Linda & Chris’s surprise vow renewal picnic

It was a double celebration for the Ivanov family the day before their daughter Kirsty’s marriage to Sam.  The gorgeous young couple were very fortunate to win an entire wedding valued at $34,000 halfway through their engagement.  The thoughtful young couple then decided to share the love and arrange for a very special surprise for Kirsty’s parents the day before their wedding.  Guests arrived at the Mad Men inspired picnic assuming it was part of their wedding celebrations but were then all told there would be a surprise at 12 noon!

“Inspired by both our parents marriages which have both lasted in excess of 30 years, Sam and I asked Michelle Anderson, Michell E Brant Celebrant, if she would mind doing something very special for us and if instead of conducting our wedding ceremony, if she could instead hold a special ceremony for our parents the day before we said our own ‘I do’s’. Michelle welcomed the idea with open arms, and together we began planning. The ceremony began with Sam and I telling our guests stories about how our parents met, and how their love story has inspired us and ultimately led us to find each other. It concluded with a beautiful vow renewal ceremony for Kirsty’s parents. The ceremony was kept a complete surprise from all our guests and was held during a retro themed picnic the day before the wedding,” recalls Kirsty.

Bianca Frankling and her team at Beedazzled Events assisted Kirsty & Sam with the styling of the day and set up a white marquee fitted with a retro lounge setting and polished wooden coffee table, a vintage ottoman draped with picnic blankets sewn by Kirsty’s sister in law Naomi, a tea and coffee station, a mini whisky bar and gorgeous big rugs covered with mismatched cushions.  In keeping with the retro feel of the day guests were asked to dress “Mad Men” style.

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

“My step nana, Col, made all the food for the day, including an absolutely gorgeous naked sponge cake decorated with natural blooms”

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

“As a finishing touch, Sam and I asked each of our married guests to send us a photo of themselves on their wedding day to create our ‘Record of Love’ Wall. To make this we put each photo into a polaroid frame, then hand-stamped the name of the couple and the number of years they had been married for onto the frame. The frames were pegged onto twine. Also pegged onto the twine were faux vinyl records stamped with the words ‘A record of love’. Although we originally thought of the idea for sentimental reasons (hanging the photos so that we were ‘surrounded by the love of all our family and friends’), it also ended up also being a bit of fun looking back at how the wedding fashion had changed over the years and having a bit of a giggle at some of the fashion of yesteryear.”

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

 “My Dad made a huge faux lounge-room-wall photo prop which was wallpapered and featured two large photo frames that guests could put their heads through as well as smaller bronze frames, with old-fashioned images in them.”

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

At noon, Michelle arrived and conducted a truly heart warming ceremony. The day was misty, cloudy and overcast with occasional showers, but as the universe would have it, blue skies were above us for that very special hour of the day when we held the ceremony for our parents and Kirsty’s parents once again said I do.

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

“When it showered we all snuggled inside the marquee and swapped stories and drank and ate to our hearts content. When there was sun we all went outside and played lawn games, including croquet, quoits, bocce and giant snakes and ladders.”

Linda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnicLinda & Chris's surprise vow renewal picnic

“Having the extra day of celebrations meant we had more time to spend with our family and friends who had travelled so far and holding the ceremony for our parents gave Sam and I a chance to step out of the spotlight for a while and to reflect on the importance and significance of the journey we were about to begin together. We could not be more grateful or more in love – on that day, and every day.”

 
Photography: Ashlee Marie Photography & John Nguyen Photography
Styling: Beedazzled Events
Celebrant: Michell E Brant Celebrant