My wife and I used Hawaii Weddings on Oahu to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary by arranging a Hawaii vow renewal service. We opted for Howie to commemorate the occasion because our first ceremony 10 years prior was rife with issues, we lacked good record (i.e. photos and film), and because a gaudy piece of jewelry seems so trite to celebrate the precious time shared between two people still in love. I’m glad we did, because it turned out to be both picturesque and memorable beyond imagination!
Let me begin by mentioning that we decided upon the “Sunset at Pirate’s Cove” package with some modifications, including videography. The sunset location has many advantages. There’s an oceanic cliff upon which the waves crash, creating a rhythmically calming sound; there’s a small but remarkable sandy beach; and, there’s a massive wall of black volcanic rocks off to the left of the beach. The photographer (Fernando), who’s not only exceedingly kind but also very patient, guided us over these various surfaces to make sure we took full advantage of all that the location had to offer. I particularly love the shot of my wife in her white dress against the contrasting backdrop of the volcanic rocks, the sea calmly folding in behind her. On the matter of the photography, we were both exceedingly impressed with the professionalism of Fernando’s demeanor as well as his product. The photos were beautiful beyond description. We will cherish them for a lifetime!
The ceremony was brief and thoughtful. Rev. Rich blended a combination of Hawaiian prayers, commentary about the naturalistic surroundings, and allusions to our 10 years together as both a checkpoint and a launching point as we head out into the uncertain waters of the future. These words resonated deeply with us. As the ceremony winded down, we spoke our renewed words of commitment to one another, exchanged rings, and felt a powerful renewal of our shared bond.
I’ve always laughed at the idea of tears of happiness but I felt them that evening as the sun set upon ten years passed together while staring out at the horizon of changes to come. So much of the symbolism spoken that day and even the symbolism embedded within the location itself was moving. It seems cliché to type, but we awoke the following morning like newlyweds, bonds strengthened and passion renewed. Rev. Rich, Fernando, and the videographer (Marty) all contributed to this atmosphere of happy celebration. Somehow, “thank you” doesn’t seem sufficient to express our gratitude… so we said, “Mahalo!”.
I can also say that Sara, Captain Howie’s Hawaii wedding planners, was very concise with the help she gave in arranging the right package and answering our questions, of which we had many. The makeup artist, Fe, (and I mean Artist with a capital “A”) was just wonderful to be around. She was cheerfully chatty, had great recommendations for dining in the area, and was kind in her technique. In brief, she was so professional and she turned my wife from a beautiful woman into a model. Each time we look back at those pictures, I still lose my breath in awe. The videographer, though hardly a known presence during the photo shoot, produced a spectacular video that we can’t seem to stop watching since we received it in the mail.
In sum, this experience turned out to be a wonderful record and an even more precious memory, one that we will recall with great nostalgia as we move into the consecutive stages of life and marital companionship. To anyone who’s planning on getting married soon, or to those who are looking to renew their cherished bonds, my wife and I both highly recommend Above Heaven’s Gate for the occasion. Thanks so much to everyone at Hawaii Weddings!
Glen & Yuri Piskula
Vows Renewed May 20th 2014