My husband, Anindeep, and I came to our tenth wedding anniversary very much different people than we were so long ago, now personally and emotionally more enriched. We decided a vow renewal was necessary to celebrate ourselves in this new chapter in realizing our individual selves and expressing our togetherness more meaningfully to each other.
Photography (duh) and fashion are priorities for me, so with NO attire budget and exponentially growing dressmaking skills, I suddenly found the confidence to alter my own wedding gown.
The hand-altered dress
You cans see my dress from my wedding here. It was long with a lovely train. First, I knew for sure I wanted a short dress. But I wasn’t going to drag that train around again. I love pencil skirts, and magically the fit-and-flare just worked right into that.
Some mysteries of formal alterations aren’t so daunting when you get up close. I discovered the stitches along the border where the trim was originally re-attached to the hem. Pop those right out, save trim for the newer hem! Depending on the complexity of your hem, it really is as simple as that.
Love this scalloped trim! I had enough of this to create my new hem’s trim, plus some exciting new dress features. But first, trim needed a bath. It had vintage 2007 dirt in it. I never had my gown cleaned; the only thing, ever, I think I’ve ever procrastinated on.
Making the cut! (That’ll be my 20th anniversary cape, maybe?)
DESIGN! My favorite part. I just love fashion design. I came up with these concept sketches to lay over the basic shape of my new dress to try them out. How fun this was! I considered a cape or a tear-away skirt, and went for the latter, feeling it suited my personality best and being slightly less formal.
I fell in love with some foil-embroidered green floral lace. The scalloped edging would land along my front, leaving a window to reveal the dress underneath and the new short hem.
The amazing vow renewal
We originally had a super short Bengali wedding in India, but didn't include a tradition I love (where the bride covers her face with leaves until she first sees her groom), so I really wanted to incorporate that into our first look.
St. Augustine, Florida is our favorite coastal spot, home of Spanish history, pirate ships, and probably the most European you can get without leaving home. We renewed our vows at the gorgeous Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, with our son as the ring bearer.
Our exchange was so sweet and perfect, announced by a LOUD cannon fire nearby from Castillo de San Marcos (the reason for my crazy smile in my vows shot). Afterward, we celebrated with a coffee date picnic near the bay. We played Michael Jackson from my phone (if you've never seen a four-year-old MJ fanatic, that's my son!), and danced to our new song, “More Than Words.” We may be the only couple who celebrates hard with espresso and Perrier, but that's who we are!
This day was better than our wedding day, purely I think because of how much better we know and express ourselves, and our son's presence has certainly contributed to bringing that about. So glad he was there. Knowing thyself is now a staple aspiration in our family relationships. I'm so happy we are where we are now.