June 6, 2018

10 Year Vow Renewal in Maui

Good morning friends! Today, I am finally sharing my professional vow renewal photos with you and I am so excited to be doing so. Sorry it took me so long you guys! I was given 526 photos and it took me months to narrow it down to these eighteen. Please press play on the music above, it just goes so well with the photos, plus we listened to both these songs quite a bit while we were in Maui!  And don't forget to stop back on Friday, there will be another vow renewal post, but that one will be more about how to plan your very own ceremony. Scroll down to see my favorite pictures and hear a bit about our story. 

So let me start at the beginning...Ryan and I were married on January 11, 2008 and at the time I was 5 & 1/2 months pregnant with our son Ryder. My husband and I loved the idea of a destination wedding, but that all went out the window when our timeline was expedited. (Best thing ever BTW!) We promised each other that we would do this again, this time on a beach and I would be able to wear a dress that didn't have to hid a rather large baby bump under.

During the past few years, we threw the idea of a vow renewal around, but we never had any set plans made or anything. Hawaii has always been on my bucket list, but it is also quite pricy so we weren't sure when the best time to go would be. That said, Ryan had been there before and said it would be the perfect place to renew our vows one day. October passed, November passed, and December (of 2017) began, and no definite plans were made for our January anniversary. At this point I figured we would just celebrate our 10 year with a mini weekend trip and maybe at 20 years we would go for the big renewal. Then, on December 14th 2017, Ryan handed me a gift at a family Christmas party. Before I knew what was happening he was on one knee, the kids were standing front row watching, and I was crying holding a koa wood ring in my hands with a pouch that said Aloha on it. He then explained that a trip had already been planned, the kids were coming and would be our witnesses, and we were leaving in less then 60 days! OMG, best surprise ever!

The Dress: Let's be honest, very much like the first time we got married, I was on a rushed timeline to find a dress. I felt very overwhelmed and as I looked around online I realized I'd have to buy "off the rack" because nothing could be ordered in time. I didn't have enough bravery to order online, plus you hear so many horror stories about that process so I did the next logical thing. I booked an appointment with a local bridal shop and got very excited to start this process. I went by myself and arrived 10 minutes early only to be told they had nothing for me. This particular store had just donated all their "off the rack" dresses the day before....but they knew I had an appointment and what I was looking for...but I digress. OK, off to a bad start. I googled "bridal dresses near me" and drove to the next place. The man in this shop was nicer, but since I had no appointment and less then two months until the dress was needed, he pointed at a dressing room and then to a rack of dresses that I could get in time. After trying on five I felt sad. Nothing was my style, flattering, or even vaguely resembled a dress I would want to wear. Discouraged I called Ryan. He told me to keep going, try a more upscale store, and he would get the kids from school that day. I mean..what a guy, right?! 

I found myself calling Simply Luxe Bridal and although they only work by appointments, they had an open hour if I could come there now. I was greeted with champagne and I knew my day was turning around. The woman who was pulling dresses said not to look at price tags, just point at dresses so she can get an idea of what I was looking for. Two try-ons later she squealed and said she had to go grab something. Then she brings down this dress....my dress! This beauty is a one-of-a-kind gown that was made for a bride that no longer needed/wanted it. It was 6 sizes too big on me, but boy was the price right! OK, I'm doing it, 6 hours into the first day I went out looking, I said yes to the dress! I left there so happy, dress in hand and called Designs by Debra, which is who they recommended for alterations. You guys, she got me in the very next morning! Three fittings and two weeks later the dress was ready. Thank you to Debra for the most excellent alternations I have literally ever had! Six sizes ladies! She took out, sewed, folded, tucked, and cut off six sizes worth of material and left me with the most perfect-for-me dress ever. 

It takes a Village: When Ryan asked me to renew our vows, he let me know that he was already in talks with a wedding planner through Maui Aloha Weddings. Our contact was Peggy and although we never met, she played a big roll in making our day truly the best. She helped us choose our location, get our permit, and then sent a list of options for our transportation, minister, and photographer. We were sent many selections to choose from and in the end, I think we put together quite the dream team! Reverend Kuya was our minster, Summer was our limo driver, and after looking through all the selections, we choose to go with Mike Yeany Photography for our photos. If you ever find yourself renewing your wedding vows in Maui, I would highly recommend this dream team for your big day as well. We could not have been more happy with each and every one of them! 

The Ceremony: Talk about a dream come true, you guys, this was one of the best days of my life! Because we were on an island, I was super relaxed. Everything was already planned so all I had to do is my hair & makeup, get the kids ready, get myself dressed, and go! We were picked up in the lobby by our limo driver and taken to our beach sunset location within twenty minutes. The ceremony was so beautiful. We talked a lot about family values, our ancestors, where we have been and where we will go, and nature all while we were barefoot on the beach. To have our children there was such a special gift. We choose to have a family ceremony where the kids were just as much a part of it as we were. The minister was such a great person! It really felt like he was part of our family for the day. He had each of our kids take turns walking around us and then finally through the center where we placed a lei on each of their necks and gave them a kiss on the cheeks. We also each picked out a color of sand and layered it in a bottle, another part that was so special to me. Ryan and I wrote our own vows and that alone was just so emotional and personal.

This ceremony was so full of love! Reverend Kuya had us kissing after each part and it was just so sweet. I definitely fell more in love that day and as I stood there in-front of my family listening to the waves crashing behind me, I remember thinking it just doesn't get any better then this! In retrospect I can not imagine what this day would have been like without our children there. They were a giant part of the first decade of our life together and what better way to celebrate beginning the next chapter as a family then all being in a ceremony together, celebrating our love for each other. 

The Promise: At the end of the night, my daughter proclaimed that we renew our vows every ten years! I mean, why not? Why not celebrate that you made it another decade together and celebrate in a big way. Of course Ryan and I thought she meant come to Hawaii, but she then said, "I think we should do twenty years in Paris. They have macaroons mom!" ;) She has a point! And now we have an excellent adventure to look forward to nine and a half years from now. That should give me enough time to pick out the next dress. ;) Which will be far less bridal because now I have worn the dress of my dreams!

All photos by Mike Yeany Photography

I am truly such a blessed woman! And not because of the travel, which is a blessing in itself, but because I am truly married to my very best friend, who has my back no matter what, and whom I am very much in love with. Plus as difficult as it is to raise good kids in this day and age, I have two that are really trying their best to be positive and kind people. My kids are amazing and in all honesty, I love the life that we have made for ourselves. If my crew is a reflection of the person that I am, then I am in the right company for sure. #blessed

What do you think of vow renewals? Is it something that you would like to do one day with your spouse? Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, I hope you make it a great day! xoxo


Laura said...

Thanks for sharing Lisa! This looked like a magical trip and you truely have a beautiful family, inside and out!

Unknown said...

Great article. It was so much fun meeting you and your family. My wife and I just got back from Paris this week and I've got some great locations scouted for your next renewal!