Our Vow Renewal Story: Surprise!

This past October we renewed our vows. Best part? It was a complete surprise to me.
I’ll share some of my words from that post…
“For us it was a celebration. No pastor, no guests, and it was not a “re-do” of our original day. I did not wear my own original dress, no replica cake or flowers; and for the most part nothing was the same – except the vows.”

“I know more today then yesterday why Benjamin is the one for me. I knew when we were dating, when I said yes to his proposal, and when we said “I do” that he was the one for me. But today I know why. We celebrated that why.”

“Our renewal – at year six – was a celebration.
It was not an all out ceremony and event that caused great stress to plan or execute.
It was not a re-creation.
It was not the same. Because we are not the same.”

“[It was] just us, on a rock, in the middle of a river. Exchanging our vows again, saying those promises again. And now with history and life that helps give them context.”

My sister and Benjamin had me fooled.
The back story here is that I believed we were heading to Wenatchee with my sister and brother-in-law to celebrate the end of a busy wedding season. They so deserved it. My sister is  a professional photographer – check her out at Tonie Christine Photography – and had just completed her first full-time wedding season this past summer. We were going to take the weekend to relax and celebrate. I even went so far as the exclaim the night before that “I was so excited to sleep in, watch movies, and just do nothing.” Clearly I hadn’t a clue what was coming.
After staying up late talking it would have been easy to sleep in and take it easy. Instead my sister had me up, showered, dressed and ready to go. I believed we were going to a vintage market that she had “discovered” in Wenatchee. She wanted to check it out so encouraged me on our “weekend away” to get ready and we’d head out to shop a little.

Unbeknownst to me something was in the works…

Ben had written a note and sent it with my sister. She totally played it cool. We stopped for cold medicine, we followed directions to the “market” and then when we got out she handed me an envelope. I was totally taken aback and when she first handed it to me I thought, “maybe it’s a gift certificate to the market.” But boy was I wrong, and I knew it the moment I opened it up. The front had two hearts, each specially designed by my dear man to resemble our original wedding attire.

As I read, I immediately became overwhelmed, and totally put on the spot.
The card ended with the line … “Will you marry me? Again… Today…?”
I was lost.
Tonie informed me we were not actually headed in to a market, but somewhere else very special.

And boy was it special.
 Laura Anaya of Platinum Studios welcomed us and set to work. She did my hair and makeup which was an extra dose of special since I hadn’t even had it professionally done on our wedding day. Thanks to a friend I looked beautiful on that day in 2008, but this made me feel so beautiful, pampered, and gave me just enough time to get so excited for what was next. 

Can you tell I was excited?
Needless to say I felt so beautiful and still had no idea all the day would have in store.
I never could have imagined.

We arrived back at the cabin and when I walked in I found gorgeous, fairytale dresses.

I tried them ALL on, each especially selected for me…
… but I knew immediately which one I wanted to wear.
The sleeves, the lace, the detail work. Absolutely gorgeous.
Next I turned to shoes and jewels. Every girls dream. Well… at least this girl’s dream!


As I walked out, all dressed up. My sister handed me the most gorgeous bouquet.
Fall inspired, dainty, and striking.
I felt like a bride.

Benjamin of course had gotten ready ahead of me. Dapper as ever.


Tonie set me off in one direction, telling me that Benjamin awaited me, “just down the hill.”
This was such a special moment.
On our wedding day our first look was down the aisle. No regrets on that.
But this time it sure was special to have a moment like this, just the two of us; to enjoy, absorb, and anticipate together.

Can’t wait to share our “first look” with all of you.

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