Shelly Pate

Wedding Vow Renewals: Turn Your Wedding Into a Special Two-Day Celebration

Wedding program from wedding vow renewals

A wedding thrown into chaos two months prior to its 2020 date–a vow renewal stepped in to save the day. It allowed this couple to fill in any gaps from their wedding day and keep the celebration going. Keep reading for how this couple planned a two-part celebration that concluded with wedding vow renewals that included a HUGE surprise for their guests!

Couple kisses at sunset Virginia wedding venue

Planning Wedding Vow Renewals with Zero Regrets

Krysel and Jeremiah were one of many couples in 2020 that had to come up with creative last-minute wedding changes. Their solution included an immediate family-only ceremony followed by a first dance in the parking lot surrounded by friends. The second part of their plan a few months later included wedding vow renewals and a reception that everyone was able to attend!

Couple kisses under veil at sunset Virginia wedding

As the couple reflected on this decision, they shared, “We could’ve done without the added stress, but overall we really enjoyed our wedding experience. It definitely wasn’t what we originally planned. But, after we embraced what we couldn’t control, we were able to love everything about it.”

Bride grabs groom's bottom at wedding first look

“After we embraced what we couldn’t control, we were able to love everything about it.

Couple kisses while holding wedding bouquet at wedding vow renewals

In sharing their wedding story, the couple described it as “a story of hope and victory. We were so thankful for our friends and family, who encouraged us to stick to our May 15 wedding date despite not being able to celebrate with all our guests. After all, our ceremony mattered more to us than the reception.”

Doing whatever it took to ensure that their loved ones could attend provided what they never would have expected. The couple live streamed the wedding ceremony sharing it with over 600 family members and friends from around the globe!

Wedding Vow Renewals Ideas & Inspiration

Sunset exterior and lawn of Virginia barn wedding venue

The couple landed upon Sweeney Barn in Manassas, Virginia as the perfect modern barn reception venue for their reception. The couple shared that, “We loved the rustic elegance of the venue! Sweeney was not that far from the city, yet you were transferred to a different place while you were there.”

Reception table setting and decor at Virginia barn wedding

Other inspiration for their wedding vow renewals arose from wanting a rustic yet elegant theme for their wedding. This informed the design and colors, as they selected maroon and partnered it with “white, green and brown/gold for nature/earth-toned colors. Sweeney’s theme went really well with what we were looking for.” All the little details came together including Krysel’s parents making the backdrop for their sweetheart table at the reception!

Wedding party surrounds couple as they walk through the crowd

Linking Two Events Together, Along With a Surprise!

Church wedding ceremony

They decided to hold their wedding vow renewals at the same church as their ceremony, St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Fairfax, VA. The spot holds a special place in the couple’s hearts as the place where Jeremiah asked Krysel out on their first date!

The vow renewal date is also that of both their parents’ anniversaries, celebrating 32 years of marriage that same day. These many connections to faith and family were particularly important at their wedding vow renewals because they had a little surprise announcement about starting a family of their own! 

Couple cries and hugs parents at Virginia barn wedding

Krysel and Jeremiah used their reception as an opportunity to share their pregnancy news, as Krysel recalls, “It was amazing! Looking back, they were saying that I was already giving away hints that I was pregnant (more tired than usual, and using the bathroom more). I think my mom was the last person to figure it out–when she saw the pregnancy test in the box, she asked if it was a pen. For a while we were asked why we had to have two celebrations, and perhaps this was one of the reasons. It was great being able to share the news with everyone.”

Couple cries and hugs parents at Virginia barn wedding
Wedding guests hug bride at Virginia barn wedding

 Tips for When Your Wedding Day Doesn’t Go as Planned

Couple kisses in woods at Virginia barn wedding

Here’s what Krysel and Jeremiah learned from planning a ceremony and wedding vow renewals as two separate occasions:

  1. Remember what all of this is for: “Throughout your season of engagement and planning, couples can get lost in all the details. It would be good to check in with each other periodically to see how the other person is doing.”
  2. Focus on what matters most: “There was a lot of praying and looking deeper into what was important, instead of focusing on everything we wanted. Covid was nothing we’d expected or enjoyed, but we’re thankful that on our wedding day, we were able to focus on the center of all our planning–our marriage.” As Krysel clarified, “It took some time, but realizing this lightened the burden of all the last-minute changes and allowed us to focus on each other instead of the smaller details. It really was the intimate wedding we didn’t know we needed!”

“Covid was nothing we’d expected or enjoyed, but we’re thankful that on our wedding day, we were able to focus on the center of all our planning–our marriage.”

Are your wedding plans in upheaval? I’m ready to help you sort out your wedding day!

Couple holds hands walking through field at Virginia barn wedding
Couple kisses surrounded by sparklers at wedding exit

The Team

Coordinator | Sublime Event Co.
Ceremony | St. Leo the Great Catholic Church
Venue | Sweeney Barn
Catering | Catering Reserved
DJ | Archon DJ
Videographer | Shutter & Sound
Florist | Petal Burst
Cake | Sweet Creations
HMU | Updos For I Dos
Photo Booth | Party Favor Photo
Transportation | Majestic Limousine Service
Musician | Kenny Kohlhaas

Featured Categories