400 couples renew vows after 50 years

September 23, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The celebration began years ago with just a few dozen couples.

Sunday, 425 couples renewed their vows and offered advice making it 40,000 years of marriage experience under one roof.

"One day at a time, yeah."

"Stick it out when times get really hard."

"You should laugh a lot don't take yourself too seriously."

Those were some helpful hints on marriage from couples who know best.

Married for 50 years, more than 400 Chicago area couples celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at Holy Name Cathedral in a special mass where Cardinal Francis George took a break from cancer treatment to give the homily./p>

It was a celebration where every couple faced each other to renew their vows. It was day Sharon Allison has been waiting for ever since she saw her parents and grandparents celebrate their 50th anniversary.

"It was really important for me to share this moment with my children," Allison said.

Especially the Allison's youngest daughter Sarah, who plans to get married in November, on her parents' anniversary, wearing her mother's wedding dress.

"I'm so excited I get to spend that special day with my parents," she said.

Getting to this point wasn't easy for some, while others say it love at first sight..

"The first time he met me he said he wanted to marry me," said Florence Vincent.

After 50 years, these happy couples are never short of advice.

"You have to be great friends or it won't work," said Fred Shomaker.

"Don't be too big of a person to say, 'I'm sorry,'" added Alice Bearden.

"Have fun and dance, we love to dance," Adele Dary said.

The celebration was sponsored by the Family Ministries Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Never go to sleep mad at each other and communication were two more pieces of advice just about every couple we talked with mentioned as keys to a successful marriage.

Many of today's couples filled out a survey that became a booklet with advice called true soul mates. Holy name is giving it to engaged couples.

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