As much as our relationships begin in a flurry of love, excitement and butterfly tummies, once we hit the long-term, partnerships can face some pretty major ups and downs. As families evolve and demands change, often our amour becomes lost in a sea of obligations. Financial troubles, career changes, and throw a couple of kids into the mix and you can soon be in for some cray-cray rollercoaster times.
But, in an effort to reconnect, there is a growing #trend for couples to escape and promise (or re-promise) themselves to each other, in a way that is unique or pertinent to them. Maybe you’ve been married for a while, maybe you aren’t married but have kids, maybe you just feel the need to hold hands and rekindle a spark that once was.
Far away from the expectations of in-laws, ceremonies and seating plans, a vow renewal is all about you and your partner, pressing pause on the mayhem of life for a second to re-commit. With no ‘official’ paperwork or requirements to the ceremony, it can be whatever you want and is purely about the gesture. And with the bambinos involved, it can often be more special than the original day.
So, if you are thinking of eloping with the fam-bam to put a little romance back in your relationship bucket, here are a few top destinations to do the deed:
Castaway Island, Fiji
Just a short boat ride from the main island of Viti Levu, Castaway Island is a truly magical island paradise. Perfect for families who want to escape the real world, Castaway is the perfect blend of family destination and romantic retreat. As well as the many water activities and serene vibe, the speciality of Castaway is their top-notch nanny service and kids’ club, providing Mum and Dad with the peace of mind that the bambinos are well cared for whilst they take time to reconnect. Amen to that! Plus, no Wi-Fi means you have no choice but to choose a hammock and kick back together.
The vow renewal at Castaways is held on the beach at sunset, and is a simple yet divine Fijian ceremony. Staff will organise everything, you just need to let them know you are coming and bring your sandy toes and your smiles. For an extra-special evening, follow it up with a dinner at the award-winning 1808 restaurant, where you dine under the stars barefoot in the sand.
As well as the spa services and idyllic adult-only pool, there are stacks of family activities. Snorkel the reef straight of the beach, take a short boat trip to the location of Cast Away (Tom Hanks), or chill under a palm tree and enjoy a well-deserved mojito whilst the kids play. #love.
Possibly the most romantic part of Italy, Tuscany is filled with vineyards, rolling hills, breathtaking walled towns and bucket-loads of history. Wander through the winding streets, sample the amazing wines and cheeses, take in the history and wonderful Tuscan culture. The great thing about Tuscany is it is also an easy place to take the fam-bam. Towns are relatively close together (no need for lengthy car trips), the food is great (EVERYONE likes pizza), the locals are friendly, and if all else fails… there is always gelato.
Hang in the village square where kids play in the fountains and families enjoy an al fresco dinner. For family-friendly accommodation and activities, try Montepulciano, where the tight-knit streets wind to the central piazza, or San Gimingano with its impressive castle and towers.
And to renew your vows? Well, there are countless venues across Tuscany to do the deed. With no legal requirements, they can be held in any courtyard, villa, castle or terrace. For something formal, there are several vow renewal planners, or simply mention it to your hotel and they can connect you with a local celebrant.
Blue Mountains, Sydney
Picture credit: freeaussiestock.com
A little closer to home, the Blue Mountains are a popular escape for anyone looking for a little romance, and there’s a multitude of places to suit any budget – from 5-star hotels, to eco lodges.
For some serious tranquillity and a complete family retreat, head to little-known Poet’s Cottage at Wentworth Falls, which offers the perfect blend of family getaway and luxury. This self-contained cottage has plenty of pampering comforts as well as large established garden for the kids to play. To renew your vows, all you need is a celebrant and a local venue, or simply do it at the cottage.
For something with all the services of a hotel (yay, no cooking!), try the Parklands Garden Lodge that has interconnecting rooms and has a planning service that can organise the ceremony and perform vow renewals on site.