(Closed) Wedding, Reaffirmation of vows, Vow renewal, church wedding, what can I call it?

posted 11 years ago in Vow Renewals
Post # 3
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

You can have a Vow Renewal however you wish it to be!  If you google some celebrities, many of them have elaborate vow renewals in fact, but it need not be that.

Make it your day.  Just remember, that God WAS present on your day at that courthouse and it was wonderful, sacred, and just as important as any vow said in any cathedral.

I would not call it a wedding, because you are already married.  I would say something like,

"Please celebrate with us on such and such day as we re-dedicate our lives to one another and exchange renwal of wedding vows."

Consult your stationary expert to ask for their thoughts on this as well.


Post # 4
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I don’t think you should call it a wedding- then some people may think that you weren’t married before you had your son.  While there is nothing wrong with that- you and your husband did commit to each other before you decided to start your family.  I think that’s wonderful and special and should be recognized.

I think vow renewal is a good description.  Maybe say something like, "Three years ago Lissie and Darling Husband took vows to one another.  Now they want to reaffirm those vows in front of their friends and family"

Also- I think you should have the wedding you want.  While most think renewals shouldn’t be as involved as weddings, but who cares.  You’re still young and you are obviously happily married- go for it.

Post # 5
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I agree that you shouldn’t indicate that it is a wedding.  I’m guessing too, that your guests already know that you’ve been married for three years, even if it was by a Justice of the Peace.

However, I disagree about that your vows in a courthouse were as sacred as vows taken in a house of God.  Vows in a courthouse by a Justice of the Peace are secular, legally defined marriage.  They are only certificates that give you the entitlement to all things the law provides to married people.  I support your decision to have a vow renewal in your church.  These are the vows that are in front of God, and use words of God.  They are also vows to God.

I don’t know how your church typically phrases these things.  You might want to ask your pastor when you meet with him.  Many churches do so many things differently, I think some of this you’ll have to ask your pastor.  But I would guess you’d be OK with a Bridal Party.

Without knowing, I would simply suggest saying something like Mr. and Mrs. Ladylissie request your presence at their vow renewal, before God on…."

Post # 6
329 posts
Helper bee
  • V
  • 11 years ago

Actually, as a person going thru the same thing…It’s a WEDDING! 

In the eyes of the church only one ceremony matters…the one in the church by the church. I was talking to my priest (catholic) just yesterday 01.31.09 and in his own words "if you’re a catholic, legal papers just won’t do, you’re having your catholic wedding in the church in front of god and the people you love, it’s a sacrament, it’s a church wedding."

I’m not kidding…you’re having a wedding, yay!

It would be a renewal of vows if you were doing the city hall thing all over again or just a friend as an officiant since you really don’t sign anything. I’m assuming you will sign your church records which is something you HAVEN’T done before. 

Post # 7
329 posts
Helper bee
  • V
  • 11 years ago

p.s. just to clarify…my priest didn’t mean legal papers mean nothing is just that to a catholic or religious person most of the time a legal ceremony does not feel as real as the church wedding does…and I agree. We are legally married and have been for a while but neither our parents and some of our relatives who are ALL catholic felt it was the real deal…yes, maybe a little old fashioned and definitely not a put down to civil ceremonies…but it did make a difference and now everyone’s excited we’re having a wedding…a church wedding.

For your invites leave it as:

1. a wedding

2. a religious celebration of our marriage 

Good luck! 

Post # 8
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

V, thank you so much for posting this. I too am going through the same thing. Originally my husband and I had planned an elaborate wedding and then we post poned and wound up getting married this past October in a Courthouse.

But I really really want a wedding and also being Catholic I really want a Catholic wedding. So he to has also agreed to have a "Wedding" But thank you for your post I was getting discouraged and really hate the wording of Vow renewal or re-dedicating and etc…

So with that said I agree call it a Wedding, just because you got married in a court house, and now want to plan a wedding why should we miss out on all of the fun! 🙂

Post # 9
18 posts
  • Wedding: October 2008

My husband and I renewed our vows after 12 years of marriage. I found a terrific book written by Sharon Nayor, Renewing Your Wedding Vows: A Complete Guide.  I found it the only resource for renewing one’s vows.

