Vow Renewal Dress Question: My husband and I did not have a traditional wedding when we married nearly 30 years ago. I didn’t have a wedding dress or him a tux and we had only a small informal gathering after the ceremony. We have always felt we left things undone and now that we have the money we want do renew our vows in hoping of gaining the “wedding memory” we didn’t have before.
I keep reading that a wedding dress is inappropriate. This breaks my heart. We have a dear friend who is a minister and we have asked him to do the renewal ceremony and we want to have a nice reception for our family and close friends, probably around 100 people or so. We wouldn’t dream of asking for gifts. I do feel that is inappropriate, so we are going to state no gifts please, cards welcome. We are going to have a band or DJ so we can dance the night away. I am a cake decorator and am going to do the cake myself. But what am I to do about my dress? That is where I’m really stuck. Please help.
Remarriage Expert Answers:
I’m sorry that after all these years you still feel as though you missed out on something. Think about this; Many women who DID get to wear a wedding dress can’t celebrate a 30th anniversary. I’d have traded my wedding dress (and all of the “stuff” that went along with it) to have been able to celebrate another anniversary with my husband. He died shortly after we celebrated our third year together. Just want to help you put it all in perspective.
You have a lot to celebrate and having a vow renewal ceremony with a reception afterward sounds terrific. Although the dress shouldn’t be a wedding dress, or resemble one, you can certainly buy a beautiful dress to wow your husband, even after all these years!
I’d love to see a photo of the dress you end up choosing. Hope you’ll come on back and share with us.
Advice to all brides, don’t get married until you can have the wedding of your dreams because you will spend your life kicking yourself if you don’t:
Thank you for your advice. We’ve discussed your response and decided that if it is inappropriate to have the ceremony we missed out on with the dress and tux, there is no point in having it at all. We certainly don’t want to look foolish to our family and friends. It was out own fault, we should have waited until we could have the wedding of our dreams, unfortunately I know there are a lot of people who can’t afford a nice wedding when they are young and in love. It is a shame when you have to miss out on something so beautiful when you only get to live once.
I suppose it depends on your idea of a dream wedding and what’s important. To me, it’s all about the ceremony and the vows. The rest is just fluff… There are plenty of ways to have a very nice wedding on a budget, you just have to be creative. The issue seems to come from couples who assume they can marry now and have their “real wedding” later. That notion feeds into a very bad entitlement issue (I want it all and I want it now – my marry for benefits or so that they can live together now without guilt) and takes the focus off what’s really important – marrying the person you love, witnessed by the rest of your loved ones.
But, your words are good advice to all brides who think they will spend the rest of their lives regretting the wedding they planned.
of course, you can have a wedding vow renewal and celebration to follow – it’s just not a wedding. But it can be a beautiful celebration of your marriage. I’d encourage you in that direction.
I do hope you can find a way to be happy with your decision and current situation.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now:
Thank you for sharing this! It really helps others. And, I’m sorry you feel like you missed out.
My husband and I will be renewing our vows in one more year. It is a private affair with just us two, so we don’t need to worry about how it appears. Still, we will dress in nice cocktail attire (excuse to buy a nice dress!) and celebrate the event with a nice private dinner overlooking the ocean. This is perfect for us. Perhaps you can find some way of celebrating that suits you.
WOW – congrats Rebecca. What anniversary is this? Thank you Rebecca for your response as well. We do celebrate every single year and of course over the years the anniversary celebration is nicer than before because our money situation has improved. We were actually in Beverly Hills over our 29th anniversary and that is when he asked me to renew the vows. That is why we thought it was possible to have the wedding we couldn’t afford before. We will continue with our yearly vacations and just cherish the vows we took the first time around. Happy Anniversary to you and many more.
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