Jana and Denis were married in 2006, just two months after meeting. With the bride being Brazilian and the groom American, there were lots of complications post-wedding. When it was all finally sorted out they travelled to Chile to renew their vows, just the two of them.
“Denis and I met in 2006”, began Jana. “We were both backpacking in Brazil and we ended up on the same bus going to a psy trance festival. Sixty-eight days later we were married in a simple ceremony and three days after that Denis had to return back to the States since his Brazilian visa was expiring. The next few years were extremely hard for us, as we were dealing with immigration issues and a custody battle over my daughter with her Brazilian father. More than a year later, when I was finally able to go to the United States, we just had an intimate dinner reception just to introduce me to his family and few friends. The custody battle was still ongoing and we could never plan anything, just waiting for the court process to decide the future of our family. Finally, seven years after all of this got resolved, we decided to go to Chile, travelling for the first time together as husband and wife, to renew our vows.”
“The renewal of vows was actually surprise to Denis from me and he only found out when we got to the desert!”, she continued. “In the beginning we were just planning a trip, but I knew that travelling to this special place, I could not let the opportunity pass of celebrating our love and confirming our vows in an intimate way. I knew that Denis would not be too enthusiastic about this idea if I planned a staged ceremony with a script. He is extremely introverted and hates to pose for pictures. Also, our budget was pretty tight, so I decided to follow my heart and let something evolve on its own while we are there.”
The inspiration for Jana’s outfit was ‘Patta Hoiri’, which means ‘Mother Earth’. ” I felt an extreme connection with the Mother Earth while I was in Chile”, she said. “When we were married seven years ago I wore black, so this time I wanted to wear white. I did not want be too colourful or glamorous, I wanted some way that I could blend myself with the desert. I painted my face with ‘Urucum’ which is the plant seed that Indians in Brazil use during ceremonies, and wore a custom made ‘Cocar’, a headpiece worn by indigenous tribes. I wanted to honour my ancestors and feel connected to the ancient tribe.”
Hannah, a wedding photographer, and her husband James decided while on holiday in 2013 that they wanted to renew their vows. They decided to do it in France in July this year. They only brought their two children with them as witnesses, but having a great photographer was also really important to them. They booked Jordanna Marston to go out with them from the UK. The ceremony took place on the banks of Biscarrosse Lac.
“We had talked about renewing our vows when we were on holiday in Slovakia in 2013”, began Hannah. “It was such a beautiful place, we were sat by a stunning lake surrounded by mountains, I knew then that I wanted to do our vows by the water somewhere gorgeous! We didn’t want a massive fuss or a party, it was more about us and how we felt about each other and of course our kids. I had a client tell me last year she was having a handfasting ceremony, so after looking it up I thought it was a lovely symbolism and we had Jake and Erin tie ribbons around mine and James’ hands.”
I think a lot of you will know Sassy already. She is an amazing wedding photographer and I’m really lucky because I get to share her incredible weddings all the time. A few years ago she also wrote an article for me about her own wedding photography experience which went kinda viral (read: it was one of my most popular articles of all time!)
So, when she told me that she and her gorgeous husband, Ian, were renewing their vows in Thailand I was really, really excited. Excited for them because they’d finally have the epic photographs they deserved, but extra excited for me and you because I knew she’d let me blog it!
Not only are these photos (by Emma Lucy and Neil Douglas), and the accompanying video (Chris Koch), some of the most incredible I’ve seen in a long time, but the love, emotion and THAT RAINBOW DRESS by The Couture Company (who else?) have completely blown me away!
“I’m not going to dwell on the reason we first considered a vow renewal on our 5th wedding anniversary”, began Sassy. “Yes, people did raise an eyebrow as if to say ‘It’s only 5 years!!’ but hell, you know what, why shouldn’t we celebrate every year!?”
“We decide to renew our vows at the one place we both love equally. Ian and I are quite different people (as chalk and cheese!) and don’t often have the same opinions on anything, so when we both totally fell for Chieow Laan lake and Koh Sok national park I knew this was the perfect place for the renewal… after all it’s paradise! It’s hard to explain how this place gets in to your soul but when I haven’t been in a while I start feeling homesick. Its special and magical!”