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Tuesday 26 May 2015

Nancy and Conrad's Vow Renewal in Bermuda

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy and Conrad. They are clearly completely devoted to each other and hearing their story touched me deeply. Thank you both; it was truly an honour to be a part of your vow renewal and I hope that these images will remind you of your time in Bermuda.

Conrad spent the majority of his career as an insurance executive, and was one of five Founding Directors of the first insurance company in the world to insure nuclear power plants. They had meetings in London, Bermuda and other Caribbean destinations several times a year. Conrad was living in New Orleans where he served as a minister in the church that he had been a member of since he was a small boy.  Upon retirement, he and his family permanently relocated to Missouri where he became actively involved full time with the church and its national headquarters in Independence.

Nancy was originally from Ohio, but was living in California working as a corporate event planner. But after 16 years, she returned home to Ohio to work for a private club. In early 2003, Nancy became a member of the church, and in late 2004 she attended a retreat in Indiana where Conrad was scheduled to be a guest speaker.  She enjoyed his teachings and sermons immensely. They met briefly on the last day of the retreat and Conrad shared that his first wife had passed away from cancer and that this retreat was his first time away since her death.

Following the retreat, Nancy wrote thank you notes to all of the guest speakers.  They all responded, but Conrad asked questions requiring a response. Within a few short weeks they had become email friends. Nancy had tragically lost her mother, so she sent many emails in an effort to help Conrad with his grief through his first Thanksgiving and Christmas without his wife.

Their emails continued and became more frequent, and one day Conrad asked if he could get to know her better. By March of 2005, they were engaged, and Nancy and her beloved pups moved to Independence.

"Within months of our marriage, we were invited by the company Conrad helped found to their 25th anniversary celebration in Bermuda. In all Conrad's trips to Bermuda, he never had the opportunity to put his toes in the sand. That trip was wonderful but short and with only a few hours alone to explore. We fell in love with Bermuda and hoped to return some day for a longer stay."
As their wedding had been very small and not what they had hoped for, after ten years, they thought about renewing their vows with family and friends and taking the honeymoon they never had. The last ten years, however, had several illnesses and injury and moving house. Multiple vow renewals were planned and cancelled in an effort to accommodate family and friends. In the end they both decided to take their first vacation ever. Sadly London was no longer an option with their limitations, so they decided to return to Bermuda.
"Reservations were quickly made without hesitation and a friend knowing of our desire to someday renew our vows suggested that we plan the most beautiful, intimate ceremony as part of our vacation and that the vacation become the honeymoon we never had."
"Our lives over the next few weeks turned from continuing the overwhelming task of unpacking to gleefully shopping for that special dress and much needed items for our trip. And to finding a wedding planner in Bermuda!  I happened upon the "best of the best" who had only one day available during our trip - and luckily, it suited our itinerary beautifully. Bermuda Bride worked endlessly on the plans for our special day from the flowers, rental of the church, and hiring of a clergy. We walked down the aisle together whispering how that moment felt the way our original marriage ceremony should have. "

"We later had a romantic dinner at The Waterlot Inn with a beautiful, little cake. And all skilfully photographed by the sensitive, talented Amanda Temple who cleared her schedule for our tiny wedding party of two. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, Amanda, for capturing this exquisite day, and the day to follow, for us to remember as you saw them through your eyes."

At the church, Nancy had asked if we could meet up the next day as she was hoping to have some photographs with some sailboats. I suggested we meet in Hamilton, and have the harbour as a backdrop, but I had not remembered the sailing races that take place on Wednesday evenings. The timing was absolutely perfect and there was a plethora of yachts coming and going. It could not have worked out any better. I am so happy that Nancy and Conrad got exactly what they wanted two days in a row!

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