For our 13th wedding anniversary (the lucky one), my wife and I decided to take a weekend trip to Vegas to celebrate.
On a whim I said, “Let’s get married again.” My wife looked at me like I was crazy. I’m quite familiar with this look because I’m prone to say off-the-wall things at any given moment.
“Are you serious?” she asked.
“Of course I’m serious,” I said. “It’ll be a great way to celebrate our anniversary.”
When she finally realized that I wasn’t joking, her face lit up and we began to plan our vow renewal ceremony. After several days of scouring the internet, we finally decided to hold our ceremony at the Little White Wedding Chapel.
On the day of the ceremony, I actually started to feel a little nervous. It almost felt like we were getting married for the first time. My nerves settled down after I got my first look at my wife wearing her new dress. She looked absolutely stunning.
The chapel sent a limo to pick us up, and I felt like a celebrity as the bellhops escorted us into our chariot.
At the chapel, we filled out reams of paperwork and paid our fees. The cashier assigned us a minister and pointed us in his direction. The minister shocked me by asking if it was okay to mention God during the ceremony. I would have expected him to be in the business of mentioning God all the time. But I guess God isn’t always the first thing on people’s minds when they get married in Vegas.
The ceremony started with our walking down the aisle as the minister played a wedding march on his tiny boombox. He said a few words about marriage and then asked us for our definition of love. My wife recited several verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (Love is patient. Love is kind….). I talked about how love is much more than a feeling. Love is expressed through action. Without acts of love, a couple is left with nothing after the romance fades (and it will fade).
Our definitions flustered the minister.
“You said all of the things I was going to say,” he complained. After a few minutes he regained his composure and complimented us for having such a mature view of love.
We concluded the ceremony by reciting vows and exchanging rings. As I held my bride’s hand and spoke my words of commitment, I felt a deep connection with her. In that moment, 13 years of marriage flashed before my eyes. The good times and bad times all worked together to bring us to that moment when I could say, “You’re the one I love, and I’ll marry you all over again.”
photo copyright Frederick J. Goodall