Who says you can't walk down the aisle, wear a gorgeous gown, say "I Do" to the person you love, and celebrate with family and friends…twice?
A vow renewal is a perfect way to celebrate your marriage and tell your spouse you would marry them all over again. It's also a nice way to celebrate milestones: maybe you've had a decade together, or you've made it to your silver anniversary. Perhaps your kids have begged you to please have a ceremony that they get to see and be a part of. Whatever the reason, getting hitched a second time can be just as magical and meaningful as the first. There are lots of variables, just like the first wedding, that you will need to settle as you navigate the planning.
Where should it be?
The options here are pretty broad: a second ceremony at the location you had your first is a nostalgic choice. Other great options include places that are meaningful to you: the beach where you first walked holding hands, a picturesque park the two of you often visit, a favorite vacation destination-it should be anywhere that holds value to you both.
Should you have a wedding party?
Attendants aren't necessary at a renewal, but you might choose to have your original bridesmaids and groomsmen stand with you. This is also a great place for your children and grandchildren to step in and be a part. You might also include friends you've made during the years of your marriage.
What should you wear?
If you're the bride, why not consider your original wedding gown if you're comfortable with it? Other options include a formal gown, a favorite dress, or a suit, depending on the style, location, and formality of the occasion. The groom could wear his original suit, his military uniform (if he served), or a tux. Small touches include a boutonniere in the lapel or a hat in lieu of a veil. It also might be fun to have something old, new, borrowed, and blue.
Now to one of the sweeter moments:
Who should walk you down the aisle?
Having your children walk you down is a great way for them to be included. You can also have a relative do the honors, or you could even both walk down together.
How should the actual ceremony look?
This can include elements from your first wedding: the songs, the professional, even the vows. This might also be a good time to write new vows, reaffirming the love you share now that you've grown and changed together. After the vows are spoken, you exchange rings, either the original rings or new rings for the occasion. Have your children, grandchildren, other relatives or friends do a reading, and be sure to include special music.
Almost anyone can officiate the ceremony since this isn't a legally binding ceremony. Suggestions include a pastor or priest, a judge, one of your children, another relative, or a close friend.
What about a reception?
The reception can be anything you want it to be: informal and casual or a black-tie affair. Again, it all depends on the tone of the wedding and the venue you've chosen. Go ahead and cut the cake and toast with champagne. Bring the old wedding album so friends and family can see how you've changed. Toast family members and friends. If you have music and plenty of room, why not have dancing, too?
What not to do
As much as the renewal will be like the wedding, there are a few things that should be. Don't have a bachelor/bachelorette party. Know that this is not the time to have a gift registry. Above all, host the ceremony and reception and let your parents simply be guests.
A second wedding can be a sweet and meaningful way to tell your spouse that you would do it all over again. Here's to you-again!