North Carolina Vow Renewal
Our Ten Year Anniversary
I had been picturing our ten year anniversary for several years before it actually arrived. My original hopes were to have a large party with friends and family invited. I would have loved to share a meal with our closest people, and even hire a DJ to dance the night out.
However, such as the circumstances were, it ended up being that we were just coming off a huge cross-country, nine-month-long road trip. Adam had just started a new job. Money was tight. And we didn’t want to ask our family to come all the way out to us. So instead, I compromised. We decided we would have our own little North Carolina Vow Renewal.
Our Wedding Day
Adam and I got married when I was just 19.5 years old. I met him my second semester in college, and we only knew each other for 6 months from day the we met to the day we said, Yes! I do! This meant I didn’t know what I wanted. I had never really given a lot of thought to my actual wedding day – only daydreamed of the marriage itself. My dress was borrowed from a friend’s sister – not because I loved it, but because it fit me well and didn’t need alterations.
Our decorations consisted of framed photos of ourselves and scrapbook paper cut-outs on the table. We served chicken salad sandwiches and watermelon from Smith’s grocery store. Our friends and family watched us dance to music streaming from an ipod, all while seated on picnic tables under a park pavilion. A great uncle whose name I don’t even remember took our unorganized photos. I carried a dozen red roses as my bouquet.
Really, all we cared about that day was getting married, no matter how, where, or in what clothes. We were blinded by love and anticipation. Honestly, I think my only real regret was not having a “real” photographer there to capture all that naivete. But now, all these years later, I’m a “real” wedding photographer myself. I photograph the most beautiful wedding days filled with personal, intimate details that are not just pretty to look at – they’re real things with heart and soul that these couples put a lot of thought into. It helps better tell their love story to their friends and family and generations to come. These details are more than just pretty place settings or a fancy dress – they’re items that make them feel like them!
Ten Years Later
I’ve done a lot of growing up in the last 10 years. Growing into myself and my body, but also growing into Adam and our relationship. I became a Mom, and had to refind myself within that change. I’ve accepted my weaknesses, and even turned some into strengths. Also, I’ve honed in on colors, energy, and styles that make me happy and feel like the best version of myself. And while I didn’t necessarily need a “re-do” of our wedding day, I did want something special to celebrate who we are now, and how far we’ve come.
I wanted a dress that didn’t just fit my body, but also fit who I was on the inside. A bouquet that wasn’t just as cheap as I could get, but reflected my nature-loving, soft-hearted soul. Rolling hills that sang to us, and not just chosen for convenience. A photographer who shot film. Jewelry that would take me back to this day everytime I wore it.
And the shoes? Well, I’ll admit….those things are purely just pretty to look at. I doubt I’ll be wearing them again 😉 I even commissioned a calligrapher to write up “Our Story” and the lyrics to the song we first danced to.
On the outside, everything looked exactly as I would have wanted it to.
On the inside
But I knew that even if none of that had come together, what was most important to me was spending the day reflecting on our marriage. I loved my kids running around me in my living room as I got all dolled up (with a REAL hair and makeup artist!). Loved Adam peeking in on me from time to time, giving me a wink and a smile. Hiding the dress in the back of the van, knowing he still hadn’t seen it yet. I loved driving into the rolling hills of North Carolina, holding hands across the front seats.
But most of all, I loved standing in the sunshine, holding hands with Adam, and telling each other what the last 10 years together has meant to us. What we hope for the next 10 years, and beyond. I loved our children running around in the forest behind us as we did so, Adam’s hand rising to wipe my tears away. It was a beautiful day.
The reality is that not every day looks like that. Apparently only ONE day in 3650 days looks like that. And that’s okay. We took that one day and made it special, celebrating us and how far we’ve come. Maybe I’ll get my party next decade – maybe not. All I care about is that I’ll be holding Adam’s hand through it all.
I didn’t know then
“When I said yes to us 10 years ago, I honestly didn’t now what I was agreeing to. I didn’t know about endless sleepless nights with newborns, hurt feelings and misunderstandings, about failed dreams and lost money. I didn’t know about postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD. I didn’t know about three cross-country moves, the deaths of grandparents, temper tantrums in the grocery store or blowouts at the airport. I didn’t know about trips to Italy with two toddlers, a week in Iceland, a rebellious tattoo, a bathroom reonovation, a month apart (several times), 9 months in a cargo trailer, 27 National Parks, one old dog, and 9 chickens. I didn’t know much when I said yes – I only knew it was you I wanted by my side.”
Our North Carolina Vow Renewal was possible thanks to all these vendors:
Photographer | Megan Travis Photography
Calligraphy | Hands to Learn
Flowers | Carolina Flowers
Dress | Janay Marie
HMU Artist | Brushes and Braids
Venue | Mill Creek Farm
Vow Book | Our Vows
Bowtie + suspenders | Bowtie Love, Inc
Jewelry | Olive & Piper
Meghan is a Western North Carolina Wedding Photographer
She travels to Waynesville, Franklin, Sylva, Cashiers, Highlands, Knoxville, Atlanta, Asheville, Boone, into the Smoky Mountains, along the Appalachian Mountains, and beyond. You can follow her on Instagram here or on Facebook here. You can see a favorite engagement session in the mountains here, or an anniversary session at Linville Gorge here.