Couples spend so much time planning and preparing for the wedding day, yet a lifetime occurs afterwards. It’s so special to see a husband and wife progress and grow as their life together continues. This 10 year vow renewal is both beautiful and meaningful, and we adore what the wife, Cami, had to say about her journey.
I met Ryan the night before Easter 2003. We were volunteers in a ministry that performed character building assembly programs in elementary schools during the week and sang in churches on the weekend. He was a staff member visiting my team traveling across the west coast. I remember the moment he walked in the door. My team was in the middle of singing “Your Grace Still Amazes Me,” and I lost my breath for a second. We got to know each other over the weekend, and though our memory differs on who asked who for their number, (he totally asked for mine) we kept in touch over the remaining months of my tour. We were smitten.
By July we had talked almost every day on the phone for the past four months. Ryan asked if he could fly me to visit him in Arizona so we could spend some time together in person, away from our crazy schedules. I had family near his home town and stayed with them during my visit where we had our first date. It was more like a week of spending time together, finally in person.
We dated mostly long distance for the next two years and during a visit with my family in New Jersey, Ryan proposed on June 15, 2005 on the beach in Cape May. He buried a treasure box partially in the sand with his Bible inside holding my ring marking Philippians 4:6-8.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We were married a year later July 22, and two weeks later moved to Virginia to start school and begin our lives together. We celebrated our 10-year anniversary in 2016, the same year we moved our little family of four into our first house – the BEST anniversary present ever.
10 years of marriage has changed us a lot, and taught us a lot. We both began our marriage with a lot of unspoken expectations and not a lot of counsel. Being long distance we were together for the first time all the time, and it was a little overwhelming.
The best decision we ever made was to trust God with our marriage. Sometimes it was Ryan and sometimes it was me, but one of us had to make the conscious decision to point the other to God. A family member told us before we were married that it was better to be kind than to be right. That, along with lots, and lots, and LOTS of grace has made our marriage stronger over time.
For couples who are engaged or newly married, choose each other. You will not always be on the same page or want the same things, and you will not always feel blissfully happy. But, choose to forgive and extend grace to each other. Choose to give your time and patience to each other. Choose to consider situations from each other perspectives. But mostly, choose to point each other to God by pursuing Him yourself. When each of you decide to choose these, regardless of whether the other does or not, marriage can be pretty spectacular.
- Planning & Coordination – Tina Lane Events
- Design & Styling – Max & Dexter Event Design
- Venue – Heart of High Peak
- Rentals & Props – Happily Ever After Event Rental
- Florals – Fox Grape Designs
- Pottery – Jillian Pottery
- Food – Suzy Q, etc.
- Stationery – Craft Couture Wedding
- Bridal Dresses – Church Street Bridal
- Wedding Favors – Novella Tea
- Wooden Props – Against the Grain Laser
- Natural Fruit – Morris Orchard
- Picnic Table – Amanda Mae
- Ties & Accessories – Elegant and Royal
- Pillows – Davy and Company
- Vow Renewal Makeup – Cami Smith
- Family – The Smith Family
- Nicki Ahrens Photography
- Mackenzie Leigh Photography
- Lindsey Hinkley Photography
- Carla Jane Photography
- Rachel Noel Photography
This event was also featured in our wedding publication. Click here to see!