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Can I Wear a Real Wedding Dress for Vow Renewal

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#1 User is offline   sunj

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My husband & I are planning to renew our wedding vows this year on our anniversary. We want close friends and family to attend. (Not a large affair) I have been doing some reading & I guess the dress for a renewal should be informal. Well, when we got married I just wore a dress that you would wear to church, so one of the things that I want different this time is that I want a "real" wedding dress. Is this going to be ok?

#2 User is offline   the_admin

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No, since this is not a wedding, and you are not a bride, you won't wear a wedding dress. However, the dress can be as formal as the event you're planning. Just select something that coordinates with the type of event you're hosting. There are many beautiful choices. Select something appropriate for your age, venue and the fact that you are already a wife. Remember, renewing your vows should be all about the ceremony, vows and the feelings between you and your husband and is not a wedding do-over. Make that your focus. You can read more about dresses for vow renewals here.
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#3 User is offline   Etiquette Now

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I completely agree. With planning a vow renewal, proper etiquette is very important so your guests receive it well. After all, it could seem as if you want to dress up and play bride and groom for the day, which is probably not the affect you want. So, please also read more about vow renewal etiquette.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now

#4 User is offline   sunj

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Thank you for your advise. I have found a dress that I really like. It is a white dress (I know that's ok) floor length but there's no train. It's just a straight bottom. The back laces up above the hips and it has wide straps on the top. It is very pretty but not extremely formal. Will a dress like this work?

#5 User is offline   the_admin

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As long as the dress couldn't be mistaken for a bridal gown and matches the formality of your venue, time of day, etc. you should be fine.
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#6 User is offline   sunj

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Thank you again for your advise. I am afraid that possibly someone mistake it but on the other hand, I doubt that we will ever plan something like this again & my only regret from our wedding is not having a dress that I liked. So, I am confused as to what I should do and to what I would really like to do.

#7 User is offline   the_admin

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Well, if you're asking what would be perceived positively by your guests, then my answer would be to select a dress that does not look like a wedding dress. We get a lot of posts from guests who have a negative reaction seeing a wife in a bridal gown. Some even snicker. Plus, since the vow renewal is not a gift giving event, it may seem to your guests as though you're pretending to have a wedding in order to gain gifts.

It is unfortunate that you didn't plan the wedding you wanted. but, you are already married, and not a bride. of course, this is your personal decision.
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#8 User is offline   sunj

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We are going to be sure to let everyone that we invite no gifts, that we only want our family & friends to share this time with us. As with the planning it's just that we are more financialy able to plan now than we were 10 years ago. My husband even suprised me just yesterday with the engagement ring that goes with the new wedding set he has bought me. I am getting more confused. I don't want to look crazy.

#9 User is offline   the_admin

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Vow renewals are not gift giving events. Unless your guests ask, you won't mention gifts at all.

If you want to be appropriate, select a dress appropriate for a wife at a vow renewal as described.

I'm sorry that you couldn't afford a more elaborate wedding back then. Many of us have regrets about our weddings. But, we're already married and we don't get a do-over. You can have a wonderful vow renewal ceremony which focuses on the love you and your husband have for one another. It makes much more sense and can be a wonderfully emotional experience for a couple to plan and host.
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