Bride carrying bouquet


April 2, 2024

My spouse and I didn’t have a wedding ceremony due to COVID, but want one now. Any advice?

It’s totally understandable that you want to officially mark your marriage with a wedding ceremony, but COVID-19 threw many people for a loop when it came to weddings. Many couples didn’t want to wait at least an entire year later to get married and chose to do a “micro” wedding instead due to the COVID-19 social gathering restrictions. One person shared on Wedding Wire that there are many stories about people going to a wedding not realizing the couple already secretly married. The guests found out, people were really mad, and they felt lied to about why they were there. Most people, therefore, encourage couples to be transparent about what the guests are there to see and support. A wedding ceremony is an important moment in your life, however, and you deserve to have that memory too!

Technically, a wedding isn’t a “wedding” if you’re already married, but there are other options to consider! First, you could plan your ceremony as a vow renewal and have all the regular events, cake, decor, etc. as if it was the wedding. Some things to consider with a vow renewal, though, is that you wouldn’t want a bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal shower, etc. either since you’re technically already married. A vow renewal can be just as important and memorable as a wedding, though, since renewing vows is a celebration of enduring love, growth, and commitment. As you’ll later recount your experience of renewing your vows, you’ll delve into the significance and impact it made on your relationship.

If not interested in a vow renewal, the second option would be to plan your regular wedding festivities, but call it a “celebration of marriage.” A celebration of marriage is an event or gathering that honors the union between two individuals who have chosen to commit themselves to each other in matrimony. This celebration typically would take place after a wedding ceremony, but it can also be held at various points in a couple’s marriage journey such as milestone anniversaries or vow renewals. In other words, think of a celebration of marriage as like a wedding reception without the ceremony beforehand. If the ceremony is something you’re interested in, though, simply begin with your vow renewal and follow-up with your celebration of marriage.

Hopefully these options will give you some ideas! The important thing to remember is not to overthink things too much. Your marriage is special and life-changing, and you deserve to honor your marriage in the very best way. At the end of the day, the day should be for you and your spouse. So do whatever you want, and don’t let anyone’s judgement get in the way regarding your not having been able to have a ceremony! COVID interfered with lots of things, so don’t feel like you won’t ever be able to wear your wedding dress, be walked up/down the aisle, cut your cake, etc. You deserve to celebrate your marriage, whether it be through a vow renewal, marriage celebration, etc!

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