I recently started breaking down what I do as a celebrant. I call myself a civil & family celebrant and it doesn’t really say all that I do. So I started to think about each aspect of what my role entails. Today, I was thinking about Renewals and what they mean to me.
So, we start a relationship; we meet someone, get to know them, fall in love, perhaps move in together (well it is the modern way!) or not, and then decide to get married. You have the wedding, it might be a huge lavish wedding or a small intimate affair. It will be what you can either afford or what you as a couple want. But the wedding is just the beginning of what is or should be, a lifelong commitment, both emotionally and physically.
The next stage, we are living together as man and wife or same sex to be all inclusive, and that’s when life takes on a different level of existence. We learn more about our partner, how to live with them, if its new, or to feel the difference of being ‘officially’ recognised as a married couple
We then may, potentially become parents. Weither it is one child or multiple children, they change the dynamics of our relationship. So many emotions can come to the forefront of our relationship when those changes happen. On the dark side, there could be tiredness (or was that just me?), frustration, feelings of separateness but let’s not dwell on that one! On the bright side, there will be joy, of feeling complete and whole as a family, of recognising you are now more than just a couple, you are a family, no longer just the two of you.
If we don’t become parents, we may just enjoy life together, working, socialising, just being together as marriage intends it to be.
Then there comes a time when perhaps the children are grown up and off hand and you want to celebrate you have survived those ‘challenging’ years, or you want your years together to be recognised be your family and friends. What better way to do it than renewing your vows. A public recognition of your marriage.
A renewal can be even more special than your original marriage as it is seen that you have weathered storms and grown closer and more together than ever before. It can be that your original wedding was not all that you wanted it to be so it is an opportunity to have something special to remember it from a different perspective.
I have been asked to do surprise renewals both from the couple’s children or by a husband wanting to surprise his wife. These are my favourite by far as the look on the faces of those that had no idea is just delicious!
To share their story, to show that regardless of any challenges they may have faced, or perhaps there are none, perhaps, it is just to show the true love endures and grows and evolves into something more. The word ‘love’ is banded about sometimes without really knowing the depth that we can moved into when we work together to find true happiness with our partner.
I know, I most likely sound like a soppy so and so but it’s true. Love changes, it evolves into something very special. It becomes so much more than what we feel it is when we start out. It becomes something without words, just a feeling that is supportive, comfortable, and peaceful. Isn’t that something we all hope for. The fire of passion becomes slow burning embers, that are still there, that occasionally might produce flames but it is there to warm us, to see it to know it is there.
So, to sum it up, why do I love renewals? I am a real romantic and to officiate at a renewal is to remind me that love endures, that love grows and becomes something so much more. I will never have that opportunity to renew vows but, I look at those doing it and know that it is so special, and treasure observing love at its most precious.