Ten Year Vow Renewal On A Budget

When it was time to celebrate 10 years of marriage, I knew I wanted to mark the occasion in a special way. Like most couples, our life had changed substantially since the day we were married in the summer of 2008. We had added two wonderful humans to our family and had also experienced several other milestones, some good and some not so good. We had watched and supported our first born through a cancer diagnosis and months long treatment. We had furthered our careers and moved to homes. We had unexpectedly gotten pregnant and lost a child. But through it all, we had each other and I couldn’t have imagined anyone else I would want to walk the up and down journey with. Thus, the ten year vow renewal came to fruition and without a lot of extra cash floating around, it was put together on a tight budget.

On a summer weekend in Vancouver, we hosted both a small vow renewal ceremony and an adult only party with friends and family. Let’s be honest, the real reason I wanted to mark the occasion was to put on my wedding dress again. Did it fit? Oh heck no. I had birthed two children and maybe had a bit less time to hit the gym. That being said, I slipped it back on and simply didn’t take any photos from the back, where it wasn’t completely zipped up yet the veil covered it.

For the vow renewal, we went back to the spot where we had our original wedding photos taken. The guest list was small, as really we just wanted our children and a few select family members in attendance. This definitely was a highlight of the weekend for me. My husband and I both just wrote a couple things down to say to each other and then we poured a bit of champagne to celebrate. My best friend was on photography duty and she really did a great job capturing the special event.

The night of the party however, I decided to book a professional photographer and this is something I would highly recommend. Since having kids, I was usually the one documenting our family’s life and this was an opportunity to be with my favorite guy in front of the camera. Our family photographer, Sweet Dreams Photo Studio, agreed to take the shots and I absolutely loved how they turned out. I wore a dress I already owned and my cousins who were in town for the event, assisted with my hair and makeup. The photographer walked us around the surrounding area. Her location scouting was perfect. The lighting that evening was just stunning and I have to say the photos were pretty stunning too.

The venue for the dance party was a very cool vintage location in East Vancouver, called the Wise Hall. When I came across it in my Internet search, I was so happy to find out it was very reasonable to rent, but also had the exact vibe I was going for. They had a staffed bar, but otherwise, we were welcome to bring everything in to the location, which I knew would save us lots of money. The venue had tables and chairs they provided, but we dressed them up a bit with covers and ribbons. We also setup some side tables with photo props and a couple of the pictures from the vow renewal.

To stay within our small budget, I bought all the food at the local grocery store and Costco. I simply fancied it up by plating it on cake plates and put some food into mini clear cups with mini spoons. Because the event was post dinner, we kept the food simple as more of a selection to nibble on throughout the night. There was a savoury table with a charcuterie board, alongside various croissants, veggies and shrimp cocktail.

The dessert table featured a variety of cookies, including sugar cookies by my super talented friend. The “We Still Do” ones were so clever. We also had donut holes (also known as Timbits), cake pops and strawberry shortcake cups. This recipe is one I have used before as they literally take a minute to prepare (the recipe can be found here).

We probably hosted about 50 friends and family and most of the night saw me dancing while my husband caught up with friends with drinks in hand. Mind you after a few of said drinks, I got my husband and more of our friends to join us on the dance floor. While a DJ would have been a great touch, we had the songs on a playlist that was plugged into the sound system which definitely helped the event bottom line.

It truly was a wonderful weekend to celebrate 10 years together. I would highly recommend it, because what girl doesn’t want to put back on her dress, take photos and be with her favorite people to celebrate her finding and keeping Mr. Right (well in my case Mr. Wright). Now to start planning that 20 year wedding anniversary celebration.

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