Be honest: When you hear a couple is renewing their vows, do you think “Aww, cute!” or do you think “Oh sh**! They’re getting divorced soon!” There are some strong feelings when it comes to re-declaring your love in front of friends and family.
Twitter personality and Slate columnist Nicole Cliffe shared her own reaction to her husband's vow renewal suggestion. According to Cliffe, her husband's proposal was lackluster (he mumbled it into a pillow during a “Psych” marathon). The couple skipped a big wedding in favor of courthouse vows. Though they had a dessert reception a year later, Cliffe never got the big wedding her friends experienced and, well, her husband felt bad about it. 15 years later, he "proposed" a solution to their initial nuptials.
Cliffe was (rightly) horrified and went on a tear about how renewals are a set-up to every true crime story on the ID channel:
In addition to an admission of guilt, there’s the jinx aspect and the optics of the photos aren’t the same. Let's not even mention the fact that your guest list has likely quadrupled in the 15 years you've been married.
Others agreed; vow renewals seem to be the kiss of death for many a celebrity couple:
Many now-divorced celebs have done it -- Guy Ritchie and Madonna, Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey, Jon and Kate Gosselin and J.Lo and Marc Anthony, just to name a few...
Not to mention several “Real Housewives” couples (Vicki and Donn Gunvalson, Ramona and Mario Singer, Shannon and David Beador).
What was wrong with the vows said the first time around?
If you’re renewing your vows, it says to the universe, “One of us messed up and this is how we’re going to fix it.” This explains why people have such a bad taste in their mouths about vow renewals -- they signal trouble.
Many might have a story about how their grandparents renewed their love after 50 years of marriage and it was beautiful and now you believe in love again and love is a many splendored thing. Here's the thing, though. Couples have to earn those years.
Shout out to those who did face marriage problems, like Jay-Z and Beyoncé. They renewed their vows to signify a new chapter. There's nothing wrong with getting it right the second time around and letting everyone know you mean it. It might actually be sweeter than a regular wedding; you know what’s ahead and you’re still willing to move forward.
After 20 years of a happy marriage, the thought of renewing my vows gets a big "NOPE" from Yours Truly because of the bad juju that comes with it (never mind the hassle and expense). Maybe in 30 years (knock on wood) my husband and I will consider it. Until then, if he mentions it, I’m burning sage.