Dana and Kevin’s Marriage Vow Renewal on Belvedere Castle Terrace

Dana and Kevin got married in August 2010 in their family Catholic church after being together for five years.  They contacted me in 2019 about renewing their marriage vows in Central Park for their tenth anniversary in 2020.  They were unable to renew their vows as planned on their tenth anniversary due to Covid travel restrictions, so instead they did it to celebrate their eleventh anniversary in 2021. 

Dana and Kevin are from Rochester Hills, Michigan.  They have shared a lot in their sixteen years together, not least being the addition of three children to their family.  “We decided to renew our vows to show each other that we still choose each other,” Dana told me.  “Kevin and I are consumed in our day to day lives with our three beautiful children and this world of special needs that we live in.  It was very important to us to remind each other of our love for one another,” she explained.

New York was on their travel bucket list, so it seemed like the right place for them to renew their marriage vows.  “When I was researching companies, they seemed very generic, almost not trustworthy just collecting money, and they didn’t offer the same New York experience of pictures in different locations that I was really looking for,” said Dana.  Then she found Wed in Central Park

Dana really had a clear idea of what she wanted for the ceremony and also that she wanted to get to lots of locations for photos, so she was a joy to work with!  “I was super excited about the idea of being dressed up and taking pictures at all the well-known sightseeing locations in NYC” she told me. 

I asked Dana what her opinion is on vow renewals in general.  “I think it is very important to do a vow renewal if you can.  It helps bring the couple closer together and remind them why they chose each other in the first place,” she said.  “It is very healthy to take the time out of life and concentrate on each other.  It really helps keep the marriage alive.  I hope that they are becoming more popular,” she added.  I love this, such wise words from this wife and mom!

Dana and Kevin wore traditional wedding attire for their vow renewal.  “I wanted to go all out and be a bride again,” said Dana.  “We went all out, brand new wedding dress and brand new suit for him,” she said.  Dana bought her dress at the Wedding Shoppe in their home town.  She put a bouquet together of Gerbera daisies in different shades of pink and carried that.  They used hair and make up team Metro Look in the hotel room beforehand.

The couple were in New York for a week.  They wanted to have a full day with our photographer, Florencia.  They stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and that’s where she went to meet them.  From there, they walked to St Patrick’s Cathedral, took some photos outside and then walked to the Rockefeller Center.  We planned their day in advance and they purchased timed tickets to go to the Top of the Rock.

 After their photo session at the Top of the Rock, they walked to Grand Central to take photos there.  After that, they had a snack and then left Grand Central in a cab for Central Park.  We held the ceremony on Belvedere Castle Terrace.  I asked Dana what had appealed to them about Central Park.  “Central Park had the most to offer with the many different sightseeing locations that were stunning,” she told me.  “Belvedere Castle won me over at first sight, I just knew our vow renewal had to be there,” she said.

For the ceremony, we had the officiant talk a little about their relationship to date, and she read from Corinthians verse 13, chapters 4 to 8, which I’ll put at the end of this post.  As part of their renewal of vows, they performed a sands of time unity ceremony.  They had three containers of sand, each one representing the past, the present, and the future.  Dana and Kevin poured in sand from each container in turn into a larger container.  Once combined together, the grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, and this symbolises what their marriage and their family continue to be.

One thing Dana pointed out in her feedback was that I “always sent receipts and permits for us to have and that permit saved us because it was requested for us to show by the park managers,” which I think is worth highlighting.  Some couples aren’t keen to pay for the event permit and with an event such as Dana and Kevin’s vow renewal, the permit isn’t strictly required since they had fewer than twenty people in attendance.  Dana and I worked hard to make a detailed plan of the day in advance and Florencia made sure that they kept to time, so if they had gotten to Belvedere Castle to find another group there, then they would have had to wait until that group had moved out of the space, which would have disrupted our carefully planned out, very busy day.

“The ceremony was peaceful, private, and serene” Dana said.  “The best thing we said to each other is “I still choose you.”  It was the whole focus of renewing our vows to each other, just like it should be,” she explained.  We had a videographer record the ceremony, as well as taking photographs throughout.  After the ceremony, they took photos at Belvedere Castle Terrace and nearby Shakespeare Garden.  Then they went on to Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, Wagner Cove and finally Bethesda Terrace.  Later on in the afternoon they left Central Park and took a cab to Times Square for photos there.

I asked Dana where their favorite photos were taken and she said that they loved Belvedere Castle, “it was classy and private and intimate,” she said.  She went on to tell me that “all the pictures were amazing and more than I could have ever dreamed for, however, hands down our favorite pictures were taken on Top of the Rock!”  This location was their photographer Florencia’s suggestion while we were working out the plan of their day, “I am so glad the photographer suggested it!” Dana said.

Dana and Kevin finished up their day with photos at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  We wanted to capture the sunset from there, with the iconic skyline of Manhattan in the background.  So, Dana and Kevin decided to eat at a restaurant in Brooklyn afterwards to avoid traveling back and forth too much.

They were really happy with our vendors.  “Claire works with very high end professionals for the pictures and hair and makeup,” Dana said.  “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and it was nice to get a local person’s point of view of things to do and go especially when looking into places to do photos at,” she said.

I asked Dana how we did.  “Claire really made this whole process easy,” she said.  “She always kept us updated with the planning and really made sure we had what we really wanted when it came to the vision of our ceremony.  She was easy to communicate with and did things on a timely manner” she added.  “I couldn’t have imagined trying to plan this on my own,” Dana said.  “I know it would not have been as successful as it was with Claire working behind the scenes.  She is trustworthy, well priced, and very open and honest.  We even had so many pictures that she added a free addition of a highlight video of our ceremony day,” she said.  Thank you so much for your kind words, Dana!

If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or marriage vow renewal, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

Corinthians verse 13, chapters 4 to 8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

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