Vow renewals are so special, because they are quite often more intentional. If a couple is considering renewing their vows, it's because they want those vows and to reflect the depth of their relationship as it is now, after being together for several years. It is a wonderful way to once again manifest your love and affection and to uphold your devotion to each other.
Our beautiful client Amanda and her husband Donovan recently renewed their vows at their intimate country ceremony, we asked Amanda to share the reason why they decided to have their vows renewed at this point of their journey together and their backstory. We are super grateful she was happy to share her love story with us, so here it goes:
Amanda and Donovan met when she was volunteering at the local youth centre, helping to organise bands to play at their youth centre. Donovan was the drummer in one of their local bands. It was fate, that the band's vocalist was Amanda's friend, and on her 18th birthday, she was introduced to Donovan.
And so she went away for a month to work at the Sydney Olympics and when she arrived back home she called him to catch things up. It was how their story began.
Later, Donovan decided to move to a beachside town to start a new life, 4-hour away from where Amanda was living. Donovan won't let distance set them apart, so he decided to ask Amanda if she would like to come with him, and with conviction she did.
They eloped when Amanda was pregnant with their eldest son. And from there, they've been moving around Australia.
Life isn't always a fairy tale, in 2017 and 2018, Amanda suffered from a serious illness, she was bedridden and in and out of the hospital. Their life completely changed, their relationship was put to test.
Taking a leap of faith, they decided to move to Queensland in 2019. It was like they jumped timelines when they stepped off that plane back then. For every dark night, there's a brighter day, everything has changed for them in the best possible way. Choosing to stay amidst the storms, weathering it together, makes a lasting partnership.
Feeling like a rising phoenix from the ashes, Donovan re-proposed to Amanda last August 2021. They wanted a new date to celebrate their love and commitment to each other and November 11, 2022 was the day.
Contrary to how typically women take on the more hands-on role with wedding planning, it was Donovan who organised everything on their vow renewal. The photographer, picnic company, location, cake, and outfits for him and their boys.
Here are some of the wonderful shots taken from their vow renewal ceremony:
Amanda wore our Reclamation 'Dreams Like These Gown', one of our one-size-fits-all gowns, in the colour Beige. She said she felt like a queen wearing it, she absolutely is!
Amanda also did her own make-up. You can never go wrong with the dewy, fresh look, especially for a boho outdoor ceremony like this one.
Her bouquet was from a local corner store. We love how the colours of the flowers perfectly matches her gown!
The ceremony was held at their friend's private property by the river and they hired @the_picnic_basket, to set up a beautiful styled boho-themed picnic. The Picnic Basket services the Bundaberg region.
Their 11-year old son was the one who officiated their vow renewal. What better way than being officiated by the one closest to our hearts?
Their 13-year old son walked her down the aisle. Amanda told us he's the one in-charge of the music too.
Here are some other photos of the lovely McLean family. These special moments were captured by @maddelyngracephotography:
Amanda wrote an eloquent, heart warming caption on her Instagram post:
"Twenty two years.
We are completely different people today because of the challenges and heartaches we have faced together.
I wish I could tell you everything we've been through and overcome together.
To love is to risk .
It's been a wild ride.
Anything worth it takes time and the deepest work.
I wish I could paint the picture of what it's like to grow up and grow old together, to know each other's every facet, the shadows and the light. To watch the wrinkles form over time like this wondrous roadmap of our relationship and experiences .
What it's like to shatter, then repair.
What it's like to face your deepest fears , have them come into reality, and then choose to stay open.
I wish I had words to explain what it's like to watch your person change into someone new, to watch them evolve, and to step more into love with who they evolve into over and over.
I've even been shamed for staying, shamed for how much my heart can hold and how big my love is .
That's not about me .
Real deep, expansive, love and devotion still exists.
Because it's what we live. We choose each other. Everyday. It is who we are.
Maybe it doesn't look how you imagined.
I could tell you all the sparkly parts of our story.
But I would be leaving out the parts where the true growth happens.
True growth doesn't happen in the sparkles.
It happens in the moments when we're in unimaginable pain , the deepest despair, misery, grief and soul shattering heartache
We have been through it , and we stayed and loved each other through it all.
Has it been easy to stay? Not always. Sometimes I wasn't sure we would make it .
But when there's respect, vulnerability, growth, compassion, safety, commitment, devotion, conscious awareness, and deep love, staying is marvelous.
We are hurt in relationships, and we heal in relationships. And the connection we have created together has allowed each of us to grow, evolve, and heal beyond anything we could've accomplished alone.
We celebrated 22 years together this year. And on the 11.11.22 we renewed our vows and commitment to each other in the most beautiful ceremony.
It keeps getting better and better."
Congratulations Amanda and Donovan, you both are absolutely beautiful and may you have many more years of blissfulness together.
When asked how she came across Mama Rentals, Amanda told us she was looking for a more sustainable ways to get married, as she didn't want to buy an expensive gown just to wear it once. Thanks to Google, she found Mama Rentals where she saw exactly what she was looking for - dreamy, boho wedding gowns that are perfect for their vow renewal ceremony near Bundaberg, QLD.
Check out our wide range of available wedding dresses and gowns for hire.
Our lovingly curated dresses and gowns are for both maternity and non-maternity. Why buy an expensive wedding gown and only use it once. Renting is a more sustainable choice that saves your wardrobe space, money and our planet. Besides, you don't have to worry about the dry-cleaning afterwards.
So if you need any help finding a gown or dress that's right just for your special day, get in touch with us today.