It’s been just over a year since we said ‘I do’ at the Parkes Elvis Festival. Our journey started in November 2008 when my Elvis loving partner, Stewart, proposed just before a five-week USA holiday. We were all loved up when we visited the home of The King, Graceland, before stopping over in Las Vegas. Many family and friends assumed we would elope and get married by an Elvis celebrant while we were there. That didn’t happen!


Fast forward 10 years and Stuarts dream of us professing our undying love to each other in front of an Elvis celebrant came true. We celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary by renewing our vows under the love me tender arch at the Parkes Elvis Festival with Dean Vegas as our Elvis celebrant.


It was so special to share the day with our children acting as maid-of-honour and best man. My husband is never one to shy away from fun, so we did it in style. Stewart and our 8-year-old son dressed in matching white jumpsuits. Our 6-year-old daughter and I didn’t want the boys to have all the fun so we got our hair done 1950s style and wore dresses from the era.


If you are at the festival with your partner, I can highly recommend adding the renewal of vows to your ‘must do’ list. Registering was easy. We signed up online on the Tuesday before the ceremony (which is on Sunday morning). The renewal of vows coordinator Lorraine was amazing! She sent detailed instructions and keep us informed of what we needed to do and what to expect.


Brides were given a flower to carry and grooms wore a Hawaiian lei. I walked down the aisle to in front of the main stage in front of a sea of smiling spectators. We were both surprised and delighted to be chosen as the lucky couple to share our vows on stage with Dean Vegas.


We enjoyed a piece of wedding cake after the ceremony and were sent a keepsake certificate and photo of us under the love me tender arch with Dean Vegas and Miss Priscilla.


The day was warm, however we were given plenty of water and an umbrella to keep us cool. The sea of colourful umbrellas from the 29 couples made beautiful accessories for the photos.


I am grateful to the Parkes Camera Club for taking such beautiful photos of us. As a mum, I feel like the unofficial family photographer, never quite making it into the shot. So it was lovely to have photos taken of our whole family together on this special day.


Whether it’s a milestone year for your marriage or not, I highly recommend you add the renewal of vows service to your Parkes Elvis Festival plans.


– Bridget Johns

Photo credit: The Parkes Phoenix & Parkes Camera Club