A Look at Our Vow Renewal

You may recall that Ryan and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary this summer, June 23rd to be exact. We decided the best way to celebrate ten years was to renew our vows in front of our closest friends and family. If you missed my original post regarding our vow renewal, click here. Today, I’m sharing more details and photos! I’ve been asked several questions about our event. If I don’t answer your question below, feel free to leave a comment. Here we go!

As I mentioned in the previous post, Ryan and I like to celebrate. In addition to our desire to celebrate our marriage, we also wanted another go at a wedding. Our first wedding was wonderful, but it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. I was really young with no idea as to what I wanted, we had a much smaller budget (we paid for our wedding ourselves), and we just didn’t know what we do now. So our event was probably a bit more elaborate than a typical vow renewal. Like I said, we wanted to redo the things we didn’t love about our first one. Our vow renewal was at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.

Budget

So our overall budget originally was $5,000 total. We decided to give up our usual vacations to afford it. The total cost was about $7,500 which was more than double what we spent on our actual wedding. We didn’t include a few items in our original budget and sometimes things just cost more than you think. Here’s a rough breakdown for you if you’re planning a wedding or similar event.

  • Venue, Food, Beverages (Open Bar), & Staff | $4800
  • Photographer, Officiant, Flowers, & Hair/Make-up | $1500
  • Apparel | $1100
  • Miscellaneous (invites, favors, etc.) | $125

Note this does not include dinner with family the night before or our actual hotel room. Was it worth it? You better believe it!

It was absolutely magical, and I’m so glad we decided to do it. It will forever be one of our favorite days together (it’s honestly one of the best days of my life). Now that we’ve discussed the budget, I want to share the things we wanted to redo. This might help you as you’re planning your wedding or next special event.

Wedding Dress

My mother was very kind and gifted my wedding dress to me when Ryan and I got married. It was a beautiful dress, but it wasn’t the one. The one I loved was close to $1,000 and all lace. Although I loved my original gown, I’ve always regretted not getting the one I really wanted. I also felt like I missed out on the true experience of wedding dress shopping. I won’t go into details, but I wanted to change that narrative this time.

Let me tell you that this dress was not even close to what I pictured myself in. I was determined I would not wear a strapless dress for starters. When I tried this dress on though, I felt the prettiest I’ve ever felt. It made me feel good about myself. I opted for a light pink gown since I didn’t want to wear white again. I also didn’t want this dress to compete with my wedding dress. They both are very important to me. Unlike my first gown, I had this one altered to me. It fit like a glove, which wasn’t so great when I wanted to eat. If you like to eat, take that into account when dress shopping. Just saying.

Flowers

I didn’t have real flowers at our first wedding. I think it was a budget thing, but I don’t quite remember the exact reason we went with faux flowers. Well I love flowers, and I knew I’d have a real bouquet this time. I chose Colonial Florist in Orlando for my bouquet and wedding cake flowers. Wow! They did an amazing job! The flowers exceeded my expectations. My bouquet even lasted two weeks after our event. I made sure I had those flowers in nearly every picture, because I loved them that much.

Photography

We didn’t get enough photos of our first wedding. We had several cute shots as a couple, but we didn’t have a professional photograph the event/reception. Family members exclaimed they’d take pictures and share them with us. Hire a photographer! Don’t believe your family members. I’ll just leave it at that.

I did a ton of research in hiring a photographer, because photos are super important to me. I make Ryan endure a photography session on a lot of our vacations! Photos capture our story, and we want our story all over the house. We hired Jenna Michele Photography in Orlando, and she did a terrific job. All of the photos you see on the blog today are thanks to her!

Another important piece of this was capturing all of the moments between my father and I. My father wasn’t at our wedding, and I always felt like I had missed out. I love my father dearly, and I just wanted all of those special moments with him. There are just so many on your wedding day. If you come from a complicated family situation, don’t cave or listen to others. Do what you want, because it’s your damn day. Jenna did an incredible job of capturing every moment with by dad, and I am forever grateful.

Make It Us

When we got married ten years ago, we didn’t really know us. We were young, and I hadn’t envisioned any sort of wedding. The two of us were originally going to have a long engagement and marry in Hawaii. Well we had to move up our wedding date so that I could qualify for in-state tuition. When Ry and I met, we lived in different states. I was still in school when I said yes, so I had to transfer to another state (Ryan already had a home, I had an apartment in a questionable area). I tell you all of this to make the point that we just didn’t do it our way. When we look back at photos, we don’t see our personality. We made sure this time it was entirely us, right down to the wands.

Professional Make-up

To save money, my mother and I did my make-up when Ryan and I got married. It was fine, but that wasn’t what I wanted. This time I was doing it right. My friend and trusted hairdresser accompanied me to Orlando. I was so thrilled she could come. I don’t trust anyone else but her! She is amazing! She understands my skin, knows what I like, and always makes my hair look good. I felt like a princess thanks to her! Mirror Mirror Beaute Bar in Acworth is the best, and all of the ladies are terrific. Christina is obviously my favorite though!

There were several details that were important to Ryan too, so we did them differently. I haven’t outlined all of those above, because they are more specific to us (this blog post would be even longer too). For example, we didn’t get to enjoy our original wedding cake. It was beautiful and the bite each of us got was wonderful. The fact we didn’t get to eat more was partially my fault (I made a mess and we didn’t allot enough time for the reception). Ryan really wanted to enjoy the cake at our vow renewal, and he did! It was really yummy. My tip is to schedule 2 to 3 hours for your reception.

I think that just about covers the questions and the tips I wanted to share. We are both so thankful we had the opportunity to share this special day with our closest loved ones and now you. I will share that our next vow renewal (20 years) will be on a beach in Hawaii, just the two of us. So it should be way cheaper!

I want to give a huge shout out to our officiant Rev. Glynn Ferguson from Sensational Ceremonies and the staff at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando for making our day perfect. Thank you from the both us!

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