Ayna and Saifu are truly two of the most amazing people I've had the opportunity to meet. I had the pleasure of becoming friends with Ayna a little over a year ago at a photography workshop and I'm SO glad that I did! I had heard her speak lovingly of Saifu but had never met him until their vow renewal which took place in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky on Ayna's family farm.
Ayna and Saifu had a very small, yet lovely traditional wedding in Saifu's family home four years ago (to the date of their vow renewal!). They had plans to have a big celebration of their marriage with photos and food and dancing with all their family and friends present at Ayna's favorite place, the family farm. Time and life got in the way and it was never planned. The farm went up for sale last year. While there was still time, Ayna knew she had to celebrate her wonderful marriage, her friends, community, and family all together in the most special place she could think of.
When I left that evening my heart was so full from Ayna and Saifu's love, meeting new friends myself, and being surrounded by their wonderful supportive community. This is what Ayna said about their time together that night:
"As for having a vow renewal, there is really no reason why people can't have one every dang year. They are fun as heck. I love him SO MUCH. We have a great relationship that we are both proud of. Growing with him is one of the greatest joys of my life, and we both love being married. We are best friends. Why on earth wouldn't I want to tell everyone how awesome he is all the time? I basically want to shout it from the rooftops constantly, but no one will let me get on their roof anymore."
"More than just expressing our love for each other though, we both wanted the renewal to be equally about celebrating the amazing people we have in our lives. We love our community and our families so much. We wanted a reason to get everyone together — all the different people we adore — and make something nice for them, you know? We wanted to put our love in the celebration. That's one of the reasons we made all the food! What better way to tell people you adore them and they are important to you, than to make them a meal?"
"In the end, the vow renewal was as much a celebration of place, and people, as it was a celebration of us. The places we live and love in, the people who hold us together and help us grow — they are just as important as our personal love for each other. Ultimately, August 10th was the perfect celebration of love, and community, and place — a renewal of our commitment to all those wonderful parts of our lives, and a look forward into a dang good future."