Retying The Knot

By Kristen Castillo

November 16, 2011 5 min read

Ever think your wedding was so fun that you'd like to do it again? That's a definite possibility as vow renewals are getting more and more popular.

Rebecca Stebbins, weddings manager at The Venetian in Las Vegas, says she receives a vow renewal inquiry "almost every day."

You can say "I do" again anytime, but the trend is to retie the knot for a special occasion, such as an anniversary.

"Most couples seem to plan their renewal around a milestone year," say Kelly Seizert and Maria Cooke, planners from Ritzy Bee Events and contributors to "Southern Living Wedding Planner and Keepsake." "Celebrities like Heidi Klum and Seal are just one of Hollywood's couples setting the vow renewal trend.

"We also see couples who may have had a more modest ceremony and reception on their wedding day hosting these parties as a way to celebrate their continued commitment to each other."

*Appeal

The ceremonies also give couples a chance to reconnect and reinforce their marital promises.

"Vow renewals are appealing for myriad reasons," says Jillian Kramer, editor of the wedding website Pretty Little Weddings. "It's important to not only reaffirm the promises you have made to one another, but celebrate the time you've spent making those promises a reality."

Kramer continues: "Marriage is a wonderful thing, with twists and turns that can be celebrated at every milestone. Many couples also use vow renewal ceremonies as a chance to supplement the vows they once made by adding new promises that are relevant to the challenges they've faced or goals they'd like to achieve."

Many military couples recommit before or after a deployment, as a show of love and support.

Another motivating factor for many couples is the ability to include the whole family.

"Couples are often including their children in their ceremony either with special readings or adding new 'family vows' that outline what each parent promises to both their partner and family," say Seizert and Cooke.

*Renewal Budget

Weddings can be pricey, but in comparison, renewals can be very affordable. For example, a study by The Knot Inc. found that an average wedding in 2010 cost $25,984.

Stebbins says a vow renewal at The Venetian costs about $2,500 and includes "bouquet and boutonniere, photography, celebrant to perform the ceremony, champagne gift basket delivered to the couple's suite," as well as use of renewal sites such as the venue's wedding bridge, chapel, gondola or gardens.

Seizert and Cooke say a budget depends on the size of the guest list and how elaborate the renewal will be.

"The costs can range anywhere from dinner for two at a favorite restaurant to a party often more elaborate than their original wedding reception," they say. "Many couples who had more modest original weddings have more means 10 or 15 years later and are able to spend a bit more on a vow renewal for themselves."

Most often the "bride" and "groom" pay for their own renewal ceremony, but sometimes their family and friends contribute for the party.

*Planning a Vow Renewal

A vow renewal can be low key or over the top, depending on the couple's preference. Some choose to recommit on location at a favorite getaway, while others remarry at home or in a local venue such as a restaurant or hotel.

Vow renewals tend to be smaller events than a traditional wedding, with guest lists of 40 to 50 people.

"Many couples try to include all of the guests that were originally invited and attended their wedding, and some keep it small, including only close family and a few friends," say Seizert and Cooke.

The renewal ceremony itself can be customized as much or as little as you want. You can redo your original wedding vows or recite new promises. Customize the ceremony with your choice of readings and music. A through-the-years video or slideshow can be a fun personal addition to the celebration.

You can wear your wedding attire from back in the day, or you can choose new clothes, such as a party dress for you and a suit for your groom. Expect to hire at least a few wedding vendors such as photographers, an officiant and a caterer.

Don't forget to get a cake. It's a sweet reminder of all the good times. So feed each other a slice as you reaffirm your love!

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