Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reafirm and Renew .... Let's Do It Again

What's a renewal of vows? Is it different from Reaffirmation?

These are two questions that I've been asked from couples that did not have the ceremony of choice OR it was so good the first time they want to do it again. Whether you've been married one year or 100 there are a few rules that apply to "Doing It Again"

Wedding vow renewal is just that.... renewal! They are NOT a second marriage. Unless just by chance the happily ever after had a detour and you and your spouse divorced and are now remarrying, this is not a second wedding. This is, however, an opportunity to perhaps have your marriage blessed by the church and reaffirm your marriage vows and love of one another.

Bachelor / bachelorette parties are intended for your “last night out as a single person”, so, as a married couple, let this ship pass on by. Additionally, the bridal shower is a time when family and friends can shower you with items needed to begin your married life. You're already in your married life so this won’t work either. When it comes to vow renewals, encourage friends and family to shower you with love and support, rather than gifts.

While a vow renewal or reaffirmation is a celebratory occasion, it is generally not viewed as a gift-giving situation. Although, writing “no gifts please” on a wedding invitation is not acceptable, it is acceptable to include such wording in a vow renewal invitation. A reaffirmation is a ceremony and party you are hosting for yourself and if connected to an anniversary then some people may want to give you an anniversary gift. In this case, be sure to send out "thank you notes" in a timely manner.

Have a good time, enjoy the fact that you made it and actualy want to do it again! Weddings are typically about proclaiming your love with a big dress, big ceremony and reception and big fancy cake. The renewal ceremony is more of a simple, understated, private affair. However, if you want to recreate your original wedding - GO FOR IT

So, leave the train at home and gather your attendants (now attendees) and let's celebrate renewed love. This celebration is far less stressful then you’re wedding. Think about it, you've already been "given away" so the father doesn't need to publicly show his approval or support of the marriage. There is no need to have a processional so either you and your husband can come down together or your children and grandchildren may accompany you down the aisle.

Flowers are perfect for any occasion, and your reaffirmation ceremony is no exception. Put together your bouquet with care and consideration, so that it reflects your love for one another. Reaffirmation rings are too part of the ceremony. You may have a real connection to your wedding rings, but this could also be a great time for an upgrade.

After the ceremony, because you are the host, graciously greet your guests! Enjoy a loving dance with your husband symbolizing the first dance into the next phase of their life together.

Let them eat cake! Who doesn't enjoy a good cake? The reaffirmation cake is not a wedding cake but sometimes recreated from the couple’s wedding, including the topper. However, this should be more of an 'anniversary' type cake. So, including writing on the cake would be appropriate.

Toasts are a great way to celebrate the couple in this new phase of their life. Of course, for a reaffirmation ceremony or vow renewal, the toasts should reflect upon the couple’s continued love, not upon the couple finding each other (as it is for the wedding reception). Remember, there is no best man because you already have him.

Garter and Bouquet tosses began as a way to keep wedding guests from tearing the bride’s clothes! It was viewed as good luck to snatch a piece of her clothing. I don’t think snatching your clothes off would go over too well so how do an auction and the proceeds go to a local charity.

Enjoy yourself and each other and create an affair to remember.  The photo above is of Mr. & Mrs Lous Lane during their recent vow renewal ceremony.  Thanks Trina!!!

Happy Planning!

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