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Just Said Yes May 2021

Married then celebrating later

Ashley, on June 11, 2020 at 7:54 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 11
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So my husband and I had a small quarantine wedding, just our immediate family. We still are gonna have a big wedding and reenact our vows and everything at a later date. What would you call this and how would you address the invitations. Usually it says something about unity but we are already united.


  • Ashley
    Beginner March 2021
    Ashley ·
    • Flag
    Vow renewal?
    • Reply
  • Nefetera
    Rockstar March 2015
    Nefetera ·
    • Flag
    Vow renewal Celebration
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  • Elizabeth
    Rockstar June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    I would go with a vow renewal because it's the most common version of this. Most people will consider it a vow renewal even if you come up with some fancy new name for it because it's a more familiar term.

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  • C
    Just Said Yes November 2020
    Chelsea ·
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    I’m in the same boat.. our venue cancelled our wedding for November already.. So we’re having a backyard ceremony for immediate family then having a vow renewal and reception next November. we were also hoping to keep the top part of our cake from this year and cut into it with everyone at the reception since it’ll be a day off of our one year anniversary. Did you have your “first dances” at the small wedding or will you be waiting to have them with everyone there at the later date?
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  • Anna
    Super October 2020
    Anna ·
    • Flag

    Since it’s such a later date and Im pretty sure everyone now knows you’re married, I would just call it a vow renewal. A friend’s son got married in the court house a month or so before their planned wedding for military housing reasons, and honestly I didn’t know this until during the wedding when our pastor made it clear that they had been married but wanted to publicly share vows in front of their friends and family. For that one everything was still called a wedding. But it was also a short time span. With COVID, I would just go with calling it a vow renewal.

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  • A
    Super August 2020
    Alex ·
    • Flag

    I have been calling ours our wedding celebration! I think vow renewal isn't enough. This is your big day with all your friends and family. I know people are sticklers for the rules with all of this, but I say with COVID all rules go out the window and do what you want!

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  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle Online ·
    • Flag
    Went to one last year and all they called it was a wedding celebration
    • Reply
  • Jeni
    Devoted July 2021
    Jeni ·
    • Flag
    We're calling it a marriage celebration instead of a wedding. I don't feel that vow renewal has the same impact, and as a quarantine couple, your guests should understand.
    • Reply
  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    Call it whatever you want.

    I'm not one of those people that thinks the act of getting married is a wedding, and I disagree with like anyone who says having a small, private elopement or going to a courthouse and signing papers is the equivalent of having a wedding.

    We eloped on our original day with just our parents and a few close friends and postponed our wedding and reception to next year. The elopement was stressful and not what we wanted, even though there were some sweet and beautiful moments tucked in there. I'd hate to think of that day as our wedding day. So sometimes I refer to next year's event as our "redo" wedding. I also sometimes want to call it our "big" wedding, but we only invited 80 guests so it wasn't really ever a "big" wedding, it just is big compared to our elopement.

    For us, the day we got married was our elopement, and we are planning our wedding and reception for the future.

    I personally hate the term vow renewal, to the point where I'd be tempted to cross someone off our guest list if they referred to our wedding that way. To me a vow renewal is an event centered around re-saying your vows on your 10th, 20th, 50th anniversary (or some other milestone), it is NOT a replacement for a wedding that never happened. I certainly don't consider any of the weddings that needed to be postponed due to Covid to suddenly be vow renewals if the couple chose to elope on their original date.

    Even in non-pandemic times plenty of couples legally marry before their wedding date and still refer to the big celebratory event with all of the rituals and traditions as the wedding. Couples will go to the courthouse the week of their wedding and legally marry so that they can have a friend or loved one "officiate" their wedding ceremony without getting sworn in, or couples marrying overseas will legally tie the knot in the USA pre- or post- destination wedding for efficiency and to avoid any legal issues.

    If you don't consider what already happened to be your wedding, then you can call the event you are planning for the future your wedding if that is what feels right to you.

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  • ElucidBride215
    Savvy May 2021
    ElucidBride215 ·
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    I absolutely agree with this point. We shouldn't have to be punished because of COVID. I think the real struggle behind the question is you don't want to call it a vow renewal, esp. if it was less than a year after the elopement, and if the actual ceremony has more pomp and circumstance than the first one and is different in several ways. Also, it wouldn't be a celebration of marriage either because you're still having the actual ceremony. So neither of these seem to fit. BUT there have been suggestions that proper etiquette is that your wedding guests should know if they are witnessing the first time ceremony or not. Hence the conundrum.

    I believe the Knot suggested the term "sequel wedding." I also considered phrasing it as "our wedding part 2." I may use this wording on my invites because that seems like the best fit for us, and this entire situation. Perhaps you could do that too.

    A lot of the elopements following COVID are not really what the couples planned on doing originally. So for me and my FH it IS a choice to marry before the big reception, BUT we didn't feel we had to be forced to wait esp. if we have no idea what next year will even look like.

    I don't think the guests won't mind. And if they don't - shame on them.

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  • A
    Just Said Yes September 2020
    Ardith ·
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    Yes! We're going with "wedding celebration," too.

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