Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, February 15, 2013

UpDate for the “Love in the Hills” Event on Valentine’s Day!

Filed under: Renewal of Vows — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Love was in the air at Fountain Park Amphitheater in Fountain Hills, AZ as we attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most couples to renew their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day. Hundreds of couples said “I do” all over again. Although we fell short of the 1,088 couples needed to break the Guiness Book of World Records, we did set a record for the state of Arizona and for me.


The official count was 762 (REVISED 2/15/13) couples who gathered from all over the United States and Holland. There were couples from Florida, Alaska, Connecticut, Rhode Island and all over the state of Arizona.

JasonCrystalThe couple who was married the longest – 77 years – was presented with a very special prize.

Before the event began, Jason Keith was invited to come to the stage. He surprised Crystal Vankilsdonk by proposing before the 736 couples who had gathered to renew their wedding vows. She said, “Yes!”

Thank you to all the TV stations in the Greater Phoenix are for their excellent coverage. You can view several video of the event by clicking here. Several of the local radio stations also provided interviews from myself and some of the couples.

Curtis Whipple, DJ/entertainer (Larry’s Note: One of the best!) provided the sound system and an excellent playlist of romantic love songs as the couples gathered. He said, “That may be one of the coolest events I’ve ever done in 33 years as a professional DJ/entertainer – about 750 couples renewing wedding vows for Valentines Day. Always a good time with officiant Larry James on hand from and event creator/host Stephenie Bjorkman from Sami Fine Jewelry.”

Hills2I was honored to perform my romantic “Renewal of Vows” ceremony. What a terrific experience being in the presence of 736 couples plus the hundreds of people who came to watch the festivities. The “Love” energy was truly present. It was great to see many of the couples that I have married over the past 12 years who came to renew their vows. Perhaps we will try again next Valentine’s Day, 2014 to break the Guiness Book of World Records for the most couples to renew their marriage vows. What say you?

A very special “Thank you!” to all of the sponsors of the “Love in the Hills” event and to the several hundred volunteers who made the Love fest possible.

Sami Fine Jewelry ~ Sami Fine Jewelry was named One of America’s Top 5 Cool Jewelry Stores by Instore Magazine. This second generation jewelry store knows how to pamper their clients with unique jewelry designs, customer service to the max, and fun events. Sami Fine Jewelry offers a wide variety of fine jewelry, that will hit the mark for all of your jewelry needs. Discriminating buyers around the world have sought out original Sami designs to ad to their jewelry collection. Known for their customer service, Sami’s “romantic advisers” are always ready to help you find the perfect gift for every occasion. For more information on Sami Fine Jewelry, visit <a href="Sami Fine Jewelry” target=”_blank”> or call 480-837-8168.

Town of Fountain Hills, AZ ~ The Town of Fountain Hills, community service department is responsible for providing safe and accessible recreation services for all age groups. Community services include senior programs, adult and youth sports, pre-school programs, cultural programs, teen services, outdoor programs, special events, special interest classes, adult education classes, and after school programs. The department also oversees a growing trails system. For more information on the Town of Fountain Hills, visit or call 480-816-5100.

Fort McDowell Casino ~ Fort McDowell Casino, Arizona’s original casino and premier destination is only minutes away on Hwy 87, just outside Fountain Hills. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of world-class gaming options, including blackjack, live cash poker, keno and more. For more information on Fort McDowell Casino, visit or call 1-800-TheFort.

Celebrate Intimate Weddings ~ Larry James is founder and President of and He has been a full-time professional speaker and author since 1987. He is an ordained non-denominational award winning Wedding Officiant and author of five relationship books. He has appeared on and was interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC TV’s “The View.” His Wedding and Renewal of Vows ceremonies are known throughout Arizona and are the most romantic ceremonies you will ever find anywhere! For more information on Celebrate Intimate Weddings, visit or call 480-205-3694.


100s of Couples signed the ‘Love in the Hills” banner!

Nonny’s ~ Nonny’s is a Florist, Wedding & Event Planning, & Decor boutique located in Fountain Hills Arizona, offering an alternative and unique vision. Our passion for beauty, combined with the desire to help clients create their vision is what inspired us to create Nonny’s. As a full service florist and wedding planner, Nonny’s prides itself on our originality, creativity, networking and inspirational services. Our team is ready to plan exceptional weddings and events, designed specifically to fulfill your aspirations, desires and needs. Nonny’s specialty shines in providing unique experiences from the largest weddings to the most intimate of events. Whether its for your Wedding day or flower’s for any special occasion in your life, Nonny’s specialty shines in providing unique floral arrangements. Our in-house floral and design studio allows our clients to visualize their entire event with selections of the greatest flowers, linens, and place settings right at their fingertips. We guarantee that our services will make your event truly unforgettable. For more information, visit or call (480) 837-4558

Sara Goodnick Photography ~ Sara Goodnick Photography is an award-winning portrait studio based northeast of Fountain Hills in Goldfield Ranch. Sara, a Certified Professional Photographer, specializes in custom portraits of children, pets, horses, individuals, and families. She also photographs a limited number of weddings. As an active member of the Arizona Professional Photographers Association and the Professional Photographers of America, she finds new ideas and inspiration from participation in image competitions and cutting edge educational opportunities to use for the benefit of her clients. For more information on Sara Goodnick Photography, visit or call 480-595-8188.