We had a family unity candle, prayer, and our teenage son walked me down the aisle and stood up with us.  I did have a good friend be part of the ceremony.


Post # 10
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I am so glad to see this post, I was just freaking out over my wedding. I’m calling it a wedding, that’s what it is to me, but for invites and all, it’s being called a vow renewal. And I’m pretty much breaking most etiquette rules for it, lol. Your supposedly not supposed to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, um yea, I’ve been married 3 years and I never got any of this, so hell yea, I am having bridesmaids and groomsmen! I’m almost in the same position as you though. I got married at 19, at the department of motor vehicle (wow, how romantic!) when I was like 3 months pregnant! We didn’t have rings, we wore tshirts and jeans, and I want my wedding damnit.

I’m going all out, well as all out as a 3k budget can, lol. Hooray for having weddings after we’ve been married a while!

Post # 11
1 posts
  • Wedding: February 2010

ahhhh okay, so i love what everyone is talking about here with yay we can call it a wedding. but i’m STUCK still!!

my situation is very similar minus the church thing

so here it is…

michael and i married when i was 19 as well, in the governemtn center. wearing jeans a t shirt… our witness was the only person in town that we knew.. well, the only person that hew knew rather.

he is in the air force and i had moved out to be with him just a couple weeks before we married.

i am one of those people that has always dreamed ofhaving a wedding. mostly becuase i want a day where I CAN FINALLY feel like ITS MY DAY! and feel BEAUTIFUL! finally mmeeee ya know?

basically a day where i can put ona gorgeous wedding dress and be surrounded by beautiful woldflowers.


i never imagined myself doing it in the church rather doing it barefoot on grass. surrounded by nature.



every single time NO JOKE every time my family is together for atleast half an hour, the fighting becomes so wicked that we threaten to never speak to one another again or fists start flying.

its more about words than anything physical. it gets really bad.

my family is also the kind of fmaily that doesnt think before they speak…

so i can deff see fighting going on between my fmaily and michaels family becuae their beliefs in everything politcal and religous and what not are TOTALLY OPPOSITE nad VERY STRONG on both ends.

both subjects are the 2 subjects both families care most about.

which has lead my husband and i to have a sign on our wall in our home that says no politics no religion no controversy.


i really dont want my families fighting like crazy.

our dresses and tuxes would most likely get ruined.

also the fact that we really can only afford like a $500 wedding total! soooo i really don’t seeit happening.

our anniversary is on feb 15th. our 2 year is coming up… any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

if i could just be in my dress with him in his tux with a few friends and our 6 month old son whom will be 8 n months at that time….with some flowwerss. than ugh that’d be great



Post # 12
4485 posts
Honey bee

It’s a renewal of vows. By definition, a wedding is the act of getting married. Since you already took that step, you technically can’t have another wedding to the same person.

Post # 13
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

Okay dear…heres my POV…take or leave it…


My “husband” is Coast Guard. We were high-school sweethearts, we’ve been together for currently 6 1/2 years and working on our 4 year marriage anniversary. This is how we feel.

