3 Women on How (and Why) They Renewed Their Vows

Ceremony & Vows

Fret not if every detail of your wedding day doesn't turn out perfectly. There can always be a do-over! Here, three women share their stories.

The Bride Who Rushed Her First Wedding
Sommer shares, "Skip and I got married in 2001 after just four weeks of planning." The duo had to move fast to make their relationship legal because Skip is Canadian and his Visitor's Visa was about to run out. Additionally, the bride's mom did most of the organizing the first time around. Sommer, now 38, says, "We had about 50 guests, it was nice and we were happy to be married... But as time went on I realized it wasn't what we hoped for."

The couple's 2013 "vow renewal" lived up to all their hopes. "I budgeted and saved and went all out — picking out a venue on the bay, sending out save-the-date cards, going shopping for a simple but beautiful wedding gown with my then-eight-year-old-daughter..."

The second time around, there were 100 guests, including her husband's family and friends who couldn't come to the wedding. The couple opted for a candy bar versus a cake but had a "first dance" to the song "Sexy and I Know It."

A month after the redo came a big surprise: Sommer was pregnant with their fourth child! She laughs, "Skip and I still haven't had a honeymoon. We're hoping to do that for our 15th anniversary next year."

The Bride Who Recommitted on the Beach
Last year Aimee and her husband Nate celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in a truly memorable way — by renewing their vows on a beach in Mexico. Aimee shares, "At first my husband was less than enthusiastic about a recommitment ceremony. He balked at my original idea of wearing my wedding dress and going to the spot where we first got married — Troncones. Once I agreed to find a new but similar place — Todos Santos — he warmed up."

Sixty people attending the wedding. Guests at the redo were the couple, their then-seven-year-old son, a photographer and a gorgeous sunset. Aimee recalls, "Nate and I read letters we'd written to each other, and one from our son. We were all crying — it was intimate and special."

The Bride Who Always Planned a Redo
Before their October 9, 2010, wedding at Nevada's Valley of Fire, Dani and her fiancé decided every five years they would have a renewal or other small ceremony. The first commemoration is scheduled, likely also in Nevada's Valley of Fire for October 9, 2015. Dani says, "John and I didn't initially realize what a wonderful idea this was. But in the past five years we've been through serious ups and down." These include the birth of two children, starting a business, the death of a parent, illness, and a major accident — leading to financial stress.

Despite the adversity Dan says, "Our love has grown, evolved and gotten stronger after being tested. It will be amazing to reaffirm, recommit and re-declare our love on our fifth anniversary!"

Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.

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