We did it…again!💕 And I’ve finally got the post finished so many of you keep asking me for! (Bonus: a video to go along with this down below thanks to an incredible friend who knows a thing or two about video production). Today also happens to be my parents’ 47th Wedding Anniversary. They were high school sweethearts like Andrew & I, and have been an inspiration and true example of unconditional love and commitment. So this post is dedicated to them.
As you know from a previous post, after 12 years of marriage, we decided to seize the opportunity on a planned vacation to Punta Cana to renew our wedding vows.
And it was wonderful and so very meaningful, with a side dose of craziness, but it was so worth it.
Because before them there was us, and with each new child, the strength of our bond mattered more not less. When we’ve needed to lean in even harder. Because this little gang of ours is relying on us, watching us, and though when we send them off to college or marry them off to start their own families, there will be so much more time for us then, what happens in between, in this messy beautiful chaos of life right now deserves being honored & invested in. Because tomorrow is promised to none of us, and while we’re here, celebrating the things that matter most NOW is so worth it…
Something pretty special about renewing your vows, guys. Like you already know how the story plays out and you’d choose it again…over and over. At that moment it felt like not a new beginning, but a return to where we started, except with all the feels of being surrounded by our mini gang this go around. But also knowing your story is just getting started… A recommitment to each other and promising to dig deep when the storms and the tests come…because they come. No marriage is bulletproof. Reaffirming all the things we promised each other 12 years ago that sometimes get overshadowed by all the needs of our little people.
It was just the six of us on the shore of the beautiful beach with a gentle pastor, the photographer and our wedding coordinator. We felt lucky the rain held off, as the morning was quite overcast and the clouds dark most of the day until just before the ceremony. We got married in the Winter, so being in warmer temps, surrounded by palm trees, and having the Caribbean ocean as our backdrop was incredible.
It wasn’t perfect – it small doses of mayhem, mixed in with moments of magic…kind of like life every day as a parent and just us being “us.” While there were a few heart-racing moments (a toddler busting his lip before the processional + a dress that almost didn’t do up!), it went better than imagined and we’re so grateful.
The Symbolic ceremony was short and simple yet highly emotional. I think I cried more than on my actual Wedding Day. The big boys were a bit grossed out seeing mom and dad smooch, but our little lady was so immersed in all of it. A little twinkle in her eye the whole time. The photos were quick and a bit of a marathon because our littlest dude just wanted to go full speed into the ocean (notice the wet shorts?!) During the ceremony itself, I don’t really remember much except just feeling really calm, and serene, and full of gratitude. Fully present, and for a moment, everything was frozen in time, feeling like there was nothing else there but us.
A HUGE thank you to Hard Rock Punta Cana and Reiny, our Wedding coordinator, for treating our little party of six like we were a wedding for rock stars, and helping us manage the littles so we could make it through the service! Every step of the process was a breeze and every moment of the day executed on time and in the friendliest manner. The only thing that could have made the day more special was having our loved ones present who couldn’t attend due to health reasons and schedules♡ The date was 04.11.2018 – picked by the resort, but a combo of our favourite numbers (mine #4 and Andrew’s #11) – thought it was pretty cool how that worked out and a tad serendipitous.
Here are all the details of the day, including our attire so many of you have been asking about. We kept things VERY low budget. The service itself was complimentary from the resort (yes you heard that right!), and half of the kids’ and Andrew’s wardrobe was previously owned. Total wardrobe expense was just under $500 CDN. The only big expense was the photographer ($599 USD), which for a lifetime of amazing memories captured professionally, was well worth it.
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana
Photographer: Huellas Del Caribe Photography & Films
Video Editing (post wedding): Jeo Productions
Hair + Make-Up (Rock Spa, HRH Punta Cana)
Blush Tulle Dress (Honey Stores)
Shoes (Steve Madden)
Rose Gold Earrings (Anne Klein)
Rose Gold Bracelets (GUESS)
Blue Blazer & Dress Shirt (Black Brown & GUESS previously owned, Hudson’s Bay)
Linen Sand Pants (Black Brown, Hudson’s Bay)
Shoes (previously owned, Hudson’s Bay)
Shirt + Vest Sets (H&M)
Pale Blue Shorts (previously owned, H&M)
Blue Dress Pants (Calvin Klein Kids, Hudson’s Bay)
Fedora Strip Hat (GAP)
OUR LITTLE LADY
Blush Tulle Dress (previously owned, H&M Kids)
Rose Gold Shoes (H&M)
I had wanted to buy a camera with great video capabilities before we left, but time and money didn’t permit. So, I captured some of the day on my mobile, sent it off to one of my best friends ( & a videographer/producer by trade) who took my very poor, amateur video footage and turned it into something special our family will cherish for many years to come. The kids are totally grossed out by all the smooching, so consider yourself forewarned 😉
Finally, thank you all who reached out with your good wishes on our channels and via direct/private messaging. The most heart-warming of all is hearing so many of you say you’ve been inspired to renew your vows with your own partners now. Go make it happen! And if you already have, please share how you celebrated below!
Love & light,