Vow Renewal Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on January 27, 2011

in Special Occasion - Weddings, Wedding Etiquette

wedding vow renewal etiquette

You survived the wedding planning and all of the stressing over details for a moment that was over in a flash.  Why would you want to go through all of that again?  After planning my wedding, I had new found respect for those who flew off to Vegas for a quickie wedding!

People choose to renew their wedding vows for numerous reasons:

  • the couple has been through a hardship and feel the symbolic renewing of their vows will renew their commitment to each other; or
  • when the couple originally were married, they did not have the budget to have their dream wedding and now they do; or
  • the vow renewal will represent a significant anniversary; or
  • perhaps the couple has been married for so long, they have forgotten their vows!

Whatever a couple’s reason for their vow renewal, some simple etiquette rules need to be followed to ensure it is as elegant and proper affair as the original event!

  • While the wedding was about the party and your love for each other (and mostly about the open bar and dancing), the vow renewal ceremony should be intimate and very focused on the commitment of your marriage.  If you did not get to have a big party originally, this rule does not apply to you.
  • To stress the point above, remember, this is not a second wedding and should not be as extravagant.
  • The couple, not anyone else, is responsible for the financial aspects of this event. Another reason to keep it small!
  • You should not have attendants at your renewal ceremony.  If you have children, you can give them special duties, but, not official titles.
  • Do not register for gifts. Guests should not give them.
  • If your guests insist on giving you a present, you should thank them kindly and still send a thank you card.
  • Bridal showers and/or bachelor/bachelorette parties are not appropriate. You already were given gifts to start your household and you celebrated your last days of being single a long, long time ago.
  • The father of the bride already gave her away at the wedding; there is no need to repeat that at the vow renewal. The bride and groom can walk down the aisle together, the bride alone or with their children or the bride and groom can enter from opposite sides of the room and meet in the middle.
  • If you have outgrown or, heavens forbid, lost your wedding ring, this is the perfect time for new bands!
  • If you choose to have a receiving line, as you are hosting the event, you will be at the front of the line.
  • Feel free to have a first dance signifying your new beginning, but, scrap the father/daughter and mother/son dances.
  • Ditto for tossing the bouquet and garter – toss that idea out the window!
  • Have cake!  Just don’t make it a “wedding” cake.


Further Reading: dawsontimes.com

Photo: dreamstime/Rabac_liviu

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