What Matt Damon's renewal of his vows says about his marriage

April 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM ET

Matt Damon and Wife Renew Vows
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment /
Matt Damon and Wife Renew Vows

Renewing marriage vows has become synonymous with imploding Hollywood marriages, but that didn't stop Matt Damon from taking a walk down the aisle, again, with his wife of eight years Luciana Barrosso.

On April 13 the couple stood with their daughters Isabella, 6, Gia, 4, Stella, 2, and Alexia, Luciana's daughter from a previous marriage on a St. Lucia beach at sunset, according to People. Officiated by Jimmy Kimmel (he finally had time for Matt Damon), the couple renewed their vows before 50 guests. After the ceremony, guests celebrated at a cocktail party on the beach. The Damons rented out the entire Sugar Beach Resort for the weekend.

For better or for worse, we've come to expect that big spectacles and loud proclamation of love in the form of vow renewals are often smoke screens for major turmoil. (Heidi Klum and Seal, we're looking at you.) Other A-listers whose renewed promises of forever didn't last include Madonna and Guy Richie, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. And don't forget the pre-divorce renewals of reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin and Vicki and Donn Gunvalson.

With reports that Damon spent between $600,000 and $1 million to give his bride a lavish affair, the event was a contrast to their first wedding—a small ceremony at a New York City courthouse in December 2005. "For a lot of couples, renewing their vows is a chance to have the wedding they wanted originally but couldn't have because of timing, finances or many other reasons," says relationship expert and author, Ian Kerner. "Some couples have the ceremony as recognition of the growth they have gone through together over the years or adversity they have overcome together."

Kerner suggests couples consider renewing their vows when the marriage is "in a good place" and to think of the relationship in terms of a life cycle. "Some couples choose to renew vows as empty nesters as a way to reconnect after the kids are gone." Kerner also cautions that not everyone responds to vow renewals the same way. "People may consider it self-centered or materialistic," he says. "Keep it a modest affair. A white dress might be a bit too much. Think about the authenticity of what you are doing. Consider tying it in at a big anniversary party."

While Matt and Luciana's affair wasn't exactly modest, time will tell if it was an authentic recognition of love or an attempt to prove it.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.