K
Just Said Yes October 2021

Vow renewal help!!!??!?

Kelly, on February 8, 2017 at 9:59 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 47
Saved
Reply

Hi ladies!

My husband and I got married recently in the courthouse because he is in the marines, and we didn't have much time to plan a big wedding. We plan to have a vow renewal/celebration/wedding in a few years once I get out of graduate school, and we have a lot of money saved up for it. My question is this.... am I allowed to have bridesmaids, a big white dress, my dad walk me down the aisle, a first dance, a wedding cake, and all of the things that are entailed with a wedding?

I understand that asking for gifts and having a shower isn't right, but what about everything else? Ever since I was little, I wanted that big traditional wedding with my husband, and I'm extremely sad that I didn't get that chance the first time around with him. I have read different things on numerous websites, and these negative posts saying "you're not a bride, it's not a wedding, you don't get bridesmaids" etc. are very discouraging to me. So, please give me your opinions! And thank you in advance

47 Comments

Latest activity by Yesenia, on May 22, 2021 at 5:58 PM
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    Kelly, you will get more responses if you change your avatar Smiley smile

    You will get varied responses on this topic as well.

    In your case, why not wear the dress? Walking with your dad and having bridesmaids, well, some may consider that over the top if you're happy with it, then do it.

    I give you a lot of credit that you have your monies to host your guests saved (food, drinks and a seat for every culo) and you're not asking for gifts.

    • Reply
  • Holly
    Master February 2017
    Holly ·
    • Flag

    Some people suggest against the "firsts" like dances etc. But honestly as long as you host your guests well I say do what you want. Agree that a registry/shower wouldn't be very appropriate since you're already established. But everything else, why not?

    • Reply
  • Jaimee
    Master October 2019
    Jaimee ·
    • Flag

    It would be a vow renewal.

    If you wanna splurge on that and you can financially, go ahead.

    Personally, I'd say no wedding party because you're just renewing your vows.

    I see no problem in your dad walking you down the aisle.

    No dances, but go ahead with a cake and photographer.

    Honestly, when you get into the wedding party and the first dance stuff, etc., it begins to look like you're just throwing a Pretty Princess Day, which is problematic for several reasons.

    1. It's shitting on your courthouse wedding. The PPD just screams "that wasn't good enough for me" and insults those who *wanted* to do a courthouse wedding.

    2. If people know you're married, they'll think it's tacky and show-boaty. Likewise, if they don't know you're already married and find out at the reception, they'll also think it's tacky and show-boaty.

    I think you can do something more extravagant, but you gotta cut certain things out.

    Have your dad walk you down. Do your vow renewal on your wedding anniversary. Have a nice party after with catered food and a cake. Hire a photographer to capture the day.

    • Reply
  • R&B2016
    VIP October 2016
    R&B2016 ·
    • Flag

    White dress is fine, Dad walking down the aisle is fine. I would say eh to the bridal party. Just have your girls get ready with you and take pictures with you, but to have them stand up with you is a little weird!

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Knolle
    Master July 2016
    Mrs. Knolle ·
    • Flag

    As long as everyone attending the vow renewal knows you are already married then you are starting out great etiquette wise. I see no problem having your dad walk you down the aisle but he is not giving you away since you are already married. You don't need a bridal party since, once again, you are already married. I would be careful using the word wedding in any way. Get a big fancy cake, but it's not a wedding cake. Wear a big white dress and have a party. I don't think having a first dance is appropriate for a vow renewal though.

    • Reply
  • FutureFuji
    VIP September 2017
    FutureFuji ·
    • Flag

    My sister got married in Ireland (where her husband is from) and had a reception here in California about 2 months later for people who couldn't travel. She opted for a Sunday brunch event because it would be less formal and we all wore our wedding outfits, gave toasts etc. She had cupcakes over a cake, no flowers and I can't remember about dances but I think they did them. No ceremony reenactment though. Everyone knew they were already married and just wanted a chance to be a part of it and to see her in her dress.

    Are you sure you want a whole vow renewal? Maybe you could just do a reception or something? In the end, whatever you do should be whatever feels right to you and FH. Also if you have good pictures from your CH wedding you could have a slideshow going during the event!

    • Reply
  • Megan
    Savvy February 2017
    Megan ·
    • Flag

    You do what you want. A big, White Dress wedding doesn't have to be a legally binding ceremony because it's literally just a structured party. It's just a party. If you want to go all out, with bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc., then do it. The *only* thing that'll be missing is the part regarding the wedding license because you've already taken care of that.

    So go all out for whatever you two can afford. That *includes* things like having a registry. Did you have a registry for your courthouse wedding? Did you have a bridal shower before your courthouse wedding? Did you have a wedding party that you took pictures with? If you answered no, then *do it*. Taking care of the legal aspect of your marriage ahead of time doesn't negate the fact that you're allowed EVERYTHING that comes with a wedding, including gifts and being in the limelight.

    Doing a big, White Dress wedding for your vow renewal doesn't shit on your courthouse wedding. It's not tacky. It's not even problematic in any way. It's you two having the wedding ceremony you want with your loved ones. It is common for many, many people across the US to do things this way and has been since the 1950s. Don't let other people's personal preferences stop you from doing what *you* want for *your* wedding.

    Do it, Kelly. All of it. You'll be much happier afterward.

