Our Vow Renewal. September 3, 2021
We did it. After years of talking about it, months of planning it, we did it. We stood in front of 25 of our family and friends, in my favorite city in the world, and recommitted to each other. It was more than I could have ever asked for and probably even more meaningful than our wedding. Why? Because we did it all for us. Because we have lived together, married, for 12 years and we have not only gone through ups and downs together, but we have come out SO much stronger than ever before. And we are so damn proud of us.
Nick did an incredible job. I have to give him credit because if you didn't know, he planned the entire thing (his amazing EA Hanna helped and he also got some tips from my bestie Christian), but this was all him. All I had to do was get the girls' dresses and my own, and show up on time (which I barely did). Because of his meticulous planning I really wanted to share all of the details with you all, this deserved an entire blog post, and I think you will agree when youre done reading.
Nick has been planning this event for over 6 months. I told him, kind of kiddingly, that I didn't want to plan it, I planned our wedding years ago LOL. But he took that comment and ran with it you guys! He didn't want me to know anything. So he didn't show me the invitations, never told me the venue nor the food, and other than his suit, he didn't ask for my opinion on anything.
I was told to arrive at 5:30 so that we could take "first look" photos. So we hung out by the pool during the day and by 3:30 we went our separate ways. Millie, who flew in all the way from SF, joined Christian and I as we got our hair done. This was I could hang out with her a little bit before the event. And you guys, Eriela and June were the cutest!! So we did our hair with Allen, @allenthomaswood. Millie left and then my friend Cassandra, friend from high school who is a big deal here you guys, shes an amazing makeup artist in NYC, @cygmakeup, came over and beautified me. The twins got their hair done with Allen as well and Lupita, Eriela, the twins, Christian and I were finally ready to go, 20 minutes past the time we were supposed to leave (not bad!).
We got in the car, which Nick and Hanna organized to pick us up, and of course we forgot our wallets, Eriela's stroller and my vaccination card. But we kept going. I was so worried about all that, that I didn't even look up until we got to the venue, my heart started to go so fast.
Bryant Park. This is where we got engaged 13 years ago. I had a feeling it might be here, but I honestly hadn't had time to think about it so as we drove up to this magical place I already wanted to thank Nick for this, for remembering how much this actually means to me. How every time we come to NYC, and it's often, we have to visit "our park." So we walked into the Bryant Park Grill, 25min late. I knew he was outside waiting. I sent the girls out one at a time so he could do a first look with them, and then I walked out. I had butterflies, as if I hadn't seen him 3 hours ago. But I was so excited to see him, to thank him and kiss him. As I stepped out, he smiled so big, we both laughed because we felt a little awkward, unsure what to do knowing we were being photographed, but these photos say it all.
Everyone arrived, I met the officiant (a very sweet Jewish man who has officiated over 150 weddings and renewals combined), took some family photos and then it was time. The music began, that was the only other thing I chose. The song was "I won't give up" by Jason Mraz. Listen to the words, you'll know why it's been our theme song for a while now. Christian held Eriela and walked her down the isle. Nick had asked him to be his best man. The twins walked down together, each holding a beautiful bouquet of white assorted flowers that matched my larger one and Eriela's little baby one (the details right??).
It was my turn. I stood there for a minute trying to take it all in. I walked, I just stared at him, he kept smiling and laughing but looking at me too. We were standing there, where we got engaged, with our beautiful daughters, with our best friends and family, it was like a fairy tale. The officiant spoke, cheered us on and said that he loved officiating vow renewals because of what they mean, I loved that. Nick read me his vows, I cried. And then I kissed him and I wasn't supposed to LOL! I didn't know that...oh well we got a good laugh. And then I read my vows, and I cried even more. I think I made a few guests cry but you guys know I can get pretty deep!
The officiant brought out the wine glass wrapped in a napkin. He reminded us of the meaning behind the breaking of the glass. There are a few meanings of this act that hit home for me:
Shattered glass symbolizes the fragility of our relationship and reminds us that we must treat our relationship with special care.
It teaches us that in times of joy we must also realize life brings sadness and sorrow. The sound of the breaking glass is said to frighten away evil spirits who might spoil this joyous occasion with their mischief. It also warns us that love, like glass, is fragile and must be protected.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, we are breaking the glass together–as a reminder that working through the challenges and celebrating the successes of life is best done together.
There are others, but these are the reasons why we incorporated this in the ceremony.
**Also not sure if many of you know, Nick converted to Judaism before our wedding 12 years ago. He did this on his own, I never asked him to but he said he wanted to do it for him, and for us to be a unit when we had children. I love seeing what traditions and aspects of Judaism he feels connected to.
Anyway we cheered Mazel Tov and kissed, again.
Then came something unexpected and SO special. Eliana and Natalia were my maids of honor. So Eliana decided to write a speech. She also wrote one for Nick because she wanted to. I was floored. What kid gets up in front of a bunch of people and reads a speech that she wrote to her mom and then one for her dad? Anyway, to say I was proud is an understatement. I felt like the luckiest person in the world. And thank goodness my vows came before her speech because that would have been hard to follow.
Cocktail hour time! Our photographer finished up photos as we all got some drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres, all picked by Nick btw. There was music coming from the park which was so cool too! The kids danced and drank some Shirley temples, and Eriela got passed around from arms to arms. The twins had their best guys there, my best friend's boys, Cashton and Luke, who they've known since they were 10 months old. They danced and laughed the entire night.
Dinner was amazing. We had an avocado, cucumber and tomato salad to start and then a choice of branzino or a filet. Lupita left with Eriela after dinner since it was past her bedtime but thankfully was a champ and sat in her high chair during dinner (and on her gd mother and gd father's laps too). And then came the best part, dessert (and yes nick packed a bag of desserts for Lupita to enjoy after she put the baby down). Since I think most of you know I am a dessert fanatic, and Nick knows that too, he had 10 different kinds of desserts, all but two with chocolate of some sort. And yes, I had them all. And then he brought out a cake, a carrot cake since this was the flavor of our wedding cake. I was in heaven.
The night was incredible and then Natalia surprised me with a song. She actually wrote the music and lyrics to this song, recorded herself on the piano before we left San Diego and sang to it in front of me, in front of ALL OF US. I died. I wish I could post a video on here but I'm not that savvy. She wrote a song for me, and I am not sure what I did to deserve that but once again I was the luckiest person in that entire room. Clearly we have been doing a few things right this whole time.
Everyone slowly trickled off in their Ubers and cars. I was so sad to see the night end, but will hold on to these memories forever.
I don't know if anyone realizes how much this meant to me. The fact that it happened, that people took time out of their lives to be there with us. Literally some of our best friends flew from California to be here with us! The time and effort Nick took to make this happen, the incredible help from his EA Hanna, from Christian and all of the vendors. Working around covid safety rules, and of course traveling across the country with 3 kids. But aside from all of the logistics, aside from the details, the food and the flowers, we made it. We more than made it, we persevered. We worked our asses off to get to where we are today, as a couple, as husband and wife, as best friends. We are stronger than ever. And best of all, we are the most confident in our relationship than we have ever been because we know that if something hard happens again, because it will, we know we can get through it, together. And that my friends is worth celebrating time and time again.