Winter Park bid farewell to the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center and gave local couples a chance to renew their wedding vows at the We Still Do event Saturday, July 14 at the center. About a dozen couples came to the gathering that celebrated love and the legacy of the center that has hosted events for the last 32 years.
The celebration also included a DJ, a photo slideshow highlighting the many memories at the civic center, a wedding cake, and plenty of food for everyone to enjoy. Winter Park’s storied civic center will be torn down soon to make way for a new state-of-the-art library and event center.
Terry and Robin Olson
It was a trip down memory lane for Terry and Robin, who had just celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary a couple weeks earlier before the event. Terry arrived at the ceremony in style, wearing the exact same 24-year-old sneakers and cummerbund he wore on his wedding day, along with a bow tie one of his groomsman wore. Robin also wore the same earnings from their big day, and wrapped her bouquet with a bow from the original ceremony.
“They’re not as supple as they used to be after sitting in a garage for a couple decades,” said Terry, looking down at his weathered Vans.
The ceremony was a special moment for her and her husband, Robin said.
“A lot of people that we know that got married are not still married — it’s pretty cool that I still like him,” said Robin, nudging Terry. “I still want to do life with him. Not everybody can say that.”
Brian and Celena Ziems
The Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center soon will be replaced with a new facility, but that isn’t going to stop Brian and Celena from keeping a special tradition going strong. During every anniversary since their wedding day at the center Jan. 10, 2016, the couple has sat outside the building and written each other a letter, which they then seal and hold on to for an entire year. Brian and Celena read the letters a year later at the next anniversary and then write new ones.
They will do the same thing at the new building, Brian said.
Celena added the vow renewal came at great time, with the couple recently entering a new chapter with a newborn.
“Right now with a newborn, it’s a very challenging time, so renewing the vows is perfect timing during a new stage in the family,” Celena said. “It helps us remember in the tough times that we have each other.”
Michael and Jeanette Collins
Michael and Jeanette’s vow renewal at the We Still Do event was meant to be. The Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center’s last hurrah was the day before their two-year wedding anniversary. The two lovebirds tied the knot at — you guessed it — the civic center.
“It was pretty special — it was a little more emotional than I thought it would be,” Michael said. “I was a little overwhelmed — just a lot of memories of our wedding day. We’re just really thankful that the city put this on.”