My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this week (congrats, Mom and Dad!), and this summer all the adult kids and spouses and my parents had a week long party in the Bahamas at the all-inclusive Sandals Emerald Bay resort to celebrate.
It was a chance to celebrate our strong family bond and the incredible example our parents set for us of how to make a marriage last (my dad says the secret is to “do whatever she wants.”). One of my favorite parts of the trip was at a dinner where we toasted my parents by each sharing a word or phrase describing them. Generous, helpful, loving, and filled with integrity were some of the many things heard. It was a great tribute to my parents.
Another favorite part of the trip was the chance for us to renew our own wedding vows on our 25th anniversary, which happened to fall during the trip. Sandals Resorts had a special offer: a free wedding or vow renewal ceremony if you booked five rooms or more. I wasn’t really sure what this would entail, but decided we should take advantage of the offer. I hadn’t expected it to be such a thorough process. I just envisioned us standing on the beach repeating our vows to each other. What we got was so much more!
I had a few preliminary phone calls with the resort wedding planner before our trip — she asked about flowers, music, minister, food, etc. — and then we met with our site coordinator at the resort. We went over the details and even got to taste cakes and choose which one we wanted! We picked a beautiful Zen garden space overlooking the sea for our ceremony, and our wedding planner picked us up in a golf cart that morning to take us down. She brought orchids for both of us! A Bahamian minister performed our ceremony, and afterward we did our first dance and there was cake, hors d’oeuvres, and champagne for our whole party. A Sandals photographer was assigned to our event as well. They thought of every detail.
I had wanted to do a vow renewal ceremony for our anniversary because I thought it would be a fun way to mark the occasion. The service we got at Sandals, and the way they made this day seem as important as if it were our original wedding day, made the experience more meaningful than I’d anticipated. Re-affirming our commitment to one another after 25 years felt as powerful as our wedding day. And I cried as many tears!
I know I am a very lucky woman to have found such an incredible life partner, and to get the chance to affirm it in the way we did was a great gift. I’m already looking forward to another getaway for our 50th!
Enjoy your week or your weekend, whoever you’re sharing it with!