20th Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal in Bora Bora
by CHRISTINA SCHLOTTHAUER
A few years ago, I stumbled across the most beautiful pictures of the most amazing blue water I had ever seen ~ with the coral rocks below visible from above…. & there were these charming villas right there over the water and I showed the pictures to my husband Will and said, “We have to go there someday!” ….and that is how we began to plan a trip for our family of 5 to Bora Bora. We decided that since this was a “Once in a Lifetime” type of trip, we wanted to have the trip centered around something special…our 20th Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal. We had talked about wanting to renew our wedding vows and Bora Bora looked like the perfect place to do it with our three children by our side.
As time began to get closer to our upcoming anniversary, we began to talk about the plans for our trip and renewal of our wedding vows. Our first priority was to secure one of the beautiful water villas with its own pool that you see in all of the travel pictures. Once that was done, we began to work closely with our wedding coordinator at the St. Regis to help us with our our special day. Our children were beyond excited for this trip, and really, who could blame them! Bora Bora is truly one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen (I will honestly tell you that once we arrived at the hotel, everything I saw before me exceeded even my highest expectations and I tend to set a very high bar!!!)
From the moment we arrived at the resort, we were in awe! We arrived on a Sunday morning and I just prayed that time would slow down. We all just kept looking around and saying, “Seriously, this is the most beautiful place – just look at the water!” I was already excited for our wedding vow renewal ceremony, but once we started to walk around our resort, I just kept finding more and more pictures that I wanted of our family. I had a deep desire to capture our special moments with our gorgeous surroundings. I had decided as soon as we booked our trip and started working with our wedding coordinator that I wanted a professional photographer there with us to capture ALL the moments we shared that day. I looked at several different websites for different photographers for Bora Bora, and we fell in love with the pictures we saw from Damien Gobron. The pictures were not just beautiful, but they conveyed such special stories with tender moments that were captured without it seeming like someone else had even been present. This is what we wanted…those very special tender moments that you feel to be captured for our memories that we would have forever.
Traveling with our 3 teenagers is always slightly chaotic. Traveling as far away as we were was one thing, but add the additional packing of wedding attire had all of us being as creative with our packing as we possibly could. BUT…it’s these moments that we absolutely treasure which is why we would not have even considered planning this special trip without them by our side. Watching their faces as they took it all in was priceless!
The day of our wedding anniversary was absolutely perfect. A brief rain shower early in the morning and then we had a picture perfect day before us. Once the hair and makeup was done, flowers arrived, dresses on, suits and bow ties tied… We were ready! Although it was a renewal of our wedding vows, I was getting excited and nervous just like I had 20 years earlier and I was so thankful that Damien was there to guide us!
The next few hours were a blur…but the experience, those moments… the memories we made ~ we felt each and every second. Our anniversary, the renewal of our vows with our 3 children was everything we had hoped it would be and more! The pictures that we received from our day made me cry… Damien had been able to do for our family what we had seen on his website – capture those special moments that we had on that day. I won’t say I was worried – but keep in mind, we had 5 people sharing in on this special day… 3 of them being teenagers. Not only do we have those “special family moments” saved forever – we have the most BEAUTIFUL backdrop for each and every picture. Bora Bora will forever hold a special, even magical place in my families heart. It was a trip of a lifetime that I will be forever grateful for. (Thank You Damien for capturing the moments that are now our memories that we will cherish forever ️)