This vow renewal ended the last 10 years of doing our life together based on other’s expectations and the new beginning of our original love adventure together with OUR family… forever <3
Let me tell you, I NEVER wanted a big wedding, a small wedding, or a wedding at all. My entire life before I was married or even engaged I was just hoping I would find someone to love, travel with, have a family with, and enjoy life with forever. I was NEVER about having a wedding. I just wanted to start this off with that sentiment before explaining WHY you should NEVER feel obligated by family or anyone to have a wedding if you want to elope.
My husband and I got engaged about 11 years ago at a bowling tournament in Atlantic City, sounds cheesy but for us we both loved bowling together and traveling so it was perfect. After we got engaged the FIRST thought was that we wanted to go to Vegas with just our close family and elope together. Neither one of us wanted a wedding. But after talking about this with family, my family was on board wither WHATEVER we wanted, but my husband’s family was not. They discussed with him that they wouldn’t come (which we were fine with) but then proceeded to make my husband feel guilty for not having a wedding, talking about family that wouldn’t be there etc. I wish that we would have ignored ALL of that back then because we forced ourselves to have a wedding here, albeit it was a small backyard wedding, just to appease other people. Which today as a wedding photographer I see constantly, and while I LOVE documenting weddings, I don’t like seeing my clients have this huge production for other people. In my personal experience, those same other people that we catered our wedding for we don’t even talk to today and have had an extremely toxic relationship with for years since we’ve been married; which is something that at the time we should have known would happen the rest of our lives after this experience. So when we talked about what we wanted for our 10 year vow renewal we KNEW we wanted to do what we should have done 10 years ago and start new.
Our amazing friends came with us to Vegas and helped us celebrate and it was absolutely what I wished we would have done 10 years ago. My friend and fellow photographer Brooke Mattingly Photography came and documented our sweet vow renewal at the Little White Chapel in *Old* Vegas and we opted for the Pink Cadillac drive in ceremony! It was quick, to the point, and so simple; all of which we value because to us our marriage was NOT going to be decided by the wedding. After the renewal we took a few photos on the strip, with the FAMOUS Vegas sign, and prior to we took a few in our hotel at the Mirage Las Vegas where we were staying for the convention we were also attending.
Guys, I just want to reiterate that you do NOT have to have the whole big wedding like everyone else, you can do WHATEVER you want. Your wedding is one day and marriage is forever, if you let other people in your lives dictate your wedding, then you’ll let them dictate the rest of your marriage. This is another reason we decided on a vow renewal because we truly wanted to reaffirm WHY we wanted to get married and heading to Vegas, traveling around, having fun together, that’s what we got married for… not for the show or to show off.
So in conclusion, worry about the marriage, not the wedding, and do what YOU want. Because 10 years later you might regret accommodating the wishes of toxic people who aren’t even in your lives anymore.
AMAZING Photography by Brooke Mattingly Photography IG: @Brookemattinglyphoto