We celebrated our vow renewal this past June and recently got our photos. I shared them on social media because they are lovely and I like them, why not? Since we didn’t make a big deal out of our renewal, I invariably started getting the question “so why did you have a vow renewal?” Or “y’all haven’t been married that long… is everything okay???”
Our marriage is just fine, thank you. Great, actually. We didn’t get a vow renewal to “fix” anything, or to celebrate the fact that we had weathered a difficult storm. We got a vow renewal because we love each other, and it’s important to us to take some time to get a little sentimental and make a big deal out of our love for one another.There’s also the fact that our kid wanted to know why she wasn’t at our wedding, which is kind of hard to explain to a three-year-old. And we wanted her to know our marriage and commitment to one another is important– so, we planned a vow renewal along with our family vacation. Off the cuff, by the seat of our pants, totally unscheduled. It just so happened it’s been five years since we were wed, and I had way back when said I wanted to do vow renewals on the regular (I’m a romantic and I really, really like weddings– what can I say), but I hadn’t thought about that for years.
But if there is one thing I have realized over the past few months, it’s that life is short. It is really, really short. You should take this time and do the most that you can with it: you should celebrate the love you have, you should festoon your life with happiness. If you’re not happy, you should find a way to be happy. Because life is too short to not let the people love know that you love them and to not celebrate and honor that love.
In my opinion, vow renewals shouldn’t be about fixing something that’s wrong or celebrating that you’ve gotten through a rough patch. I’m not saying they can’t serve that purpose, rather; I’m making an argument for the idea that we should reaffirm and profess our commitments to those we love regularly as both symbol and fuel for our love. As a reminder that love changes and grows, it experiences natural evolutionary milestones that we should pause and lean into, listen to and learn from, and then come out of ready to say “we are excited to be on chapter five of this book that we have no idea how many chapters there will end up being in the final draft!”