Vow renewal romance was in the air on New Year’s Eve when Max and Drew recommitted themselves to loving one another forever. We swooned and cried and laughed and cheered.

The setting was magnificent and Dotties Events and Hire excelled themselves creating an intimate, warm candle-lit ceremony space, which is a real art on a cold, frosty night on the Fens, I can assure you.

The flower arch
The ceremony spot

The Challenge

This ceremony marked the end of a hugely challenging time after Drew was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He found it terribly inconvenient – after all he had a life to live, a business to run, three lovely daughters, a gorgeous wife and a first grandchild on the way! And cancer had the temerity to get in the way of all that.

The process

Hard work, the magnificent NHS, a straightforward approach – no messing; the support of amazing family and friends, a few parties, a few holidays between chemo sessions; tears and laughter. And most of all a magnificent amount of love for one another. These were the things that pushed them through it.

The plan

Max contacted me months ago as she wanted to organise a surprise vow renewal for Drew. And stuff got in the way when she pierced her foot with a fork and ended up with sepsis. At that point (sorry) she saw sense and let Drew in on the secret – and wisely deferred the plan to new year’s eve. I cannot imagine how she would have kept that enormous marquee a secret from him. Nor the fact that the garden pond had to be filled in!

The vow renewal ceremony

I have undersold the level of emotion and turmoil in this description – but on Tuesday night it all came together like a perfect plan. We had a beautiful candle-lit setting, Norfolk’s Street Soprano Hayley Moss singing like a diva, magnificent French mirrored doors as a backdrop, a parlour bar, a cozy corner and more candles than I’ve ever seen in one room!

Max and Drew made a beautiful entrance to A Thousand Years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtOvBOTyX00 . Jess read from Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife – the one about finding one another’s atoms in the universe – and friends and family had contacted me to tell some funny stories that included Drew dressing up in a nurses uniform for a party then running out of petrol; and lovely stories about Max and Drew building their family bit by bit.

In between there was little Logan, the first grandson, who tottered about collecting bags and glasses from under people’s chairs and gamely collected the rings and delivered them to us. Max and Drew wrote their own personal vows to one another that included references to creaking knees.! We also had a very special handfasting that included mums and dads, daughters and Logan, whose ribbon was attached to obsidian and roze quartz hearts. When we’d finished the handfasting and the very special vows, the ribbons went into Drew’s top pocket and looked fabulous. I’ll remember that for next time.

It was a huge privilege to be part of this very special evening to round off a really busy 2019 season. What a way to finish!

Photo by Dotties Events and Hire