Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Do...Me Too - Katherine & Herlindo's 10 Year Anniversary Vow Renewal

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on July 29 by renewing our wedding vows.  110 close friends and family gathered together at Hotel Valencia in Santana Row to witness and celebrate our renewal.  Looking back at our 10 years of marriage together we realized we had a lot to celebrate.  In a day and age where instant everything seems to be the norm from instant coffee, reality show(s), food, best friends and yes divorce we thought that reaffirming our vows made the most sense for us.

I think every couple experiences their fair share of triumphs and turmoil and it is through these experiences that you determine if you can stay together as a united team or if you should part your separate ways. We are a very unique couple that expresses our love and admiration for each other in our very own special way. Given the various things my husband and I have experienced over the years along with being blessed with our wonderful son, Roman Alexander, we felt that the best gift we could not only give ourselves but give Roman was to show how much we loved each other and that our commitment as husband/wife and as Roman's parents was stronger than ever.

Herlindo and I were originally married on July 28, 2001. We had our ceremony at the Carmel Mission Basilica and a formal day time reception at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club.  It was a magical day filled with lots of fun and joy.  As I reflect back to the preparation for our wedding and although we felt we had properly planned for all that life had to offer - I realized that as I was walking down the aisle - I had no idea what I was getting into.  10 years later after all that we experienced both separately and collectively I realized that although times have been difficult I was willing to do it all over again and when I walked down the aisle for the second time to the same man (and now to our son) I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and was willing to adhere to all the happiness and adversity for the next 10 years.

Given all that we experienced from career changes, personality differences, crazy work schedules and deciding to make Roman an only child (I will blog more about this subject later and boy do I have a lot to say about this) we felt strongly about reaffirming our commitment to one another. Through the course of planning our renewal celebration we knew we wanted to have the following - make it fun, colorful and festive with a latin flair, bring back our original priest, photographer and videographer and incorporate some jaw dropping elements.  As a wedding coordinator for the last 10 years I have seen so many of the same things played out and wanted our guests to walk away experiencing something different.

My childhood priest and close friend of the family, Reverend Don D. Flickinger conducted the ceremony.  Two of our good friends performed readings, followed by Herlindo and I reciting our own written vows to one another and concluded with a testimony to our son Roman Alexander. After the ceremony cocktail hour was in full force with folklorico dancers, mango margaritas, watermelon mojitos and various Spanish infused appetizers. Once cocktail hour whined down the guests made their way up to Cielo for a night of tapas, drinking, desserts, dancing, cigars, razpados (shaved ice) and endless props to take fun photos in our live photo booth area.  I hope you can feel and see all the love and fun we had during our 10 year anniversary celebration. Thank you to all of our friends, family and vendors who made this day truly memorable.
I ironed the phrase Still Do on my tank top. I thought it would be fun to play off of this and in turn jazz things up a bit! Of course Herlindo had to be a part of it too - it only seemed fitting to write Me Too
on his shirt.

I love adding personal touches to make things truly special and unique. Also a special thanks to my good friend Satra Zarghami from Events by Satra for being such a doll and coordinating all of the set up and events for the day/evening. Satra did a fabulous job with everything.
It was because of her that I was able to let loose and not have a care in the world :)

This was such a special moment before we left for the ceremony.
The way he looked at me made me so happy. I hope Roman is as proud to my son as I am to
 be his mommy.

We could not stop laughing - he said I smelled like cake :)

My two men. They both wore beige suits with turquoise ties. So handsome!  They look so much alike.
Thank you Irmina and Armando. They are both so talented and such special friends. Armando from Get Your Do Up made me look and feel beautiful. Irmina has been the sister I never had - love you both!
Irmina and Armando were so complimentary of my gown. I loved my Madeline Gardner gown and bought it at Blossoms Bridal in Dublin for $400! I literally bought it off the rack. I had the dress taken in to fit me like a glove and added a flower to it make it my very own. I am sure you have guessed by now that I am all about making things my own.
I don't want to be like anyone else.
I am a big advocate of this especially with my brides.
I love how Deanna Graham incorporated my shoes with our invitation. We wanted our invitation to play off of the latin colorful feel of our event. Thank you Jeri from Only the Best in Los Gatos for making such a beautiful invitation.
We also put pink rhinestone stickers that said Still Do Me Too at the bottom of our shoes.  Another creative way to be different and make the Still Do Me Too phrase our very own.
We had our wedding album from July 28, 2001 out for our guests to view. 

