Vow Renewals – Yay or Neigh?

Call me controversial, but I’m not sure I agree with vow renewals…unless the couple is like 80 years old and have been married 60 years…in that case I find I it touching, sweet and full of sentiment.  I love the fact that a couple who’ve been together that long are still so totally head over heels in love with each other that they want to re-tell the world. 

However when a couple who’ve only been married 5 or so years do it, it does make me think, ‘well maybe they just wanted another party?’   See, told you I was controversial.  Tell me what you guys think..and please do..come on don’t told back!  Am I a heartless bitch?

However, as you know, I’m all about the beautiful images and even though this is a vow renewal, I can’t help but post them – I adore the Bride’s dress (I wonder if it was a new one or the one she got married in before) and I love the dramatic shots with the red umbrella.

Credit: Laura Ryan


  1. Stephanie

    I think I have to agree with you on this one too. If you’re using it for another party then it’s silly (no matter how awesome these photos are.) However, I think if the circumstances were different it wouldn’t be so bad. Say someone had a court wedding with just family and later had the money for a reception, then after 5 years a vow renewal wouldn’t seem so narcissistic.

  2. Post author

    I’m so glad you guys seem to agree with me…was starting to think I might just be a heartless bitch!

  3. I feel you on topping the first one. Narcissisim. Though I have good friends who are doing a renewal this summer. Initially they eloped when they found their wedding spriralling out of control, and threatening to break them up. Now, three years later, they no longer have to use parents’ money which means they can do it “their” way… But most importantly, she always regretted not getting married in a church, and so THAT will be the important part of the renewal for her (though hilarious, since their Catholic church requires they take a marriage prep course… you know to prepare them for the marriage they ALREADY HAVE!!! lol!)

  4. Lori

    Hi all,

    I’m the bride in the photos and Laura Ryan, the photographer, did an insanely incredible job. I truly adore her both as a person and as an artist. It was a pleasure to work with her.

    To answer some of the comments:
    Dress – it was a new one. Thank you for the compliments 🙂

    Why I did it: This was never an attempt to top our wedding day – there is no way to recreate the feelings and emotion of that day. It was one of the best days of my life.

    While we called this a “vow renewal” I don’t know if that is how I would describe it. I guess unless you were there and heard the Pastor speak to us, our children and our family its hard to put into words.

    Is 5 years too soon – depends on the situation. For us, the past few years have been wonderful but unfortunately in our short 5 years, we’ve had our share of tough times. Marriage is not easy and when you add the stress of sick parents, sick grandparents, 2 kids, one with severe colic, well……I can’t really explain the stress it puts on your partnership.
    For all that we’ve supported eachother through, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our anniversary than to go back to where it all began. In our church, with the people we love, with the wonderful Pastor who married us and has baptized our children. Call me sappy or call me crazy……..I love the guy.

    3 months later he still can’t believe I did it and smiles when he walks past the photos from the day…….sorry girls, you can say whatever you want but THAT smile makes my day and every ounce of planning that went into that day worth it.

    Congrats to you all and happy planning 🙂

  5. Post author

    Thanks so much for replying to this post. It is great to hear your personal point of view – your story is truely touching and inspiring. I hope you don’t think I was too harsh in my post – but I really do love your photographs! Looks like a fantastic day!

  6. Lori

    LOL Kat – no, not harsh at all. I’m actually with you on some of the points. If someone does it just to have another party and get more gifts then I think that is in poor taste b/c then its not about the couple.

    The photos that Laura took are just beautiful – I honestly could not have found anyone else who captured the day as well as she did. It was a fantastic day.

  7. Audra

    I disagree, under specific circumstances that is 😉

    My husband and I married in 2002 (and yes we were young) without any help from our families. Our wedding day was the worst day that i could have ever imagined. the only part about it that was bearable was when we said our vows and everything/one disappeared.

    a few things that made our wedding day a disaster: unsupportive family members, raining day, cake fell on the floor, dress was made by a family friend and didn’t fit right (too big, and she refused to fix it) and also i couldn’t afford a real one. no professional photographer, i did my own hair and makeup and it was a mess, hair went flat and frizzy in the rain, makeup melted in the rain.

    lets see, the place we had our wedding at didn’t have a dressing facility and i had to change into my “gown” in a bathroom stall. my heel broke, oh and one more thing, my bouquet fell apart in my hands (roses were dropping like dead flys), everyone stared at me to see if i would break down in tears, and it was all i could do to keep it together…. ohh and one more thing. we didn’t marry in a church, so we paid a rev. to conduct the ceremony (that only lasted 8 mins!!) because he pretty much said that it was “too cold” so he was going to go because he had another wedding to conduct…

    the “reception” (buffet style dinner that husband and i set up before the wedding ceremony) was pretty much just me fighting back tears… oh and the photographs were taken by an incompetent person (on my husband’s side of the family) who would snap the camera while i was: blinking, fixing my veil, positioning/holding up my tent of a dress, falling in my broken heels, etc….we never had a honeymoon… yeah, it was the absolute worse day of my life. and actually it would be years before i could even think back to that day without breaking down in tears…

    the past several years have been difficult for my husband and I. economy problems have found me jobless for a while, which adds nothing but stress to a new marriage.(ofcourse now things are different, i have a job, and hubby is climbing the ladder at work) rude in-laws are practically a deathwish for a marriage, and infertility problems are crushing to a couple that can not imagine life without children.

    so, with all that said. my husband and i are each other’s best friends, we love each other and would do it all over again…. so we are gonna!!!!

    Eager to start the new chapter of our lives. we are planning a vow renewal in Hawaii I will be getting a professional dress, him a professional tux. we are planning on doing a package wedding where we pay a price and everything else is taken care of. limo, pro photographer, pro bouquet, etc…

    our lives so far have been so stressed that arguements over the in-laws have threatened to rip us apart, but we have stuck through it and overcome that hurdle, our love has been tested and has grown stronger, so in 2012 for our 10th wedding anniversary we are planning a beautiful ceremony just for us, and possibly without any of our families(undecided as of yet) but we have decided on a new set of rings to symbolize our new life and love for each other. I can not wait 🙂 so happy to be able to plan a intimate, ceremony to symbolize the strong love that has grown… and to remember it as the day i said “i do”.

    and if anyone thinks that that it tacky, or wrong… well than whatever… it’s something for me and my husband and i’m proud of that…

  8. I think the important part about vow renewals is that its about the couple. Just as my thoughts go with weddings: plan it how you and your partner want to have it because it is your day. Everyone will have their own opinions. But its down to you and your partner. My husband and I are going to be celebrating our 10th next year and I fully intend to renew our vows. We have been through so much in this decade, almost going through a divorce. Though 10 years is just a small portion of what I hope we have in store for us, i look forward to re-celebrating our life together with our kids.

  9. Melanie

    I think it depends why you are renewing your vows, if you’re doing just to try and top your last wedding then that’d a bit pointless. Me and my boyfriend plan to get married next year but as we haven’t got much money we are going to have a very low key wedding then when we have more money in the years to come then we want to renew our vows and have a big wedding with all our friends and family <3


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