Three years already?? Where does the time go??
We still get asked “Why renew your vows? Was once not enough?” I used to laugh this off and reply “Sure, there are no rules when it comes to love!” Inside however, the answer begged to yelled out, quite frankly no, once was not enough, nor was it all it was cracked up to be! Three years on I still consider this day our actual wedding. Not the actual one seven years ago. Now is the time for the honesty.
I always knew we would get married. When I imagined it, I imagined that it would be beside the sea. That a knot would be tied, our parents and our dearest friends would witness this old celtic traditional, the bonding of hearts. I knew that we would walk into our wedding ceremony together, hand in hand. I figured that there would be pub grub, some late night dancing and lots of and lots of chats. I knew that I wouldn’t wear white, I wasn’t too pushed about having people stand with us, or having to sign a bit of paper to say the deed was done. In short I wanted something small, personal to us. A million times over thats what my heart desired. It felt right. I could see it as plain as day and it made me happy. I figured when we announced our engagement it would all just follow suit. It didn’t.
Now please for one second don’t think that I didn’t enjoy our wedding day back in 2010. Saying “I do” to Sean is a moment that I will never ever forget. The look in his eyes (and tears) was spell binding. It was just by the time we got to our wedding I was exhausted. We we both exhausted from being pulled in one direction to the other with the famous wedding politics, we were tired from the bickering that seems to happen when planning a wedding, and also renovating a house. Budget? What budget! I was weary, I had allowed myself to get sucked into all the wedding hype. I had been squeezed, poked and prodded into various ugly wedding dresses. I had been told what to do, what not to do. For months on end I was stressed out, like was this normal? I was tired of the constant questions. I was tired of the DIY, that my girlfriends had help me make one afternoon. We were up until one am the night before the wedding trying to get up the hand made pom poms and lanterns. By the morning of the wedding, I was so tired and unsettled it just seemed like I was watching someone else get hitched. I just wanted to be married to Sean. Where and how had all this fuss been allowed to happen? I remember walking up the steps to the chapel in my beautiful second hand dress and thought. WTF. Seriously how different is this to what I imagined. It was like I wasn’t comfortable enough in my own skin. It wasn’t me. Sean was waiting for me at the door of the chapel though and when I saw him, it all melted away. I was grand so long as Sean was there!
A few weeks after the wedding, a family member and myself fell apart. An unbreakable bond was broken and I was devastated. It was just all too much. I couldn’t look back on the day as whole with a happy heart anymore. Sean will tell you that he had the best day of his life, I will tell you, we had a wedding. Two entirely different sentences.
So back then 2011ish, we started joking about doing it all again. Then it became real, less of a joke. “Sean, we could do a vow renewal and then go on the camino? It would be like a honeymoon?” Sean agreed. I was incredibly excited. More so than the first time. I knew the first port of call was to get a wedding planner. I knew just the lady too! The Ever wonderful Annie. We know Annie through work, she is incredibly passionate about what she does for all her couples. Annie never ceases to amaze me, she is like Mary Poppins with a bag of magic and huge heart! We met Annie outside Vaughans one afternoon and explained what we would like for the vows! Annie was just as excited as we were and it was sheer bliss to hand over all these ideas to some one you can 100% trust to see your vision and to see them come to being, a million times better than you had dreamed. Do you know how wonderful it is to plan a wedding if you have some one like this. Quite literally all we had to do was get dressed and show up! Well that and make a call to Joanna & Dylan Kitchener and asked them ever so nicely to come and take our pictures. Joanna and Dylan, are not just amazing photographers, they are amazing people with an exceptional love for life. We adore them, they are just normal humans with big hearts. To this day we are both so honoured to know them.
