Retying the Knot
June has long been considered the most popular month for weddings. To anyone celebrating an anniversary this month, congratulations!
My parents were married June 1,1946. It was a whirlwind romance. My father proposed on their second date the previous September. He wasn’t exactly romantic. He announced he was turning thirty, did not want to “fool around,” and wanted an answer. Something must have clicked. Alphonse and Harriet Rucki were married for fifty-five years until he passed away.
My mother always wanted a fiftieth wedding anniversary party preceded by a church service where she and my father would renew their vows. Indeed, they had a lovely service at the church where they had been married.
As they were walking out of the church, my mother asked my father if he could have a do-over, would he marry her again. He replied, “I just did. What else do you want?”
For couples celebrating a major anniversary, or just looking to revisit their special day, renewing your vows could be a great way to show your love and commitment. It might even be a precursor to taking a second honeymoon.
The happy couple, their children, or even the original maid of honor and best man can host renewal ceremonies.
The venue could be a place of worship, your home, a garden, a beach, or anywhere that has sentimental meaning. A clergyperson, friend, or a family member can perform the ceremony.
Invite whomever you want, and feel free to dress up. Wedding dress still fit? Go for it! If that doesn’t work, consider wearing a piece of jewelry your spouse gave to you.
Some couples choose to have their children and grandchildren walk down the aisle with them. Others may want to have as many members of their original bridal party escort them. There are no formal rules; do whatever makes you happy.
You may want to write new vows to reflect the life you have spent together. Some couples may decide to get new rings, or have stones reset. As one friend put it, “New ring, same husband.”
It’s up to you if you want to have a party afterward. Consider bringing along your wedding album for a trip down memory lane. Hire a photographer to capture the event.
It doesn’t matter if you do something very traditional or choose a style that reflects who you are today. It’s all about expressing your love and remembering the life you’ve shared.
Perhaps this is the time to take a second honeymoon. In some cases, like my parents, there may not have been a first honeymoon. My father announced that he had seen enough of the world while stationed overseas during WWII and did not want to travel anywhere.
That said, you might have more time and money at this stage to travel. Many couples feel that getting away from home and traveling together is a great way to reconnect and strengthen their bonds.
Your first honeymoon may have been grand, but second honeymoons tend to reflect more mature tastes. While some couples may want to return to wherever they honeymooned in the first place, others may want to make a grand gesture. This could be the time to take a fancy cruise or travel abroad.
Put your heads together and decide if you want a second honeymoon that is all about relaxation and luxury, or if you want to turn it into more of an adventure.
You may want to take an African safari (see page 22), hike an Incan trail, or explore the pyramids. If not now, when?
Get creative. You can go to a fancy restaurant or for a couple’s spa day right here in town. But, how often can you go for a hot air balloon ride over the desert or horseback riding on the beach? Try for a unique, first-time experience you both will enjoy.
This is your time to reconnect. You may have spent much of your married life managing careers, raising children, and babysitting grandchildren. Take the opportunity to unwind and see each other in a role other than spouse or grandparent.
What happens after you’ve renewed your vows and/or taken a second honeymoon? Start planning your next getaway, even if it’s just a few hours together at a movie or concert.
The important thing is to keep communicating. You don’t want to allow your feelings to cool off; make sure you invest in your marriage.
Take a look at your spouse and remember all the good reasons that first made you fall in love. Now go rekindle those feelings!
Judith A. Rucki is a public relations consultant and freelance writer. Readers may contact her via the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas for making the golden years sparkle, sizzle, and shine.