Outdoor vow renewal ceremony on Hood College Campus – Casey & Joshua
Casey and Josh met at Hood College in 2007 at a mutual friend’s Super Bowl party. Casey caught Josh’s attention from the beginning; dancing, laughing and being the life of the party. He was nervous and thought that she was out of his league, but they continued to make eye contact throughout the night, and when he finally got up the nerve to ask her to hang out, she said “yes!” Josh said that he felt like he had won the Super Bowl himself that night. They dated for a little more than a year and a half and were married on August 1st of 2008 and would both graduate from Hood in the Spring of 2009.
In December of 2008, they discovered that they were expecting their first child. They were thrilled and couldn’t wait to become parents! But not long after they found out this exciting news, Josh received orders from his unit that his platoon would deploy in July of 2009. Although they had both known that deployment was a real possibility, it was so surreal that it would happen now, of all times. Right before the birth of their first child together and so soon after committing their lives to one another. Fear, of course, set in and Casey wondered how she would handle being a new mother all on her own and Josh, of course, did not want to leave his wife and newborn baby behind, but he had also made a commitment to the United States Marine Corps and he knew he had to go and serve his country. Arrangements were made with both of their families to ensure that Casey would have all of the help that she needed during the ten months that Josh was gone, and the countdown began.
On August 13, 2009, Casey started having contractions. Josh was still stateside in California doing pre-deployment training. His CO sent him home on a plane so that he could witness the birth of their daughter, and was allowed ten days to spend with his wife and newborn child. On August 14th, just a few short hours after Josh landed in Maryland, their beautiful daughter Ava was born, with a head full of black hair and the chubbiest little cheeks. Josh spent the next days helping Casey adjust to life as a mother and getting to know his baby daughter. On August 24th, he got back on a plane and flew back to California to finish his pre-deployment training. He would see his wife and baby girl for ten more days in October before the unit would leave the country for Afghanistan.
In October of 2009, when Ava was only about eight weeks old, Josh got on a plane and flew halfway around the world to serve his country during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Casey was left to navigate how to be a mother, all while navigating the fear and anxiety that come with your spouse being overseas in a war-torn country. The journey was a difficult one but they both believe that the adversity that they faced made their relationship that much stronger.
Seven months later, Josh flew home to Maryland and their family of three was finally reunited. It was one of the best days ever!
In 2010, they bought their first home together and really got to begin their life together as a family of three.
Over the last 8 years, they have had two more children, Kai in 2011 and Chad in 2013, in 2015 Josh received his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Hood College, in 2016 they rescued their first fur baby, Scout, bought their forever home in 2017 and totally remodeled it from the outside in, and Josh is currently working on his Doctorate in Organisational Leadership and will be one of the first students to ever complete all three programs at Hood College.
Throughout it all, the love that Casey and Josh share has become even stronger and more fierce for one another. In August, of last year, they celebrated their 10 year anniversary with a small, intimate vow renewal ceremony at nowhere other than the courtyard of Hood’s campus. Hood has become a central part of their love story and celebrating ten years of marriage there just made sense to each of them.
The ceremony site was set up under the pergola, with a floral chandelier and candelabras lit on the ground around them. The sweetheart table was an heirloom from Casey’s grandmother, who had recently passed.
They each hand wrote a letter, which they read privately to one another under the pergola and they brought along a framed hand-written poem that Josh had written for Casey on their wedding day in 2008.
They toasted to ten years together with champagne, sang the lyrics of their first dance song, “I’ll Stand by You,” (by Carrie Underwood), danced together and laughed at one another’s silly moves, lip synced a Taylor Swift song to one another, and renewed their vows to love and cherish one another for many more decades to come!
Photographer: Alisha Faith Photography // Venue: Hood College // Cinema & Video: Ashton Kelley Photography // Hair Stylist: Pins-N-Brushes // Calligrapher: The Soul Typewriter // Floral Designer: Anita’s Flowers & Boutique // Bakery: Cakes To Die For & The Cupcakerie // Invitation Designer: Paper Hearts Invitations // Calligrapher: Love Offering // Equipment Rentals: The Mustard Couch