My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary in a few months and are planning a vow renewal/reaffirmation ceremony/reception. I will give you a summary of the details. Please tell me if we are within the boundaries of good etiquette.

  • Hall rental with about 100 people, mostly close family. (We met at a dance in this Hall 30 years ago)
  • Formal invitations (reply cards) requesting the honor of their presence as we reaffirm our wedding vows.
  • An open bar.
  • A Catered Buffet dinner.
  • Dancing (DJ or family supplied music; haven’t decided yet).
  • Photographer/Videographer.
  • A cake table with a re-creation of our original wedding cake (only changing the colors from peach & white to silver & white).
  • Tables set up on opposite sides leaving an isle leading to an arch at the front centre of the room.
  • My husband in a tux and I will be wearing a silver evening gown.
  • Tuxes or suits for our son, son in law and grandsons (?)
  • Bouquet or corsage for me (?)
  • Boutonnière for my husband (?)
  • Corsages for our sisters, daughters, and daughter in law (?)
  • Boutonnières for our son, son in law and grandsons (?)
  • A table displaying photos from our wedding and the passing of years and decorated with a flower and candle arrangement in honor of the memory of our parents.
  • We were thinking that once the guests were all seated, our family (us, our children and grandchildren) would walk down the centre isle to the front, ranging from youngest to oldest, in pairs, and to the song “When I Said I Do”. They take their seats and my husband and I remain standing. We have beautiful renewal vows and will exchange anniversary bands.
  • The ceremony, dinner and dancing will be in one room.
  • We were planning to sit at a head table with our two granddaughters seated next to me and our two grandsons seated beside my husband. This would only be for the dinner. The tables would then be moved to the sides for dancing.
  • Cutting the cake is another issue. (?) My daughters and daughter in law think it would be sweet and romantic.

How does our celebration sound so far?

Etiquette Now

Dear Serenety,

It sounds very close to a wedding, but I believe you have detoured enough for this to appear to be a vow renewal and positive. There are a few small issues. This isn’t a religious ceremony, so it might be better to invite your guests by saying: the pleasure of your company instead of using the word honor.
The flowers are optional for everyone, as this isn’t a wedding.

The cutting of the cake is a gray area. This is a replica of your first, so this is good. But, it is the ‘cutting’ that could be a problem. If this is viewed as you two continuing to care for each other by sharing a bite of cake, then the message is very sweet. So… your choice there. Typically, I suggest to skip it.

All of your other plans are very good. You are catering for your guests as good hosts and sharing a very special time with those closest to you.

Happy anniversary!

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Reader Response

Thank you Rebecca! Your suggestions are perfect.

My daughters have read this and after a little chat with them they agree as well, although a little disappointed about the cake ‘cutting’. Our compromise with them was that the cake will be ‘served’ by either myself or my husband with the other one holding the dessert plates and passing them on to our guests.

We also couldn’t decide on the wording for the invitations but ‘the pleasure of your company’ expresses how we feel.

The flowers are only an issue to my eight year old granddaughter. Perhaps a small, dainty corsage for her would be acceptable.

We have worked everything you mentioned into our plans!

Etiquette Now

Perfect! By you and your husband serving the cake, you are visually sharing your love and demonstrating what a good host is. Bravo.

Oh, and just a thought…tuxedos are formal evening wear. So, these are fine if worn after 5-6 pm. I assumed it would be in the evening and formal because of the attire you mentioned. But, I really shouldn’t have assumed. [blush]

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