Weddings are wonderful, but good marriages are stunningly brilliant! Needless to say, such unions need to be put up on a pedestal and celebrated every day of the year. Or at the very least, hold a delightful vow renewal in the 26th year like Amy and Frank.
With Sara Richardson Photography behind the lens, the happy couple celebrated their love and life with their four children, family and friends at Flora Farms. Using the couple’s love as inspiration, autiful blue wood tables with simple wildflower arrangements were set, enhancing the natural beauty and ambiance to keep it rustic, fun and tastefully colorful and the soiree couldn’t have been more perfect!
From the Groom:
Amy and I met in the fall of 1987 when we were both in our late twenties. We were living in the Chicago area where we had both grown up. We were introduced through mutual friends and went on a blind date. Actually, we didn’t feel much chemistry at first and Amy said she thought she would never see me again. However, after I dropped her off at her apartment, my car broke down as I was leaving so I went back to ask her if I could borrow her car because I had business meetings that I had to be at and I lived about twenty miles away. She let me use her car and because of that, I kept coming back to her house to take her to dinner. Over the following week, we really got the feeling that there was some chemistry between us.
Amy was working as a flight attendant and I had started a small chemical business. Both of us were pretty busy and had very little money and free time, but when were weren’t working we spent a lot of time together. After six months we started talking about the future and I asked her to marry me. I really had no money, but I wanted Amy to have a nice engagement ring. We talked about it and she said that she didn’t need a ring and we could get one when we could afford it. We decided to get married in May of 1988. On May 28th, we had a small ceremony at Bond Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago. Afterward we had a small lunch reception at a local restaurant for about ninety people and then used Amy’s flight benefits as an airline employee to go to Kauai for six days. It was a nice day and week away, but I think both of us would have wanted a dream wedding in a destination setting with a band and dancing.
We started a family about eighteen months later and by 1995, had four children. Because of my career and our growing family, we moved frequently mostly in the Chicago area. In 2001, we moved to France and lived in a suburb of Paris. In 2004 we moved back to the US to New Jersey and our children all went to Princeton HS. In 2013, I was offered a job as the CEO of a chemical company located in upstate New York. The timing was pretty good because our youngest son would graduate from high school that spring and we could make the move to NY as empty nesters. Because of a key company event at my new firm in NY, my start date was scheduled for our twenty fifth anniversary. Like usual, Amy supported me and I was able to be in New York on the key date for the company I was joining.
Life changed for us pretty dramatically as empty nesters because Amy was free to travel with me on business. We started taking advantage of this to spend long weekends at different places where I had to go on business. We spent a lot of time in Europe and some time in China. If it was possible, this time together made us fall more deeply in love than we had ever been. I kept thinking back to how much Amy had sacrificed over the years and the dream wedding ceremony that we never had. We had talked about renewing our vows, but the two priests we wanted to do the vow renewal had retired and it was not possible. All of our children and Amy’s parents we going to come to our new home in New York for Easter of 2014 and I decided to surprise her with a ring and ask her to renew our vows in front of her parents and our children. I shopped for a canary colored diamond and found the perfect stone in a princess cut set between two trillion cut white diamonds. At Easter dinner, I asked her to renew our vows and to have the dream ceremony with all of our friends and family. It was wonderful…she said yes! But she reminded me that I didn’t ask her dad for permission first!
We discussed when and where to have the renewal. Ultimately, we decided on San Jose del Cabo over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. We had been going to San Jose for almost twenty years during spring break with our children and Amy’s brother owned a condo there. Because many of our children’s friends who were special to us were now working, we realized that to get everyone together, we would have to have the event during the New Year’s Holiday so they could take off work. Also, because we had developed very close friends from around the world over the years, we wanted a place that everyone could come to for a holiday. Baja California was perfect. We had fallen in love with Flora’s Farms because of the food, the setting and the people and new that that was the perfect place for the ceremony. As luck would have it, they could accommodate us on December 30th, so we committed to the date and started the planning.
We contacted Erika Kroll at Flora’s who confirmed our date and she also put us in touch with Maria Boehme who became our event planner. Both of them were great to work with and the logistics for music, food, flowers and photography came together quickly. We wanted a rustic, but elegant setting so we decided to have the ceremony by the “barn” at floras with dancing inside the barn after a sunset dinner on the lawn in front of the barn. We selected our readings and the music for the ceremony. Our four children were going to do the readings and two of our close friend’s children were going to sing the songs we selected for the Bride’s procession and the recessional. Amy arranged to have all of our guests stay at Las Mananitas which is a great property on the beach where her brother owns a condo. Everything came together quickly and all of our friends were excited about the event, then the hurricane Odile hit San Jose on September 13th.
The news wasn’t very encouraging and we heard how devastated the area was. It took a couple weeks to make contact with Maria and Erika and they both told us how difficult things were for all of the employees at Flora’s. Flora’s Farm set up a fund to support their employees and got a fantastic response from people. They provided food and water to their employee’s families and everyone focused on repairing the storm damage. Luckily, the repairs and the recovery effort went quickly and by early November, Flora’s was back in operation.
We arrived in Cabo on December 24th and our event was as magical as we hoped it would be. The setting was beautiful and all of the details were perfect thanks to the staff at Flora’s and the people of San Jose who worked to recover from the storm.
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Photography: Sara Richardson Photography // Programs, Name Cards & Menus: AnnaLouAvenue On Etsy // Groom & Groomsmen´s Shirts: English Laundry // Groom & Groomsmen´s Ties: Lanvin // Groom & Groomsmen´s Suits: Byron Clothing // Bridesmaid´s Dress: Rebecca Taylor // Bride´s Dress: Adrianna Papell Tiered Chiffon Gown // Venue Coordinator: Erika Kroll De Lorenzo At Flora Farms // Wedding Coordinator: Maria Boehme // Catering: Flora Farms // DJ: DJ Alex