by Melissa LaScaleia
Brookgreen Garden’s annual event celebrating love, Romance in the Gardens, returns during the season of love, and will be held this year on Friday, February 14. The event is organized and directed by Charlene Sitas, Brookgreen’s director of food service and private events, and Jay Rowe, the vice president of Brookgreen’s public operations.
Seventeen years ago, Charlene and Jay worked together on a wedding at a venue, and then synchronistically found themselves at Brookgreen, where they continue to use their talents to help make magical memories for couples.
Romance in the Gardens is an opportunity for couples to celebrate their marriage and renew their wedding vows— remembering the day that they got married or committed to one another on an iconic day for romance, Valentine’s Day. Vow renewal ceremonies have gained in popularity in recent years, and the reasons why couples choose to participate in one are as unique and multifaceted as the couples themselves.
For some, it’s a way to commemorate a love that has deepened or matured over time. It can be a celebration of a milestone anniversary, like 10, 20 or 25 years, or a celebration of a shorter length of time, 1 or 2 years. For some, it’s a reaffirmation that they still want to be together, a solidifying of their commitment after a rough patch. And for others, it’s a way to strengthen their bond.
Today the pace of life is faster than it ever has been, and a vow renewal ceremony can act as an anchor for couples pulled in many different directions by work and life demands. Whatever a couple’s motivation, they can honor it here.