Why Do People Renew Their Vows?

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum and Seal and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony all renewed their vows in 2010 which helped vow renewal services, according to The New York Times article, “Vow Renewals: When One ‘I Do’ Is Not Enough.” Celebrities are not the only ones having recommitment ceremonies. Many couples find the ceremonies are a meaningful way to signify that they are holding on to their marriages, although their reasons may vary.

Commemorate Milestone Anniversary

Some couples renew their vows on a milestone anniversary, such as the 10th, 25th or 50th to celebrate staying together, according to Colin Cowie Weddings, an events company that recently did a renewal celebration for Holly Robinson Peete and husband Rodney Peete. Cowie's article “Vow Renewal 101 -- Second Time Around" suggests involving your children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren if your marriage lasts that long. This type of recommitment ceremony celebrates all that you have accomplished as a couple. During the vows, you might talk about how you stayed married for so many years or memorable events you have gone through.

Storybook Wedding

Use your recommitment ceremony to create the dream wedding you didn't have, according to the knot, an internet wedding planning site. For older couples who have established financial security they didn’t have when they married, that elegant wedding with the friends, the bridal gown and the chamber orchestra could finally be financially possible. You could ask your kids to walk the bride down the aisle bringing the past and the present together to celebrate your love.


If you eloped, a vow renewal gives your family and friends an opportunity to share your commitment to each other, according to the knot. You might schedule this after you return from your elopement during a post-wedding reception. Your post-wedding party could be a relatively inexpensive cake and punch reception so you can put the saving toward your home or living expenses.

Challenged Relationships

Many couples find a vow renewal ceremony a fitting way to celebrate remaining married after an affair, illness, financial setback or other event that challenged your commitment to each other, according to Colin Cowie Weddings. You can alter the vows to address the challenges you have weathered, perhaps adding a vow to stay faithful if you strayed, or an affirmation that you have decided to open your marriage up to include outside sexual partners. These kinds of renewals can be private and personal to you and your spouse -- especially if many of your friends and family were not aware of your struggles or wouldn’t understand the choices you have made.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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