This past weekend was an extra special one for you. I’ve already mentioned that 2016 is a special year for us since our kids were each turning 21, 18 and 16 years old. One top of those milestones we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and my parents their 50th. Although we had celebrated our official anniversary date back in September, we decided to throw a mega-party to have a joint anniversary celebration.
Initially we planned to host it in our backyard but as the responses started coming in I started to realize how difficult that would be. Where were 30+ cars going to park in our dead-end cul-de-sac? Two toilets for ALL those people?? Besides, I really wanted to ENJOY the party and not worry about hostessing duties
That’s when I called JJ’s Bistro de Paris to see if we could move our party to their restaurant. I was already using them for catering services. After calculating the costs of renting a tent, tables, chairs, linens, china, delivery and set up fee I had an idea of what it was going to cost to have the party at home. When they called me with their price it was just $300 over my at-home costs and they INCLUDED beer and wine! My costs hadn’t even gotten that far. So in the end, the price would have been about the same but the location turned out to be so perfect!
Because of the size of our party, we ended up with the whole place to ourselves. The owners, Benedict and her husband JJ, were the NICEST people to work with. I had gone over the menu with her and basically left it to them to make it work. They went above and beyond to make it a special night for us!
We love Paris, and in fact, had celebrated our 20th anniversary with a trip to Paris (you can read about that trip HERE) so it was just perfect that we should end up celebrating our 25th here, right back under the Eiffel Tower.
Our dear friend, Bishop Neil Lebhar, officiated. We had a vow renewal ceremony which was an abbreviated wedding ceremony. Gazing into each others’ eyes, we affirmed the vows that we had pledged to each so many years earlier: “In the Name of God, I, Sheila, take you, Michael, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.“
Michael then gave the most beautiful toast, retelling the story of how we met and sharing a bit about the ups and downs of marriage emphasizing that in marriage you learn to put the other person first. He then toasted my parents and shared a bit about them and what it was like to call my parents in Italy and ask for “my hand in marriage” to someone he’d never met before! (Dad’s response: “Only her hand?”)
Then he had a surprise for me. Our good friend, Michael Godfrey, who is a talented musician, sang “our song” (Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor.) It was incredibly sweet and touching and of course it made me cry. There were a lot of happy tears that night!
We believe in celebrating life and all the little moments that make it up. This night was a perfect example of building memorials. We were surrounded by friends and family, some who traveled a good ways to be with us!
If you want to read a few more related posts…
HERE is where I talk about how 2016 is going to be a milestone year (and Timothy’s 18th birthday).
I mention Annie’s 16th birthday HERE and Thomas’s 21st birthday HERE.
THIS is my list of 25 ways to celebrate 25 years.
I talk about how well I know my man by going through THIS questionnaire.