“Oh, man,” Michael said, a little choked up. “This is going to be harder than I thought.” He wiped away a tear with his left hand, as he held our vows in his right, the same ones we’d written and recited seven years earlier. At the tender ages of twenty-one and twenty-two. In the packed foyer of our church. Filled with family from all over the country, friends from all throughout our life and all the optimism in the world. Michael continued reading. We continued holding hands. High near our chests. Near our hearts. As if our subconsciouses were getting our bodies as close to our souls as they could. Just like we’d done 2,555 days before.

Except this time we weren’t standing inside or under a steeple, we were standing outside and under a singular tree, old and tall; and we weren’t surrounded by hundreds of people that we could see, but hundreds rows of lavender, purple flower after purple flower, so many that we couldn’t even begin to count them all; and we weren’t anywhere close to home, but far, far away, in the South of France, in what looked like a fairytale and didn’t feel like a real day.

Jordan held Amy’s hands tight, his thumbs running over her knuckles one at a time, reaffirming them, reassuring her; and, with three squeezes, reminding them of the only three words that mattered or ever did: I love you. She tilted her head and smiled back at him, with quivering lips that said, I love you, too, and eyes that said, I’m so happy and barely holding it together, all at the same time. Then, we exchanged our rings, as much as two college kids could afford back then on summer part-time jobs. They weren’t much, but they meant everything. Still do. And always will.

reminding them of the only three words that mattered or ever did: I love you

And just like that, we were married. Seven years after we’d said our vows for the first time, we said them… again. Why? Well, we’ve been looking for a good time to renew our vows for seven years. For a few reasons. First and foremost, we wanted to proclaim our commitment to each other again now that we’re holding years of experiences as husband and wife. Second, even though we love so many of our candid wedding photos, we don’t have a traditional portrait of us both looking at the camera. It’s been one of our biggest regrets. (Along with our pre-Pinterest, pre-wedding-industry styling choices! Oh boy!)  We especially regret not having a traditional portrait of just the two of us from our wedding day because in one of the hallways in our home, we have six white frames. Three on one wall. Three on the other. Each with a black and white wedding portrait of our parents and grandparents on each of their wedding days. Six frames representing the over 250 years of marriage we come from. Our parents have both
celebrated over 25 years of marriage (and counting) and all four sets of our grandparents made it to fifty years each before losing the one they love. So we wanted to pay homage to that legacy of love that was fought for, struggled through and handed to us. To honor the harvest we got to reap. As a visual representation of that, we collaborated with Katherine Bignon, one of the most talented custom gown designers on the East Coast to create a wedding dress that weaved in elements from all four of our grandmothers’ and both of our moms’ dresses. Not only that, but the amazing Laetitia of Fleurs D’Atelier crafted Amy’s dream bouquet (she couldn’t stop staring at it!) as well as Jordan and Michael’s boutonnières. Our sweet friend Lindsey let Amy borrow her veil, and all together, everything was even better than we imagined. We have so much to share about the entire thought and design process of Amy’s dress and bouquet that it deserves its very own blog post, so be on the lookout for that very soon!

Marriage is awesome. We really want people to know that. It’s not the ball-and-chain that’s portrayed in popular culture, and we believe the seven-year-itch is myth. In fact, we’d argue that seven years in, is seven times better.

The timing couldn’t have been better since we were vacationing in France with two of our greatest friends, Katelyn and Michael, who just happen to be world-class photographers — and Michael’s a former youth pastor, too! — we were all photographing other jobs in Europe within days of each other, so it felt like all the stars had lined up. We knew it was going to be a memorable moment, but we didn’t know just how special it was going to be.

Katelyn and Michael, there aren’t enough words in the English language that could be combined in an order that would thank you adequately for the gift of that moment and the way it will keep giving for years — and generations — to come. We love, cherish and adore you both, and are eternally grateful that God blessed us with you a few years ago. Our lives have not and never will be the same.

Lastly, there’s no audio or video recording of our ceremony. It didn’t get Snapped. It wasn’t on Facebook live. Not because we don’t value audio or video. We do. But because since we live so much of our life out loud and online, we wanted something just for us. A little moment that we could keep in our hearts and imprint in our minds and hold onto forever. Something that would just be, well, ours. A time and place to be present without having a time and place to present.

And do you know what’s funny? In that stillness. In that quiet. In that abandoned field halfway around the world under a tall, old tree with deep roots that reminded us of the ones our parents and grandparents planted for us, we felt their love; and as the glowing sun broke through the overcast clouds and cast the tree’s oversized shadow on us, we felt it more… and His warmth, too. Because walking in our parents’ and grandparents’ shadow, riding in their wake, and running in their wind, isn’t a weak thing — it’s the best thing — when those people have walked, do walk, and forever will walk with the Lord. We just feel thankful that they paved the way, because it’s made our path straighter and easier, which is why we’ve made it our mission to impact as many other marriages as we can. To keep carrying the torch for the couples who sacrificed before us.

