Plans are often tentative in the military. A road trip alone may have a plan A, B, C, D and still not work out. Road trips come and go, but what happens when a military couple wants to plan their once-in-a-lifetime wedding?
Some military couples may have their dream wedding no problem, but it isn’t uncommon for an enlistment date, assignment, deployment or other military-related circumstance to call for some sacrifice and compromise.
Many couples consider vow renewals or second ceremonies. If you’re one of those couples, here are a few things to think about:
There are many reasons for vow renewal. Some couples choose to renew their vows no matter how long they have been married in order to get the dream ceremony they never had. Perhaps they want the full shebang with decorations, photography and a nice venue or perhaps it’s as simple as having the attendants they couldn’t have before.
Another reason may be that the couple overcame a traumatic experience such as a deployment, serious illness, injury or infidelity. A vow renewal can signify a new beginning as a recommitted couple and re-strengthen the marriage .
Some couples are completely against the idea and believe vow renewal is unnecessary seeing as they already made the commitment. Others feel a vow renewal prior to a five-year anniversary is unnecessary.
If you decide you fall on the pro-renewal side, forget the debate and have your special day. Before you do, there are decisions to make as to go about your renewal ceremony.
The first consideration is your guests. Make a guest list and send invitations to your ceremony with the disclaimer that you and your spouse are choosing to have the ceremony you were unable to have before.
It is your and your spouse’s preference as to whether you want to register for gifts. If you registered for your wedding, you may just want to keep it to a ceremony. If you were unable to register for your wedding, guests will be more likely to purchase gifts.
It is highly recommended to not have a bachelor or bachelorette party. While you may not have had the wedding you desired, you are still married and such celebrations may cause more trouble than they are worth. It is also not common to have bridal parties.
Luckily, you’re already married and don’t need to go through the paperwork process again. You can still book an officiant or minister to run a formal ceremony if you prefer, or you can run the ceremony yourself.
Honeymoons are definitely an option for couples. Some even choose to host their ceremony in an all-expenses paid location. That way, you and your guests can appreciate a vacation. Not only that, the all-inclusive route can save you the stress of planning out the details of the ceremony and after-party, if you choose to have one.
If you do not like the idea of a vow renewal, you can still throw a party to acknowledge the sacrifices you made for your wedding. If you had a video made, you can play your original vow exchange for guests and live up the night as the married couple you are.
Have you have vow renewal ceremony or are you planning one?
What about your wedding? Do you feel like you had the wedding of your dreams or do you feel like you missed out?
Photo courtesy of U.S. Army