It’s not everyday you get to shoot a SURPRISE. A “surprise anything” for that matter…. but this one might have topped the list of surprises I have shot. It was a pop up vow renewal… and not just an ordinary one… one that took place in the smack dead center of the Columbia River. Ben wrote to me wanting to surprise his bride of 7 years with a vow renewal that she would never forget, I knew it was something I had to go all out for.
Perched on top of their own private island rock Ben and Alex recited their original wedding vows and promises, but just hours before Alex had no idea it was even taking place. Ben the consummate romantic planned the day to be a complete and total surprise to Alex. Alex told me, ” I really just thought we were headed to our family’s cabin to have a relaxing weekend away from the kiddos, which I was thrilled about, but this… is just so mind blowing!”
To start the day Ben presented Alex with a handwritten note that ended with him telling her how much he loves her. He went on to say “six years ago we made that pledge to one another… and I can say without a doubt that I would make that same pledge today.” He didn’t stop there. Benjamin finished with these words, “As a matter of fact, let’s do it. Let’s commit to loving each other fiercely, unashamedly, and without reserve… Today, I want to ask you again… will you marry me…?”
To say Alex was in shock might be an understatement. She was immediately swept away to have her hair and make up done, then returned to the cabin to find an assortment of gowns, jewelry and shoes all set up like a boutique. She got to choose her entire ensemble – every last detail. Flowers from The Flower Lab of Seattle were placed in her hands just moments before she would see her groom. The couple did not do a first look on their wedding, which Alex later explained was one of the only regrets she had from their big day. “The moment of seeing each other down the aisle was so special, but it wasn’t just the two of us sharing a moment,” she explained. On the shore of the Columbia River it was just the two of them. It was there Benjamin placed a floral crown on her head – one fit only for a princess. Then he whisked her away on a grand adventure.
Handing her their vows and marriage promises brought tears to her eyes. This special presentation, of these significant words, was designed by Francis & Co.. Alex was at a loss for words, but as she regained her composure she said, “I knew Ben was creative and romantic, but in my wildest imagination I could have never guessed that we would be on the Columbia River sharing our vows – let alone in the middle of it.”
Their love speaks volumes to anyone around them and this vow renewal between their 6th and 7th year of marriage was not due to hardship in life or broken vows, but rather was a celebration of what they have accomplished together these years and in anticipation of their exciting future! They later shared with me that what made this so special was that “life had given their vows context and that having a chance to look at them again and share them aloud together, made them even more real.” Ben and Alex love to celebrate and believe love, laughter, good company, and food go hand in hand. So what better way to concluded their evening then with a three course dessert reception at dusk under the twinkling lights near the river. Every detail a further celebration of their commitment and the great anticipation they share for what life has in store for them – together.
Floral Design: Seattle Flower Lab Hair and Make-Up: Laura Anaya Hadwritten Calligraphy and paper goods: Francis & Co. Surprise Pop-Up Vow Renewal on the Columbia River // Seattle Wedding Photographer Tonie Christine //