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Renewal of wedding vows - what's the protocol?

(66 Posts)
Fleursgranny Wed 22-Jan-20 16:19:33

Hello, we've been invited to a renewal of vows by a relative (very kind of them). But we don't know what's expected. Present? Wedding guest sort of clothes minus fascinators? Has anyone been to one of these?

vampirequeen Wed 22-Jan-20 16:23:43

I went to one a few years ago. It was like a wedding but we didn't take a present. Not sure if things have changed since then.

Granny23 Wed 22-Jan-20 16:46:30

DD, who is an Independent Celebrant conducts quite a lot of these. It is entirely up to the couple what form the service or ceremony takes. If it is in a Church then it is liable to be more formal than it would be if the venue is a hotel or outdoors (now very popular). Why not ask the relative or another guest if there is a suggested dress code? As to a present it would be appropriate to take a small one. Perhaps a photo frame for the inevitable photo of the happy couple on their special day?

Billybob4491 Wed 22-Jan-20 17:15:37

I often wonder why people need to renew their wedding vows, surely first time around was sufficient.

Urmstongran Wed 22-Jan-20 17:18:44

I find the concept a bit cringeworthy to be honest. I’ve read that they happen but I don’t know anyone who has been to one.

SirChenjin Wed 22-Jan-20 17:35:41

I've never understood this - do vows expire? confused

I suppose it depends on the venue as to whether it's formal or informal attire. Could you just take champagne and flowers instead of a present? It would be kind of cheeky to expect your guests to bring presents after you've been married for years!

GrannySomerset Wed 22-Jan-20 17:44:16

We wanted some form of service to celebrate our Golden Wedding and chose a sung evensong using a choir we both belonged to. It was absolutely lovely and followed by a posh afternoon tea for 106 so was a real celebration. We said “no presents please” on the invitation but had a couple of Hospice collecting boxes out for those who felt like contributing. I don’t think a present should be the fee for attending!

jura2 Wed 22-Jan-20 17:47:16

SirC my feelings exactly. I was barely conscious when I got married, the day after a massive operation to try and save my leg- but coming to 50 years - it would never cross my mind to renew wows- surely 50 years together is testimony enough?

NotANana Wed 22-Jan-20 17:50:15

You could ask the happy couple, perhaps? Some are almost like a wedding, while others are much more low-key and perhaps happen after a time of difficulty or ill-health.

Calendargirl Wed 22-Jan-20 17:54:53

Sounds lovely GrannySomerset

vampirequeen Wed 22-Jan-20 18:23:05

DH and I are considering renewing our vows next year. When we got married we wanted to simply go to the Registry Office and grab a couple of strangers to act as witnesses but I got persuaded/bullied into making it a bigger affair. That was a terrible mistake as all the guests were from my family and DH was ignored by most of them. It's a very strange wedding when the guests only speak to the bride and ignore the groom. Although we're still happily married our wedding still leaves a bitter taste so we thought we might renew our vows in the way we originally intended so that we have happier memories of our special day.

ninathenana Wed 22-Jan-20 18:35:03

We went to a friends renewal in church a few years ago. My friend wore a full length pastel coloured floaty dress, her husband wore a suit and tie. The 20 or so guests wore smart casual and we went back to their house for a tea party style buffet.
Some people did bring a small present.

SirChenjin Wed 22-Jan-20 18:45:39

vampire just going to a register office with a couple of strangers to act as witnesses sounds lovely smile It’s the public vow renewal I find a bit strange.

Tedber Wed 22-Jan-20 19:21:11

I, also, find the renewal of vows ceremony strange! Why?
But were invited to one, abroad, and it was lovely. We worked it in with a 14 day holiday abroad. We just dressed up a bit and had a meal and drinks. Cost the couple a LOT of money and I did wonder why? Why not just invite people to a party if you want to spend so much money??? As THAT was basically what it was!

Each to their own though.

kittylester Wed 22-Jan-20 20:16:51

It's our golden wedding this year. We will have a party to celebrate but dont need to renew our vows.

Alishka Wed 22-Jan-20 20:48:26

My parents did this!
Mum had never taken off her wedding ring since the day they were married and it became stuck on her finger, so Dad took her into his shed, put her finger in a vice, and sawed it off her finger.shock
Then they went to the Jewellery Quarter and bought its replacement.
But Mum wasn't happy as it hadn't been blessed, or 'churched' as she called it.
So Dad swung into action again.
He visited the church where they'd married all those years ago, talked to the vicar (who was so thrilled by this tale of enduring love) and between them they arranged a day and time for a Renewal of Vows ceremony.
Appointed day, Dad told Mum they were going out for a drive and lunch at some place he'd been told about, so she'd better wear a posh frock and he'd put a suit on..en route he said that he'd heard that their old parish church had been refurnished, so why didn't they look around?

Fleursgranny Wed 22-Jan-20 21:07:07

Thanks for helpful thoughts. It's in an Abbey followed by a do at their house so I guess it's very smart dress and, as you suggest, a small present. Glad I asked you!

52bright Wed 22-Jan-20 23:22:36

Wow Alishka, that's the most lovely renewal of vows ceremony I've heard of. Your dad is a star to have arranged that, even to ensuring she had her posh frock on. Was it just the two of them or were other people there when she arrived? Either way that is lovely.

LightAmber Thu 23-Jan-20 07:55:59

Vow renewal usually means one of the couple has cheated. Vows are for life with no expiry date!

TerriBull Thu 23-Jan-20 08:26:49

Given that "renewing of wedding vows" is some new phenomenon seemingly borne out of popular culture, unlike the actual wedding ceremony which has been around in some form since the beginning of time, I imagine any procedure is made up on the hoof by those throwing the bash. Who knows, it's not like a member of the older generation could be consulted on such a matter, because they, like many of us, wouldn't understand why anyone could be bothered with, what is essentially just an excuse for a party.

harrigran Thu 23-Jan-20 08:42:13

I can understand a couple perhaps returning to a church on a big anniversary just to mark the day but these big dos sound more like a Disney production.

Alishka Thu 23-Jan-20 08:52:54

@52bright - it was just the two of them, I believe. We three children were living on different continents at the timesmile

Hetty58 Thu 23-Jan-20 09:52:37

SirC, 'do vows expire?' - if only (I really think they should)!

Hetty58 Thu 23-Jan-20 09:59:01

If the cells in our bodies are replaced in seven years - shouldn't the 'new' person have a say in who they live and sleep with?

Desdemona Thu 23-Jan-20 10:00:41

Renewal of wedding vows normally means there have been problems in the marriage, from what I have observed from people who have done it.