A Real Renewal of Vows

Ever wondered what a real renewal of vows looks like?

On the 1st January 2020, Deb and Shane celebrated their relationship with a renewal of vows at Cedar Creek Lodges.

The 1st January is a very special dates for the two of them. They met in 2000, then married on the same date in 2005. Although that wedding fifteen years prior was wonderful, it was a reasonably modest affair. As their children grew older, they felt the time was right to renew their vows, and to do it in style.

I first met Deb and Shane at a cafe up at Mt Gravatt called the LoveWell Project (if you haven’t been, it’s a social enterprise with a cracking view of Brisbane, and none of the crowds you get at Mt Coot-tha). We bonded pretty quickly, and I loved their vision for the celebration. For years they had spent New Years camping with friends at Tamborine Mountain, and decided to combine a regular gathering with a renewal of vows.

Pre-Ceremony Preparations

On the day itself (after a quiet night in for me on NYE!) I popped in to see Deb before the ceremony to check in on her. I was so excited to see Tina and Doruk from Lovelenscapes whom I’ve worked with a couple of times before. This husband and wife photography team are talented artists who put lots of energy into everything they do. I owe them a million thanks for their generosity in sharing this portfolio with me.

As you can see, Deb looked stunning – absolutely, incredibly, beautifully stunning! Her hair was expertly done by Illuminate U, make up by Jezabel Artistry Gold Coast, flowers by Veronica Jo Flowers and her gown by The Bridal Company Helensvale.

I think my face says it all.

Deb chose her three granddaughters as her flower girls. The love these three girls have for their grandparents, and vice versa, was palpable.

The Ceremony

Deb, Shane and I did a walk-through a couple of days beforehand at Cedar Creek Lodges. One of the things we discussed was the entrance. Most people marrying at Cedar Creek Lodges enter from the top of the amphitheater area, and walk down the aisle, but Deb chose to walk in from the side which worked really well.

Some of the guests had also been at their wedding 15 years prior, and had known them throughout their relationship. The warmth and love felt for these two was very evident. Everyone was so engaged, all sitting forward and listening intently. A real highlight was some words from their children.

For all intents and purposes, a renewal of vows can feel the same as a wedding, with the only difference being that there’s no legal element to it. Shane and Deb exchanged vows, rings, and signed a (non-legal) certificate to commemorate the day. Oh, and of course… it was all sealed with a kiss.


Shane and Deb spent some time after the ceremony to have photos of just the two of them. Cedar Creek Lodges is perfect for this, and despite the lack of rain at this particular time, Mt Tamborine still came through with the goods of a stunning rain forest type backdrop.

The Reception

Deb and Shane booked me as their celebrant and their MC. They knew they wanted everyone to truly relax, and that a professional MC would enable everyone to do just that. Having the opportunity to MC and see the day turn into the evening is something I love. I get to experience a different side of the celebration, and have usually bonded with quite a few of the guests by this point. It’s great to see everyone soak up a party atmosphere.

Deb and Shane wanted to keep things light and fun during the reception without too many formalities. In between courses, they mingled with everyone, as well as making full use of the photo-booth provided by Snaptured Photo Booths.

Deb had thought through every detail of the day. After seeing how well she planned her renewal of vows, I think she would make an excellent event planner!

The cake was provided by Brisbane Based cake maker Sweet Ruby Artisan Cakes who also made the Black Cockatoo cake topper.

The Shoe Game

Before the first dance, we played ‘The Shoe Game’. For those of you unfamiliar with this, I asked Shane and Deb a bunch of questions with their backs to each other, eg: ‘Who is better looking?’, ‘Who is most likely to burn the house down after cooking?’ etc. There were quite a few answers where they didn’t agree.


DJ Glenn from Party Sound (who also provided the lit-up giant Love letters) produced the appropriate amount of smoke during their first dance, before Deb and Shane motioned for their guests to come and join them half way through.

The first dance is when my official duties as an MC are over. However, I couldn’t help myself when Deb motioned for me to join in on the dance floor, and happened to find myself the most excellent dancing partner.

Highlights video

The day was captured on video by the talented team at White Lace Films. Thank you for allowing me to post this video here. It brought back many wonderful memories.

Deb & Shane // Cedar Creek Lodges // 01.01.20 from White Lace Films on Vimeo.

Thank you Deb and Shane for working with me. It was such an honour to recognise their relationship in this celebratory manner.

Massive thanks to the wonderful team for being a joy to work with.

If you’re thinking about a renewal of vows, or have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me at roxy@roxyrocks.com or fill in this contact form.