Annapolis Vow Renewal from Liz and Ryan + Allison Barnhill Designs
December 7, 2012
Mid Atlantic
WhimsicalAcademic Venue Settings
You remember these absolutely stunning save the dates? For the Storybook Vow Renewal? From the lovely Allison Barnhill Designs? I fell hard for those amazing paper products, so when Liz and Ryan decided to share the 10 year vow renewal of Allison and her husband, I couldn't thank them enough for the early Christmas present. The soiree lives up to the save the dates - and then some, if you can believe it. You won't want to miss this gallery!
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Ten years is a long time, especially when you fill that with a new home, a puppy, twins and two successful businesses. So, my husband and I wanted to celebrate our decade of love with a vow renewal surrounded by our closest family and friends.

For our renewal, we wanted to ensure that the day represented us - our loves - books, puzzles and our children. We both love books and to read (an obsession of mine, really) and felt like there was such a tale to tell from our ten years together. So, we incorporated lots of ways to tell our story into the renewal. From our invitations made out of real books, to our timeline wall that told "our sweet little story" in pictures, and even our guests were involved by providing stories with their response cards that we included in a book -- everything about the day told a story of time together. We even set up a real "library" next to the dance floor, where guests could relax and read through a book with all of these stories. It was a popular spot for guests to relax, chat and watch the excitement unfold!

Puzzles were everywhere too! We used large puzzle pieces for our guest book. Each guest wrote their message on a piece and we can put them together to build an amazing large puzzle to frame and enjoy for years. For the place cards, puzzle piece pins played a dual role in our wedding, of course, my hubby loves to do puzzles, but it also represents something near and dear to our hearts, autism awareness. Finally, we had white chocolate imprinted with a custom scrabble board design. This was a surprise for my hubby on the renewal day and he was so excited by this special touch!

The most special part of this day was including our children. Avery and Logan, our 8 year old twins, were our maid of honor and best man. It was amazing to share this experience with them. Our first time around, we didn't have this luxury. But, my daughter will remember my dress perfectly. My son will have memories of walking down the aisle with his father. You can't put a value on those moments and I know that is really what I'll take away from this day, years from now. We even included them into a key element of our ceremony - the wine box. In a box, carved with our original wedding date, we included a bottle of wine and love letters to each other and our children. The box has two locks on it and during the ceremony, Avery and Logan took the keys from my bouquet and each locked the box. Now, they are responsible for keeping the keys "safe". In 15 years, luckily, when the children are old enough to drink, we will open the box and enjoy those letters and wine with Avery and Logan.

Because paper is my thing, I had so much fun designing special paper elements. My favorite was the book page paper lanterns. My daughter, Avery, punched out hundreds of circles and I hot glued them to regular white paper lanterns. The effect was a pretty and amazing look for our "library" at the renewal. I also made hundreds of book page flowers that were incorporated into real live florals. And, I loved the spiral paper flowers that were used to create festive round topiaries. We even commissioned a local artist to carve our initials out of the book! LOVE!

Of course, I had loads of fun with the save the dates and invitations too. The save the dates were handmade accordian books with photos from our love the dress session, where I wore my wedding dress from 10 years ago. We mailed them in boxes filled with shredded book pages. The invitations were definitely another labor of love. My husband and I collected over 35 special books and carved "windows" in the pages to reveal our names on the actual invitation that was glued down to page 21 in the book, since we were married on the 21st of September!

Two amazing design elements that really stick with me from the day are the pink ombre aisle art -- a blanket of rose petals in pink hues lead me to my hubby! And, the amazing ribbon wall behind where we took our vows a second time. Both of these elements were both striking and amazing!

Planning a wedding, ten years later, was a lot easier...mostly because being in the wedding industry gave me the wonderful opportunity to work with my favorite vendors and friends (aka, the dream team). And, my control freak nature, relaxed a bit, because I knew my vendors would do exactly what I wanted and more...which was so true!!

Photography: Liz and Ryan / Stationery, Paper Flowers, Lanterns: Allison Barnhill Designs / Flowers, Lighting and Decor: Intrigue Design & Decor / Venue: Governor Calvert House / Hair and Make Up: Up Do's for I Do's / Cake and Cupcakes: Fiona's Cakes / Cake Stand: Sarah's Stands / Music: MyDeejay / Transportation: Limousines, Inc. / Furniture: 2hands Studios / Dresses and Attire: Annapolis Formal / Officiant: Rev. Laura Cannon / Ceremony Music: Chesapeake Strings / Scrabble Boards: Oh My Chocolate / Scrabble Board Design: Stephanie Bausman, / Chairs, Linens and Glassware: Party Plus Baltimore / Day of Planning: Historic Events / Carved Book Art: Caitlin Engels