And that was how we found ourselves on a cliff edge over looking the sea surround by parents and some truly wonderful forever friends, as Dave and Tom played some seriously awesome acoustic tunes, on a sunny August afternoon. There were laugh out loud moments during the ceremony. I remember after the awe of having our hands bound by Dara, I whispered to Sean “Best.Day.Ever” It was. I meant it. Honest to god happiest day of my life! My heart still pounds when I think back on that exact moment. It still brings me to tears. It still is one of the happiest memories of my life. After the ceremony, giggling guests all back on the fun bus we went to our favourite pub O’Loclainn’s for some light refreshments” and then on to the most wonderful wedding venue I think there is, Vaughans. Annie and Mark with Sheena‘s unreal floristry skills, had the barn totally transformed into a glittering wonderland. I won’t go into detail as you will see for yourself. I was moved to tears when I saw the place. Like I said, Annie is simply amazing.
We literally ate, drank and were merry. We made no speeches, there was no seating plan, there was no first dances. It was just good old fashioned fun! And I seriously can’t thank every one enough for being there, no matter how crazy you all thought it was.
Three years on. I still don’t regret doing it all over again. No matter all the joking. Friends are already reminding us that we need to renew our vows again so we can all have another fantastic day out. Sadly the relationship with my family member was never healed. The bond forever broken. It causes me such sadness, but the thing about weddings is that, all the under the surface issues can come to the fore. Since we renewed our vows the number of weddings we have been to where the same situation has happen is shocking. If there is a problem simmering a wedding seems to be the perfect time to sort it out??? Like come on people, a bit of common sense here, save it till after the big day!!!
In the 100 of weddings we have covered since our vows, we have both seen couples stressed, have both heard from the couples after that they wished they had followed their gut and had smaller wedding or indeed had eloped. It is heart breaking, but I of all people get it. Its so (not) funny to be on the portrait shoot and for the couple to say, “Do we have to go back, to the party?” Can we not just stay here a bit longer?
Why am I saying this and why did I share our story this evening?
I guess that, I really want for everyone to think about what is is they want when they get married, make a vow or a promise. Weddings come with a lot of unnecessary worry and stress, from the dreaded budget, to the family stuff, to time not allowing enough time for each part of the day, to doing what you think you “should” be doing and worse, what others think you “should” be doing. Then there is what I like to call ” Pinterest vrs Real life paradox” or simply put, unrealistic expectations. The whole process can be overwhelming.
So, if you are planning a day out, listen to your heart. Very much thrash out all the ideas together. Listen to my story. Let your day out be exactly what YOU want it to be. Let your wedding day be the best it can be for you two! Not a copied version of some one else’s day with some one else’s photocopied mass booklet. Please don’t try and have a summer wedding in winter with 300 folks and wonder why you don’t have sunshine pictures outside. Do not have a big hotel wedding with every single person you know on Facebook, if even the smallest part of your heart is whispering it wants to elope. Its perfectly okay to elope and come back to a big party. It really is. Definitely don’t let any one else tell you what you should do. Do wear clothes that are you, not what you think you need to look like. DO listen to vendors on times, light, advise etc. Wedding vendors have so much experience and wonderful advise to give. They are all just waiting to be asked! Do tell people to mind their own business. DO it your way and I promise you will not regret it. I can not express enough how much the day is about you two. No One Else. It si your promise to each other, so all you need is to be both there with hearts full of love. Sorry of that was a bit much for a Friday night. I just want you all to look back on your day like we look back on our vows. With happy smily hearts, no regrets.
Photography: the Kitcheners : Wedding planner: Aislinn Events, Florist: West Clare Flowers, Hair: Caren Cullen, Celebrant: Dara Molloy Drinks reception: O’Loclainn’s Irish Whiskey Bar, Venue: Vaughans Pub. Music: The Blow-ins, Dress: Made by Seans mammy, Make up: shure I did my own, Seans outfit: his own clothes, I know fancy right!
P.S I wish I had got Annie to write this she would have done a far better job.
Welly throwing RULES!!!!
I did wear white in the end!
There was so, so much cheese.
So many chats were had.
The dance off was epic.
The sing song on the bus home was too funny, sorry mr bus driver.
Thank god for those hangover bags.