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How To Plan A Vow Renewal in Hawaii

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How-to-Plan-a-Vow-Renewalin-Hawaii-200x300 How To Plan A Vow Renewal in Hawaii

As I promised in my Two Years Down… post, here’s the story behind the recent vow renewal I surprised my husband with during our anniversary vacation to Hawaii.  I know it’s more typical to do a vow renewal after a big milestone anniversary, but I decided to do it this year for a very distinct reason.  This last trip to Hawaii was the first for my mother, mother in law, and kids, so I wanted to make it extra special.  Since both my mom and mother in law think Hawaii is a bit far to travel, I knew that this would probably be the only time I would be able to have us all there at one time.  Keeping this secret was a hard one, but I fibbed to the family, and told them all we were going to take family photos on the beach.  It’s safe to say now that they totally don’t trust me anymore!

The Search

Once I’d made the decision to go ahead with the vow renewal, I then had to find the right officiant with an opening on my anniversary date (August 7th).  While searching for a vow renewal package on the Big Island, I came across Aloha Fun Weddings, and was intrigued by the offerings listed in the Big Island Photo Pro Package.  Deciding that this was the package I wanted, I reached out to the officiant Reverend Stefan Leiste via email, and discussed with him exactly what I needed.  People surprising their spouses with a vow renewal must not be a new thing for him because he took it all in stride!  Having been to Kona the year before, I knew that a beach wedding anytime after 12 pm would be extremely uncomfortable.  In order to make sure that none of us passed out before the end, I scheduled our ceremony to begin at 10:30 am HST.  A rabid sentimentalist, this time was not picked at random, but in fact is the exact same time we were first married two years earlier (minus the six hour time difference).

The Location

The above video is from our last day in Kona, but I’ve inserted it so you can see how lovely and secluded this location was for our ceremony.  This was shot around 5 pm, so the full loveliness of it is a bit off, but I’m so glad I picked this location!  Reverend Stefan suggested this spot to me, and his wife Tatyana was able to use it to its full potential when it came to our photo shoot.  

Ceremony Type

Another point that helped me choose Aloha Fun Weddings for this special occasion is that the ceremony could be fully customized on what I wanted.  Since my husband was obviously not in on the plan, I had to let Reverend Stefan know how religious a ceremony we wanted.  Now had I wanted a totally non-denominational ceremony, then that is an option offered by Reverend Stefan in case you’re wondering about this issue.  Since two very different sects of Christianity encompass my family, I decided to have a Christian ceremony that did not focus on one belief system over another.  An example of this is that we did not say the Lord’s prayer at any time during the ceremony, but instead Reverend Stefan blew a conch shell in the four directions as a nod to Hawaiian tradition.  

The Delivery

Since our first wedding was a destination wedding in South Florida, we asked a very good friend of mine to get herself ordained, and she married us in front of our guests.  As this was a vow renewal not wedding ceremony, I wanted it to be fun and somewhat casual instead of fussy and stuffy.  Reverend Stefan gave me exactly what I asked for (and no, this is not a sponsored post) without me having to lay everything out for him step by step.  As we gathered in the shade of a tree, he began the ceremony while his wife Tatyana unobtrusively made her way around us taking snaps from afar.  Another thing I liked about this company is that they allowed me to set up my own camera to record the ceremony.  Some of the other companies I looked at had a very strict policy regarding this, and so I was not going to use them.  With the waves crashing in the background, Rev Stefan talked about the meaning of love and how my husband and I need to continuously work on our marriage to make sure it lasts.  Having been married for two years now, we knew this, but hearing it again along with stories of the Hawaiian culture made it so much more significant.

Highly Recommended

I haven’t yet decided on whether or not I plan to publicly post the vow renewal video I recorded, but here are some pictures from the ceremony.  I am not including any of the kids due to their age, and know for a fact my mom and mom in law are too shy to have their photos plastered over the internet.  I think if the option is open to you then a wedding or vow renewal in Hawaii (particularly on the Big Island) is an excellent idea!  Whether you choose a smaller company like Aloha Fun Weddings or use one of the numerous resorts on the island that offer this service, I truly feel like you’ll be extremely pleased!  Reverend Stefan’s site is linked above, but to contact him directly email contact @alohafunweddings.com.  The following photos were taken by his lovely wife Tatyana, and she was also a dream to work with.  Enjoy!

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Kim

Spokane based lifestyle blogger with a blended family and crazy miniature English bulldog.

pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28 How To Plan A Vow Renewal in Hawaii

19 Comments

  1. Katie Nay

    This looks like it was so much fun! I have never been to Hawaii. I need to put it on my travel list for sure!

    04 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks! It was fun to get one over on my hubby! He’s never surprised, but he was this time!

      05 . 09 . 2017
  2. Mel

    You Guys look so good together lovely pic kimmy

    06 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks Mel! I’ll keep him 🙂

      07 . 09 . 2017
  3. Carly

    This is so sweet! I love that you MADE it a surprise. I wouldn’t have been able to do that!! I also LOVE the flower IN your hair!

    06 . 09 . 2017
  4. Marette

    We got married in maui and it was amazing! I would love to renew my vows there someday as well!

    06 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks! Rev Stefan works in Maui as well, so please keep him in mind. He was wonderful!

      07 . 09 . 2017
  5. steph parrell

    Wow! So romantic! I think going to Hawi with the one you love in general is so sweet, let alone the vow renewal. thanks for sharing the love and giving me some good ideas 🙂

    06 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thank you!!

      07 . 09 . 2017
  6. Ruthie Ridley

    This is lovely!!!! Congrats!!

    06 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks so much!!

      07 . 09 . 2017
  7. Whitney

    That’s such a lovely idea! I really want to do a vow renewal with my husband, but I want to have it in our city and make it like another wedding 🙂 (so many great people have entered our lives since we’ve been married and i would love for them to be there since they weren’t there the first time.

    07 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks Whitney! My husband actually thinks we need to have one more “wedding” in our hometown for the same reason lol. I told him the next one is all him 😊

      07 . 09 . 2017
  8. Thena

    Congrats, so exciting. you both looked amazing!!!!! I would love to go to Hawaii!

    07 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks Thena! It’s definitely one of my favorite places now!

      07 . 09 . 2017
  9. Jos

    What a beautiful ceremony! I love the idea of a vow renewal and the fact that you were able to plan a surprise renewal in Hawaii is genius!

    07 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thanks Joscelyn!

      08 . 09 . 2017
  10. mARTHILDE

    wOW, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING CEREMONY!

    10 . 09 . 2017
    • Kim

      Thank you!

      16 . 09 . 2017

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