Celebrating Your 50th Anniversary with a Vow Renewal and New Vows

The vows you say to one another in a vow renewal ceremony are just as important as those you said in your wedding ceremony. Your vows allow you to express your reasons, desires, expectations, hopes, and dreams for your relationship. As you sit down to write your vows, call upon the half a century of shared experiences you have. The vows for celebrating your 50-year marriage will undoubtedly be different from those you said at your wedding. Draw inspiration from your 50 years of marriage and your hopes for the future to write your new vows. Reflect on the highlights and on the challenges you faced together from day 1 to today.

Five steps to the perfect vows for a 50th-anniversary vow renewal:

  1. Start your vows with three to four sentences about your first moments together. Remember when you first knew you were in love with your spouse? Write about it! The first time you saw each other, the first date, the first kiss, and the first time you said, “I love you” were all pivotal moments in your new relationship. This is the perfect time to share with your spouse that you still recall feelings from those moments. Share as many details as you can, including specifics about what your spouse said or did and how it made you feel. “When I saw you stop to help the little girl down the street catch her dog, I knew I had to get to know you better.” or “When I saw your beautiful smile from across the dance floor, I knew I had to ask you out on a date.”
  2. Next, highlight two to three major moments in your marriage over the past 50 years. Include two or three sentences about each moment. Reflect on those special moments that truly represent your love and devotion to each other. For example, an unforgettable trip or second honeymoon, moving to a new city for a job, or the loving care of your spouse after you had your children or surgery are all noteworthy memories. A lot happens in half a century, so you should have lots of options in picking your favorite highlights. You might narrow them down by opting to go with a theme such as writing about moments you triumphed over challenges together, pleasant surprises you have found out about your spouse during the course of your marriage, or adventures you have been on.
  3. If you have children, you can follow up by acknowledging them and any grandchildren and great grandchildren you have. Write two or three sentences about the role your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren play in your life. You might say something like: “I can’t imagine a more perfect partner as we navigated the journey of raising our three beautiful children Karen, Kristen, and Kaleb. Our adventure continued as we had even more fun teaching and spoiling our grandchildren Alexandra, Lillie, Sophia, and Spencer. Now, we are embarking on the the joy of spoiling little Grace, and I can’t wait to share that adventure with you too.”
  4. Now express the feelings you have for your spouse today. Include three or four sentences about your current feelings about your spouse and your marriage. Let him or her know that your feelings have not only not diminished over the past 50 years, but they have grown as your relationship has matured. Express your enduring commitment, passion, and gratitude for your partner in life.
  5. Finally, write about your hopes and dreams for the future in your marriage. Include five or six sentences that draw a picture of what you see for your relationship in the future. Start by including examples of the things you would like to do with your spouse for the rest of your lives – trips you’d like to take, things you’d like to do, moments you’d like to share. Mention specific activities such as taking in the sights of exotic Bali, seeing the Eiffel Tower, spending afternoons golfing with mutual friends, or taking a trip with the whole family to Disney World. Wrap your vows up by including general ideas such as relaxing, having fun, and falling in love with each other more and more every day for the rest of your lives.

Need more inspiration? Our collection of vow guides provides a wide variety of example vows that you can also draw upon for inspiration on what to say to your spouse as you celebrate your 50th anniversary: