LOVE ABOVE ALL
You might think B.LOVED is all about the pretty, and if you’re talking about weddings then you are absolutely right. We may be bunch of romantics at heart, but we also know that there’s more to marriage than the pretty; it’s hard, gritty and sometimes even darn right ugly.
Nina and Wes have had more than their fair share of marriage woes, but having made the promise to face the future together they have come out the other side fighting. Their story is an inspiration to us all – whether you are in the first throes of love, a bride-to-be about to make the ultimate commitment, or a married couple working to keep your relationship strong, there are lessons for us all to learn. Their intimate, organic Norway vow renewal is as emotional as their story…
When you’ve found the one who your heart loves, it’s absolutely, utterly and breathtakingly beautiful, no matter what.
Our marriage, like many marriages, hasn’t been easy. Wes and I dated for 2 months before I left for Nepal to volunteer for 4 months. During my last week in Nepal, Wes surprised me by showing up. On the way back to the States, we had planned to stop in Norway, and it was there, on top of a mountain, in the land of the midnight sun, that Wes asked me to marry him. Three months later, after a whirlwind of planning, and doing nothing the way we truly wanted to, we got married. Yes…it was fast. But, never the less, we were together…for better and for worse. We fought hard, though, and worked through each year with great determination, and after a fight with infertility and cancer, we welcomed 2 beautiful children into our little family….a boy and a girl…twins. They were born in Ethiopia, and we spent three months there with them, waiting for the completion of their adoption. Through those difficult 3 months in Africa, our marriage only grew stronger.
Once we finally arrived home, we decided we wanted to renew our vows in our tenth year of marriage. We wanted to make it special and beautiful. And this time, we wanted amazing photographs to capture this miraculous and momentous occasion. We met Erich McVey at a workshop we all attended in Maui almost two years ago. As photographers ourselves, we knew we wanted this special time in our lives to be documented by someone who knew how to consistently capture beauty and love on film.
Our dream was to go back to Norway to renew our vows. We envisioned saying “yes” to each other again in the middle of a beautiful field, surrounded by mountains, overlooking the sea and the fjords. We knew that most of our friends wouldn’t be able to make it, because of the cost, so we kept things simple. And somewhere in the middle of the year leading up to our vow renewal, I met the incredibly talented Ginny Au. We became friends and somehow, we got her on a plane to Norway to plan and style our vow renewal.
I’ve always been a bit of a hippie at heart, at least when it comes to clothing, and found a classic 1970’s pattern to style my dress from on Etsy. When Wes and I first got married, I wanted my mother, who is an amazing seamstress, to make my dress. But at the time, I got lost in the excitement of trying on dresses and ended up purchasing one instead. 10 years later, I was determined to have her hands stitch together a dress that symbolized so much more than just a fashion statement. True to my inner flower-child, I was barefoot. Wes is a bit of an old soul…he loves to relax on a quiet evening, sometimes smoking a pipe while sipping on a bit of his favorite bourbon, all whilst reading a little bit of classic literature, like Sherlock Holmes. We really wanted this to play into what he would wear in Norway. I love the final outcome. A slim fit, linen suit, with a plain tee, a scarf, and a driver’s cap. Perfect. All Wes.
When we all got to Norway, we had no idea where we would have the ceremony. It wasn’t until the day before, that we all went to the tourist information center, saw a picture of some beautiful fjords and drove there the next day. And then it happened…we got to the top of a hill, got out of our car, and walked out into what seemed like a dream. We stepped into a field filled with yellow wild flowers. Behind us the mountain soared higher, with rays of sun beaming over top of it. And beyond the field, we looked out over the most beautiful view you could imagine…the breathtaking view of the fjords of Norway, and the beautiful waters that flow between them. It was just what we had imagined.
In that field, with the late setting sun, and our loved ones surrounding us, we spoke aloud our continuing commitment to each other once again. Both of us cried through the entire thing. It was…perfect.
Afterwards, Erich captured all the beautiful photos we had ached for. And we sat down to the most beautiful picnic with our children. We ate sandwiches wrapped in linen, and laughed and talked until it was time to go.
This vow renewal was originally featured on Once Wed.
- Photography: Erich McVey
- Bride's Gown: Adapted from a vintage pattern, adapted by the Bride's mother
- Ribbon: Bits & Bobs by Ginny Au
- Groom's Suit: H&M
- Groom's Scarf: Banana Republic
- Wooden Spoons: Felix Glenn
- Photography Assistant: Cara Dee Photography
- Officiant: Jacob Cecil
- Stationery: Signora e Mare
- Food: Ginny Au
- Food: Cara Dee
- Styling & Floral Design: Ginny Au
- HMUA: Amy McVey
- Venue: Private Farm in Ulvik, Norway
- Videographer: Amy McVey