Vow Renewals: 5 Do's for Saying "I Do" Again
We do a lot of things over these days. We can change careers. We can change cities. We can even change the big things, like saying "sayonara" to the hairstyles we've had since college.
So why settle for just one wedding day?
Think about it: On the first go-round, you were young, in love, and probably so nervous that -- looking back -- you can barely remember the whirlwind day. Now you've been an official couple for years, and you've been through so much that saying "I do" again will be a cakewalk (a really fun one, with a delicious cake at the end.)
"Couples today want to celebrate the commitment they made to each other and are looking for unique experiences they can share with their closest friends and family members," says Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing and Business Development Director for Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons. "They want a celebration that honors this lifetime commitment, and don't want to wait until they reach 50 years to do this. In fact, many of the vow renewals we see incorporate their children into the celebration, ensuring a special family moment and memories to last a lifetime."
Vow Renewal Do: Don't Wait!
Vow renewals are not a new concept. Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings has offered them since their beginnings 20 years ago, in 1991. "Starting in the mid-90s, we began to see an increase in vow renewal requests, which coincided with the increase in industry awareness," McFann said. "We continue to see an increase in couples wanting to celebrate their lives together, at all stages, not just the traditional milestones that have been celebrated for years."
Vow Renewal Do: Make it a Family Affair
Vow-renewing couples often seek to incorporate important family members who weren't part of their wedding the first time around, especially their children.
"What is exciting about our events is that they can be as simple as an intimate ceremony for the family or a whole week-long destination wedding with many events," said McFann. "It truly depends on what the couple is looking to achieve and the budget they allocate to create these magical moments."
For a more intimate experience, the Memories Collection allows couples to create a celebration for six guests, including the bride and groom. "For larger events incorporating many options, the Wishes Collection allows couples to do almost anything," McFann noted.
Vow Renewal Do: Create the Perfect Moment
Whether you go big or small, your vow renewal is really about your vision and how you make it real. "We had one family host their vow renewal in traditional wedding format," McFann said. They chose a ceremony at Disney's Wedding Pavilion (at WDW), followed by a one-of-a-kind reception at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Their guests celebrated at Festival of the Lion King, having dinner surrounded by the show's entertainment. "It was an unbelievable moment," McFann said. "So, if you can dream it, we can make it happen."
That could mean making a vacation of your vow renewal, as McFann said couples who choose to renew their vows on Disney Cruise Line do. Or, it could mean celebrating in a theme park setting that puts your personality on display.
"The most popular wedding or vow renewal location would be at World Showcase at Epcot. Epcot continues to be a popular choice for couples because the 11 unique countries provide a diverse backdrop that truly expresses the personality of the couple," McFann said. "For the ultimate 'fairy tale' setting, our couples can choose a vow renewal set in Magic Kingdom Park with views of Cinderella Castle, prior to park opening." She noted that the most popular vow renewal location continues to be Disney's Wedding Pavilion, a Victorian-style venue set on its own private island adjacent to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It too offers a picturesque view of Cinderella Castle.
Vow Renewal Do: Find Your Dress
"For vow renewals, brides often go with lighter weight, cocktail-length dresses, or slightly longer tea-length dresses," said Michael Shettel, Vice President of Design for Alfred Angelo, which offers a line of dresses inspired by the Disney Princesses.
"We also see slimmer, sexier silhouettes, especially if the bride wore a big ball gown for her wedding," Shettel said. "Color is also popular in vow renewal dresses -- especially blue frost, pink frost, mocha latte and golds."
"Vow-renewing brides who opt for selections from the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Collection often go for Jasmine's sleek, slim style or for the red-carpet drama of Ariel's dress," Shettel said. However, there's also no reason not to go for a "big, blown-out princess style like Sleeping Beauty's," Shettel added, noting it is his favorite dress of the collection.
Vow-renewing brides often want to show off their figures if they've hit the gym since the first go-round, or they want to choose a modern, "now" gown. "If someone married in the early '80s, they may have worn big puffy sleeves that were very of the time, but now they may have been going to the gym and want to show off their shoulders or their curves," Shettel said. "The trend now is a very red-carpet, body-conscious style. "
Shettel said the most important part of selecting your vow renewal dress is to make it reflect your personality, keeping in mind that you're not the same woman you were all those years ago. "Your whole thought process is different at 24 than it is at 50," he said.
That said, just because you're older doesn't mean you need to restrict yourself. "One of my favorite vow renewal choices was a 70-something woman who'd been married really quickly without a big celebration or a special dress. For her vow renewal, she really wanted to be a full-blown princess bride," Shettel said. "She chose a big ball gown that usually would be worn by someone much younger and she was just thrilled. It was really sweet actually."
Vow Renewal Do: Leave It to the Experts
Couples who plan their vow renewals with Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons are lucky to have a great helper to get them down the aisle, and beyond. Disney Wedding Planners help arrange everything from flowers and décor to food, photography, and video recording. "The role of a Disney Wedding Planner is to hold the hand of couples throughout their entire wedding planning process," McFann said. "Disney Wedding Planners are here to help plan the event details as well as allow couples to truly relax and be a guest at their celebration."