed interesting to include children and family in your vow renewal party, but don’t make it formal like the first time around. You can always ask them as well as the members of your original wedding party to stand up for you unofficially, but it isn’t even necessary unless you really want it.
Don’t make it too elaborate or complicated to plan
If there is one thing you don’t want from your wedding day at your vow renewal, it is the stress! Leave it out, and keep the entire affair manageable and under your control this time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a big bash, an over-the-top venue or stunning meal planning. All that actually matters is the sentiment, and the closer the crowd that attends it the more meaningful your ceremony is sure to be.
Now that we have covered the essential do’s and don’ts of vow renewal etiquette, let’s move on to the planning part. Here is the ultimate vow renewal checklist to help you along the way.
Vow Renewal Checklist
Fix the date and venue
You could plan your vow renewal close to your wedding anniversary, or on any random date. It is preferable to have it on a weekend for the convenience of your guests. Once you finalize the date, decide the venue. You could have it in a hotel or country club, or even your backyard. Decide on whether a big ceremony or a small intimate one would mean more to you and fix the venue accordingly.
Send out invitations
Whether you have a small gathering or an elaborate affair, it is always best to send out formal invitations. Include the date, venue and time, and if there is a dress code for the party, put that in as well. Send the invitations at least a month in advance, so you can plan according to the number of RSVP’s you receive.
Write your vows
You can either say your same wedding vows or make up new ones that are more appropriate in your current situation. If you can’t remember the original vows, take a look at your wedding video if you have one. Else, go with what you remember and add in a few lines that would be meaningful.
Book your vendors, entertainment and officiant
Once you know how many people will be attending, book your caterers and select the menu. For a casual function, you can have an afternoon tea or brunch. Since there are no legalities involved with the ceremony, you can have either a priest or qualified official, or a close friend conduct it. Don’t forget the flowers for the ceremony and also plan the venue décor.
Decide on what to wear and get it ready
If you want to recreate your wedding day memories, this would be the opportunity to bring out your well-preserved wedding gown. If it doesn’t fit any more, you could have it restyled to match the current fashion. Alternately, you could go for a new dress altogether. Decide on your hair and makeup to look great on the day and fix your boutique appointments ahead of time.
Follow up with your vendors so everything progresses as per plan. Hire a photographer or ask a guest to take your pictures.
At Best for Bride, we believe that your vow renewal is just as important as your wedding day. You deserve to experience the same excitement as when you were shopping for your original wedding dress. So, let us help you with the selection of your vow renewal attire to look gorgeous on this special day.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your vow renewal dress.
Top tips to help you find the perfect vow renewal ceremony dress
Shop with plenty of time to spare
Just like with your wedding dress shopping, don’t wait till the last minute to go shopping. Your vow renewal dress should be special. Take your time to explore options and find the best choices. Browse through collections online and look up the latest fashion trends to be inspired. Narrow down your selection criteria and finalize your budget before you go shopping. Start shopping at least few months in advance. This will allow you enough time to have the dress altered to your exact measurements once it arrives.
When renewing vows, dress for the venue
Match your outfit to the tone of the event. An elaborate full-length gown would look good in a banquet hall or ballroom, but would be awkward at the beach. Lightweight gowns are better as vow renewal wedding dresses if the event is at the seashore.
Don’t overlook simple wedding dresses
If you didn’t have much say in what you wore at your wedding, or if your sense of fashion has changed since then, don’t hesitate to explore your options in wedding dresses. Many women are hesitant to choose a wedding gown as their vow renewal dress, considering it will be too flashy. However, it isn’t everyday you get to dress up as a bride. So, if wedding fashion still appeals to you, make your appointment with a wedding dress store. There is sure to be a simple wedding dress that is just perfect for your celebration.
Destination vow renewal wedding dresses call for extra care
If you are like most couples, a far away dreamy exotic location may be on the cards. If this is the case, pay special attention to the dress you choose for the occasion. You will have to consider practical aspects such as transporting it intact. Also, you should choose a dress that is suitable for your chosen destination. Lighter gowns in fabrics that hold shape and don’t wrinkle easily are the best. Discuss your needs with the consultant at the bridal store to find what is most suitable for you.
Find the best colors for your complexion
It will be easier to find a color that flatters your complexion than choosing the right shade of white for your wedding dress. So, make the most of it. You can choose a dress in a color that matches your party theme. However, make sure that the color of your dress highlights your facial features so you look stunning. You can even try different shade variants of the same color to find the one that flatters you most.
Choose the right fabric for the weather
You can have your vow renewal whenever you choose. It can be during the holidays, closer to your anniversary date or on any other day at all. However, take the time of year into consideration when making your dress selection. Vow renewal gowns that work in summer may not be the best choice for winter. Choose the fabric and dress style to stay comfortable at the time of your vow renewal. A satin or velvet dress and matching accessories like stoles or scarves is better suited for fall or winter. If the event is in summer, opt for short and light frocks or gowns with sleeveless or short-sleeve styles.
Don’t forget your accessories
No outfit is complete without the right choice of jewelry and accessories. Dress yourself up for the event with the right choice of jewelry that enhances the effect of your dress. You can keep it as simple or as elaborate as you like. If you have heirloom jewelry or special trinkets you acquired recently, wear these treasures and feel extra-special.
Choose the right dress style that helps you look and feel your best
Just like your wedding day, your vow renewal is likely a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. So, you deserve to not only look, but also feel your best. Don’t give up till you find the perfect outfit for the day. It should be a dress that feels just right in every way. Not only should it highlight your favorite features, it should also hide the less desirable ones. More importantly, the dress you wear should help you feel relaxed, comfortable and confident.
Keep looking till you find a dress that helps you feel like a better and more gorgeous version of yourself.
We hope these tips help you with your dress selection. Whether you prefer a simple wedding dress for your vow renewal or something different for this special day in your life, we can help you. Find inspiration from our vast gallery of bridal dresses and dresses for special occasions. Take a look at our evening dresses for special occasions at Best for Bride, and you are bound to find one that you love. Or browse through our collection of bridal dresses to shortlist your favorites.