Planning a vow renewal, although not as daunting as planning an actual wedding, is still something that can easily become a stressful task.
What is a Vow Renewal?
A vow renewal is the ceremony of celebration and recommitment that married couples will use to reaffirm their marriage vows. This is a ceremony that isn’t binding legally, which is why there aren’t tough rules to govern the actual process of renewing the vows, so you can use your imagination to the fullest.
How Much Does it Cost to Renew Wedding Vows?
Expect to spend anywhere between $120 and $5,000+ on a wedding vow renewal ceremony including 3 attendants and 50 to 100 guests. This cost will vary depending on factors like the place where you’re planning the ceremony and reception, the number of guests, and the food and drinks you’re offering, among others.
With a little planning, you can organize a vow renewal ceremony and reception on a very small budget. And as you do your ceremony planning and the stress gets to you, remember that renewing your vows is more about you, your partner, and the love you have one for the other, and less about what people think of your reception.
That being said, you will still want to have a memorable experience, so you should make sure you don’t ignore important elements while giving too much importance to things that will turn out to matter the least. So big meals? Not as important as you might think! Most ceremonies do just fine with cake, coffee, and punch.
But let’s go into further detail about what costs you should prepare for when planning your wedding vow renewal ceremony and reception.
Main Expenses When Renewing Your Wedding Vows
Ceremony and Reception Locations
Before choosing a location for your ceremony and reception, you have to have a clear idea of how many people you want to invite. Knowing an approximate number can help you decide whether you’ll have this event in a building, a park, a beach, or a bigger garden.
Of course, it would be a great idea to go to your local parks department and check the newest regulations. This is because while some spaces will enable you to set up lawn chairs, others might have built-in seating, while a few might require your guests to stand. Some people like the idea of organizing reception spaces in picnic shelters to save some money. These can usually be rented for really small fees. If you’re on a tight budget, then you can even consider holding your vow renewal ceremony and reception at home.
Some churchgoers organize these events at churches as depending on the day, you might be approved to use the facility at no charge. Of course, there are also locations that will charge upwards of $1,000 to let you organize an event on their premises.
Expected cost – $0-$1,000+
Vow renewal doesn’t require a legal officiant so you can ask any close friend or member of the family to lead and preside over the ceremony. You can also get in touch with closeby churches as there are many that offer vow renewal ceremonies for free.
Of course, you can always pay a professional or even a celebrity to do this, so the possibilities are endless, depending on your budget.
Expected cost – $0
The cheapest option you have is to create the invitations yourself using a personal computer and a printer. Very cute graphics and fonts are already available on the internet and can be downloaded for free. You can also buy Invitation kits from retailers like Walmart and write them by hand if the number of guests isn’t very high.
You can also find greeting card kits with general messages and graphics that can be edited to your needs. If you want to do it old-style, then consider getting paper and envelopes from shops like Dollar Tree or Dollar General. You can even eliminate extra postage charges by going for the standard envelope size.
Even when working with a professional designer you will probably get them to do this job for under $100.
Expected cost – $0 to 100
A great choice for a main course that everyone will like is pasta. If you’re on a tight budget, consider bulky types of pasta over long noodles. This is because the bulkier the pasta, the more it will seem so people will be more inclined to get a smaller portion. Go for simple sauces and don’t overcomplicate things. If you’re cooking the food yourself, classic marinara sauces are enhanced beautifully with diced tomatoes and some roasted garlic. This would cost about $1 per person.
Other options to consider are pulled pork, ham, turkey, and other types of meat along with salads.
On the higher end, on the other hand, ordering food can easily cost $75 per person.
Expected cost for 50 guests – $50 to $3,750+
On the lower end, a very inexpensive option would be a layer cake or a sheet cake from a local bakery or retailer like Sam’s Club. Some of these cakes can be found for $50 or under, depending on where you buy them from.
If not, another great idea is to try a baking party in which you’d make a lot of different cupcakes to serve for dessert. If you need festive cupcake papers, you can easily find them in bulk at retailers like Walmart, although they might need some polishing before they are ready to be used in your event.
