Whether it’s a recommitment ceremony, a renewal of vows or as I like to call it, retying the knot, deciding to get married all over again may seem like something only celebrities or your grandparents do. I can tell you, a renewal of vows is much more than just a celebrity trend or a good-natured nod to 20 plus years of marriage.

wedding toast at reception table

Unfortunately, not every couple gets to plan and have the wedding of their dreams. Anything from military deployment to an unexpected bundle of joy can rearrange wedding plans. With this in mind, many couples are deciding to treat themselves to the wedding they always wanted, albeit a little later. Here are 5 things you need to know about planning to re-tie the knot!

1. Yes, the bride can still wear white.

Or pink, or blue or whatever color she wants. It’s not a faux-pas for the bride to decide to don a white dress down the aisle the second time around. Considering the bride may not have been in a place to have the big grand dress she dreamed of the first time, I say, go ahead and buy whatever dress you really wanted. If you’re the bride and you feel a bit ridiculous wearing a big fussy dress for a second wedding, then it’s okay to tone it down with a simpler design.

2. No, you don’t have to invite everyone or anyone from the first wedding.

If this wedding is a second take of a disastrous first wedding which was largely contributed to by a messy family member or spat, take the quiet road. There is really no rule that says you have to invite anyone to a renewal of vows. Again, take your first wedding circumstances into consideration. If your first wedding was a quick trip to a courthouse before your husband or wife was shipped off for military duty, then go ahead and write out that extensive wedding list of friends and family.

couple celebrating on beach

 

3. Yes, it’s okay to have a destination renewal of vows.

Perhaps the first time you got married, the wedding was not your vision at all. Maybe you bowed to the pressure of an overbearing parent or you had to rearrange your priorities at the last minute. Maybe you’re planning a just-for-two, romantic escape where you run away together and say your vows under a beautiful sunset. Or, maybe you want to have a big family vacation and second wedding all in one.

Explore your options. Talk to a travel agent or wedding planner about all-inclusive resorts that offer renewal of vow specials.

4. No, you don’t register for gifts … again.

It’s a bit presumptuous to ask for wedding gifts a second time around. You’re asking guests to come to a second wedding because you truly want them to enjoy this experience with you and celebrate, not to hit them up for more stuff.  Of course, if someone chose to give you a wedding gift, it would be polite to accept and send them a thank you note as a token of appreciation.

bride and groom in tropical setting

 

5. No, a renewal of vows doesn’t have to be formal. Yes, it definitely can be.

The point is, if this is just a sweet moment you and your husband or wife decided to have to remind yourselves why you love each other so much- there doesn’t have to be a lot of fuss involved.  Keep it simple and just ask your guests to show up and have a good time. If, however, you didn’t get to have that first wedding at all then there’s no shame in trying to have it now. Get creative and fun with the wording on your invitation or keep it personal and let your guests know you’re ready to have the wedding of your dreams.  Remember that you’re choosing to re-tie the knot for yourselves as a couple, no one else.