On May 10, 1997, it was not the usual family get together we usually had, it was a family affair! After 40 years of marriage, Gilbert and Nina Ramirez renewed their wedding vows at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas, California. It was the wedding they never had after eloping to Palm Springs, California the first time they took their vows.
Besides the fact that they always wanted a wedding to be blessed by the church, it was an event that Nina's mother always hoped to see for her daughter.
Although, it took 40 years to have the church wedding they always wanted, it made it possible to have all of their 11 children and 18 of their 32 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren to serve as bridesmaids and ushers. In the end, the total wedding party totaled to 34. They had their original matron of honor and best man, which is Gilbert's great aunt and her husband to make it perfect.
The wedding ceremony was elegant with the colors and candlelight. Knowing how emotional the entire Ramirez family is, tissue boxes were placed ahead of time. The entire wedding party was very emotional. Nina wore an off-white dress with lace and pearl detail. Gilbert wore a black western style tuxedo. The bridesmaids wore a variety of 4 different dresses, which all coordinated very well. The ushers wore black and cream tuxedos.
The reception for 250 guests immediately followed the ceremony. Dancing, drinking and celebrating. Not only was it the celebration of their wedding, it was also their twin sons, Ronald and Donald's birthday and their grandson's, Nick's birthday. Their actual wedding date was on May 5th, which is on Cinco de Mayo! May 10th just seemed like the appropriate date to celebrate the family birthdays too.
Nina admitted that she was a bit over whelmed by the ordeal of planning a wedding, as she has never done one before. All my children just did it themselves, she said. She never realized it was so much work! With the whole family pitching in and helping, it was an event they were able to pull off successfully! Gilbert admitted that it was nerve-racking to have your whole family and friends in front of you and trying to hold back as my wife was crying, was tough. He was just glad it was over, but he was also very glad that they did it. Nina did add how gratifying it was to finally have a church wedding. It was something they always wanted to do. Gilbert also highly recommended that couples renew their vows. He said that it actually does bring a lot back and how it made him feel like he was in love all over again. Even if you really can't afford the wedding, just getting a few friends together for an intimate ceremony would be ideal.
Residents of San Dimas, California for almost 48 years now, would like to offer some advice for couples planning to wed for the first time. They both said, You have to communicate! and You both have to put into the marriage! Nina admits that the only reason she was able to do it and is still here was because her husband always helped! Having her husband the to help made times when she was 25 years old and had 8 children, all under the age of 7 years old manageable! Just try to imagine how wonderful it was to reach 40 years together (now, almost 50!) and is hopeful to have many more to come!