This winter vow renewal was special for us. The wife had contacted us in April, before we had even launched our all-English website. She had seen the original Serendipity Flower website, that had just one page of English, and nothing about vow renewals. In other words, she took a chance on us when we didn’t even have a vow renewal package to sell! Because of her faith in us, we couldn’t let her down!
Well, after eight months of communication, we finally got to meet her and her family here in Tokyo, for what turned out to be a lovely occasion!
She and her husband were celebrating 25 years of marriage and had come to Japan over the Christmas period with their two children to make their vow renewal a family affair. It was the last working day of the year, and only one garden was available, but we managed to nab it!
As usual, we met at Shinjuku station, before heading to the Kimono vendor, and along the way, we got talking. We had been communicating with each other for over eight months, so it felt like we were old friends! We always like it when that happens! Then once at the kimono shop, they got into their kimonos very quickly! So quickly, In fact, we were ahead of schedule.
Deviating from the plan
Because of this, I offered to take them a nearby shrine for a few photos before heading to the garden. However, the thing that most surprised us all that day, was the temperature… it was freezing, with a wind chill to boot! This is all part-and-parcel of a winter vow renewal, you might think. However, the weather in December had been fluctuating wildly! Some days early in the month were a balmy 25 degrees Celsius, and others at a low 4 or 5 degrees, and still others in the teens. Yet this day it was hovering around zero, and with a wind chill to boot…. much colder than the previous day’s vow renewa
Wisely, the family made the decision to not be out in the cold any longer than necessary. So instead of going to a shrine for some photos, we headed for a nice little Japanese tea shop near the garden to kill some time. It turns out that this was a nice little addition to the day’s proceedings; they were able to take things a bit slower and enjoy the day and experience a bit more fully than otherwise anticipated. And it was warm… gloriously warm!
The tea shop was quite traditional and walking in with four people fully kitted out in their chosen kimonos was kind like stepping back in time. While this is a very 21st-century country, they still have the strongest links to their history and traditions. So, it is not unusual to see people dressed up in traditional garb, even in the most extreme weather, so no one batted an eyelid!
More importantly for Ayako and myself, is that we got to know the family a bit more. One of the perks of this job is that we get to meet wonderful people from all over the world. As a result of this, we have made many new friendships, and this was no exception to that rule.
Winter Vow Renewal Ceremony
On arriving at the garden, we set about finding the warmest place to perform the ceremony. Our preferred place, the gazebo was in the shade, and proved too cold for an extended period of time. Instead, we went to a point high up, overlooking the garden, in the glorious sunshine, where the temperature was much more tolerable! The ceremony itself was beautiful. The couple had opted to have their vows printed out by us ahead of time, and we presented them along with the certificate from Vow Renewal Japan
. FOllowing on from this, given the cold, we did a quicker than expected photo-shoot of the family around the garden.
What did the Couple Say?
From Trip Advisor
“We are very grateful for the time and effort that Ross and Ayako have spent with us and our children during our silver wedding anniversary celebration, culminating with the re-affirmation of our marriage vows after 25 years together. The little piece of wonderland you have arranged for us that momentous day was just spectacular. Thank you for pulling off this simple yet very meaningful rite. We appreciate the opportunity to have worked with you and organized this intimate but worry-free ceremony….”
Read the whole reveiw on Trip Advisor
To find out how you can renew your vows in a beautiful Japanese garden, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can leave a message on our contact page, and we will get back to you as soon as we can!