• Leslie Scarpa

The Most Romantic Vow Renewal

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Reaffirming our Marriage in the Beauty of Colorado


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Last year, my husband completely surprised me when he suggested we renew our wedding vows. Richard and I have been married for thirty-four years, and just when I thought I knew him inside and out, his suggestion shocked me. He's not big on ceremonies and such, so it never occurred to me that he had this on his mind. I was ELATED!


We tossed around many different scenarios of what we wanted for this event.

  • Did we include the kids?

  • Should it be at the beach or in the mountains?

  • Local or a destination event?


We finally decided that we wanted to keep it simple, and since we started out just the two of us, the ceremony would be just the two of us, plus a photographer. And Colorado would be the setting.



Last year we spent two weeks "boondocking" (dry camping), through southwestern Colorado in our new RV. The trip was magical. You can read about last year's trip here. We knew we would be going again this year, traveling up closer to Rocky Mountain National Park, so we decided that would be the perfect backdrop for our vow renewal.


Yay!


Place, people, and date were established. We would be leaving the first week of September, right on time for the beautiful Aspens to sing to us in all their glorious tones of yellow.



The Stunning Aspens of Colorado


Now, what to wear? Colorado is a casual place, and Richard and I are casual people - not that I don't like to get dressed up occasionally. But somehow not only wearing a fancy dress, but trying to pack and keep a fancy dress in tact, while traveling around in an RV for two weeks, just didn't seem appropriate, or doable. And then there was the weather to consider.



A quick search on the weather app showed that it would be in the high 70's so I embarked on trying to find the perfect dress...


During a pandemic. With all the fitting rooms closed. And did I mention I do NOT like to shop?


So what's a girl to do? I needed to find several options that I could order and know that the return process would be easy. Hello Amazon!



I was thinking I should go with a Bohemian look since it would go with the backdrop.I must have ordered ten different dresses. I fell in love with one that was off the shoulder, lightweight, and "flowy" - (I had read that clothes that move freely look great in photos). It had a little sleeve in case it was chilly, and it was comfortable. This is the dress I ordered.





Having my dress taken care of, I found a cute, sequined pair of sandal/flip flops - which I didn't wear - keep reading to find out why. Richard, like all men, had it easy. He was wearing a blue shirt and khakis. So unfair.


I ordered a set of vow booklets off Etsy and we were good to go.



But...


As life does sometimes, especially in 2020, we hit a snag. Richard had a project at work that ended up taking longer than anticipated (the joys of owning your own business), and we were delayed by a MONTH! At one point I wasn't sure our trip was even going to happen. (notice the date on the vow booklets only has the month and year - I had given up on having a definitive date at this point)


The good news is, we were able to leave in early October and because of the delay, we were especially grateful for the time.



For two weeks we traveled, explored, camped, and hiked. We had dinner with some lifelong friends who now live in Colorado, and met a friendly newlywed couple on one of our hikes.



Colorado's air has an energy to it, and that, coupled with our adventures, actually made us feel like newlyweds all over again.







The last few nights were spent in Grand Lake, Colorado, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Because I didn't want to get ready for our vow renewal in a camper, we booked a condo through VRBO for two nights. It was the perfect little retreat, and after taking two minute showers all week, it felt like the Grand Hotel.


On the day of the vow renewal, our photographer Jay told us we would not be able to take photos in the RMNP. Two massive wildfires, Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires, were raging and the smoke and wind would prevent visitors in the park. You can learn more about these fires and support their local emergency relief efforts here.


So we met Jay, at Byers Peak in Fraser. His ability to choose a beautiful setting did not disappoint. (You can find Jay's Instagram here. He's an amazing photographer)!


I should take a minute here to set the stage...


In the two weeks we were in Colorado, the weather went from mid-seventies, to snow (6-8" overnight), back into the low seventies, to just downright cold. I had decided earlier that morning to find a pair of boots to wear instead of my sandals. That was the best decision! I found the cutest pair of Minnetonka booties that were warm and comfortable. Thank goodness, because on our night, it was 36℉ at sunset, the wind was whipping, and the smell of the wildfires hung in the air. But even with all of those conditions, it was perfect.



Byers Peak, Fraser, Colorado



As we read each other the vows that we had written, it really did feel like it was just the two of us, at the base of this beautiful peak, in the most rugged, unkempt, gorgeous field, with the sun setting in the distance and casting a glow over the whole scene.


Jay expertly moved through the rest of the evening making the event fun, and capturing our special moment.


We were all completely frozen at the night's end, but our vow renewal was everything we wanted it to be. It was simple and romantic. And we are so grateful that after all of these years, we still choose each other.




He's Still the One


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