Wedding vow renewals - could they be what your marriage needs?

A set of wedding rings
A set of wedding rings

If you haven’t heard yet, Jay- Z and Beyonce are rumoured to have renewed their vows for their 10th wedding anniversary after a video shared on screen during their On The Run II tour showed images of Jay and Bey in a white suit and wedding dress respectively with their kids around them. 

Here’s a clip of what fans can see during the show. 

And they’re not the first celebs to redeclare their love. Although they might not be the greatest example since they’re not together anymore, but Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon used to renew their vows every year. Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon renewed their vows on Valentine’s Day 2016 – and Oprah was there! David and Victoria Beckham renewed their vows in 2008 at their home and have matching tattoos as a reminder of the day.

Locally, our fave SA couple Connie and Shona Ferguson renewed their vows in 2011. 

READ MORE: This couple's double proposal will melt your heart

Vow renewals are described by as “…a ceremony in which an already-married couple re-affirms their love for one another and their commitment to their marriage by either repeating their original wedding vows or by making new vows” 

Dr Lauren Clucas, a marriage counsellor in Cape Town and author of Wanted: How to Create a Relationship that Really Works, says they’re great for couples who want to recommit to each other. “In my experience with couples it’s a great, positive experience. It’s a reawakening or rekindling of the relationship, because just like human beings do, relationships shift and change and are organic.” 

She says that about every every five to seven years couples should reevaluate their relationship and check back in with each other and this would be the time when a vow renewal would work. “you don’t have to renew your vows every five to seven years, but, for people in long term relationships,  a vow renewal can help:

• refresh [the relationship] and make it more relevant to one another again

• couples check in with their expectations and their boundaries in terms of what they’re wanting for the next chapter of their lives together.” 

READ MORE: 14 of the most romantic celebrity first dance songs

Often vow renewals are done as a celebration of an anniversary, especially a big one, or when a marriage has gone through a big hurdle. “Vow renewals can often reboot [the relationship] and it’s also very helpful when the relationship has gone through a trauma like infidelity and has been broken and you’ve gone through a healing process and have been able to forgive,” says Dr Clucas. 

It’s a lot more than just getting to wear a pretty dress again and eat cake. “Doing a vow renewal allows things to sort of start over and put the past in the past and moving into the next chapter, ” Dr Clucas says. 

Also, vow renewals don’t need to be a big party where you invite all your family and friends to watch you celebrate your love, it can also just be about the two of you. “It need not be a formalised ceremony in front of witnesses. It can also just be getting together and doing a sort of audit, otherwise it sort of becomes almost clinical instead of a special ritual. Just the two of them can do it without it being formalised by witnesses. I would certainly recommend an ‘in house’ vow renewal every five to seven years.”

READ MORE: 5 make-up mistakes you should never make on your wedding day

Reader’s Digest also has a great list of dos and don’ts for your vow renewal, including remembering to write your own vows for the ceremony, not asking for gifts and having a special dance together.  

Have you or are you considering a vow renewal to your partner? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter. 

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