When much of the news about matrimony is often less than encouraging, there's one bright trend gathering momentum. The movement ranges from intimately private to exuberantly public, and the lengths couples go to express themselves is limited only by their imagination—and budget. The Osbornes did it. Sammy Sosa did it. Robert DeNiro even did it. Couples from Maui to Manhattan are renewing their marriage vows.There are many compelling reasons to renew your vows: to declare the high priority of your relationship; to remind each other that you're still in this thing together; to start fresh after a time of family crisis; or to create a positive memory, because the first time was less than memorable.
In Savannah, Georgia, each February Rev. William Hester leads a public, interfaith marriage renewal ceremony at the downtown City Market. "I like to tell people," Hester says, "that these renewal vows are, in some ways, more powerful than their original vows. Once we're married we know what it really means to be committed to someone."
When Kathy & Dale Bissette were married, they were young and strapped for cash. "Our wedding could have been mistaken for dinner with the family," Kathy told TheBridalBook.com. Twenty years later, "We wanted the whole shebang," she says, "white wedding gown, big church, limo, caterers, flowers, and more than 200 guests."
During Sherrie and Bob Eldridge's ceremony, their pastor summed up why they chose to renew their vows. "His text was about the Israelites choosing a stone to mark each place of victory in their journey to the Promised Land," Sherrie says. "Our renewal ceremony would be like a stone of remembrance showing God's faithfulness to bring Bob and me through everything."1