Making the Wedding Vows Stick

It’s common for married couples celebrating a significant wedding anniversary to have a renewal of vows ceremony. The truth is, most couples in long-lasting marriages are renewing their vows a lot more often.

Recently the Weekend Australian Magazine featured a couple who had just married on Bondi Beach. But it wasn’t their first wedding. In fact it was their thirtieth time. This couple, eschewing the traditional wedding with dozens of guests and elaborate ceremony, decided to elope and have spent three months travelling the world and marrying in each place that took their fancy. Even though they are now home in California, they are still getting married – current count is 52, according to the Australian.

While a little absurd at one level, there’s a wonderful insight being brought to light through what this couple is doing. In effect they are imprinting their vows and consolidating them in the memories of every amazing place they visit, which includes quite a few exotic destinations.

It’s a truly lovely idea and one that every couple can emulate in a far more simple way.

While we can all have a more traditional wedding with friends and family amongst our faith community, there is nothing stopping us from regularly renewing our vows.

One of the things I (Francine) like to do when praying after communion is to renew my vows – if you see me playing with my wedding ring… that’s probably what I’m doing. And I can do this renewal on my own, every day, before God.

But wouldn’t it also be fun to adopt it into our couple life too? We could make a renewal of vows at every basilica or tower top vista when travelling together. Every time we subsequently saw a picture of that building or landmark, we’d be reminded of our love and commitment to each other. We also love to dive together; why not renew our vows at 20m?!

Even in daily life among the mundane tasks, a regular vow renewal can be incorporated. For example, as part of the bedtime ritual of cleaning teeth and setting the alarm; every time we go to sleep it would be in the context of remembering our commitment to each other. If we happen to be a bit out of sorts with each other, what a great way to remind ourselves that our relationship is about more than the petty upsets of the day.

And then of course there is our lovemaking. Saint John Paul II noted that a couple’s sexual union is a sacred body language that physically ‘speaks’ the words of the  wedding vows; every time a couple makes love they are in fact renewing their wedding vows through their the language of their bodies. How much more powerful it would be if we also verbalised this either before or after we made love?

Renewing our vows can be done as frequently as we choose; from the mundane to the extreme. When we start to think this way there must be thousands of opportunities for couples to renew their vows – so try it and drop us a line below and let us know what you did and what impact it had – we’d love to hear your stories.

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About the Author:

Francine & Byron Pirola
Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links.

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