How Long Should I Wait Before Renewing My Vows?

I worked with a woman that told me that she was looking forward to renewing her vows with her husband on their tenth wedding anniversary. They were planning to have a destination wedding in Jamaica. My initial thought was, “How wonderful!” My next thought as a newlywed was, “Wow, that’s a long time from now.”

On my way home, I started thinking about this concept some more —waiting years to renew your vows in an expensive ceremony— and had a lot more questions.  Were they waiting to renew their vows because they thought it had to be done after a set period of time? After one of those milestone years (i.e. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years)? Were they waiting to renew their vows because they thought that there had to have a hefty price tag attached to the experience?

But then I realized that my husband and I renew our vows darn near every six months. But we call it something different. When my husband and I began dating, we started the “6-month Relationship Review” tradition. We would make a weekend out of it. Usually, we would book a beautiful hotel room or find a cost-effective deal for a weekend getaway to give us a beautiful, relaxing environment to reflect on our relationship, focus on our love, and reconnect in a real way. (When the money was funny, we ordered in and shut out the world out. No phone calls. No social media.) Prior to our “6-month Relationship Review,” we had to reflect on the following and be prepared to share our thoughts:

  1. We talked about what was working—We reveled in all of the great, sexy, caring, and fun things that we had done together. We also talked about how we overcame some big challenges. During the first year of our marriage, we both had been sick at different times and turned to each other for support during those low moments. Taking time to slow down and count your blessings makes you closer.
  2. We talked about what was not working—during one of our “6-month Reviews,” my husband was able to share how he felt about the time demands of my job and its impact on our together time. While I understood him, it was in that risk-free, beautiful, and intimate space that I could somehow hear him better and made some real shifts about my time. During a different “6-Month Review,” I was able to share how I felt about how much time he spent playing video games. It was great to see that after this conversation, I noticed that he put a cap on how much time he spent with his PS3.
  3.  We affirmed our love—We shared why we loved each other and we got specific—from how we drive to how we kiss to how we handle in-laws.
  4. We talk about what’s in store for the family—In addition to reflecting, we look ahead and make priorities for the family. I know we have had the same couple of goals for the last year, which has been to live beneath our means in order to build our respective businesses.

So, to answer the question, “How long should you wait before renewing your vows?” I would have to say, “There is no set time.” You can create your own ways to connect with your spouse in informal, meaningful, and cost-effective ways that will add value to your marriage’s strength and happiness…whenever and however, you want.

If this post really resonated with you and you want to transform how you feel and think about money so you can live your best life, consider money therapy.

Frugal Feministas—What do you think? How often should you renew your vows?

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