Planning your vow renewal - getting started

Planning Your Vow Renewal

To Do’s 12-24 Months in Advance

Planning your vow renewal is incredibly exciting, but there are lots of decisions to be made. It’s optimal to start planning 12-24 months in advance, especially if you want a particular, popular event location for your ceremony and/or reception for a specific date. Popular event facilities can be booked solid 24-72 months in advance for popular dates, so if you have your hearts set on one of them, inquire as soon as possible about their availability. Even if you’re planning an intimate celebration at your home, it’s helpful to start planning 12 months in advance to take advantage of seasonal and early booking discounts and give yourself time to make sure you have all of the details handled. Here are the first things you need to do to get the planning of your vow renewal off to a good start:

  • Select the date and time for your vow renewal— Pick a couple of dates and times that will work best for you so you can get the ceremony and reception locations you want.
  • Set a budget – How much do you want to spend on your celebration? How much can you really afford?
  • Decide what style you want for your vow renewal— Formal or informal? Colors? Theme? Destination or local? Civil or religious? These decisions will impact your selection of everything else!
  • Start thinking about what the two of you want to wear—If you want a custom gown or it needs to be special ordered, now is the time to get things moving.
  • Decide whether to hire an event consultant or manage the details yourselves—Do you have the time to meet with vendors and scout locations? Or would it be better to have someone take care of these things for you?
  • Decide if you will have attendants and if so, how many—Will you be including your children? Friends? Other family?
  • Decide if you will be using a general officiant or a clergy member and meet with them—If you are having your ceremony at your place of worship, be sure to find out any requirements, rules, and expenses.
  • Choose your ceremony and reception locations—Be sure to find out any requirements, rules, and costs; often your vendors will be determined by these facility selections.
  • Ask your desired attendants, both female and male, if they will be involved— Make sure you clearly communicate the date, time, and location information in addition to any expenses they will incur.
  • Meet with close family members and friends you want to be involved to discuss plans—See who is willing to help at the celebration and who is willing to help with planning.
  • Decide on the size of the guest list—Start out with a list of the people you can’t live without. It’s easier to add on to a list than keep cutting it down to better match your budget.
  • Create a system for organizing paperwork from vendors—You need some kind of binder or organizer to keep all of your contracts, receipts, and to do lists in.
  • Interview and book primary vendors, including the facilities, caterer, florist, photographer, and musicians – Ask friends and family for recommendations. Check out vendors reviews on the web. Compare quotes from at least three to get the best price.
  • Research second honeymoon options and destinations—After your amazing vow renewal ceremony and reception are over, where do the two of you want to get away? This is a great time to go to one of those destinations on your bucket list!

Already past the 12 months mark and just getting started planning? No problem! Just use this list to get the priority items out of the way quick and move on to the next one as soon as possible. Check out our lists for 6-9 months, 3-6 months, and 1-3 months to get on track fast and tackle the priority items.