vow renewal

I Do Take Two: Our Vow Renewal Ceremony

Earlier this year, my husband and I made the decision to renew our vows to one another. After working through some struggles and becoming stronger in our faith and relationship, we wanted to make new promises as well as reaffirm previous ones, and we wanted to celebrate together! This past weekend, we finally had our ceremony and it was absolutely beautiful!

vow renewal

Our ceremony was on the beach, officiated by our pastor. I bought a relatively inexpensive arch and curtains on Amazon to decorate. We put some sheets down, mostly for the kids to sit on, and my husband supplied a cooler full of water bottles and sunscreen for our guests because it was somewhere around ten million degrees outside.

vow renewalPhotography by CLeigh Photography

I wore a simple dress that I bought at the mall, with a rhinestone belt that I put together. A friend taught me how to curl my hair with my hair straightener and then I adorned my hair with the most gorgeous flower crown. I did my own makeup complete with a lipstick that I’ve received nothing but raving compliments on since I bought it, Revlon’s Mauvy Night. My mom let (read: insisted!) that I borrow the stunning pearl earrings and necklace that she wore for her wedding.

My girls wore these lovely aqua dresses and my husband and son matched with their white button-up shirts and khaki shorts. Our bouquets were from a local florist and then I added my own little seashell accents to them. The bouquets looked and smelled completely amazing, the colors were exactly as I’d imagined and matched my flower crown perfectly!

With only close friends and family in attendance, my usual anxiety washed away and I felt nothing but joy and excitement as I locked arms with my love and walked down the aisle after our children, to an instrumental version of “O Come to the Altar” created exclusively for us by the lead worship leader of our church.

vow renewalPhotography by CLeigh Photography

We read our own vows as we looked deep into each other’s eyes, both tearing up at different moments. I almost lost it when my pastor talked about the lifetime goal of a husband to learn about his wife and make her happy, because that couldn’t be more true of that man. My vows talked about how he is my best friend and I’m still excited to see him walk through the door everyday, about how I made vows then but I wanted to make more now, knowing truly what marriage means this time. His vows told of how his love for me is solid and infinite, like the circle of his ring, and how I am his better half. We exchanged our previous rings, still the symbol of our ongoing love for each other.

We rolled up our vows, handwritten on antique paper, and placed them inside of a glass bottle. Then we poured unity sand into the bottle, over top of our vows. Due to a bit of miscommunication, there were no elements for our communion so we were in a bit of a bind. In the style that is our quirky family, we improvised. My husband had brought grape juice on a whim and my best friend’s dad had Tostitos in the car. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we took communion with a tortilla chip. The remembrance and acknowledgement of Christ’s sacrifice for us was the purpose of this moment and that’s what was important to us.

After we prayed together, our pastor announced us again as man and wife! By then, our guests were ready to retire to the air conditioned reception space while we took some pictures by the beach with our photographer. I had a few shots from Pinterest that I wanted to reenact and then we, too, were hot and ready to drive over to the site and cool off!

vow renewalPhotography by CLeigh Photography

The reception was held at a nice little inn overlooking the ocean. As we walked in, my sister announced, “Attention everyone, the happy couple has arrived!” which was so cute.

Photography by CLeigh Photography

We had a buffet with the main courses of prime rib, chicken francaise, turkey, and crab cakes but anyone who knows me, knows that one of the most exciting parts for me was the DESSERT! There is a local cupcake shop that once won Cupcake Wars and it was well-deserved because their gourmet cupcakes are AH-MAZING! We had three-tiers full of these tasty cupcakes: Banana Nut Caramel Crunch, Cannoli, Carrot Cake, French Toast topped with bacon, Turtle, and White Almond filled with raspberry. I’m hoping we brought a little future business to my favorite dessert place because they were a hit and people were thrilled to get some to take home!

To add a bit of personal touch to the inn decorations, I made a few centerpieces with painted mason jars and burlap. Apparently, the dollar store sells these floral water beads that are the neatest thing ever. (I’m going to buy more of them just for my own zen activity!) I put small LED lights inside to brighten them up, made my own signs with my Cricut, and added a starfish dangle for accent.

Our favors were glass seashell coasters purchased online, to which I added tags that said “Eat, Drink, & Re-Marry” because I think that’s adorable! I made a card box because while this was a “no gifts” occasion, I was told that some people would bring cards and I love to save cards for my scrapbooks anyway! As a guest book, we used a canvas picture with a lot of white space around the edges for people to sign.

vow renewalPhotography by CLeigh Photography

After eating and mingling, we did some dancing! My husband and I danced to our song, “History in the Making” by Darius Rucker. I also asked for my mom’s hand in a mother/daughter dance to “In My Daughter’s Eyes” by Martina McBride. The kids all rocked out to some party songs, which was so fun to watch.

All in all, it was an amazingly beautiful day. More than six years ago, I officially married the love of my life. On Saturday, I got to do it all over again and celebrate with my loved ones. To tell you the truth, my husband has been saying from the beginning, “Everyone should renew their vows at least once in their lives.” It made him so happy that he has been saying we will do it again for our 15th anniversary, on a boat. I can’t really deny the opportunity to celebrate and shout my love for him from the rooftops…but we’ll see. 😉

1 thought on “I Do Take Two: Our Vow Renewal Ceremony

  1. Lovely post! I can feel the love and happiness on the screen. Wish I was crafty enough to make a belt, and your dress is lovely.

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