Vow Renewal Dress Too Formal

Question: My husband and I have been married for 10 years. I already purchased a dress I fear is too formal and need suggestions to “down play” it. I hear it would be better to wear my hair down with not elaborate jewelry? I am not wearing a veil or gloves. The dress has a small train that I will tie up. Any thing else I can do?

Remarriage Expert Answers:

I would suggest returning this dress and selecting something new which would look less like a wedding dress, which is what your dress seem to be (trains). Please read our pages on vow renewals and the etiquette involved. We have an entire page on dresses for vow renewals too.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now:

I completely agree. This ceremony should never appear to be a wedding, as it is viewed very negatively.

Why is it so “inappropriate” for me but not for Mollysmom??? My husband is only wearing a suit and my dress is not that formal-no one else I have asked seems to think it would be “inappropriate” . There will be no gifts, no bridesmaids and just a party in my home and garden. I would advice any wife renewing their vows to wear what she and her husband want. Thanks but no thanks for you advice. You both sound a little bitter.

Remarriage Expert Answers:

We told Mollysmom the same thing:

It sounds as if the dress you love will look like a wedding dress, which may seem confusing. Plus, it sounds a bit too formal (and HOT!). Rhinestones are reserved for night, formal ocassions. Beach services are usually less formal with dresses made of lightweight, gauzy type fabrics.

I’m sorry that you’re annoyed by the advice – but we don’t make this etiquette information up. We give you advice based on etiquette from a group of the most highly respected etiquette professions like Leticia Baldridge, Peggy Post, Miss manner and others.

If all you want is someone to validate your dress choice then you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m sorry, but you asked.

And, just for the record, Rebecca and I are both very happy people, in terriic relationships, with wonderful (grown) children. And lucky Rebecca even has a grandbaby now too! We have nothing to be bitter about.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now:

Well said. Thank you.

Me bitter? Too funny.

Miss Manners ranted about this very thing not too long ago. So, be very careful about your planning. Everything else you mentioned in your planning sounds pretty safe.

I do agree about wanting to wear something that pleases your husband. The “look” is always reassuring and nice. But, there is always something we can find to wear that is also appropriate and proper.

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