Author Topic: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?  (Read 4450 times)

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ettiquit

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Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« on: June 19, 2013, 02:18:39 PM »
My parent's 40th wedding anniversary is this year, and my brother and I have been talking about surprising them with a vow renewal.  I was looking through their wedding album and saw that they kept the text (including the vows) of the entire ceremony.  Their best man and maid of honor were their siblings, so they could certainly participate. 

I'm having a nagging feeling that making it a surprise isn't a great idea.  They may want to write new vows since their original ones were just standard ones provided by the pastor.  They may want to get their wedding rings engraved - or buy each other new rings. My family is very big on surprises, so we kind of tend to default to that "mode" when planning any kind of celebration. 

Has anyone done or have heard of surprise vow renewal ceremonies?

wolfie

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 02:21:13 PM »
How do you know they want a vow renewal? This is something that is deeply personal and I really wouldn't surprise them with it.

perpetua

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 02:22:05 PM »
I've never heard of this, but I have a feeling that the only people deciding upon whether to renew vows should be the couple themselves.

NyaChan

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2013, 02:25:33 PM »
This is something for couples to decide on themselves, I don't think a surprise for this is a good idea.

rose red

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 02:27:01 PM »
I think that's a personal thing.  Many couples love it, but your parents might feel like me and feel silly.  A surprise would make it worse.  It's best to let them know your idea and let them decide for themselves. 

perpetua

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 02:38:00 PM »
I just see the potential for all sorts of awful things to go wrong with something like this.

Talking generally now, not about your family, OP, but what if a couple who were surprised with a vow renewal were in couples counselling or even actually on the point of splitting up and hadn't yet told anyone? Imagine having to go through either the sham or the awkward explanations necessary in turning down the gift.

Yvaine

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 02:41:47 PM »
I also know people who believe a vow renewal is only for after serious problems in the marriage, and so they'd be embarrassed to do this because they'd think it was signaling relationship issues that don't actually exist.

Please don't surprise them with this--if you do want to do this idea, ask them about it and see if it's something they'd want, with plenty of advance notice.

TurtleDove

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 02:49:19 PM »
Add me to the list of "don't do this!!!!  Throw a surprise anniversary party, but keep the vow renewal out of it. 

ettiquit

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 03:01:24 PM »
LOL - well I'm glad this wasn't actually my idea.  It sounded cool at first, but then I started thinking "Wait, do people DO this?".  It would seem not! 

So neither will we.  ;D

Harriet Jones

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 03:02:24 PM »
You could always ask if they'd like to incorporate a vow renewal, though ...

TootsNYC

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 04:31:55 PM »
I've never heard of this, but I have a feeling that the only people deciding upon whether to renew vows should be the couple themselves.

Yep.

THEY are renewing their vows; it's not something other people do to you.

Throw them a party. Buy them flowers.

And if you decide you're willing to give up the surprise, you ask them, as Harriet suggests.

(another reason for people to not want a vow renewal is that they may say, "hey, it's not like the first set of *vows* wasn't a real promise--those *vows* didn't expire.")

PastryGoddess

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 04:32:44 PM »
Do you know if they want a party at all?  I mean 40 years of marriage is amazing, but make sure they actually want to celebrate before you start making plans.

TootsNYC

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 04:35:14 PM »
Yeah, they may be waiting until 50 or something.

blarg314

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 06:09:11 PM »

It's not quite as bad as throwing a surprise wedding for someone, but it's in the same category. A vow renewal is an intensely personal choice - whether you want to do it at all, and if so, how you do it and who you have in attendance.

So I'd say absolutely not. The potential for hurt feelings, having your parents (legitimately) furious at you and potentially horribly embarrassed in front of family and friends is much too high.

Thipu1

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Re: Surprise vow renewal - bad idea?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 06:29:23 PM »
This is NOT a good idea. 

In our experience, a vow renewal may be part of a party for a landmark Wedding Anniversary.  It doesn't have to be a big production but it must be something planned by the couple.