Wedding Vow Renewal: Can We Still Have the Wedding We Never Had?

Wedding Vow Renewal
Can We Still Have the Wedding We Missed Out On?
Q: I am already married to my junior high sweetheart and we have been together forever. The problem is that we didn’t have a wedding – and I want it!Is it tacky to try and plan something that we missed out on? We of course have children now, and I rather like the idea of including them. I am a history buff and I want the wedding to be somewhat of a renaissance theme, but doubt we will go for the historically accurate wedding. I guess I still want the fairy tale wedding. Our anniversary is June 13, which doesn’t fall on a Saturday for a while, and not on a convenient 15, or 25 year mark. What are the rules for this sort of vow renewal thing?


A:  No, it is not tacky at all to plan a ‘second wedding’ to make up for the celebration that you missed out on the first time around. This is actually becoming very popular and is being done very frequently by people who, like yourself, were not able, for one reason or another, to have the big fairy tale wedding when they married. Usually his type of event is combined with a renewal of the vows, also known as a vow reaffirmation.When two people are happily married, it is natural for them to want to mark their union by a wonderful celebration if they missed out on such a thing earlier on. And so they should! A happy marriage is much to be proud of in today’s society, and extremely worthy of celebration!

A renewal of vows celebration does not have to fall on a ‘milestone’ anniversary (15th or 25th, etc.), although some couples may choose to do it that way.

There is absolutely no rule or reason, however, why it cannot be done on your 8th anniversary, 17th anniversary, or whenever you feel so inspired. It also need not be on a Saturday. Fridays and Sundays are also popular days for this type of celebration.

You may plan it very much as you would an actual wedding if you like, including dancing, flowers, formal invitations, and even attendants if you desire. You mentioned your children – often couples include them as attendants at such an event.

Other ways of involving your kids (and grand children where applicable) include having them escort you down the aisle, perform a reading during the vow renewal ceremony, or give a touching toast to you at the reception or dinner.

Some women even choose to wear the wedding gown they never had, although, this is a personal preference issue, and the farther back in time your actual wedding date was, the more you might want to opt for something perhaps equally as formal, but nonetheless different from a bridal gown.

Perhaps a gorgeous cocktail dress or evening gown. You will likely also want to carry a bouquet.

If you will be having a dinner/dance reception it is entirely appropriate to include features common to wedding receptions, such as a receiving line, cake cutting, and first dance.

This will be an extremely important and meaningful day in your lives, so just as one would for a wedding day, you may want to hire a photographer and videographer to record all of the precious moments and memories.

In the same way that engagement and wedding announcements appear in the newspaper, you can also place an announcement to mark your reaffirmation or renewal of vows. If you like this idea, you’ll want to include the following information: the number of years married and the names of your children. If this type of event isn’t that common in your area, the newspaper may even want to cover it as a feature story!

Many couples also top off the celebration with a second honeymoon (or perhaps a first, if they didn’t have one the first time around)!

There is nothing wrong at all with incorporating a historical theme into the celebration if you so desire. Such themes are quite fashionable right now and your guests are likely to find the event that much more interesting and exciting!

It sounds like a wonderful idea. Have a ball!


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