Photo: Michelle Gardella
Vow renewals are an increasingly popular celebration for brides who want to celebrate a big anniversary, to revel with friends and family, or to have the glamorous wedding they didn't get the first time around. What rules and customs apply? We asked our wedding etiquette experts to answer your questions in our daily post.
I was married by a justice of the peace in 1994. Now that we're older and can afford it, I'd like to have a formal wedding with the works. Can I wear a white dress with a train and a veil? Do we have to hold the ceremony on our anniversary? And how do we tell guests that we don't expect gifts?
Many couples renew their vows with a traditional ceremony, but there are a few dos and don'ts. White dress: Do. (Nowadays, white is regarded as a symbol of the joy of a wedding.) Train and veil: Don't. (Both are usually worn by a woman who hasn't yet been married.) You can choose any date you want; couples who renew on their wedding anniversary do so for sentimental reasons. Finally, it's inappropriate to mention anything about gifts—even the fact that you're discouraging them—when sending wedding invitations. The best way to let guests know that you don't expect presents is by word of mouth. Have your mom, sister and other close relatives spread the word.