Vows are just as important in a vow-renewal ceremony as they are in a wedding ceremony. In a relatively short time each partner is expected to express the reasons, hopes and expectations for entering into or continuing the relationship being honored. A 50-year marriage offers half a century of experiences to select from for writing vows. The website I Do! Take Two suggests reading a book of wedding vows for ideas on what to say. Draw inspiration from your 50 years of marriage and your hopes for the future to write your new vows.
Write about when you first knew you were in love with your spouse. The first date, the first kiss and the first time you say, “I love you” are pivotal moments in a relationship. Show your spouse that you still recall feelings from your first encounters. Be concise, but specific about what your spouse said or did and how it made you feel. “When I saw your beautiful smile from behind the counter, I knew I had to ask you out on a date.” Write three to four sentences about your first moment together.
Highlight two to three major moments over the past 50 years. A lot happens in half a century. Choose two to three moments to highlight. The dedicated care of your spouse after you had surgery, an unforgettable second honeymoon or moving to a new city are all noteworthy memories. The website Perfect Wedding Vows suggests writing about pleasant surprises you have found out about your spouse during the course of your marriage. Write two to three sentences about each moment.
Acknowledge children and grandchildren. Dedicate two to three sentences to your children and grandchildren. Example wording about children: “You were the perfect partner in our adventures raising Jane and John. Now we have even more fun spoiling our grandchildren Amy, Joe and Paul. One day we will have the joy of spoiling their children and I look forward to that.”
Express the feelings you have for your spouse today. Let him or her know that your feelings have not diminished over the past 50 years. Use descriptive words of love such as “unending” and “precious.” Express why you are grateful to your partner in life. Dedicate three to four sentences to sharing your current feelings.
Write about your hopes and expectations for the future in your marriage. Offer examples of the things you would like to do with your spouse for the rest of your lives. Mention specific activities such as golfing or lying in hammocks by the beach. Also mention general ideas such as having fun, relaxing and falling in love more and more each day. Devote five or six sentences to the future.
Make an outline of the vows at least a week ahead of the ceremony.
Incorporate tasteful jokes.