Married life · Ridiculousness

Vow renewal:You should do this

I think that it was something I said during our wedding planning process, or maybe it was right after we had gotten married when we were all alive with the blissful feeling of being newlyweds. I’d said:”I think we should come back here every five years and celebrate with a vow renewal.” It was really romantic and idealistic– as though we would be the kind of people to come back to Hawaii every five years to the Four Seasons and have a vow renewal!

Anyway, I said it and promptly forgot all about that idea for a few years. We celebrated an anniversary or two; we had our baby girl… Life went on. When we were planning our trip to Mexico (which kind of was on a whim, really), I was doing all this stuff for our wedding recap and our 5-year anniversary post here on the blog, and I realized that if we were going to do something to celebrate our five year anniversary (like a vow renewal), we probably should, you know, do it.

So, the next day I asked my husband how he’d feel about a vow renewal. (I wrote something for ISI about this, I’ll be sharing it in a separate post) He joked that he was thinking about getting out, but if  I was really into it, then he guessed he’d stick through it and stay around. And thus, the planning began. And now, you get to read about the trials and tribulations of planning a vow renewal.

My first immediate concern was obvious: what do I wear?  I wanted to wear something lacy and romantic looking, but not too bridal. These were the ideal dresses, but I should have been thinking about these dresses some six months ago:

Vintage Lace Dress


I consulted a few websites that told me I shouldn’t look too much like a bride at my vow renewal. I shouldn’t have a mini wedding (why? I love weddings. I can do whatever I want, vow renewal etiquette!) I threw a small temper tantrum.

Vow Renewal ETiquette

Okay. FINE. So, I searched around on the internet, and this is the first dress I ordered:


At first blush (hah, do you like that play on words there? Work with me people!) it seemed so perfect. It was my first experience with ordering a dress from China, and I didn’t realize that it was really short until I read the fine print that said it was a “cocktail dress” with a description of “short/mini” and  that after doing some detective work, that meant it probably was like 22 inches long. For serious.


I tried to send an email asking them to make it longer, but I don’t think they got what I was asking. This was my email: “I am concerned about the length, as I am taller and I wasn’t sure how long this dress is, and I may need to lengthen it. I did not see a specific length measurement, can you help me with this?” and the response was:

“Thank you for your concern of our website.

This is Fiona, your private custom service (ID 418321) at tbdress, Only click my link, will i have the privilege to give you a nice discount for sure

We have urged our manufacturer speed up for you, and could you please give us some time, we will tell you more details for you, thanks!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us and we’ll reply you within 24 hours.”

I am not really sure what any of that means, but it did get shipped out pretty quickly and I should be getting it on Tuesday, provided it doesn’t get stuck in Customs.  Who knows what it will be like when it gets here, but OMG isn’t it lovely? If it covers my behind, I am going to wear this dress somewhere, because it’s gorgeous. We will see if it’s complete and utter trash in person, but I’m going to be hoping for the best. I found some reviews on the internet that made me second guess my purchase and also made me have a small come to Jesus with myself about the fact that I’m a total impulse buyer, and I’ll buy things that look good before making sure they are actually, well, good.

Anyway, in fear I was going to get “scammed” (thanks, internet) or going to be wearing a whore dress to my vow renewal, I then went on the interwebs and started searching for another dress. We decided we wanted to have our daughter be part of the ceremony (cute, right?) so we wanted to have Emmaline’s signature color play a key role– blush– along with our wedding colors: yellow, ivory, and gray. I found another blush dress, this time from Mod Cloth. It was so cute! It looked great, and while the pic online looked ivory, the reviews all told me it was blush, so I was prepared. It’s called Calm and Confident

Calm and Confident Dress

I got it, and it made my skin look dead: (Also omg my face, guys, what the hell!)


I didn’t love this dress. It was not, to quote my friend Ronelle “blowing my skirt up” and I think it should do that kind of thing, don’t you? I felt lumpy and gross. It’s going back.

I hit the internet again, returning to Modcloth. The next gown I found was “Aisle Always Love You” –A Line, fit and flare, classic, pretty. That bit of peeking tulle, the flowers– it’s a sweet dress. I love it.

Aisle Always Love You

But, what if I didn’t love it in person? I decided I needed insurance. I needed “gown” insurance. So, I ordered another dress. You know, just in case. This one caught my eyes– it was barely blush, had a floral detail, and had straps (not pictured) and looked kind of flowy and fun: Love Above the Rest

But, the whole *LACE* thing kept weighing on me. Gah, I am so complicated, right? My friend Ronelle found THIS DRESS:

This pretty baby is from Lord and Taylor, and is by Vera Wang. I liked it a lot, and was very excited; I think I maybe even shouted:  “Maybe this is (finally) it!”. Besides, I can always return anything I don’t like. And Lord and Taylor is having a really great dress sale right now, and that made buying it so much easier… But she needed something. A belt! Off to BHLDN, I went to go peruse belts. I found this one that could work with the tulle gown from Mod Cloth or the lace dress:


So pretty, right? But while I was looking at belts I found this dress…


And I kept thinking about her, and thinking about her, and I rationalized “shouldn’t I have a long gown contender?”

To recap: I now will be deciding between these four gowns, possibly the 5th china one, which I have pretty much already eliminated in my mind…


Most of the dresses (including the China dress) get here on Tuesday. Bhldn is in limbo, I don’t know what is up there, but I’ll keep you posted. I know that you want to know about these things, right?

I will also be sharing all the fun little things I’m doing to make things personal, like family vows, some craft projects I may or may not get to do in a week, flowers, and my hopes and prayers to find some shoes that will work.

Vow renewals. You should totally do one of these.

One thought on “Vow renewal:You should do this

  1. Pingback: We Still Do

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