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Welcome to the final part of our “DIY Wedding Vow Renewal” series. This is the finale! First, I must disclose that I am definitely not an expert on wedding vow renewals. What I am, is just a redhead that renewed her wedding vows with her husband after 25 years of marriage “DIY style” ❤️❤️❤️. So, now that I have the wedding vow ceremony under my DIY belt, I hope my “Affordable DIY Wedding Vow Renewal Tips” can help other couples figure out what they truly want when planning their wedding vow renewal ceremony and celebration. Maybe I can even save you a little cash.
When I first sat down at the kitchen table ready to began planning the ceremony, I researched online what folks normally do, so I felt a little more educated on the planning. I quickly realized that since renewing your wedding vows is not a “legally binding ceremony”, there really isn’t any one “right way” to do it. In fact, I believe it should be a very personal decision by the couple on how they want things to go down. This realization gave me the “green light” and my mind exploded with freedom. After reading my tips, I think you’ll be surprised how our plans slowly transformed into a very intimate & personal experience, rather than another stressful busy wedding.
Why renew your wedding vows?
There are infinite reasons couples decide to renew their wedding vows. For us it was purely a symbol of our continued commitment and devotion to our children and to one another. We felt that the 25 year anniversary was a perfect time to do it since 25 years of marriage is such a tremendous milestone. I certainly don’t think you have to wait until you have been married for 25 years, and if you want to do them for your own personal reason, what ever that might be, then just go for it. It’s really okay to do them for any reason you have. I think it would also be very romantic as a surprise to your spouse. Oo, la la.
Who should you invite to your wedding vow renewal ceremony & celebration?
This is a big one 😉 . Or, maybe I should say, a small one. Let’s just say I got so excited about the planning I began texting everyone from our first wedding the date of the wedding vow renewal and hoped they could save the date to attend. I completely went overboard, and regretted that after I started really thinking about the details. I began to become worried about everyone else, and was forgetting what this was about. Us.
After really getting into the planning, we decided all we needed was the 4 of us. I will tell you (the best tip in this article is right here), this was the best decision we ever made. Renewing your vows shouldn’t be about how Aunt Susie is going to get to the airport, or how the roast beef will be sliced. It is about you, your mate, and your children (if you have them). I admit, our first wedding was about all of that other stuff. I wasn’t going to allow it to happen again.
Who should officiate the ceremony?
When it came time to figure out who would “lead” the ceremony, it was a no-brainer for us. We have 2 older children, 17 & 19 and I knew our oldest would be perfect leading the way while the youngest could lend his support. Renewing wedding vows is not a religious ceremony, so anyone, including a priest can officiate, but it is ultimately up to you who you choose. You could actually do them yourself. That would be very romantic.
How to write your own wedding vow renewal vows…
I originally had visions of Richard and I both writing our own wedding vows, but I kept procrastinating and putting it off. It was another “stress” that I decided later to let go of. After all, I’m not a poet, and I know it would be hard for Richard, too. It just wasn’t in the cards. So, what I did instead is search online. You can find “basic” wedding vow renewals and then add your own twist if you like. I ended up piecing together different parts from 3 different varieties and this is what our wedding vows looked like. Feel free to use our’s, but don’t forget to change the names 😆.
Where should your wedding vow renewal ceremony & celebration take place?
I think you’re probably catching on here, but when it comes to where you should renew your vows, it should be a very personal decision. Maybe you have a special location where you first dated, or a favorite vacation spot to use? Hey, your house would be great, too! We got very lucky and found a spectacular condo in Toronto that we rented for the entire week. The private terrace with this amazing view of Toronto’s skyline made the perfect setting for our wedding vow ceremony, photographs, and the celebration afterwards. For most of our 30 years together we have traveled through Canada from Michigan to New York 100’s of times because that’s where we are from. So, that really added to the uniqueness of the location. By the way, if your interested in this rental, I wrote a full review here (if you mention my name Julie she will give you a discount): Toronto’s Modern Minimalistic Condo with a Private Terrace/View.
What should you wear for your wedding vow renewal ceremony?
Well, I’m just going to say it…wear whatever the heck you want. Please don’t listen to anyone trying to tell you to wear white, or get dressed up, or wear “age” appropriate attire. You should wear what you are comfortable wearing.
