The Renewal

ETA: During April 2014 I posted every day for the whole month on how to create your own Renewal Celebrations. The first Link is here, hope it helps!

Early 2013 Jeff suggested we renew our wedding vows. I agreed and suggested our 25th in 2019. He wasn't keen on waiting that long! So we agreed 2014 to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and nearly 25 years of being together. After several weeks of hunting we found Hargate Hall - central for everyone to get to, enough space and within our budget, so we paid the deposit. I then broke my foot and haven't been working since. We decided not to lose the deposit but looked at what we could do DIY. Just about everything it turns out :)
Every apartment had a welcome pack- wine; gift for the children; candy tree; quiz; I-Spy list; handsoap; washing up liquid; and some pound coins for the meter. Made our own Save the Date and Invitations. Had a table full of photo albums and scrapbooks showing our life together.
On the Saturday we asked that everybody not involved in helping to go out for the day. I wanted our guests to come back and be wowed by the transformation to the hall. Above Sara and family helped clear all the chairs before they cleared off! The girls stayed all day and helped with putting everything together.
Mark,Lou, Shona and Daniel came back early - and thank God they did. Daniel and Mark were brilliant at getting all the decs up.
On the Friday night we organised a fish and chip van! We were going to do a run to the nearest town, but this was so much more perfect. They stayed for 2 hours, and the guests all paid a fiver each towards it. Much easier and everyone's meal was hot!
DIY Photo Booth!
DIY Sweetie Bar!
DIY Tea Shoppe!
The tree had names of family and friends that have fought cancer. I initially lost the names I had made - little hearts with roses - but between Pet, Ricki and Kim they remade some cards - and they looked lovely :) We had asked not for presents, but donations to Cancer Research UK, and with gift aid, over the weekend raised £500!!! All the guests were given a champagne flute - women glittered and men initialled - and a wine charm stamped with their own name on it.
I made a timeline. Index cards 6"x4", put through the printer with a font called X-Files, and then aged the cards with inks. They detailed some of the major events - and some fun ones - during our time together.
These were huge! Single sheets from a charity shop. Fun photographs, and either serious or fun facts, of our guests and their accommodation

Anna also stayed all day and helped with the food preparation - superstar!!
The end result! It was as close to perfect as I imagined. The only difference was I imaged the decorations all around and above us, rather than as a backdrop, but it proved impossible. The big hearts are quotes about us from our guests - some funny, soppy, rude! And those small hearts are the ones for the memory tree that I hadn't been able to find! So we hung them with the other hearts and they looked perfect :) Loved the Hessian, gyp and lavender on each chair :)
Apart from having the bouquets for me and the girls made, I had asked for the rest of the flowers to just be buckets and we would DIY them with all the vases and jars I had collected and decorated with lace. Thanks to Joy, Hev and Ian for sorting that lot out!

Our beautiful Flower Girls, sisters Martha and Orla :)
I wrote the ceremony myself. Mark and Ian were the MC/Pastor/Guides -whatever you want to call them, and they were brilliant! Mum and Hev read poems they had written. Ian read 'Love Is.....' from the Bible. And Joy and Pat sang a song - they chose 'So Amazing' by Luther Vandross, and it was so amazing!
 We had 'Some Kind of Wonderful' by the Drifters when we arrived together. It's Jeff's song for us (and was our first dance 20 years ago). In the middle of the ceremony we played 'I Won't Give Up' by Jason Mraz and at the end 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri.
My fab oldsmaids, been friends for over 20 years since we met at Racals -and were bridesmaids 20 years ago :)
Men friends! (Sounds wrong lol!)
 My girlfriends - truly blessed to have so many girls I consider close friends :)
 The Tribe (sneaked that photo of Joseph in even though he wasn't there!)
After the ceremony.
Um - yeah, the dress never arrived. But thankfully Anna had this purple dress that fitted me and blended in with the colour scheme and theme :)
 I would love to know what Jeff's laughing at in this photo!
 Made my shoes, and then the girls shoes -looking fab!
 My favourite photograph EVER of Jeff - looks like an aging rock star!
 Macbeth and the 3 witches plotting springs to mind ..........
Laughter - yep, there was lots of laughter :)
 Two of my favourite 'arty' photos :)
Sunday - again everyone did their own thing during the day.
In the evening we all got together for a sit down meal (Saturday was a buffet). Again everyone helped out move stuff, make the tables look fab, and help prepare the food (although to make it easier I had made chilli's, lasagne's and vege lasagne's the week before and froze them).
 Reused the chairs, sashes, flowers, etc from yesterday. We engraved some of the cutlery with words like 'love' and 'hope'. Dawn had put in a special request 'Men Are B******s!' which Jeff had done. But when the cutlery was handed out, nobody knew, so had to go hunting to retrieve them, whilst hoping that Mum orAunty Jean hadn't ended up with them LOL!
Completely forgot about icing the cake - Angela and Patrick to the rescue, managed to decorate it in 20 minutes!
 Making their own entertainment after the meal! Still,suppose it's better than just clearing off to their rooms to watch telly LOL!
Last photo! Chilling on the Sunday night :)

