Renewing your vows is a public declaration that you still want to be together.

How to Ask a Spouse to Renew Vows

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Couples have a wedding recommitment ceremony for many reasons. Whether you are celebrating a major wedding anniversary or have been through a rough patch, the ceremony communicates that you still want to be together, according to The Knot. Wedding renewals are not new and include couples from many cultures and faiths, according to “The New York Times” article, “After the Years’ Ups and Downs, Beginning Again.”


Just as one of you proposed to start the ball rolling for your original wedding, a proposal can provide the impetus for a marriage renewal service. You could ask your spouse, “Would you do me the honor of marrying me again?” or something similar. If he hasn’t ever considered the idea, it could take him a few minutes to digest the question and answer you. Help him out by letting him know why you want to renew your vows and give him time and space to answer the question. You can provide answers to questions, such as how to pay for it, who to invite and whether to involve your children in the ceremony.

After Infidelity

If one of you has cheated, a vows renewal could be one step on the road to recovery. You could ask for a renewal as a part of your willingness to stay together. Include an infidelity clause in vows you exchange in private, if you don’t want your family and friends to know about the affair, and speak more traditional vows in any public ceremony you have. You could propose the ceremony during marital counseling and discuss how you see the vows as a path to your new future together.

New Outlook

After health, financial or other life challenges you face together, a marriage recommitment affirms that you have come through fire together and survived. You can ask your spouse to consider the renewal as a way to celebrate your love and strength together and to thank friends and family who stood by and supported you through those challenges, as Tom Nishioka and his wife Alexandra Bloom did for their eighth anniversary and following her bout with cancer, according to “The New York Times” article. The renewal allows you to thank all those who have endured with you and ensured you didn’t go through it alone.

Milestone Anniversaries

Many marriages end in divorce, so making it to milestone anniversaries, such as 10 years, 20 years, 25 years and beyond is a cause for celebration. A marriage renewal celebration remembers why you married him the first time and says you still love him. When you ask your spouse to renew his vows with you, talk about including friends and family who are important to your life. Ask your guests to share in remembering the past, celebrating the now and looking forward to your future.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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