Let me start off by saying that this was much more than just a vow renewal. It was a high school reunion, a cross-country get together, an afternoon filled with SO many tears and laughs. It was the ULTIMATE surprise and a real team effort. It was a celebration of Beau and Erica’s 5 year wedding anniversary.
I feel like I can’t continue without explaining their love story, our history, and the group of friends who pulled this surprise vow renewal off. Read it, it’s worth it!
Beau is a Navy Chief Petty Officer and met Erica while he was stationed in Hawaii. They were married there almost exactly 5 years ago with just their immediate family and some of Erica’s friends in attendance. Since then, the Navy has brought them from Hawaii, to California, to Massachusetts, and now Virginia where they will spend the next 7 months before returning to Hawaii for the next 5 years. Woowza. Thanks for everything you do for our Country Beau, clearly it isn’t easy!
With their 5 year anniversary approaching, Erica was bouncing ideas off and mentioned that she would LOVE to renew their vows. She expressed that she would love if his friends could be in attendance because that was what was missing from their wedding day. Erica has been such a breath of fresh air for me. She is a best friend, a soul sister, a listener, and just an all around great person. OBVIOUSLY - I needed to make this happy for them. So this is how the rest of us tie in:
Beau and I (the groom), have been friends for well over 15 years. We went to highschool together, along with the two other guys you’ll see, and we’ve remained close ever since - hell, I even married one of them! These three guys along with one or two not pictured, were my best friends and still are to this day. It hasn’t been the easiest with all of us scattered around the country and no longer living minutes away from each other but times like this remind us how lucky we are to have one another.
Their anniversary landed on October 8, conveniently on the date they would be passing through New York City on their next full move to Virginia. I made two phone calls the second Erica and I started talking about making this happen: First to Beau’s hypothetical “best man” - Rocco - it would fall on his bye week, a miracle he would have the day off. And Second, to the Beau’s BFF and hypothetical “Justice of the Peace” Jake - he would take the time off from work a book a surprise trip from California where he lives now and hide out in Brooklyn.
When Erica and Beau met Rocco and I the day of in Brooklyn, he was under the impression we were meeting them for a Broadway Show (he was convinced it was Cats). It wasn’t until I made them take a few fake pictures of my husband and I that I made them do the same and his wife handed him an anniversary card to reveal SURPRISE #1 - that he was not going to see Cats, but that they were renewing their vows with his best friends in tow. And seconds later, as he turned around, SURPRISE #2 walked up the stairs to act as the officiant.
The rest goes without saying… What a happy day celebrating two people we hold so close to our hearts.
to the next 5 years and more