For our 7 year anniversary Ian put together a wedding vow renewal ceremony. Ian told me that he wanted to say our vows to each other again on the beach in Puerto Vallarta since we were already planning to go on vacation there and that is where we went for our honeymoon. So, I bought a white linen dress and a little orchid mini-veil. I thought it would be sweet to do our personal vows for each other one night; little did I know that Ian had a lot more up his sleeve.
Once we were in P.V. Ian informed all the family there that we would be having our ceremony at 6pm on Thursday night. I was excited that his whole side of the family would be there to share in our vow renewal and that he was making it a special deal for everyone.
Thursday afternoon I hear a knock at our room door. Standing outside is a lady with a beautiful bouquet of white roses and a matching boutonniere. Right away, I realized that this was a lot bigger than I had imagined. Ian had met with the wedding coordinator at the resort and planned the whole event without me knowing much of anything. It was overwhelmingly thoughtful and I loved every moment of it.
Ian's brothers took family pictures before the wedding and beautiful shots during the ceremony as a wonderful gift to us. When we walked out to the beach there was a white curtain cabana on a small jetty in the ocean set up especially for our vow renewal. Ian had them put out white covered chairs and line the walkway with straw mats and tiki torches and candles. It was beautiful!
The ceremony itself was so special. We actually remembered our vows perfectly when the time came. It is funny that when you sit down to write your vows you really assess what it is that you want in a marriage and what you hope to accomplish. It really was neat to restate our intentions and refocus our relationship on those main goals. Ian and I wrote our vows more than 7 years ago, but they are still just as pertinent as ever. They are short, so I will share them with you all:
Ian: I make these promises to you Rachel Elizabeth.
Rachel: And I to you, Ian Matthew
Ian: That above all others on this earth, I choose you.
Rachel: And I you, my love
Ian: I promise to love you for who you are and not who I want you to be.
Rachel: And I promise to honor and respect you above myself.
Ian: I will cherish and provide for you.
Rachel: And I will glorify God with all the love that you give to me.
Ian: And I will point you to God, rather than myself.
Rachel: For the rest of our existence.
Ian: For the rest of our existence.
Rachel: We bind these oaths in Jesus' name.
The ceremony also included the blessing of our wedding rings and a blending of two vials of sand from the beach (which was completely appropriate since it was the same beach where we had our honeymoon and started our lives as husband and wife.)
Afterwards, the family all had a champagne toast and an amazing dinner at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. It really was the perfect day! Thank you, Ian, for wanting to marry me over and over again. I love you. And thank you for all of you that stood as our witnesses 7 years ago and the family members that were there this time around. We are grateful for your examples to us as a couple and your support as friends in this journey of life!
Here are some pictures that were taken of our renewal ceremony:
Bride and Groom :)
The boys had these precious matching sear sucker suits that MiMi had given them.
They looked adorable!
Our family walk from our hotel room out to the beach
The whole family before the ceremony
our little family
Walking out to the jetty cabana
Ian stopped to write our names in the sand
We just had to walk out to the water before the ceremony!
It was a gorgeous evening on the water
water splashing us
I still can't believe Ian put all this together for me.
It was like getting the joy of having two weddings in one lifetime!
such a special memory
blending of the sand
"You may kiss your bride"
Exiting the ceremony
The family right after the renewal; we exited the ceremony with our boys in our arms
my beautiful bouquet Ian picked out for me
Walking back down the straw mat isle
I kept joking that they were my "bridesmaids" :)
Everyone at the patio bar for the champagne toast afterward
Our attempt to twist arms and drink for the toast! :)