A few years back on an anniversary, Dan surprised me by singing (and playing guitar) a song he wrote just for me. The lyrics were that of our journey together. It was beautiful and I ugly cried. When he finished the song he said- we should renew our vows. We've made it so far and I am so proud to be with you. I cried more and said - YES! Then I showed him a folder on our computer of the vow renewal I had already planned out. Ha! I couldn't help myself! We talked about different ideas and what we most wanted for the big day. Being on the "bride & groom" side after becoming planners was a new adventure and we were excited to begin.
We searched for a LONG time for the right venue. Being planners turned out to be a bittersweet thing. We have worked at so many venues with so many vendors that narrowing down the right one felt impossible. The venue sets the tone for your event and we were sure we didn't want it to feel too wedding like. This was a vow renewal, we wanted it to be different. We spent many days looking at venues from the clients' eyes and found a gem we had yet to work at before. Lion's Park in Carpinteria was perfect for us. We toured the place with our kids and knew instantly it was the place for us. Our kids ran through the grass, smiling and laughing. They looked so happy to be there and we knew that our friends and family would love it too.
One of the favorite items of the night was the coaster favors we made. Anyone who knows Dan, knows he is a freak for coasters. We have them all over our house! So we thought- let's make beer coasters for our guests to take home. With an epoxy resin, hardener, silicone mold and many beer bottle caps we created some pretty fantastic gifts.
Jeanne and her incredible assistant Erin, stayed with me in the suite as I put on my dress preparing to see Dan. My mom stayed close as I stepped into my dress. I didn't get that moment when I first got married. I got ready alone and didn't see my parents until they walked me down. This time my mom and my daughter Audrey, were the first to see me. We teared up and basked in the moment. Here we were, 3 generations getting ready together on such a special day.
As I finished my touch ups and jewelry, I began to get nervous. I had been with Dan all morning but seeing him in my dress was a whole new feeling. I wanted him to love it as much as I did. I walked from the bridal room to the lawn area and did some alone shots with Jeanne and Erin. The more we talked and took photos the more my nerves went away. I felt beautiful. I felt honored to be with my husband. He is my absolute rock and knowing we were about to have that moment made me feel loved. Loved by my husband, loved by my children and loved by all of our guests who were coming. Then he walked over.
I cannot tell you the feeling I got from this moment. It was pure bliss. I know that sounds so cheesy but it's true! I saw him and his smile and my heart was full. Twelve years together and I am still crazy about this guy.
Dan and I did a choreographed dance to Dustin Kensrue's Of Crows and Crowns. It was a surprise to most people and Audrey's favorite part of the night. She cried as we danced. I cried as we danced. Yes, I cry a lot but can you blame me?!
Whatever you choose to do for your wedding, vow renewal or other special event, do it with love. Remember that's why you're doing it and putting it together after all. Enjoy the planning process because it goes by so fast! Give us a call if you need a helping hand :)
Cheers to love, tacos, beer and churros!
Savannah, Dan, Audrey & Holden
Amanda & Heath Hushbeck/Simply S Events
Cat Chapman/Lions Park Carpinteria
Jeanne Tanner Photography (all photos on this blog) & assistant photographer Erin
DJ Zeke Santa Barbara & assistant Danny
Mr & Mrs Churro
Santa Barbara Wedding Films
El Taco Catering