Close up on couple holding handsThis past weekend at a friend’s weekend wedding a few of us were sitting around at lunch talking about the our own weddings. One couple was celebrating their 30-something wedding anniversary that very day.

“What a perfect opportunity to create new vows” my husband suggested to them.

That’s all it took for us to dig into a lively conversation, which reflected a lifetime of coupled living. Cynical, riotous, practical, economical, and realistic vows were all on the table.

We were roaring with laughter and taxing our R&R indexes (Romance V. Reality), playing this theme from all angles. We had a glimpse of a new BA50 Reality show in the making. Perhaps this could be the new adult pre-wedding party game?

Here are our top 12 Renewal Vows for “seasoned” 50-somethings:

  1. I promise to put you in a nice nursing home that allows dogs.
  2. I promise to pull the plug in a timely manner
  3. For richer but not for poorer
  4. For richness and for health
  5. I promise not to react to anything you say – just to nod in agreement and smile
  6. I promise to pretend I am hearing that joke for the first time.
  7. I promise I will de-clutter and start on your things first
  8. I promise to examine your new growths without judgement
  9. I will tie your shoes
  10. I promise not to look at any body parts too closely unless you ask
  11. I promise to compliment you once a day and mean it.
  12. I promise we will always have a dog

Slightly disgusted with ourselves but feeling a bit clever nonetheless, we got ready to head to the church.

As we walked into the steepled Vermont church we gave ourselves over to the sweetness and simplicity and frankly the perfection of a clean slate.

That afternoon, we were privileged to experience the most personal wedding ceremony we have ever seen. The couple shared vows that neither their parents nor friends knew they were going to say.

Vows filled of understanding, hope and intimacy. Vows filled with the respect and wisdom of their precious love. Vows that honor independence and connection and commitment. Personal, very personal vows said in soft kind loving voices, voices that reflected hearts that were wide open.

I felt like an eavesdropper on the most intimate conversation between two lovers.   I could have been at the next table in a restaurant leaning into a pivotal romantic conversation where 2 lovers lay their hearts on the table. But I wasn’t eavesdropping. I was invited in to witness this full expression of love and I felt it’s power and it filled me with love for them and hope for us all. It was a privilege to be there.

We were the older generation, full of life’s curve balls, slightly marked and worn yet, none of that mattered at this moment. We were renewed by their words.

These two young lovers were our teachers that afternoon. These two young lovers reminded us of how sweet love is.

As we listened to our bride and groom’s unencumbered loving promises to one another my husband squeezed my hand. His eyes were moist. I looked lovingly at him and thought how we both still feel all that hope and love and possibility.

That morning’s game of later in life Vow renewal needed to be heavily edited. We would surely tread more tenderly when writing down our promises to one another and revisit them with a kinder and more loving twist in the afterglow of these newlyweds.

There’s no question, we have so much to be grateful for and hopeful about. But, then again, we’re just coming up on our 7th anniversary.


How Would Your Wedding Vows Change After 50? was last modified: by

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