29 comments:

  1. Oh wow what a lovely celebration you had, congratulations.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, I think everybody enjoyed it as much as we did :) x

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  2. WOW!!!!! What a beautiful ceremony!! All that hard work paid off big time!

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    1. Hi JoJo, All the hard work was definitely worth it, it was perfect :) xx

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  3. That's really cool how you put all of the photos together. Wow, so much planning! You should do it professionally. (Or do you already?)
    Aging rock star. I'd like that title.

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    1. Thanks Alex :) Think Jeff was quite chuffed with the title as well! Not my business, but I did enjoy all the planning :)
      xx

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  4. Totally awesome! I'm so glad you decided not to wait. Myra and I had big plans for our 30th, but I lost her mere weeks prior to our 29th. Seize the day and celebrate with fervor. May each year be grander than the year before. Congratulations to you!!

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    1. Thanks Jeff :) You're so right, it's so important to make the most of every moment - I'm glad we didn't wait, you never know what's around the corner xx

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  5. Looks beautiful. Congrats. :-)

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  6. Beautiful, Suzanne! Congratulations!

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  7. I remember this post, Suzanne. And I see I'm the last to comment!!! Hahaa...

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  8. Congratulations (belatedly, of course) on your 20th anniversary!!

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  9. What a wonderful depiction of an amazing day...put together by a group of remarkable friends and family! Excellent Deja Vu choice, and one I really enjoyed. Thank you for re-sharing. :)

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  10. What a terrific idea and I love all the thought and creativity that went into it. Thanks for sharing your deja vu!

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  11. Hi Suzanne .. what an amazing commemorative day reminding everyone of 20 years .. brilliant - gosh you did do well - and that's putting it politely and mildly!!! Congratulations for the day and congratulations to you both for 20 years .. Jeff does look like a rock star from our day .. lovely and so much fun - cheers Hilary

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  12. What a beautiful and fun celebration! Congratulations on 20 years! I can't believe you did your shoes!

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  13. Gorgeous pictures. What a beautiful celebration.

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  14. What a lovely way to celebrate your vow renewal! Thank you for choosing this as your reblogged post! Beautiful. xo

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  15. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Here's to another 2O years! Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories!

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  16. OMG, can not believe how wonderfully this event came together for you. You are obviously a creative genius and deeply loved and supported. And you've given me some ideas for future family celebrations of my own...

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  17. Thanks everyone, glad you all enjoyed my do-over :)

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  18. I stopped by to check out your deja vu and got a sense of deja vu! My daughter got married in October and we were doing a lot of DIY things ourselves. A whole lotta work and a perfect day. I think we are in parallel universes. Congratulations to you and your husband and good on you for all the spectacular work you did for your perfect day!

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    1. Thanks Noelle :) I think DIYing a special occasion makes it so much more personal :) Congratulations to your daughter! x

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  19. Glad to have found you through the Deja Vu blogfest. This sounds like a fabulous day! And congrats on the first 20 years. May the next 20 bring you even more joy.

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    1. Hi Samantha, it was just perfect :)I'm hoping the next 20 might be less stressed than the first 20 LOL! x

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  20. How fun!!! And you gave me some ideas for my daughter's wedding coming up this year! Lovely, and thanks for sharing!

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Love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts below. Suzanne xx