Before you make a guest list, you'll have to decide if you want a big or small celebration.

Credit: Kat Braman

A vow renewal is a sweet way to celebrate your happy marriage and your commitment to one another. To do so, you can plan anything from a casual party in your backyard to an elegant affair in the finest restaurant in town. Most couples plan their renewal to commemorate a milestone year, like Beyoncé and Jay-Z recently did to pay homage to ten years of marital bliss. But if you don't want to wait for a milestone, it's perfectly acceptable to honor an off-year anniversary as David and Victoria Beckham did after 18 years as husband and wife in 2017.

But just as important as when to have a renewal is who to invite. Here are answers to a few common questions around vow renewals.

We're thinking of having a renewal with just the two of us and our kids. Good idea or will we look selfish?

Great idea and not selfish at all. There's nothing wrong with wanting this special experience to be attended by just an intimate group of your closest family members. Some couples pare down the list even more and don't invite the kids at all!

My husband and I eloped, and I've always felt a little sad that we didn't have a big party with a big guest list. Is it too late for a do-over?

No! Plan the party you've been dreaming about with a guest list as long as your arm, if you'd like! You may want to skip the attendants or designate your kids as the bridal party, though.

My mom says if my husband and I have a vow renewal, we should invite all the relatives since they attended our wedding. We want a casual party with mostly friends. What's our obligation here?

The obligation is to yourselves to do what feels right. If you don't want your renewal to be a family affair, don't. Invite whoever you want. You set the rules.

If we're having only a handful of people at our vow renewal. Can I skip the printed invitations?

While you should certainly send an invite so guests have all the details in one place, it doesn't have to be the kind that's printed and mailed; instead, you could send electronic invitations, which are easier, quicker, and absolutely right for a cozy vow renewal.


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