Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our Vow Renewal…

DW and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on May 17th.

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Growing up, I always loved a good fairy tale, and like most little girls, I dreamed about the day I’d meet my own prince. After only a hand full of dates with DW, I knew I had. I’ll never forget carrying the first Christmas gift he ever gave me inside the house and singing “Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry” to my parents. That gift was an Easy Bake Oven because I’d told him once before that when I was little, it was the one thing I always wanted at Christmas and never got. When I opened it on our lunch date, that Christmas Eve of 2001, he told me that he wanted all my dreams come true. My heart still beats fast when I think back to those days. It was the sweetest time and the most sweep-you-off-your-feet,  young love that I could have ever dreamed. 

A year and a half later, we ended the programs at our wedding, “Thank you for being here tonight when our Happily Ever After begins…”  For several years, it felt like that, too. Then our lives were rocked when we lost our Cooper and I wondered for months if we’d ever be “happy” again. We used to have a sign that hung in our house that said, “Happily Ever After” and after Cooper’s accident, I couldn’t stand to see it anymore, so I took it down and trashed it. I didn’t think “Happily Ever Afters” were real anymore. God is good and He is faithful, though-  because he brought us out of that sorrow and He has restored so much of our joy.

Over ten years, DW and I have seen many mountain tops and quite a few valleys together.

Our marriage is far from perfect, but we both feel like it’s a good one- and we love each other more now than we did then—that’s the reason I wanted to renew our vows. I read a quote a while back that said, “Some things in life are so good, they’re worth doing again.” That’s exactly how I feel about marrying DW. (I used that quote on the invitations to our renewal ceremony, too!) I know most of our family thought it was kind of silly – WHY did we NEED to do it? We didn’t. I’m just one of those people who likes a celebration and I just felt like 10 years together deserves to be celebrated. :) Even DW thought it was kind of crazy until a few days before and then he finally started warming up to it. I warned my SIL, Lauren, that it would probably be cheesy, to which she replied: “But you do cheesy so well,”  Ha.

I bought a dress literally two days before the ceremony and got DW a new tie to match. The girls wore their Easter dresses, which were perfect, since I’d read that the color for the 10th anniversary is BLUE. Who knew…DSC_5747

Our anniversary fell on a Friday night this year. So on that night, we stood before our parents and siblings (except for Beau & Kristy & their family who weren’t able to be here) and we reaffirmed the vows we promised ten years ago.

The ceremony was simple and sweet. Like I said, our immediate family were all we’d invited (except for Carrie & Katie, who came to take pictures).

We had it at our church’s small chapel, which DW’s great-grandfather had built in memory of his great-grandmother. DSC_5716


I thought that made having it in the chapel even sweeter. IMG_9577

It was a little awkward at first, because none of us have ever been to/done a vow renewal ceremony, so I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect…plus its kind of weird doing something somewhat “formal” with just your close family. But it turned out really sweet and I would totally do it again. IMG_9569

Before the ceremony, we took some pictures and welcomed everyone as they arrived. We also had music from our wedding playing.

We started the ceremony as soon as everyone had gotten there – and the girls and I walked in with DW to “There is Love/The Wedding Song” (which is what the pianist played for our wedding during the bridal party procession). DSC_5774

As for the ceremony- our pastor performed it. He started off with a welcome and a charge to us as a couple. DSC_5777During those two things, is when we had our parents come up and read a portion of scripture that we’d chosen. My parents read Joshua 24:15. This is particularly special to me, because it was one of my Granny’s favorite passages. DW’s mom & George read Titus 2:7. DW’s Daddy & Kellee read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. verse

Everyone had to suffer through an 8 minute slide show of pictures of us. DSC_5780


After the slideshow, the girls sat with my parents. Mamie and Grammy had to do some watching from the back, though. IMG_9683Next, came the family vow and response. DSC_5805And then we had communion.DSC_5807 I loved this part of the ceremony. IMG_9674Our pastor served DW and I first and then the rest of the family was invited to the prayer rail where DW & I served them. DSC_5815It was such a sweet time. How special to serve something so sacred to people that we love so dearly. The song “How Beautiful” played during communion (which was another of our wedding songs).

After communion, we renewed our vows and I loved the ones the pastor chose for us.IMG_9682 They were a mix of the traditional vows with a few modern things thrown in. IMG_9687

After the vows, Pastor Will even insisted we kiss and be (re) introduced… IMG_9690

Still excited to be Mrs. DW


Our First introduction as Mr. & Mrs. 10 years ago

We took some pictures after the ceremony…


A group shot

My how we’ve changed (& grown!) in 10 years…group


Pictures with the parents…




DW even had his best man & two of his groomsmen there…DSC_5891 That’s what happens when you have family in your wedding.boys

May 17, 2003

This bridesmaid of mine, is probably the one who’s changed the most in 10 years!kels Kelsey was 8 when we got married! I loved her then and I love her still! DSC_5886 

These two probably didn’t think bridesmaids duties extended ten years! katecarrie

Katie, Me & Carrie May 17, 2003

They were so sweet to come and take pictures for us!


We had cake & punch in the foyer after the ceremony. IMG_9584

My Mom even had a box of our napkins saved from our wedding, so we got to use those! IMG_9587






I tried to do the same or similar things we had at our wedding for the renewal – the flower arrangement was similar to the ones from our wedding and the lacey-moss pew markers were, too. (Just on a much, much, much smaller scale!) :)DSC_5764




I did a program to look like the ones from our wedding, and favors were given out in white boxes, just like we did 10 years ago. IMG_9590



Our wedding program & favor boxes displayed on the table in the foyer

We ate our cake for dessert first, and then all went to dinner together at the Ivy House. DSC_5863

It really was a sweet night and I loved standing up in front of our girls, our parents, and most of our siblings to reaffirm our vows and to celebrate our life together. We are blessed and we are thankful. daedit

We both agree that if we had it to do all over again, we’d still say “I do.” And as far as “Happily Ever After” goes, I do still believe it…just in a different way. I think the fairy tale is loving each other like crazy and living this life we’ve been given together. But we won’t know the “Happily Ever After” part until we are standing at Heaven’s gates.

DW & I are counting down the days until our big anniversary trip! Celebrating with the family was way fun and super special, but we’re really excited to celebrate with just the two of us! :)



Arielle said...

I love that y'all did this! And yes, Kels looks so grown!! :)))) & I love how AB was holding her dress after the ceremony posing for the family pic;) Ha. ... So so so sweet:)

Surrounded-By-Boys said...

i LOVE IT ! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! Y'all are such a sweet couple and we are so blessed to call you friends! Love your dress too! Looks so good on you! Quite possibly one of my most favorite posts. : )

Lyndsay said...

This was just perfect Annie! What a beautiful event to celebrate a special moment in time. Praying for you and Devin through the next 10 years :)

Mary said...

How precious! Congrats to you on your renewal. You're just as beautiful today as you were 10 years ago. And now it's even sweeter with the girls in the pic with ya'll.

Anonymous said...

this was the best ceremony ever!! so glad we got to be a part of it.... my favorite fairy tale...and our version of happily ever after is my favorite too. the journey is long and sometimes hard but together we will make it. my heart is so full of love and joy...thank you for this. :))