And during our vow renewal, in the middle of the lavender fields, we were reminded, in such a naturally supernatural way, that He is loudest when we are most still, He is strongest when we are most small, and that a life and marriage rooted in Him has the power to grow into something far better and greater than our human eyes could ever see.

Katelyn shared a ton of her favorite images on her blog, so make sure to click over there to see a whole lot more. We just wanted to share a few of our many favorites!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamyweddingView More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamyweddingView More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamyweddingView More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamyweddingView More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/jordanandamywedding

Katelyn shared a ton of her favorite images on her blog, so make sure to click over there to see a whole lot more! We just wanted to share a few of our many favorites! Thank you Katelyn and Michael for making our dreams come true!! We love you!!

20 comments
filed in: Anniversaries, Weddings

    Abbi Hearne

    Oh my gosh you guys. I cried reading Katelyn's blog and now I'm crying reading yours! This is beautiful. The thoughts behind it, the process, your love for each other! And how special to have your friends photograph it. God is crazy good!!! This is such a gift from him. You guys rule.

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!!! Thank you so much!! God is good!!

    Ashley

    Amazing! So glad you guys finally got your traditional portrait!! Congratulations on 7 years and 7++++ more!! We love you guys and are so happy you are in our lives!

    Amy & Jordan

    Thank you so so much!!! We're blessed by you guys!!

    Caitlin Gerres

    This is so beautiful! (And definitely on our bucket list for a future anniversary!) I can't wait to hear all about Amy's dress! You both look amazing!!!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!! Thank you!! Cant wait to share more!

    Caitlin Gerres

    This is so beautiful! (And definitely on our bucket list for a future anniversary!) I can't wait to hear all about Amy's dress! You both look amazing!!! Congratulations!!!

    Melissa Jill

    This looks like it turned out so SO special guys!! Amy you looked STUNNING!! Love how your dress turned out!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!!! Thank you so much!! Love you!!!

    Angela Fields

    WOW. Just wow. Your love for each other and for the Lord is so evident, so pure, genuine, and positively RADIANT. It glows from within you both, and not just because of Katelyn's camera skills (which are undoubtedly amazing!), but through the joy that seems permanently affixed on your faces in all your pictures.

    I've only been following your blog a few months, but it feels like I know you just from reading your posts (is that weird?), so this definitely tugged on my heartstrings. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration you're providing for marriages everywhere! Would love to see photos of your hallway in a future post with your portrait continuing your family's incredible legacy of love! <3

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!!! You're so sweet!! Thank you so much!!

    anouschka

    So, so, so beautiful! Congratulations you two! What a stunning location for a vow renewal and such beautiful new memories you've created. Love it!

    Amy & Jordan

    Thank you so much!! It was an anniversary we will never forget!

    Marilyn

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! You should've seen my face when I saw your post. You would think that we were friends for years. I got so happy when I saw your images. I cried as I read your post and viewed your images. The love that you show each other is so profound and genuine. The way you both look at each other. The way that Jordan always holds on to Amy tightly or the way that Amy smiles at Jordan. Your love is real and now more then ever because it isn't until your married and have lived through experiences together that you know what true love is. xox

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!! Thank you!! That means so much to us!! <3

    OMG...hello teary eyed photographer over here!

    Congratulations on 7 wonderful years together and the very best on many more years of health and happiness too.

    I can't wait to see your portrait gracing a beautiful frame the way your parents and grandparents do as a celebration of the love and commitment you have to each other.

    I also want to say Thank You.
    Thank you for sharing this personal, emotion filled moment and the story of what it is to you with us.

    I love you guys!

    Amy & Jordan

    You are so sweet!!! Thank you!! That means so much to us!

    Sitting here at the coffee shop crying because of how beautiful you both are inside and out.

    I don't know you both personally, but I've been following you both for a couple of years now and can see how much Jesus shines right through your hearts.

    You both are SO real, vulnerable, honest which make incredible leaders to me as person, follower of Jesus and a photographer. Marriage is so beautiful, isn't easy for sure but so worth it!

    Oh yeah, and those photos couldn't be more magical holy moly You look incredible.

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!! Thank you SO much!! That means the world to us :)

    Maria Sevostyanova-Poland

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!these are just beyond beautiful! i feel like i just was there with you guys!amazing!