I know that you have answered many of these questions already but they seemed to be answered a while back. I know things change all the time so that’s why I want to ask again… My husband and I have only been married since April 2010 and are now having a wedding since we just went to the JP before for personal reasons.
(A lot of people are going to the JP and then having a wedding later these days.)
Anyway, I know that this isn’t going to be a “wedding” and that it will be a vow renewal so I was curious how the wording should be. Should we mention our parents names or not?
Thanks so much for all your help. Hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc
I’m not sure why you think any of the answers you read are old, but things have not changed just because other people are doing them. My mama used to say, if everyone was jumping off the roof, would you do it too? :rolleyes:
The fact is that you’re already married, so another wedding isn’t necessary and really doesn’t make sense. Etiquette is based on common sense and care for the feelings of those around you. Inviting guests to a confusing event puts them in a sort of funny position. We get those types of questions and inquiries from guests invited to these sorts of events. They don’t understand what they’re invited to, don’t know how to address the situation, how to dress, bring gifts, etc. I think this is the reason you’re having trouble wording your invitations – what will you be inviting your guests to…? Should you mention you parents (on an invitation for a wedding, parents are often mentioned as the hosts of the event – parents aren’t involved in a marriage so they aren’t involved in a renewal, except as guests).
A vow renewal is a ceremony to renew your commitment to one another. In a year, there probably isn’t much for the two of you to renew, which is why renewals are usually done for the big anniversaries. However, when significant changes have taken place in the marriage (death of a child, separation of the couple, serious illness/accident, near death situations) a couple might find the need to recommit to one another with a renewal of the original vows they took. Do you have something to renew? Will your guests be confused? (note that if you’re not inviting guests or maybe only inviting your parents, then go ahead and plan as you please). You may see celebrities hosting these sorts of “renewals” and think, well, if they’re doing it…? I’ve seen and heard of celebrities doing a lot of things that don’t make sense to me or that I would never do. Reality show creators seem to be willing to exploit these desires for profit. Again, try to make sense of it and be careful not to get drawn into the entitlement of some of the reality show stars. (Would you want to be Snookie? Would you want your daughter to be like her?) :wacko:
Try asking yourself what you think you missed out on by having your wedding at the Justice of the Peace and then, depending on your answer, you can try to figure out how/if you can make that better for the two of you. We find that most couples are just sad because they didn’t wait to plan the wedding of their dreams and are missing the white dress, gifts and/or parties – material things. Unfortunately, there isn’t any event in place to have a wedding do-over. And, as you mentioned, a vow renewal isn’t a wedding with the big white dress/veil, parties and gifts.
Maybe if you told us what you are missing, we can help you plan appropriately?
Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl, is a certified etiquette consultant and nationally recogonized expert
Although etiquette is a progressive industry, situations such as having “one wedding” isn’t an area where we have or will see change as far as the standards go. Vows are vows and only need to be said once — with the exception of renewal after many, many years. Although “everyone else is doing it” it still doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to represent you or your relationship. I too am curious about what you feel like you are missing, knowing this will help us help you navigate this situation with grace and care.
Emmanuela Stanislaus, Precious Occasions, Wedding and Event Planner
I agree. Vow renewals are usually done for significant anniversaries or after working through a particularly difficult time period in your marriage or life. My guess is that you feel like you missed out on the photos and having your family there on your wedding day. Instead of inviting a large group of people to a vow renewal, you may want to just invite your immediate family to an intimate ceremony then follow up with a party for close friends and family. You can then hire a photographer to document the events of the day. While, I don’t agree with the vow renewal, to answer your original question, if you do decide to have a large vow renewal ceremony, then your invitations should not include the names of your parents. It should say something to the affect of “You are cordially invited to the vow renewal of …”.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
Great advice of which I completely agree. Be very careful with your planning to avoid any type of embarrassment. That is what we try to do, to help people plan properly and to avoid embarrassment, so they and their guests can enjoy the event more completely.
If you do decide after all of this advice that a vow renewal is still what you want to do, please be careful not to include any wedding element, like the procession, wedding attire, wedding music, and attendants. I agree that your invitations would be for a vow renewal. Be prepared for confusion. But also note that most people won’t tell you what they “really think” to your face. So, most likely, you won’t receive their real reaction to your plans
Darlene Taylor, PBC
I’m just going to add this little bit regarding an invitation idea since all the other bases were covered…
I recently worked with a couple who had a “marriage celebration” after they exchanged vows at a JOP 4 months ago. They sent out invitations that said, “You are invited to the marriage celebration of… girl’s first/maiden/married name to guy’s first/middle/last name.” (Not sure of proper etiquette there. They hired me 6 weeks before event.) They did not send out a traditional invitation, but sent out what I will call a “photo invitation” that they made either on their computer or through Costco.
The couple did have formal attire: she wore a bridal gown, he wore a tux. MOH and BM wore a gown and tux. Basically they started the evening off right where the reception would begin in a traditional wedding day with cocktails as guests were coming in and at 7:00pm we introduced the parents and bridal party. They began with dinner and the rest of the night was just like a traditional reception. (Something you could do is have a slideshow of your wedding ceremony (or a video clip) playing throughout the night so your friends can see your wedding day.)
I have to admit, it was a bit different for guests because, let’s face it, people are used to a wedding ceremony before a reception. HOWEVER – having a coordinator there helped the guests kind of “figure out” what they were doing before the bridal party arrived. In this couple’s situation, they had already made plans to get married in July (hired photographers, caterer, etc) but got married at JOP 4 months earlier because her father got called to Afghanistan.
I’ve known couples to have a small destination wedding (Las Vegas/Hawaii) and then have their reception at home with all the family and friends. Why not read Rebecca’s excellent advice to a bride about hosting a reception party months after the ceremony: http://www.topweddin…r-the-ceremony/
Best Wishes to you!
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc
I think what Darlene is referring to here is The Blessing of the Marriage ceremony which is conducted in church after a couple marries civilly. It’s not a wedding, but a way for the church to recognize and sanctify a wedding in the eyes of God (and the church). In the Catholic Church it is referred to as a Convalidation ceremony.
Read more about these ceremonies and how they are planned: