This Vow Renewal Is Why We Love Love
January 4, 2018
Southeast
Multicultural
John and Abigail were married in a beautiful Virginia wedding, but for a number of reasons, they had to keep things simple. Three years later, they decided to renew their vows on their anniversary, this time adding in elements that reflected their unique journey as a couple with the help of Rachel Slauer Weddings. From the special story behind the sari Abigail donned to the choice of venue (read about both below!), every detail photographed by Abigail Malone was full of thought and meaning. And this, ladies and gents, is exactly why I love my job.
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John and Abigail Pothen were married in the summer of 2014 in a small Virginia chapel. Their wedding was beautiful, but with John entering medical school, they had to keep it simple. For their third wedding anniversary, the couple decided to renew their vows. Only this time, they were able to add the details that reflect their unique story.

That story began just a couple of years before their wedding. Both John and Abigail are passionate about improving lives through healthcare across the globe. In her last year of training to become a nurse, Abigail traveled to India to study. Little did she know, her future husband was already there for a long term research project. They were introduced through mutual friends and had their first date on a long train ride. When the train came to a stop 30 hours later, they wanted more time together. They spent the rest of the month exploring the country, and as they did, they began to fall for one another. On one of their last dates in India, as they strolled through the streets of Mumbai, John and Abigail ducked into a sari shop. Abigail was enchanted by the soft fabrics and the rich colors. Her plane ride home was only a few days away, and the spending money she had allowed herself for her trip was just about out. She turned to leave, but John stopped her, offering to buy one of the prettiest saris in the shop as a gift. Abigail knew in this moment that their feelings for one another would continue on when they returned to the States.

Abigail's gown on their wedding day two years later was perfect, but it didn't tell the whole story. At their vow renewal, she decided to change into the sari John had given her, highlighting this piece of their story as well as John's heritage. As a venue, they chose the gardens of a restaurant that quickly became their favorite date spot upon moving to Atlanta, the place they bring their parents during visits, the place they enjoy cocktails and laughter and honest conversation with friends, the place they retreat to when they want to forget the rest of the world and focus solely on one another. So, on their anniversary, they renewed these beautiful vows they made to one another three years ago:

"I vow to become your closest friend and confidante, your faithful partner through good and bad times, a supporter of your dreams and passions, your biggest fan and a believer in your future potential. I vow to encourage you, to be honest with you, to be gracious towards you, to love you in all circumstances, and to seek reconciliation in times of conflict. I ask you, God, to sustain our marriage through the power of your grace - a perfect love given without reservation to those who do not deserve it."