After graduation, he proposed (after 2yrs together), I accepted. He joined the military for career at age 17. I went to college. Two years passed and we remained engaged, him in Texas, myself in Alabama. He came from a very close family. Family is a big deal to him. I came from a family that loves each other, but also loves to be miles away from each other and only has to see each other for holidays. He hated being without me and without his family after all we had been basically with each everyday for 2 years…one year prior and now he didn’t have anyone…And I started to get bored with school. I got to a point that I wasn’t able to pass a particular set of classes despite how well I had done through out the rest of school. I began to wonder if I had chosen the right field. Our relationship started to suffer and neither one of us was happy so after some pretty extreme events, he drove home all night long one night and told me he was going to go A-Wall until I said I would move back with him. Craziest thing I every did. So that week I finished up the classes I was taking (which I did okay in) and told my parents I was moving out, that I would figure out how to do it on my own. They were furious, hurt, sad, disappointed, but nothing could stop me. We had tried for 2 years to do everything right, finish school, get his career started, stay engaged over long distance, but the only thing we hadn’t tried was the one thing we didn’t want to do…just what we were about to do…the wrong thing. Well, two months passed, we managed to get our own place, with a little help from the military as far as keeping me a secret and allowing me an extended vacation in the bachelor gov’t leased apt. with permission (which is a big no-no even with permission). I had a good stable job (by the first day I was out there) and was already back in school, doing farely well, and paying out of pocket…mind you no allowances or help from the military as we were not married. We were too stubborn to get married. We were going to do it right. Then I got sick, and thankfully I recovered w/o needing the help of doctors or insurance which I had neither at this point. My parents finally gave in and gave us their “blessing” which was half of why weren’t married…we didn’t want to upset anyone, we just wanted to be together, we both do better together (still to this day, were best friends, and were a package, we live our own lives, but do it better together) They begged us to please just go to the Justice of the Peace stop being so hardheaded and trying to do it all own our own, we have proved enough already, and event sent us a nice big check for a gift to both pay for the services and as a wedding present. Which was the other half. His parents had no way to pay, nor did we, but my family who was very capable, refused. Not b/c they didn’t want us married, but they like to keep to themselves.. especially my side (which is split and has been since I was 5 …x’s 3 divorces on each side) So I too, would say, they don’t get along and they DEF didn’t want to celebrate together something like this. But ultimately, they didn’t want to host it. Weddings, really any functions, they don’t like to participate, they’re loners and don’t like company per se. So they did agree at one time to send us on a cruise, or a trip even, some kind of eloping event. That wasn’t at all why we wanted a ceremony. Our reasons weren’t vain….It was just (esp since I had become so close to his family) we wanted to celebrate, the uniting of 2 families, of several members, not just ourselves..Family is a big tradition in my Husb. and My eyes/our family. It was important for us to have a moment that was a milestone for this.

Well we went to the Justice of the Peace, not on our anniversary as we had atleast wanted, and just did it. Our vows that day, were provided by them, were so special. They were completely religious, and although my husb is just getting to touch the relig. side of his life now, Christiainity was a big deal for me as I was raised southern baptist (but on my own, as no one ever went to church with me, even as a child, and I was nvr a regular, but I was in my life). I couldn’t have picked or wrote, esp at that time as marriage teaches you so much what vows really are and mean, more perfect vows for us. But we still agreed: It was still imperative that we share this with our family, so it was said then that if it did not happen in a year, we would do it on our 5 year.

Guess What!? Next tues. my wedding dress will be delievered to my house. I recieved the tiara, yesterday and veil by friday. We have a year and a half until that day but everyday we chunck a few more pennies into the event by buying gently used or preowned items. I am a crafter and I also work for a craft store (yes I def. use that to my adv.) and I do weddings (tiny budget) and showers on the side for dear friends, as often as stuff like that happens around us all the time due to military. Its always worth it to make someones budget go so far. I did a wedding a year ago for 2 dear friends of mine, and had a bystander walk up off the beach and ask who was the planner…the little help that I had pointed at me. She asked “This is so beautiful, What do you charge?” I thought we were going to have to call an EMT when I said nothing. The bride spent about 200.00 on decor and well I just put it all together with a few things from my personal crafting stuff. She looked at me and said… I paid $2000 for my daughters decor and it wasn’t half as beautiful as this…

This happens to me all the time.. I love to put together events but I now refuse to do it as a business as it takes away the passion and fun. However, I use what I have for myself. Right now its time. It doesnt matter how much your budget is, its what it means, A $500.00 wedding can be just as beautiful because it was so long waited for, or so badly wanted…vs. a 20K wedding that just had it b/c life delt the right cards. Its what it means…which ultimately brings me to my final points.

