The planning process was not without it's close calls. Time to work on decorations and logistics was limited to late night hours and very early mornings. My car was practically a Party City storage space on wheels, and I held my breath every time my parents would talk on the phone to one of their siblings, praying that nobody would slip up!
Thankfully, the secret stayed safe, and last Saturday, in Weston's parents' gorgeous backyard, my mom and dad renewed their vows in front of family and friends and spent the rest of the evening celebrating their love and the life they've built together.
Guests started arriving about a half hour before my mom and dad were expected to "meet Weston's parents for dinner". We set up a small table towards the entrance to the party where guests could write a memory or something they admire about my parent's marriage. We personalized these note cards to say "30 years, Dave & Bonnie" and they turned out beautifully!
My mom and dad have been together since they were 16, so it was really fun to look through boxes of old pictures and choose ones to display at the party. We also customized little program/thank-you-notes using this template and left them fanned out on different tables for people to grab as a memento from the occasion.
I'll be honest, I was a nervous wreck in the moments leading up to my parents arrival. But everything went without a hitch. My mom was completely stunned for about 20 minutes - especially when she saw that one of her best friends had made a trip out here from Arizona just for the party! As they walked in, we played their first dance song, True Love Ways, by Buddy Holly...
After Mom and Dad had greeted everyone and admired the decorations, our long-time family friend, Jeff, walked in to the party, causing both of my parents' eyes to well up with tears. Jeff used to be our pastor and he's known my parents for the majority of their marriage. It was so special to have someone who has watched them grow as a couple be the one to perform their vow ceremony.
When my parents first got married, two of my uncles played 'Til There Was You and Here, There, and Everywhere by The Beatles at the ceremony. At the party, they performed those two songs again, as beautifully heartfelt as they've ever been sung, I'm sure. Though I may be biased. ;)
After the vows were said, Woodranch was served for dinner!
Pretty sure nothing beats the smell of their garlic rolls..
One of the decorations my parents loved the most was the "easel art" that was set at the end of the buffet. It was personalized to include their picture, lyrics to True Love Ways, and a well wish. Now that the party is over, it's sitting on their dresser! It was a lovely addition to the party and a great addition to their home as well. It's so nice that they were able to keep a gift or two from the event. My mom says she cries every time she looks at it and trust me... as her children, that's what we were going for. :)
We had the dessert table up in the gazebo, with wedding pictures displayed under a piece of glass. My brother made cookies and brownies to serve and I actually tricked my mom into making the cupcakes for her own party! Haha too good. Nobody else makes them as well as you do, Mom! What can I say?!
The cupcake toppers were actually gift tag stickers that we personalized with my parents wedding date on them! I stuck the stickers to card stock, cut them out, and hot glued them to lollipop sticks.
Nolan and I made small toasts as people were finishing up their desserts. My brother insisted on wearing his sunglasses during his toast even though the sun had gone down… And I just cried in front of everyone without shame haha. It has truly been a blessing to grow up under a roof with both of my parents, loving each other and living their vows every day. I couldn't ask for a better example of dedication and commitment to a marriage.
Weston's mom, Shelley, is a BIG fan of games, so my brother and I came up with trivia facts about my parents' relationship and Shelley created these paddles that had a T on one side and an F on the other. Every couple received a paddle and after we would read a statement, they would hold it up to vote True or False. In case you're wondering, my dad DID have to be home by his curfew on the night before his wedding. I think the only person who got that question right was his sister!
I am so thankful for my family and so proud of my parents.
This night couldn't have been any more perfect. Here's to many more years together, Mom and Dad!
(Thank you to Tiny Prints for contributing such beautiful, personalized touches to the party.)