We got married again...

And it was perfect! Tuesday, 18th August 2020 at William Bay Country Cottages, Denmark. This is a special place we hold dear in our hearts, so it was clear that this would be where we would renew our vows. It was where we first became husband and wife in 2015 and where we have since shared many family holidays together as a family with our boys. I have been meaning to share our day for months now, finally here it is... how and why we chose to renew our vows and perhaps it may inspire you to renew your vows too!

OK, so unlike a wedding there are no legal requirements or set rules on how or when to renew your vows. You can pretty much do whatever works for you! We wanted an intimate and very private ceremony and therefore opted not to have a celebrant or loved ones with us, it just didn't seem necessary given we were already legally married. Instead it was just us and our two boys witnessing Matt and I exchange vows, although this time they were more like long letters of reflection, acknowledgement and a re commitment to one another. My dear friend and fellow photographer Tahlia Heedes drove down to Denmark and photographed the ceremony for us. Having already worked with Tahlia having her second shoot my wedding clients with me I knew she would do an amazing job!

Matt wore his suit, shoes and tie from our wedding five years prior, we just got him a new crisp white shirt. We purchased new suits and shoes for the boys, they looked adorable! I actually ended up buying three dresses, the one I ended up wearing was purchased online at the very last moment! I was very mindful of shoes though because I knew they would get ruined in the grass and wet gravel, therefore I decided to wear a much loved pair of heels from my own collection, of course they did get ruined on the day so it was easy to toss them away afterwards. We also choose to purchase new rings! Matt chose the exact same design as his original wedding ring, this time rather than white gold he went for black. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now I really love it! Together we chose a new diamond band to stack with my wedding band. They compliment each other perfectly and I couldn't be happier with how it looks as a set.

I wrote my vows a couple of weeks prior because... well anyone who knows me would know i'm super organised. Matt, in true "Matt" style chose to leave it to the very last minute, spending close to three hours writing his vows the night before on the lounge by the fire while I watched Home and Away, lol! I looked over and he was crying writing them! It was really beautiful to witness.

So what happened on the day? I got up super early in the morning before everyone else and did my own hair and makeup. The kids fought over the rings before the ceremony. We started exchanging vows and then it poured down with rain so we quickly ran undercover and then started all over again five minutes later! Typical Denmark weather, which we expected! Elijah eventually got bored when we were exchanging vows and ran off to enjoy an apple mid ceremony. Pooh bear also made an attendance. At this point Leo was thrilled to takeover and re-marry Mum + Dad. You will see him standing between us, I remember him looking up at us with a big smile on his face, he was so proud, and so were we! After the ceremony Tahlia got a few more photographs, then we headed out to The Lake House, Denmark for a lovely casual lunch together with the boys. It was just a really relaxed and meaningful occasion for us.

Renewing our vows was an important part of our journey together and marked a new chapter in our marriage and life as a family. Like all couples we had overcome significant challenges so there was a lot to celebrate and we shared gratitude for all that had been enjoyed and achieved together. It was a wonderful opportunity to look forward as a couple, to times yet to come and to express hopes and aspirations for the future.

What we have learnt is this, marriages evolve and change (we refer to this as our second marriage, and expect to have a third, fourth and even fifth marriage as we continue to mature and grow together). People mature and change... to be entirely honest the vows we made when we eloped in 2015 just didn't have enough weight to them and we were completely different people back then. We really have grown as individuals and a couple since then so naturally the vows we exchanged this time were so much more meaningful and deeper because we have shared experiences and understand one another so much more. Re committing to one another and having the boys there was everything and so special to us.

I would encourage anyone considering a vow renewal whether you've been married 12 months or twenty years to go for it! It is simply a way to truly celebrate the strength of your love and ongoing relationship. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Mel x