Yesterday not only marked seven years of being married to my husband, Derek, but it also just so happened to be the exact date we met 11 years ago! The crazy thing is that we didn’t intentionally plan for our wedding to be on the day we’d met. After we’d already set a date, I was looking through old photos and journals and I came across a notebook I’d written in back in 2007 during my first year living in Los Angeles while working as a secretary at a downtown law firm. My husband was a bike messenger at the time and I’d been seeing him around for awhile before we actually spoke.
As I flipped through the notebook, I came across a page dated August 12, 2007 where I’d written about finally talking to the cute bike messenger I’d seen outside during my breaks while at work. Derek, by chance, lived in the lofts across the street from me and he’d locked himself out. Apparently, we had the same building manager, so Derek was waiting in front of my apartment for him to come down with a spare key. Coincidence? We sure don’t think so!
Our wedding was on the grounds of the historic French Lick Springs Hotel in Southern Indiana. I wore a big white dress with a long veil and vintage rhinestone jewelry. We had close friends and family in our wedding party and invited everyone we knew. It was a hot, sticky August evening full of eating and dancing. And, honestly, it was all a blur. But the one thing that stands out in my mind when I think of that day was the look on Derek’s face as we said our vows.
Fast forward 11 years and we just celebrated seven years of marriage yesterday! So in honor of that, we decided to renew our vows. Not because being married for seven years is considered to be a particularly important anniversary, but because the passing of every year spent together should be a momentous occasion. And for most of them, we haven’t really celebrated at all – what with jobs to do and houses to work on and little ones to care for!
At first I wasn’t exactly sure what happens during a vow renewal, but quickly realized that’s partially the beauty of it. Not only are you rededicating your lives to each other, but you get to do it on your own terms. And this time around, we decided we’d skirt tradition and make it just about us!
We chose to do it at Williamsport Falls, a 90 foot waterfall in a very small town near Lafayette, Indiana. The location was absolutely dreamy. To get there, we had to walk downhill on a path through the woods. On the descent, we could see the waterfall to the right as well as the creek flowing from the pool beneath it. Once we got to the bottom of the path, we had to turn back the direction we’d come and walk alongside and at times through the creek to get to the waterfall, which cascades down from the top of a massive stone wall into the pool below.
We really wanted a dramatic and luxe, yet bohemian vibe. So, I made a macramé backdrop and wore a dusty blush gown with a gorgeous flower crown and the same vintage jewelry I wore on our wedding day. And what better way to celebrate another year together than by getting really dressed up, going somewhere incredibly beautiful, and having two amazing photographers document the whole thing? For a mama who’s always home with the kiddos and doesn’t even get dressed half the time, it was pretty magical.
Instead of having an officiant, we wrote our own vows, renewing our commitment to each other. Marriage may not always be easy, but each year spent together is special: another year of compromise, support, caring, and commitment to a common goal. That’s what marriage means to us. Our love for each other may have changed and taken on different forms with the ebb and flow of the passing years together, but I can honestly say that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. So, here’s to the past seven years of marriage and to many, many more!
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