We had a guitar for guests to sign in lieu of a traditional guest book. The sign read: "Please sign the guitar so we can continue to make beautiful music together."  The guitar was a perfect way to incorporate the latin element of our event.

Our guests were so sweet with their little love notes. Thanks Gabi :)

Francois and Rodrigo from Spanish Beat conducted the music for the ceremony and cocktail hour.
They were fabulous! 
We wanted our ceremony to be intimate and personal and loved the setting of Hotel Valencia's courtyard. It was simply perfect. Ideal Floral Design aligned the ceremony chairs with fuschia pomanders, various size vases that contained teal colored water with either a floating candle or an orange dahlia.  There were also bright colored parasol umbrellas for our guests to block the sun.

I was so happy we decided to write our own vows. This was very important to us.  My vows were fairly long and I politely warned our guests. After 10 years.... I had a lot to say and I think our guests walked away having a better understanding of who we were as a couple.  

Herlindo's vows were perfect!   He always makes me laugh.  I must admit I had no idea what he was going to say and after he recited his vows I was even more proud to be his wife (again).

Roman was such a good boy during the ceremony and also did a fantastic job with holding the sign that Herlindo made just for him. 
As we concluded our ceremony we joined hands to celebrate our unity as a family.  Herlindo and I recited a special dedication to Roman to express to him how special he was to us. As time passes I hope that Roman will see the love, respect and commitment that Herlindo and I have for each other as partners and as his parents.   I personally can not imagine my life being any happier or better.  We have made decisions that are best for our family. This part of the ceremony was a monumental moment.
Thank you again Father Don.  Father Don originally married us back on July 28, 2001. He is a dear family friend and appreciate his love and support over the years.

My beautiful family - I just love Roman's shoes.

Herlindo made these signs for us. I wanted to have something different other than the typical Mr. and Mrs. signs.
So we decided to have Esposo, Esposa and Hijo.

We had so much fun holding these signs.

I love my Roman cakes!

Can you say father and son? 
Festive mango margaritas accompanied by limes and colorful umbrellas for cocktail hour... yum!

Watermelon mojitos - these were delicious and tasted so good with the Spanish flair appetizers.

Right after the ceremony we had folkorico dancers from Ballet Folkorico Las Estrellas come out to entertain our guests.  They were an absolute hit!

In addition to the folkorico dancers we also had other styles of Mexican dancing to entertain our guests.
After cocktail hour our guests went up to Cielo. The centerpieces had small chalkboard stands that had different Spanish words that meant love. Thanks to Fine Linen Creation for all of the linens, chairs and custom pillows.  We wanted our guests to feel like they were on vacation at a Mexican Resort and the decor from Fine Linen Creation made this all possible.               

More views of the reception, tapas and dessert area of Cielo
**Please go to the next blog posting titled Still Do...Me Too Take Two - I did not have enough room to have everything on one blog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Still Do...Me Too Take Two

Still Do... Me Too Take Two.  I had so many photos from our renewal celebration that I wanted to post and unfortunately they all were not going to fit in one blog posting. Therefore I needed to make another posting so all of the photos could fit.  Enjoy - hugs and kisses to all of you!

Before we joined guests for the reception we went through Santana Row to take some photos. Deanna Graham from Sweet Thing Photography and Thomas Hughes Films were so much fun! I am so happy that they were able to reunite with us for this. We had a blast being silly! Not to mention this was the only real time I could have my shoes exposed.

This was such a fun and romantic moment. I love the back ground and the lighting was perfect! We were able to sneak this in before the Santana Row security crew kicked us out.
We love caramel and caramel is very latin so it was a perfect match for our guests to take home. We had the labels made that read, "Our Still Do Treat That Can't Be Beat."

A close up of our caramel favors.

