Backyard Vow Renewal CookoutQ. We’re having a vow renewal to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Our children and grandchildren will be the only ones in the renewal party but for the after party should I do centerpieces, favors, and a wedding cake? The after party will be more of a cookout than a reception other than we will have the 1st dance. – Melissa

A. Your party can be as fancy as you like. While many people tend to think of favors and centerpieces as things typically found at weddings, they are actually entirely appropriate for any party. In fact, they were quite common for any party in years gone by and even today are typically found at birthday celebrations, holiday parties, showers, and other parties. A favor is something you give guests as a token of your appreciate for coming to your celebration or as a memento of the occasion. Centerpieces provide you with an excellent opportunity to add color and interest to your celebration. Potted plants, fresh cut flowers, floral arrangements, single layer cakes on cake stands, framed photos, and other decorative items all make lovely centerpieces for a vow renewal.

As for a cake, you can make it as fancy or simple as your celebration. Always dreamed of a white fondant covered three layer cake? Then have it! Love a more fun and casual cake – how about cupcakes? Or perhaps your dreams are filled with butter cream icing? Any of these will make for a wonderful treat for your guests and is the perfect way to celebrate your vow renewal.

Cookouts are perfect for vow renewal receptions! Pick easy to cook foods the two of you love and recruit your family and friends to pitch in or bring a dish. You can even surprise them with your ceremony by simply inviting them to a cookout for a more casual feel. It’s a great way to keep otherwise anticipated guest expectations of the celebration at bay while planning a vow renewal that is just what the two of you want.

If you’re planning to hold your celebration outdoors, be sure to check out these two articles:

You might also find our “Sample Vows for Renewing Your Wedding Vows After Many Years Together” article helpful as you plan your day!