Mr & Mrs Kollecker's Renewal of Vows

Charlene, so where did you and Brady first meet?
We first met in 1999. A friend and I were in London and went for lunch. We saw a large group of men in Military Uniform at the bar and we soon got chatting. Brady told me he was in the US Army, based in Germany. We hit it off immediately and he asked to see me again. I was married, so I declined. However, we did exchange email addresses to remain friends and soon became pen pals. I went through some very difficult times over the next few years but Brady was always there to listen to me. Constantly he'd ask me to give him a chance but for some silly reason I kept him at bay. Sadly we lost contact in 2003. At the age of 26 I found myself alone and divorced. I am a big believer in fate and one day I woke up and realised I was in a rut and needed to make some big changes. I decided that I deserved better. In 2006, through a mutual friend, Brady and I reconnected. It was different this time and I needed no persuasion when Brady asked me to give him a chance. The rest is history!
How did Brady propose?
One day in January 2007 during a brief visit to see Brady, he said he had wanted to marry from the moment we first met.
This poor man - it had taken 7 years to win me over!
What happened next?
We chose our rings and planned the wedding together. Due to immigration and time constraints we had little time to get organised and therefore had a small wedding. Unfortunately there wasn't time for Brady's parents to plan a trip over from USA which upset us.
So what made you decide to renew your vows?
It seemed appropriate to plan it in conjunction with his 40th Birthday as a big surprise. I wanted to thank Brady for the dedication he has shown myself and the children over the past few years. It was so important that Brady's parents were there this time and thankfully, due to his father's retirement there was no issue. At this point, Brady had not seen his parents for over 7 years which would make it even more wonderful.
What made you chose The Mill Forge?
I searched online and from the photographs I instantly fell in love with the grounds and location. I then read previous guests testimonials and my mind was made up. When we arrived we were awestruck at the amazing surroundings.
So, tell us about your special day.
We had 24 guests in total. Of course, our special guests were Brady's parents. My oldest son was the Ring Bearer and my other children were bridesmaids and pageboy. The two boys walked me down the aisle whilst my girls walked Brady down.
Any surprises?
There were many. Firstly surprising Brady with the arrival of his parents. Secondly, telling him that we were going away for his Birthday and then to finally surprise him with the news that we would be renewing our wedding vows the following day. I organised a Birthday cake with a difference - On it I asked him if he would marry me again. I'll never forget the tears in his eyes. I'd managed to organise this occasion over 18 months and all the secrecy and suspense was worth it in that moment. Lastly the best surprise of all was the fact that Brady's father would be conducting the ceremony. My father is an ordained Minister with his local church in Boise, Idaho USA. The most memorable moment on my day was seeing the smile on my husband's face. He was surrounded by some truly special people and his smiles made all the stress of secretly planning this day disappear.
How would you sum up your day?
From start to finish, we felt amazing. It was one of those days you never want to end. We will never forget it and always holds the memory close to our hearts. A true fairytale.......