The Mexican candy table. I wanted to play off of the Catholic component of the Mexican culture hence the Virgin Mary candles and cross motif's surrounding the candy jars.
Cake pops from the lovely A Spoonful of Sugar. They were to die for. Thanks Kathleen!

The Mexican dessert table. We had various desserts that consisted of mexican sweet breads, wedding cookies, banana crumbrule and mexican chocolate mousse cups.   There was also a separate table with churros and mexican hot chocolate (Churros con Chocolate). Thank you Debbie from Not Just Cheesecakes.

These were sinfully delicious. Another decant chocolate treat (Mexican Chocolate Mousse Cups) from Not Just Cheesecakes.  

Our cake was inspired from our save the date and anniversary invitation.  Debbie from Not Just Cheesecakes hit this one out of the park.  I love how she incorporated the papel picado along the cake.  It matched the papel picado that was hanging from the bar in Cielo.

Club Havana Cigars provided a custom cigar station. This was so much fun for our guests and added to the latin element.  We had a representative of Club Havana at the table to provide our guests with additional information about the cigars.

The cigar station was a hit!

Good food, drinks, cigars, music and friends.
Such a cute photo!
We also had Jarritos - a yummy Mexican soda in various flavors.  These were also a hit with our guests.

We wanted to incorporate the colorful fruit water drinks and horchata - just like you see in Mexico.

Another fun treat for our guests was a razpados station (shaved ice).  This is very common in Mexico.
The attendant was literally shaving the ice in front of our guests, pouring it into a cup and then topped it off with fresh fruit syrup.

We wanted to surprise our guests with our first dance.  We enlisted the help of our friend Luis Toledo from Ballet Folklorico Las Estrellas. We knew that we wanted to do something that would literally knock them off their feet. Luis helped us choreograph our very own folklorico dance and thanks to him we were able to pull it off! Thanks Luis!

The finale of our dance. A kiss behind the sombrero.

Patti from Shoot du Jour - our guests loved this! Instead of having a traditional crammed photo booth we decided to have a live photo booth. Patti Martin owner of Shoot du Jour had this great idea of having someone present to interact with our guests while taking photos of them with various props and other fun items.
I love how our guests totally got into the live photo booth.
Too cute Michelle and Steve!
Our friends are the best - love how Linnae and John rocked the chalkboards!

As you can see the live photo booth was a hit!  Our guests were literally here the entire night. Patti was so much fun and had such cute props - she was so energetic and made all of us feel comfortable in front of the camera.

The mother-son dance with my Roman cakes. This was one of my favorite moments from the evening.  We danced to If I Could by Barbara Streisand.
I am so happy that Thomas Hughes from Thomas Hughes Films captured this on video.  Dancing with your children is so important.  Life is very short and I am so happy that even at the tender age of 4 we both were able to share a special dancing moment together. The way Roman looked at me during this dance will forever be tattooed on my heart.

Roman and I spinning around during our dance.

Herlindo and I joining our guests on the dance floor. Henry from Big Fun DJ did such a phenomenal job with the music and staying connected with our guests. 

Still Do... Me Too.  Here is to another 10 years.
I am so happy that we reunited our vows and decided to have a second wedding - completely different from our first wedding. I think we had more fun this time around than in 2001  - probably because we are in an entirely different stage in our life.  Love and marriage are not easy tasks... I believe the opposite of love is lazy.  Both Herlindo and I have learned so much about each other over the last 10 years and we have grown stronger... together.  If we can do our best to put each others needs above our own and not care about what other people think of our decisions regardless of what those decisions are then I think we will be set for life.  Hugs and kisses to everyone!

A Special Thanks To....

Event Coordinator
Events by Satra

Hotel Valencia

Get Your Do Up

Bridal Gown
Blossoms Bridal

Invitation and Stationary Products
Only the Best

Deanna Graham - Sweet Thing Photgraphy

Thomas Hughes Films

Not Just Cheesecake

Cake Pops
A Spoonful of Sugar

Big Fun

Ideal Floral Design

Fine Linen Creation

Ceremony/Cocktail Music
Spanish Beat

Florekio Dancers
Ballet Folklorico Las Estrellas
Luis Toledo

Live Photo Booth
Shoot Du Jour

Club Havana Cigars