For us, since we weren’t spending a lot of time on other planning, I really got “into” the clothes styling part which quite honestly I usually detest. However, for this special day I wanted to look my absolute best. I started by working out about 5 months before the big day. I just turned 50, so that got me into a healthy mood as well. Kind of like, “Now or never, Julie!” After I lost a little weight by making these changes, I ended up saving a lot of money by finding this dress online for $30 (by Rosewe). I wanted something black, a little sexy, and a little different. I paid a local tailor $12 to fit the dress to me which really helped it look and feel very comfortable. This photo below was me first trying it on and I was a bit nervous, so ignore my funny make-up less tired face. My shoe’s were high, but fairly comfortable. If you’re planning a long celebration afterwards, I would opt for a lower heel, lol.
For the rest of the wedding “party”, my daughter, the “officiate” had a pretty dress in her closet that she wanted to wear, and it ended up being a perfect contrast to my black dress. I purchased new dress pants for my son from Kohl’s that I also had hemmed for $5. I also found him some new nice shoes on sale, and suspenders from Kohl’s (love those 30% coupons). My husband was treated to a new suit I picked out with him at The Men’s Wearhouse. At first they tried to sell us a very expensive suite, but then he showed us this suite that was in clearance. Always check the clearance folks. He can wear this suit to work as well. The shirt is stretchy, and very crisp. Oh, man did he look handsome.
We basically opted for a casual, yet formal “glam” style that really seemed to pick up our personalities in the photo, and paired perfect with the beautiful city setting. To be honest, I am shocked at how beautiful it all came together. Just goes to show if you put your thoughts into the right areas, forget about what you think you’re required to do, and do what feels most comfortable for you, it will show in the end result.
Okay, where’s the black limo picking us up, honey? (joking!)
Should you exchange rings for your wedding vow renewal ceremony?
Rick and I put serious consideration into buying new wedding rings/bands. I was actually considering combining my original diamond with my Mom’s diamonds. Just like with the rest of the planning, I procrastinated and I’m so happy I didn’t buy new ones. We’ve been together for 30 years, so I have several diamond rings, and I’ve redesigned my original several times. We just didn’t think new rings were necessary. We put that money into the vacation instead which ultimately became our gift to one another.
Should you hire a professional photographer?
Yes, and no. When it comes to the photos of your wedding vow renewals trust me on this, you will cherish them afterwards. Our daughter took photography in high school, and I’ve been doing my own photos on my blog for 8 years now. Between the 2 of us, we were able to create some great shots, but this was a risk. The photo above was an afterthought and I was looking around to see what other photos we could get on that fabulous terrace. I sat down in that lounge chair and said we should try one here for fun. Everyone was tired out and really didn’t want to do it, but then my son said, “Yah! We can have our own unique expressions!” He was pure genius. Can you believe our daughter made it over to that chair in 10 seconds, in heels, after setting the timer on her camera/tripod? Also, I should note that we tested photos out the day before for the best lighting and scheduled the vows around the best lighting. We also changed the date to 1 day earlier because rain was due (1 more perk of having no guests).
So, if you have a little experience in photography, or someone else does that can take the photos for you, then no, forget paying a professional photographer. I edited these myself and I’m having them printed at Costco. However, if you do not have any knowledge then yes, you should hire a professional.
Should you have flowers professionally created?
First, are flowers required for a wedding vow renewal ceremony? Of course not. When we got married 25 years ago, my very sweet mother-in-law MaryEllen (deceased) offered to make our flowers for our wedding. I couldn’t say no, and I felt so honored. Wow, did she do a beautiful job. This time though, I wanted real red roses involved and decided to create my 2 DIY Rose Wedding Bouquets myself. I absolutely loved doing this and it cost us under $100, including 2 boutonnières. I give a full DIY tutorial here.
Well, I sure hope my “Affordable DIY Wedding Vow Renewal Tips” can help other folks if they’re getting stressed out or have questions about their own wedding vow renewal ceremony. The most important tip I can give you is to do what you feel is best for you and your spouse without concern for what others will think if it’s a little different. This truly was one of the best days of my life and I am so happy we took the time out of our busy lives to do it. By the way, after the ceremony we took off all the fussy clothes, got cozy, and enjoyed pizza & snacks around the fire while gazing at that gorgeous view. Why go out, when you can stay in?
Thanks for putting up with me, Richard! 😆Posted by