Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Rustic, Woodsy, Oh So Sweet Surprise Vow Renewal

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Do you have your hanky nearby? Maybe I am a sap, but I’ll be impressed if you don’t shed a tear over this oh-so-sweet, heart-warming, surprise vow renewal in the woods.

Leah pulled off the ultimate surprise for her bride, and caught it all on the sweetest film (watch at the end!).  We think any reason is good as any to celebrate your love together, and we especially agree that a vow renewal is a fantastic way to put on another special ceremony after getting married at City Hall like Leah and Jessica did.

Since Leah told Jessica the surprise event was a “styled shoot” the vow renewal of course, had plenty of fab details of note, all matching their woodsy, rustic, forest eden of love.  The naked strawberry cake sat on a raw, sliced wooden platter and the green florals looked as wild as their surroundings.

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The Surprise Vow Renewal

My wife and I never had a wedding for many reasons. Our shotgun wedding took place at a courthouse in Johnston County, North Carolina where we had just moved two months prior. It was on her lunch break, so she was in uniform (she did NOT want that) and I threw on one of the few outfits that came stateside with me during the PCS. She bawled, I didn’t know what to do with my face and the Justice of the Peace was busy chatting about county issues between vow recitals. When the idea came about to do a vow renewal, I jumped on it.

I’ve never kept a secret from Jessica for longer than a week. Christmas gifts, birthday presents, even my proposal to her all came out before it was time. When the idea came up, I swore to myself I wouldn’t mess it up. I didn’t! Yay me!

I was so nervous, Jessica knew we were doing a styled shoot, a fake wedding. When we got there, she was confused as to why there seemed to be some kind of secrecy, but of course, she let it go. Why would there be a secret with a group of ladies we didn’t even know?

The weather tried to rain us out, but then the sun came through. The park was cool and smelled like fresh earth – thank you, drizzle! It was a crazy experience having hair and makeup done in the parking lot and changing into my dress in the woods! We are avid geocachers, so it made me smile to think that the setting was so perfect. I was also barefoot and everyone who knows me knows I wear shoes as little as possible – I could walk across glass and the bottoms of my toes wouldn’t even notice.

The dress was so light and flowy – I felt like some kind of woodland fairy out there. What was so strange about the entire experience was that part of me felt like I should feel awkward in front of women I’ve never set eyes on until that day, but it just didn’t happen. It was relaxed, no pressure, cool breezes and mead – such a great day!

The main feeling of the day was love – I’ve never gotten dolled up to that extent in front of my wife. We don’t do fancy dinners or go to military balls. We hike and go mud riding on our bikes. The way she looked at me all day was something I’ve never experienced before and I’ll never forget it. She couldn’t keep her eyes – or hands – off of me and the joy written across our photos and video of that day will always remind me of that. As cliche as it sounds, it really was magical. A day I’ll never be able to replicate.

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  • L.M. Quackenbush

    I am so flattered and reading this brought back my feelings on that day – thank you so much for the beautiful feature and HUGE shout out to our amazing team -Jenn behind the camera, Audrey and her video magic, and Markia for her artwork on our faces and in our hair. Magic, pure magic!

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