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Dress for a vow renewal that doesn't look like a wedding gown.

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#1 User is offline   jdaleo

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Thank you for such a wonderful website. Iíve found a lot of helpful advice, but I still need more help. My husband and I will celebrate our 10 years of marriage in June by renewing our vows. We were married by the JP so we didnít have a wedding. We have everything planned accordingly so this doesnít end up looking like a wedding. However, Iím stuck with my gown. Our ceremony will be held at 4pm at a tiny, historic chapel. The chapel is very simple and casual. For the party, we booked a restaurant/night club. Itís a cozy and simple place. The tables, linens, chairs, everything is very simple. However, the restaurant has Paper Mache trees throughout with strands of white lights (like Christmas!). This to me gives it a slightly formal feel. Iíve looked at so many dresses (Evening gowns, Ballroom gowns, Prom dresses and Bridesmaid dresses). Some of the dresses can even be worn as wedding dresses. The dresses I particularly like are the ballroom style. Would it be appropriate, given the ceremony and party, if I wore a white ballroom gown with gathers? If not in white, then what about in a solid color? If ballroom gowns are out of the question, what about an Embroidered Mesh gown, with volume in the skirt with a slight train in white? If no, then a pleated Empire waist with a godet style skirt with in a coral color? Iíve tried on so many dresses and have had so many different opinions from people. But Iím just stuck. Please help.

#2 User is offline   the_admin

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As long as your dress does not look like a wedding dress it should be fine. I would avoid a train or full skirt since those are typically seen in wedding gowns. The color isn't quite as important, although, if you select a dress that could appear to be used as a wedding gown then choosing that dress in white would obviously not work. Be sure to match the formality of the event (most vow renewals are not formal events) and consider the time of day and venue. And, I know many women don't want to face this but, you should also choose a dress appropriate for your age so prom dresses wouldn't be a good choice.

Have a look at our page on dresses for vow renewals.
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#3 User is offline   Etiquette Now

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I couldn't agree more. In fact, the dress you describe seems a bit formal. Yours would have to be very formal for this to work. I would have thought that a cocktail dress would be perfect.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now

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