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Vow Renewal Wording
------------  BY WEDDING EXPERT SHARON NAYLOR  ------------

Excerpted from Sharon Naylor's book Renewing Your Wedding Vows

Very few party-prep moments are as exciting as creating the invitations for your renewal celebration (well, except for maybe going for cake tastings!) We’ll talk about designing your beautiful and personalized invitations in a moment, but first let’s tackle the big question: how to word your invitations.


--------------------  Getting the Words Right  --------------------

What’s fabulous for you is that you’ll avoid all of those incredibly detailed wedding-world rules about how to word invitations. Since you’re already married, there’s no longer any burning questions or family diplomacy issues about how to list your parents, in which order, and so on. You’re the guests of honor and you’re the hosts, so the basic model for a renewal ceremony and celebration invitation reads as follows:


The pleasure of your company

is requested at the reaffirmation of the

wedding vows of

Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Brown

on Saturday the fifth of September

at seven o'clock

at the Skywood Botanical Gardens

Los Angeles, California

Reception immediately following ceremony



The R.S.V.P. at the bottom of this invitation may be surprising to you, as in Hey, I thought that was taken care of in a response card!  You’re absolutely correct to notice the change. Now, you can either do a response card in the same model as a wedding invitation, or add the R.S.V.P. to your invitation. Both options work, and you may add your phone number to the model above.

You’ll use the Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Brown title for you as a couple as a matter of formality. This is the proper form of identifying yourselves as a couple, according to traditional etiquette. Of course, if you wish to bend etiquette a little bit, you may certainly list yourselves on less formal invitations as Jeffrey and Carol Brown.

If your name is hyphenated, you’d write Mr. Jeffrey Brown and Mrs. Carol Jenkins-Brown. It might be important to you to honor the name you go by, perhaps your professional name. If this is your choice, it’s your own rule to make.



--------------------  When Your Children Are the Hosts  --------------------

In some instances, the children of the couple are throwing the celebration. It was their idea, and they’ve planned the whole thing from the location to the menu to the décor to the entertainment. They’ve also paid for it. It’s their baby. So they’ll be listed on the invitation as follows:


Sarah Allen, Maria Allen, and Mark Allen

request the pleasure of your company

as their parents

Reginald and Marsha Allen

renew their wedding vows

(then follow the traditional model with date, time and location)


If the children are married and hosting the celebration as couples, they would be listed together with their spouses. When it’s a husband-wife team, many wives choose to include their maiden names on the invitation, even if they do not regularly hyphenate them. This step is a service to guests (such as friends, bosses and clients of their parents) who will then be able to more easily identify them:


George Winters and Sarah Allen Winters

Kenneth and Maria Allen Dubrowski

and Mark and Tina Allen

request the pleasure of your company




When You’ve Renewed Your Vows in a Private Ceremony
--------------------  and Will Now Celebrate With All  --------------------

If you’ve decided to run off to Tahiti to renew your vows in private, or with just your kids along for the vacation (and perhaps a surprise renewal!), you may wish to celebrate with all of your friends and family after-the-fact. You certainly can throw a big party later! Even brides and grooms who take a half dozen guests away for their destination weddings are doing the same thing: marry now, have the big party later. If this is your plan, here’s your invitation and announcement model:


The pleasure of your company

is requested at a reaffirmation party

celebrating a recent renewal of

wedding vows of

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew French

on Saturday the ninth of April

at seven o'clock

at the Knoll Alumni Club

Cincinnati, Ohio

Reception immediately following ceremony




If You’re Inviting Guests To A
--------------------  Destination Ceremony  --------------------

Your invitation will read the same as the regular model, with the addition of more location details. For instance, you might include...


at the Southampton Princess

on the island of Bermuda

If you’ll send out less formal invitations, which might be your choice of style, you can word your message with excitement:

Come fly away with us to Bermuda!

We’re renewing our wedding vows

on the pink sand beaches

and we’d love to have you join us!

Flying date: Saturday, March 3rd

Ceremony and party date: Sunday morning, March 4th

Flyback date: Monday morning, March 5th

R.S.V.P. for hotel block information



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