    • Reply
  • Midwest May
    VIP May 2016
    Midwest May ·
    • Flag

    I know I'm old-school and just old, but no, I find it as pp said show-boaty to do anything after the actual wedding other than a typical party. As big and fancy as you want party, but no re-enactment, no ceremony, and nothing that goes along with a "ceremony". Wear your dress if you must, Or get a new one that's in-line with the celebration... Sure, have a first dance as the party hosts. But the rest of it, honestly, what's the point other than to draw attention to yourselves and pretend to be something other than you are for a night. Just being yourselves and hosting a celebration party will be just as much fun. You will still get plenty of attention, good will and no side eye.

    • Reply
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    Midwest, why can't she reenact? That's a big part of a vow renewal. The rest is a party.

    Isn't the point of a wedding for the couple to be the center of attention? And it appears she intends to host her guests properly, at least we are hoping so.

    You did up your anniversary, as I remember, weren't you the center of attention?

    • Reply
  • stacey
    Savvy September 2017
    stacey ·
    • Flag

    We're planning a vow renewal also. We went to the courthouse and we missed out on all those things. Almost twenty years later were doing it, including our kids to stand in. It's not called showboating!! Do what makes you happy, you can't worry about others opinions. Your family and friends should understand. Good luck to you and have fun with it..

    • Reply
  • Beatrice
    Master June 2017
    Beatrice ·
    • Flag

    Don't have a registry @Megan is wrong on that

    • Reply
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    Agreed Beatrice and op wasn't planning on it (as I am sure you saw).

    I am thinking I am more swayed because of the military element.

    • Reply
  • StephanieNaz
    VIP August 2017
    StephanieNaz ·
    • Flag

    I am doing a vow renewal. Very intimate, 30 people at most. I am not doing a big formal dress as it is on the beach. I am having a bridal party. Weird I know but there is a reason. No first dance or anything like that. No shower of course.

    I am praying no one gives a gift apart from a sentimental message.

    In your case, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. You are going to get mixed opinions.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    You're allowed to do whatever you want. Some of it depends on whether people know you're married or not.

    Don't have a registry. That seems weird, and I can't even tell you why.

    Do whatever you want. Call it whatever you want.

    I'm honestly worn out from answering this question because the answers always seem so random. A big dress is okay, but a bridal party isn't? There is no logic to that.

    IN GENERAL, I personally think that once you're looking at years from your original wedding, it's clearly a vow renewal and should be treated as such. Renew your vows (don't reenact your wedding vows) don't have a big bridal party, have your dad walk you if you want.

    • Reply
  • Sara T.
    Beginner April 2018
    Sara T. ·
    • Flag

    My Hubby and I are having a 10 year vow renewal soon and have decided to basically do what we want with it. The list of etiquette for vow renewals is so varied

    .

    I am doing things a bit differently than a wedding but not much. I am wearing a wedding dress, Hubs is wearing a suit, my boys will walk me down the aisle, and we'll exchange vows. We may or may not have the first dance, we are having a cake, dj and a photographer.

    I think it is totally up to you and what you want. If guest have an issue with any of it they can chose not to go or enjoy the party and the occasion.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Expert July 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Hey Kelly! Congrats. My husband is also a marine so I totally understand where you are coming from. With that being said: In July we will be having our wedding. There will be a big ceremony with a bridal party, a beautiful white wedding dress and my dad walking me down the aisle. Afterwards there will be a reception with food, drinking, first dances and a big ol wedding cake.

    There has been a lot of posts lately mentioning this topic and I wanted to say something about it. Honestly your wedding happens when you want it to happen. People have very different opinions on marriage and what a wedding entails. If you consider going to the courthouse your wedding then plan a vow renewal. If going to the courthouse was not your idea of a wedding then plan a wedding.

    There is no right or wrong. Do what you think is best.

    • Reply
  • Mrs.KatieK
    Master September 2016
    Mrs.KatieK ·
    • Flag

    Your wedding is when you and your husband first said your "I do's" and signed the marriage certificate.

    I have no problem with vow renewals. I still have mixed feelings about full disclosure with it. Part of me would be hurt and upset if I had just spent time and money attending a fake wedding.

    I do agree, however, that having a vow renewal does not give you free license to throw etiquette out of the window. Celia gave really good advice.

    ETA: wow, I used the wrong form of "your"...

    • Reply
  • Cassandra7
    Super August 2006
    Cassandra7 ·
    • Flag

    If there is no right or wrong and you get to do what you want, why write to an etiquette board? For permission to ignore etiquette?

    My advice, which I don't think is what you want, is to have an anniversary party. Period. No big dress, no aisle, no vows, no cake cutting, no first dance, no escorts, no bouquets--it's not a wedding. You may not have had the wedding you dreamed of (which of us did?), but you did have your wedding. It was whatever happened when you were legally married.

    • Reply
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    We're not an etiquette board, just a forum, we give advice, opinions, we laugh and cry.

    • Reply
  • Jaimee
    Master October 2019
    Jaimee ·
    • Flag

    Stacey, I would appreciate it if, when quoting me in the future, you would interpret what I said correctly.

    I was not describing OP's plans as show-boaty. I was describing in certain scenarios, specifically the PPD one, where it would come across as such to the guests.

    In fact, in my post, I was rather supportive of OP's idea (giving her suggestions to avoid the PPD comparison), so I don't see the need to cite the aforementioned term when I wasn't using it to refer to OP's intended plans anyways.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

Groups

WeddingWire article topics