Wedding? Or renewal of vows?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@kittykatcole:  Congratulations! You were married last year at the courthouse. You cannot have another wedding unless you divorce your husband.

It’s also too soon for a vow renewal, in my opinion. A vow renewal is only appropriate for a milestone anniversary, if that. I’m not a fan of vow renewals in general – vows are for life, they shouldn’t have to be “renewed.”

That said, there’s no reason you can’t have a big party in July. Just don’t call it a wedding and leave out all wedding stuff – that means no wedding dress, no bridal party, no registry, no “first dance,” etc. Cake is ok, because cake is always ok. 🙂

Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

@kittykatcole:  I would suggest hosting a party in ‘Celebration of your Marriage’ but you are already married.  You can’t really do vows, ceremony, etc but you can sure have a kick ass party to celebrate it!

Post # 5
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LDay1983:  +1 “Celebration of Marriage”

Post # 6
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@kittykatcole:  The difference between ‘marriage’ and ‘wedding’ is that the first is the state of being legally joined, while the second is an event where the couple’s union is being celebrated. I live in an area where military couples will get married, and have the wedding at a later point in time. At the wedding I went to, the vows were the same, as if the couple was being married for the first time, the only difference is that no legal documents were being signed or filed. The couple considered it a wedding with their friends and family. They had wedding on their invites, and had a registry, as they did not have one when they had the legal ceremony. I already knew they were legally married, and feel they had every right to have a wedding.

I have seen similar threads on here with varying opinions.

Post # 7
1527 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would say, do whatever you want, inlcuding registry, etc, as long as you are honest with your friends and family.  I think celebration of our marriage, of coming togethor, or whatever you want is fine.   I would also check with your officicant to see if he/she is OK with whatever you want to do.

Post # 8
11 posts

My childhood babysitter was married before her wedding– even had her facebook name changed! But she lived out of state and was finishing school and I think they did the courthouse marriage early for insurance reasons. She had the wedding about a year later and had a beautiful ceremony. I dont think you should have to miss out on the bridal experience if there was a reason that you didnt have the wedding right away.

Post # 9
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

What about a blessing of your union? You could still say vows to each other, get dressed up etc.

Post # 10
11593 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You get one wedding per marriage.  A wedding is when your vows are made and you are legally joined as husband and wife.  For you, this was in the courthouse last year. 

Could you do this as an anniversary party or something like that?

Post # 11
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Are you planning to have another ceremony where you exchange vows again or this just a reception?  Party no vows seems like the best way to honor the faxt you already made promises to each other.

@LDay1983:  I agree. Invite them to a celebration. 

Register for ggifts, people will probably want to gift you. Don’t add it on your invite just make it easy to find online if someone was looking for it.

Post # 12
27 posts

I say that you should be honest and say that it’s a vow renewal. But despite what a lot of people will come on here and say (and I KNOW they will, because unfortunately there is a lot of anti-vow renewal sentiment on here), that doesn’t mean you can’t treat it just like a normal wedding! Wear a pretty dress. Heck, wear a big white dress if you want. Restate your vows to each other. Have a bridal party. Have a first dance. Do whatever you would’ve done at your first wedding. And for goodness sake, have it whatever year you want to have it on–at the rate people divorce these days, I consider one year a milestone!

Just because some may state the opinion (and yes it is an OPINION) that “vow renewals are only appropriate for “milestone” years, if even that”, doesn’t mean that it’s a fact. Also, just because some don’t like the idea of vow renewals at all, doesn’t mean you can’t have one. Military couples often have very quick (but still meaningful might I add, before getting flamed for suggesting courthouse ceremonies aren’t real weddings) courthouse ceremonies so that they can receive the benefits only provided to spouses, not boyfriends or girlfriends. Many of them go on to have the vow renewal of their dreams, the kind of wedding celebration that they wish they could’ve had more time to plan before. And in other countries, sometimes the legal marriage ALWAYS takes place before the symbolic or religious ceremony. Would any of you who are so anti-vow renewal deny them that?

I’m sure I’ll get flamed for my opinion, and that’s why I rarely ever post. But it’s okay. I really feel for you because you’ll probably get flamed for wanting a vow renewal or especially wondering if you should call it a wedding. Like I said, vow renewal discussions get very (and sometimes very unreasonably) heated sometimes. Please, if it’s what you want, have your vow renewal, and do it up just as you want!


Post # 13
2878 posts
Sugar bee

@Bella83:  I share the same opinion. To me, a wedding as a family celebration is distinct from the legal part of it. You can have both at the same event, and you can do it separately. I think the whole ”two families reunite and become 1” is very important to many people (including myself), so I wouldn’t consider I had a ”wedding” even if I had already signed papers at the courthouse and my legal status had changed. I leave the papers doing their job for the government, but on a social perspective, I need to exchange vows in front of my family, and have our family meet each other and spend time with them. That’s what a wedding is all about for me and FI. We definitely wouldn’t go through the stress of planning and spending thousands of dollars into food and alcohol for them if we didn’t feel we needed our family around.

While I’m fine with the idea that a couple wants to have this kind of wedding because they couldn’t when they got legally married, I would still make sure it’s well known among your guests that you are already legally married (have your families spread the word).

And I would call it whatever you like and feels okay with, OP. 

Post # 14
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

@kittykatcole:  as long as you’re honest and upfront with all your guests, do what you want. I agree with pp, “blessing of your marriage”, “celebration of your marriage” are more appropriate than calling it a “wedding”. Still can be quite formal though!


Post # 16
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Do whatever you want. You want a poofy white dress? Go on with your bad self. Some extra vows never hurt anyone. Call it a celebration of marriage, blessing of the marriage, wedding, or vow renewal.

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