Beyond the Vows began just a little over two years ago, but has made a huge impact in just the four events we have held since then. What started out as a calling felt by myself and Hannah of Sparrow and Lace Photography to invest in couples beyond the wedding day, grew into providing an experience where they can come take a break from the busyness of life in a safe and relaxed space. A place where they can focus on themselves and their marriage no matter what season they may find themselves in.
With each Beyond the Vows event, we have learned so much about love, life, and the ebbs and flows of what it is to be married. We have been able to touch couples who were struggling with their relationship and were giving it one more try to make it work. We have celebrated with a couple married for 35 years and entering an exciting new phase of life. We’ve been able to encourage newly married couples as they navigate the early years. We have provided priceless keepsakes for a couple that was preparing to say goodbye to one another as cancer was taking over his body. We have shed tears for a couple as they tried over and over again to conceive and were lead to the journey of adoption. And now we pray for them as they continue to wait for God to place a child in their path.
Yes, you can guarantee there will be delicious food. Yes, you can guarantee you will be leaving with our new Beyond the Vows Monthly Marriage Challenge book. And yes, there will definitely be a photo session involved. But the most important detail we provide is the overall therapeutic experience, love, and support. We are genuinely interested and invested in each couple that walks through that door. We want to know how you met. When did you first know you were in love. How can we pray for you. How can we celebrate with you. Ultimately, what can we do to serve you and your marriage in the best way possible.
The other week we hosted several couples for Beyond the Vows at the relaxing River Nook Airbnb in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Located right along a peaceful stream, the home was cozy, warm, and inviting sprinkled with a few unique pieces (check out the hanging bed!). The property itself was beautiful with large trees, fire pit, beach area, and tree swings.
We welcomed each couple and took some time to either get to know them better or catch up with them over food and drinks. Then we transitioned into the session part of the day. With each session we try to get you connecting on a deeper level. We start out light and simple. Perhaps in an embrace or holding hands synchronizing your breathing. And with each push of the camera button we talk you through carefully curated healing and inspiring prompts and direction. By the end of your session it is our hope that you feel that much closer to your spouse. But ultimately your experience isn’t over yet.
This year’s Beyond the Vows event was so heartwarming. Couples stayed long after their sessions and joined us all in conversation around the charcuterie board. Or hung out in the living room where they pulled questions from a bowl that ignited unique conversation. Or they ventured down to the water and simply took in the peacefulness that it provided. Others continued their date day as they headed off to dinner or made their way home for a date night in. It is always our hope and prayer that as each couple leaves, we have reignited their passion and inspired their spark.
In the coming weeks I will be sharing exactly what Beyond the Vows means to me. If you want to learn more or become part of the movement, check out www.beyondthevows.org and follow along with us on Instagram!