Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Second Time Around


My husband performed one of the most romantic gestures ever recorded in the annals of our marriage in honor of our 15th wedding anniversary – he proposed. Again.

Yes, after weathering all the ups and downs of sharing a life together, raising two children, surviving four moves, one layoff and the blending of very different extended families, he wanted to stand up in front of the world – or our little piece of it – and say he’d do it all again.

I was touched. I cried (I admit it, I’m a crier). I said yes!

So, a few months later, in mid autumn of our 15th year together, we stood in front of about 40 or so of our closest friends and relatives to pledge our continued love for one another.

While nothing can ever diminish the joy and excitement of our first wedding, this one was special in so very many ways. One notable difference was the lack of stress that goes into a first wedding, all those minute details, the dress, the flowers, the cake, guest list, music… the idea that it’s a once in a lifetime (if your lucky) moment that has to be perfect – absolutely perfect.

After living in each other’s back pocket for so long, we simply knew what we wanted; we didn’t have to think too long or plan endlessly. We’ve been blessed to live in a nicely secluded woodsy area, with a beloved flower garden surrounded by a low rock wall. This is where we would exchange our vows. We designed our own invitations, ordered a beautiful two-tiered wedding cake, went shopping for a long dress (okay, that was a little bit stressful!) served a light fare of hors d’oeuvres and champagne, let God take care of the decorations, handed a relative our video camera, and had a party to end all parties.

The ceremony, performed by our pastor and good friend, was simple and traditional. Imagine my surprise when the love of my life slipped a new diamond anniversary ring onto my finger instead of the one I’d worn for so many years!

I think of both my weddings from time to time, how they were so memorable for such different reasons. One thing I cherish the most was the presence of our children, my daughter as maid of honor, and my son as best man. It was almost too perfect, if such a thing is possible. My husband had pulled our large stereo speakers out onto the front porch, and the four of us each made our way down the stairs and out into the garden, accompanied by the haunting strains of Johann Pachelbel’s canon in D Major. My daughter and I in long dresses and heels, my husband and son in matching tuxedoes. Once upon a time these two were only distant dreams, now they were right there beside us, the living, breathing proof of our love for one another.

Like I said - perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is coming up next year…wonder what he’s got planned.


What about you? Have you ever renewed your wedding vows? Had any particularly memorable or unusual moments in your wedding? Or maybe your wedding was held in a unique setting. Do tell.

19 comments:

Sandy Elzie said...

Good morning Darcy,

Your story is sweet and you have a keeper. Our wedding was nice, simple, memorable because of our love and because of a promise he made to me all those years ago. He told me that he wanted the honeymoon to never end.

Although that wasn't literally possible, his attitudes and habits of treating me with the same respect and love as during the "courting" time has continuted. He didn't change (relax into the recliner) after saying "I do". He has given me a standard of romance and loving kindness to live up to. I'm a better person for being married to him all these years.

Sandy

J Perry Stone said...

I don't know why, but this post makes me want to cry. I definitely want my husband and I to renew our wedding vows. It's such a symbolic gesture, and in a time when most of our friends' marriages are ending, nothing could be more poignant.

The first time around, we got married in an inn that survived the battle of Gettysburg. Antrim 1844 was the name http://www.antrim1844.com/

It was gorgeous and they took care of everything--food, cake, accommodating all the guests with us isolated waaay away from them.

I think the next time around, however, it will be on the beach. Like you, the last thing I want is stress. I just want the joy. And we too will have our son and daughter as our bests

Marilyn Baron said...

That was a beautiful post that made me want to cry.

My husband and I haven't renewed our vows and our 35th anniversary is coming up, but we did something pretty neat when we were visiting relatives in Miami over the Memorial Day weekend.

We got married at a hotel called the DuPont Plaza. It has since been torn down and in its stead stands a new hotel/residence building. There is a seafood restaurant in the hotel called Area 31, so we, along with three other couples who participated in our wedding, got a private room at the restaurant overlooking the Miami skyline and we had an anniversary dinner in the same place where we were married 35 years ago. It was really memorable.

Marilyn Baron

Debbie Kaufman said...

We have a 32nd anniversay coming up. Yes, I got a keeper too! We haven't done a vow renewal, but have considered it. Maybe for 35??

When we married, we did everything ourselves, except for the reception. A wonderful aunt helped with that and paid some toward my wedding dress. We had a beautiful setting at the Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville. The most memorable thing? My dear one managed not to punch the wedding photographer, although he really wanted to do so!

Linsey Lanier said...

Darcy,

I'm a crier, too, and will admit I did cry reading this lovely post.

We thought about getting re-married but have never gotten around to it. Like Sandy, though, we always say we're still on the honeymoon.

Yes, I'd say you've got a keeper.

Linsey

CiCi Barnes said...

Hubby and I recently passed the 40 mark. We haven't formally renewed our vows, but the little things he does each day and the special things he likes to do for me quite often reiterate those original vows of love, honor and cherish. I try my best to return those things in kind.

Weddings are romantic and fun, although usually stressful, but the day-to-day grind, dealing with the downs and relishing the ups really show the love throught out your marriage.

Darcy, for hubby to have proposed all over again, shouting to the world that he knew he'd made the right choice the first time around, is heavenly. Hold on to that guy!

Great post and thanks for sharing.

CiCi

Anna Steffl said...

Aw, that is just the greatest. What a terrific idea. Maybe it should become a standard thing society observes.Everyone should be expected to publicly celebrate the milestones of marriage. Plus, it gives people a chance to really appreciate the meaning of what marriage is. During that first ceremony, it is pretty hard for the involved parties to on that level because of the stress.