For a special touch, if you’re going for cupcakes, just top each one with just one small heart-shaped candy or another type of cute candy. Adding some icing as well will make your cupcakes like bought from high-end stores.
The more expensive option would be to get everything you need from a cake shop which would cost around $350.
Expected cost for 50 guests – $20 – $350.
If you’re going for pasta, then imagine how great it works with baby greens salad or romaine lettuce tossed dressed with red onions and tomatoes and tossed with a classic Italian vinaigrette. You can also use loaves of French bread pre-buttered and sliced or yeast rolls to finish this off.
On the higher end, if you’re working with a catering company to bring you your main course, or better yet, hire personal chefs, then sides shouldn’t be on your mind, as they will be included in the price listed above.
Expected cost for 50 guests – $0 to $30.
You should keep drinks simple, with iced tea, coffee, maybe fruit punch, and some basic lemonade if you want to keep things within a certain budget.
Expected cost for 50 guests – $10 to $150
Tableware and Serveware
On the lower end, you can get everything you need, including tablecloths, serveware, cloth napkins, silverware, glasses, and dishes from your home and even burrow some from your friends and family. When renting a more expensive location, the staff might be able to provide everything in this regard for you.
Even if you buy disposable ones, you shouldn’t have to spend more than $60 on everything from a big retailer.
Expected cost – $0-60
The free option when it comes to music is to provide it yourself. Consider digital music from an iPod connected to a simple sound system. In this way, it is not only free, but you also have full control over the music that is played, because you can prepare the songs you want to be heard. If the place where you’re hosting the ceremony doesn’t have a sound system, you can get portable blue tooth speakers instead.
Of course, you should still appoint someone to be in charge of music, so that they can intervene if something were to happen and the music stops.
You will most likely need a microphone, especially if the event isn’t taking place in a small room so that key events can be called out during the reception. A computer microphone should be enough for this.
For medium-range budgets, consider getting a DJ for your event. Of course, the most expensive would be a live band, especially a very popular one.
Expected cost – $0 to a lot.
Decorations for the reception
Depending on the budget you have in mind, you can go for simple table decorations or elaborate settings. For simple setups, think centerpieces made of cupcakes placed on cake plates. This will also make it easy for you to serve dessert.
You can also find very cheap flowers at local nurseries for a touch of color. Another simple design involves single assorted flowers each in their own vase and placed on each table.
Again, when going for a more expensive location, the staff can help you decorate the room. You can also get the help of a professional planner, which is likely to cost you around $500.
Expected cost – $0 to $500
Flowers shouldn’t be expensive regardless of your budget. There are beautiful flowers for very low prices at your local grocery store or nursery. Getting a single rose with a ribbon for each female attendant instead of a whole bouquet is a very tasteful choice.
The main girl of the event should have six roses instead of one, hand-tied into a bouquet using a basic satin ribbon. Groomsmen don’t need flowers. Most of them won’t like holding flowers anyhow.
Of course, you can also go for elaborate bouquets for every female guest, but this will raise the price considerably.
Expected cost – at least $25.
You can skip attendants altogether to save some money, but if you are set on inviting them, just tell them to wear dresses that would match what you two would wear.
Groom & Groomsmen
Although you can skip attendants altogether if you do want to have a few invited, keep their attire simple. Just ask them to wear something from their closet that resembles what you and your loved one will wear. If not, a basic black suit coupled with a white shirt will be a great option. Just make sure that you go over these things in advance.
Here are a few things you should consider as well
This budget doesn’t include alcohol. This should be budgeted separately and with care, as the costs can easily amount to big numbers. Of course, the best idea would be to skip the alcohol altogether or get just a couple of bottles of champagne so that you can raise a toast.
You should cut costs bu counting on the help of close friends and family to help with general support, clean up, serving, and initial setup.
The most money will be saved as you cut people from the list so if budget is important for you, keep the guest list as short as possible.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to preparing a vow renewal ceremony with reception. Remember that this is an event you two will have to enjoy, so don’t stress too much about setting everything up and just try to enjoy these beautiful moments.