Our wedding (as I refer to it) is a vow renewal ceremony and a wedding. I haven’t decided the exact wording yet all though I love “One this day…. I will marry my best friend….(AGAIN!)” or “I do, AGAIN!”. The thing is it is a wedding, b/c NO we never had one. We went to a court house and got married. WE HAD A MARRIAGE PREFORMED. We are going to have a wedding ((a ceremony celebrating two people (most often) in marriage)). See we never had a ceremony.

You call it whatever your heart desires.

Other things we will have or not have are as follows…

we will have a bridal party (6 females: 6 males) as of the moment

-these are people that have influenced our marriage in the last 5 years.

we will not have a best man/maid of honor….

-however we will have our dog there wearing a referee shirt (as people love to joke about our “fight club” and bickering…we are a married couple thats for sure. That shirt will have a veil attached on back, as she married into this family too… there will be words on the shirt that say “Best Dog of Honor”.

-Next, I too have dreamed of an outside wedding, but not beach, but on grass, but I haven’t decided on shoes yet…lol

-My family doesn’t like to come to these things, and b/c when we tried to celebrate the first round a bout, everyone went nuts and didn’t like it for what knot reasons, we are not telling them…They’ll just find out when they get the invite…this helps out in a lot of ways. First, they dont critize that we are wasting our money or that it is pointless, they will come as they know what it means to us…they will be civilized, only b/c family members have a way of doing that when theyre suppose too. We do exactly what we want…i.e. if I want the dog in the wed, the dog shall be in the wed. Same with alcohol. And then theyre not chuncking money at us and holding it over our heads in the following years..if and once they receive their invite they decide they want to help, then if we need it will take it, but by this time, everything will be taken care of mostly so o well.

We do remain in our budget by being flexible. If something we really have always wanted isn’t available to us…we improvise but only to things that dont change our entire idea…we wont look back and regret that.

And last, one point I keep coming across that doesnt involve the family or wording is very similar. I want a military ceremony, husband isn’t quite on board yet, we’ll fig that out soon, I may to compromise for instance, but I have to rem its his wedding too…and he actuallyd does care….but back to my point if we do, we have several groomsmen that will be in uniform and there in itself is a debate…A lot of people feel both ways, that it is wonderful and ideal, saves money, and represents something more, something unique only 10% of the world can share and reminds us of something greater, and ultimately, in my opinion is our life, it puts bread on the table it tells us where to go and what to do, and as a wife, I have to give in, I have no choice on a lot of things. However, others believe it is disrespectful, esp to the groom. I disagree. As what I have read mostly states that a military cerem is to honor and respect the bride and it is to honor her request, as it is her day. Basically once my hus and I agree on whether or not were going to do it, if we do, then its our choice, AGAIN, to prove my point, do what you want…its your/yalls day, not your families or anybody else who criticizes what you should call it b/c those are just words, etiquitte is a thing of opinion too! 

May you have a happy ever after when and however you decide to celebrate it! God bless!

Post # 14
48 posts
  • Wedding: February 2010

Technically you could call it whichever you like. By definition the word wedding has a few meanings, one of which is a celebration of an anniversary! Personally though, I would just call it a renewal of vows! 🙂

Post # 15
3 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

Its a wedding! I am dissapointed that all you women are saying ” Don’t call it a wedding.” Gesh not everyone has the same story and by saying that you are taking away some womans dream of her wedding. I am married already- my husbannd is in the USAF and we were moving all other the country and we did a courthouse wedding if you will before he started pilot training. And now we are doing the traditional wedding. It does not make my wedding day any less important than someone other lady who isnt married yet. Call it a wedding, a party but don’t listen to people who want to steal your joy. 

Post # 16
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

A wedding involves a bride and a groom.

The only way you and your husband could marry again is if you divorced each other first.

Your ceremony would be called a vow renewal. Your guests will be confused if you call it a wedding because you are already married.

I think it all depends on what your wishes are, as well as how your ideas will be received by your guests.

No wedding party for my husband and I when we renew our vows, but we will have favors, wear wedding attire and have a first dance without announcing it as such.

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