Oh, and yet more proof that guys really are the more romantic of the species.

Darcy Crowder said...

Good morning ladies. You all blow me away - 40 years, CiCi! Wow. 32years, 35....makes 25 sound like a drop in the bucket. ;) Congratulations! These are true blessings in today's world.

Yes, we have our ups and downs like most couples, but I'd have to agree - mine's a keeper.

Sandy, the honeymoon that never ends...he's definitely a keeper.

J, that inn sounds wonderfully romantic. I've always wanted to visit a B&B. Maybe we can aim for this year's anniversary. You're right, the second time around is so much less stressful. I don't know about all of you, but I felt like I was almost in a haze through parts of my first wedding - the fact that it was finally happening, the anticipation of a new life.

For that renewal, the first blush of love had changed, of course, deepened into that richer, more forgiving, compationate love. I married my best friend. I can honestly say it felt more romantic, somehow, the second time around.

I definitly recommend it.

Darcy Crowder said...

Marilyn - Sounds like you had a great anniversary. How special that you were able to be with such long-time friends and relive the memory. :)

Debbie - LOL. Not punching the photographer...sounds like you had quite the party. I hope you got the photos you wanted at least.

Lindsey - Yes, I even tear up at commercials, news stories... whenever people share their hearts, really.


Anna - I hadn't really thought about guys being the more romantic, but I can certainly agree they come through with the more grand gestures. ;)

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Darcy

What a great idea. We've talked about renewing our vows at the 15 mark, too. We had a very small wedding the first time around and no large reception, so we've also talked about throwing a huge party, a reception 15 years in the making.

For our sixth anniversary, he bought a garnet ring I had eyed--something I don't do often--and proposed to me all over again. Now that ring has gone from a pretty ring to a symbolic ring because I think of that moment each time I look at it.

Oh, and I agree with Anna about men being more romantic than women--I can't top any of these things.

Dianna Love said...

That's so sweet, Darcy.

I'd break out in hives at the thought of any wedding again even though ours was fun, but then I never wanted to get married until I met Karl. I know, I didn't come with the standard female genes. :)

We'll have our 25th next year. He's always been romantic, surprising me in the most interesting and creative ways.

Love all the wonderful wedding, romance and love stories everyone shared.

Carol Burnside said...

I'd share my wedding details, but that would spoil my post next week. LOL

Loved your renewal vows story. Very cool!

Tami Brothers said...

Wow. I can't believe how many wonderful guys there are out there. I'm going to spoil it and say that when I brought this subject up to my hubby he said he made that mistake once already and didn't plan to do it again.

I know. I know. Sounds awful, doesn't it? Then he went out and bought me a really neat spa package for mothers day. Of course, like Debbie's husband, he wanted to punch the guy at the spa because he totally messed up the romantic gesture by not being able to get me in for all the stuff at once and by rescheduling me three times before rushing me in and out.

My niece is coming out next month and asked us to find some place romantic for her and her husband to celebrate their 1st anniverdary. I had to ask my husband to ask a friend of his because we certainly don't know of anything like that....grin.... I think he at least heard my hint with that...grin...

Anyway, I still love him even if he isn't the most romantic guy. Like someone said before, it's those little things that prove it each and every day.

See ya guys!

Tami

Susan May said...

That was way cool, Darcy! I had no idea. Andy and I haven't renewed our vows but every day I'm grateful for him.

ECSpurlock said...

What a wonderful story, Darcy! My hubby and I were married in a 300 year old country inn in Connecticut, in front of a fireplace, on Christmas Eve. We had the reception in the same room, and the food was fabulous! We also spent our wedding night in the same inn, with electric candles lighting every window. Since both our families were there for the holiday, we postponed our actual honeymoon until New Year, when we spent it at First Night in Boston.

We haven't renewed our vows, but for our tenth anniversary, my husband gave me 10 red roses and another trip to First Night in Boston. We spent our "anniversary" night just the two of us, then the next day my parents brought our two sons, then eight and three, on the train to join us. It was a really special time.

We've got our 20th coming up this year, and Bill still says we must have been nuts to hold our wedding on Christmas Eve (makes the logistics of celebrating our anniversary pretty crazy, especially with kids in the house!) but I don't think either of us would change a thing otherwise.

J Perry Stone said...

Lol, Tami. Sounds like something mine would say :)

Darcy Crowder said...

Thanks everyone for the sweet comments...and the stories.

Sally - The garnet ring sounds lovely, and how romantic to propose as he gave it to you.

Dianna - For a gal who never wanted to get married in the first place, you sure did end up with one of the most perfect guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet! Karl is definitely a keeper.

Carol - I'm looking forward to that post.

Tami - All I can say is, he may not be the most romantic, but I'll bet he's very, very supportive.

Susan - It's a real testament to your marriage that you all have weathered the difficulties of having a chronically ill child. My hat's off to you -- I can't even imagine the strength it takes.

EC - Wow! A 300-year-old Conneticut inn. What a memory! I absolutely love that sort of thing...in front of a fire. Sigh. We have fires all winter long because we love the ambiance so much.

Both my sister and brother had their weddings in December, though not Christmas Eve. I'm sure it was simply beautiful.

Darcy

Ana Aragón said...

Hey, Darcy,

Sorry I'm piping in here so late, but I wanted to comment. What a great, great idea! We've never renewed our vows, but I think I want that at 35 years (3 years from now). Outwardly, my husband is the least romantic person, but he does come through in the clutch...and I have never wanted to be married to anyone else but him!

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, Darcy, that sounds dreamy! How romantic. (can you hear my big sigh?)

What a wonderful story.