I had the privilege of photographing two very special friends as they renewed their marriage vows for their 20th wedding anniversary. It was a much anticipated planned surprise by the husband, who surprised his wife after church service one Sunday at Northland Church ‘s distributed site in Oviedo. It seemed most of the congregation knew about the special ceremony except the bride.

Fortunately, he had gotten her to write her vows under false pretenses weeks before and both were able to read their newly written vows in front of not only their four children, but most of the congregation as well. It was an amazing and beautiful event to watch and photograph because it symbolized a renewed commitment to marriage, even after life’s difficulties and the knowledge of not only your spouse’s strengths, but more importantly their ever present weaknesses and faults.

According to Life Coach Nina Grunfield:

“If you choose to renew your wedding vows, rather than have a celebratory anniversary party, it’s probably because you want to get serious for a moment. Maybe your marriage has been through a crisis (illness, affair, mid-life crisis etc.) or maybe you’re about to approach a potential crisis (empty nest, retirement) and so want to solidify what you have. Renewing your wedding vows can be an assessment of where you’ve got to in your relationship, a reminder of what you committed to and a spur to thinking about what you want for your future together.” Read more from The Huffington Post

Your future together from this point on can be and should be expressed in your written vows, just as my friends did at their ceremony. It can be an affirmation of who you were when you fell in love, who you are now and who you both want to become, as you grow older together. For tips on how to renew your vows, as well as writing your vows, read more at The Knot.

Now onto the vows of the present… again another privilege I had was to be a guest at our niece’s wedding. Hard to believe that this same niece was a flower girl at my wedding 27 years ago. She was radiantly beautiful and her ceremony of commitment to her husband at the start of their journey together was even more meaningful to me as I ponder the two ceremonies together. One is a celebration of a new life beginning together and the other is a focus is on the marriage commitment itself and setting goals ahead for the future. Both are special in their own right.

 

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Wedding Vows Past and Present