Nearly 70 couples renew vows at Loyola chapel

University plans to hold ceremony annually

February 15, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Again, they promised to be there for the good times and the bad, and in sickness and in health — some with young children sitting beside them, or grown grandchildren. But for many of the nearly 70 couples who renewed their vows Sunday, the words proved even more powerful than the first time.

The crowd of about 200 packed into pews at the Loyola University Maryland Alumni Memorial Chapel in Baltimore the day before Valentine's Day for the first mass renewal of wedding vows organized by the alumni association.

"It's the same words but it makes it a lot more meaningful to look back," said Carolyn Marinari, who renewed her vows with her husband of 10 years.

From the pews, couples all over the chapel stood up and faced each other, holding hands as they recited along with the Rev. Frank Nash, the alumni chaplain, who led the Mass.

"This is a great example to our students," he said.

Before leading the vows, he prefaced his discussion of patience and growth by saying, "I have only experienced marriage vicariously," earning a few laughs.

At least one couple stood up when he asked the crowd if any pair had been married more than 50 years, but there were couples of all ages — some with young kids and some with grandchildren.

Marinari, 35, of Parkville and her husband, Brian, were joined by their two daughters — 1-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Abby.

Brian Marinari, 36, said he didn't realize before Sunday how moving renewing their vows would be. "Then we got there, holding hands — it was just like what it was the first time."

The couple, who will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in August, plan to go to Disney World and take their daughters for the first time. The couple, who met through a mutual friend at Loyola, had been dating seven years before taking a trip to the park. Brian Marinari proposed to Carolyn after dinner at Cinderella's Castle. They married at the school chapel in 2001.

"It's been a great 10 years, but it has gone by quickly," Carolyn Marinari said. "In 10 years you're not the same person, but if you do it together, you're strengthened," while "willing to change and be agreeable."

Her husband agreed, calling marriage a chance for couples to be "constantly finding new things about each other together."

Francis and Cecilia Wiegmann, who renewed their vows Sunday, have managed to continue to find something new for 58 years. The couple will celebrate their anniversary in April.

The two first shared a love of roller skating and were partners at the old rink in Highlandtown. The Elkridge couple stood alongside their son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Lisa Wiegmann, who also came to renew their vows.

"It's something we've been wanting to do," Lisa Wiegmann said. She and her husband, both 51, met in high school when they were 16. Their daughters, Lauren, 18, and Ann Marie Wiegmann, 24, came for the ceremony. Afterward, Ann Marie Wiegmann said of her parents, "They are more like newlyweds now."

Brian Oakes, director of alumni relations at Loyola, said they plan to make the ceremony an annual event. He and his wife also took the opportunity to renew their vows.

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Brian M. Oakes, the director of alumni relations. The Sun regrets the error.

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