• 05/17/2023

How Much Does It Cost to Renew Your Wedding Vows?

A bride and groom standing at an altar.

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You might be wondering how much it costs to renew your wedding vows. Weddings usually come with a hefty price tag, so it’s normal to question how much to spend on a related celebration. To make things easier for you, we broke down the cost of typical vow renewals.

How Much Does It Cost to Renew Wedding Vows?

While it would be nice to have a single number, a vow renewal ceremony with 100 guests costs between $120 to $5,000 on average. The range is so large because many factors go into renewing your vows. 

Think back to planning your wedding. You probably had to organize multiple vendors, find a venue, create a guest list and pick food to serve. So many little things went into planning your big day, and they all had their own price attached. Although vow renewals are often more lowkey, plenty of the same things factor into the overall cost.

His and her wedding vow booklets.

What Factors Into the Cost?

There are endless things that could contribute to a higher vow renewal cost, but the most common are the same things you’d find at a wedding. 

Here are a few things that affect how much you’ll pay to renew your vows:

  • Outfits: The outfits you wear can add a lot to the cost of your vow renewal, depending on what you wear. For example, tuxedos cost $200 to rent on average, and it’s more than double that price to buy one.
  • Alcohol: Your guests might assume you’ll have an open bar at your renewal if you had one at your wedding. The alcohol might be free for them, but it’ll cost you $15 to $50 per person. 
  • Food: Meals can be a big contributor to the overall cost, but it varies wildly based on the type and amount of food.
  • Location: Many couples choose to go somewhere far away for their vow renewal to turn it into a small vacation. While a destination renewal can be fun, it’ll be more expensive than a nearby location.
  • Guests: The more guests you have, the higher the cost — you have to get a larger venue, more food and more alcohol.
  • Music: If you want music, you can hire a live band for around $4,000 or a DJ for $1,200. Your options and the price varies, but live entertainment is usually expensive.
  • Decorations: Most brides and grooms go all out with wedding decorations to transform their venue into something out of their imagination. Decorations factor into the cost depending on how many you have and what you use.
  • Photography: You might want to capture your precious moments with a photographer, but they don’t come cheap. Most price packages are based on event type. You likely fall into the wedding category, which is usually more expensive.  
  • Officiant: You might not want an officiant, but it factors into the cost of vow renewals for many people. Although they’re not technically necessary, their services come at a cost.
  • Invitations: Wedding vow renewal invitations can be an area to save money. Some choose to go with e-vites rather than splurging on paper like they may have done for their wedding.
  • Rings: Are you considering buying new rings for your vow renewal? While it’s not necessary, some couples choose to update their rings. Maybe they couldn’t afford nicer rings the first time, or they lost or damaged their original rings. It will be an added cost, but for some, it’s worth it.

You don’t have to use every one of these or even get more affordable alternatives. Renewing your vows is all about you and your partner, so you can drop all the excess and just find a quiet spot to say your vows to each other. That being said, you can still do plenty of things to save money if you want a big party.

A man in a suit and a woman in a gold dress holding a bouquet.

How Do You Make a Vow Renewal Affordable?

Many people have expectations about weddings because they’re steeped in tradition, but vow renewals are different. You can organize your celebration however it works for you. Even though many couples choose to follow the outline of a traditional wedding, you can deviate. 

  1. Trim Your Guest List

The invitations are somewhat of a hidden cost when you have a large guest list. A celebration with 100 guests comes with a price tag of $250 on average. It can be wise to be selective when creating your guest list. Besides, renewing your vows is about intimacy and loyalty — it can be more meaningful to only invite those closest to you.

Making an exclusive guest list also helps keep everything else affordable. With fewer guests, you can serve less food and alcohol. It also lets you keep your venue small, saving you extra. You likely invited plenty of distant relatives the first time around, so limiting who comes this time is perfectly fine.

  1. Opt for Alternative Attire

Brides and grooms look great in flashy wedding outfits, but consider if it’s necessary this time around. Renewing your vows gives you a do-over if you weren’t fond of your original dress or tux, but nontraditional styles can be much more affordable. Regular everyday dresses or even higher-end evening gowns are typically much cheaper than wedding attire.

If you have your heart set on classics, consider altering your wedding outfits. It’s a simple solution that can leave you happy with your look and comfortable in your clothes. The cost depends on what you change. For example, dress alterations typically cost between $20 and $1,000 on average. Although it might be higher than you expected, your original outfits may have priceless sentimental value.

  1. Ditch the Caterer

While traditional celebrations usually cater, you can do whatever you’d like because there are no rules when renewing vows. If you want to serve food at an after-party, you can schedule it for later in the night so your guests can stop somewhere to get food before coming back. 

You could also serve smaller snacks instead of a full meal because it likely is less expensive. For example, a selection of hor d’oeuvres is much more affordable than a full meal with every one of the food groups. Alternatively, you could make your celebration a potluck and ask your guests to bring their favorite dishes.  

The same sentiment applies to alcohol. It’s not necessary to have, but you can ask guests to bring their own or you can limit the amount you have if you want to save money. 

  1. Stick Close to Home

You don’t need to fly to the other side of the world to fall in love with your partner again — you can do it in your own backyard. While destination renewals can be fun, they’re pricey. Nothing says you even have to pick a venue. You can renew your vows seaside, at a botanical garden or in your home. 

A couple holds hands with a wedding officiant's hand resting below.
  1. Ask Friends or Family to Officiate

Many couples want an officiant for their vow renewal ceremony because it makes things more formal and guides them through their vows. While it can be a beautiful touch to the celebration, it can be pricey. On average, it costs around $250 to $800 to hire an officiant because you either pay for a service or make a donation to the church. 

You already have your wedding certificate, so the officiant would only give you a decorative keepsake at most. If you want one but are looking to save money, you could ask friends or family to step in. If they’re ordained, they can easily officiate. It also can add more sentimentality to the moment because it’s someone close to you.

  1. Leave the Photography to the Guests

While a photographer is a staple for most weddings, it’s up to you if you want one for your vow renewal ceremony. Hiring a professional typically costs anywhere from $1,600 to $3,600, so it might be better to find alternatives. 

Consider getting disposable cameras if you want pictures but have a small budget. You can leave a few lying around or give one to each guest. At the end of the night, they bring you the cameras, and you get a bunch of fun photos. They won’t all be perfect or high-quality, but it is significantly more affordable and can create fond memories. 

The Average Cost of Renewing Your Wedding Vows

There aren’t any rules regarding vow renewals, so you can do whatever you want. While first weddings come with a hefty price tag, your vow renewal doesn’t need to break the bank. You have plenty of options if you want to save money but stick to a classic celebration. You don’t need a large party or detailed planning. Remember that the event is all about you and your partner and every guest is there to celebrate your lasting love.

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