John Hersey International ~ A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences. John Hersey International has been coaching people to have fulfilling relationships through better communication and power packed lives where their goals and dreams come true. Practice loving your differences and you will experience an extraordinary life. In just ten minutes, you can complete the Family Relationships Response Form and begin a process of self-understanding that will benefit you and your partner. After completing the instrument, the Internet Delivery Service™ (IDS) will be used to generate a valuable report full of information that may change the rest of your life. Your report merges sophisticated behavior analysis with computer software operations to provide you with unique personal insights. This comprehensive report will help you discover qualities about yourself that could be the key to opening new doors of opportunity. You will be able to better understand your style from the information provided. Then, using the Family Relationships Debriefing Process, you’ll be able to better understand your entire family.

Curtis Whipple: Disk Jockey ~ I started my DJ career 33 years ago, at age 14, at a retail promotion at my dad’s store in Winslow AZ – introducing a live remote appearance of Arizona TV legends “Wallace and Ladmo.” I’ve since performed at 1700 weddings and about 1700 corporate, school or other social occasions. Past President and current member of the American DJ Association. Past President and current member of the Wedding and Event Network. Winner 2010 and 2012 Wedding Chronicle readers poll – Best Wedding DJ in Phoenix. Visit Curtis’ Website @

Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate ~ Let Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate be your guide into real estate and the McDowell Mountain lifestyle of Fountain Hills and the East Shea Corridor. Whether you’re interested in a luxury home, condominium or patio home, a vacation or second home or full-time residence, we provide the research you need to make an informed decision for the future of your family. View our Online Relocation guide at


This man’s t-shirt holds the secret for a happy marriage! 😉

AZ Trails Travel ~ Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, second honeymoon, anniversary trip or renewing your vows, AZ Trails Travel, in Fountain Hills, is the perfect place to starty your planning! Our Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists “invite you to place your dreams in our care”! We’re experts at planning, and take delight in being part of your life’s most anticipated events. Our years of experience and inside connections with the finest hotels, resorts, and cruise lines around the world are your access to unsurpassed quality and value. Trust us to handle the complex logistics that are the architecture of your event, while creating an inspired destination wedding or honeymoon vacation that is uniquely yours. Our travel professionals are certified with Sandals Resorts, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Europe, Australia, Africa and are Master Cruise Councilors. We’ve been awarded an A+ Rating with the AZ Better Business Bureau and are Licensed, Bonded & Insured. Explore our website for inspiration, ideas, tips, then call us at 480-837-8665 or Toll Free 1-888-799-4284 to explore the possibilities!

Spike’s Treats ~ In Spike’s honor our professional staff celebrates his life through assisting other pets and pet owners in achieving optimal pet health. Spike’s Treats takes great care in hand baking all natural treats for pets as well as supplying a wide array of all-natural/holistic pet foods and supplements. Spike’s also has high quality name brands to accessorizing your pet. Please visit us on the web: on how we can support you in providing the healthy life style your pet deserves.

The Discover Arizona Show ~ The Discover Arizona Show airs each Friday, from 10AM-11AM on KXXT, AM1010. Tune in to AM1010 or google KXXT and listen live. Enjoy the antics of Host Chris Scott and his co-host Biker Mike. The Discover Arizona Show features information on events, festivals, outdoor activity, and cities in Arizona. Our website provides information on the best in Arizona and offers contests to win resort stays, tickets to area attractions and much more.

Classic Party Rentals ~ Whether you are hosting an elegant backyard wedding, a private party in a luxury resort or a corporate affair on a perfectly landscaped fairway, Classic Phoenix Event Specialists has your event covered from tent top to table top. Let us design an icy cool, colorfully filled tent with the latest in lounge furniture for the beginning of the evening. As the evening turns your guests can venture outside to dance under the stars surrounded by specialty lighting atop one of our custom clear pool covers. Classic Phoenix is Arizona’s premier source for party and event rentals. Quality… Service… Reliability & Capability. These are the cornerstones that make Classic Phoenix the trusted partner chosen by leading event planners, caterers, event venues and hosts. Call us at 602.232.9900 xtn147 or visit us at

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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  1. Larry, Robin and I truly enjoyed the event and your inspirational words which touched so many hearts yesterday. Wishing you continued success, happiness and God’s blessing on your work always, Wayne Warrington


    Comment by Wayne Warrington — Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

    • Robin & Wayne – So happy you both could be there! Thanks for your kind words. Celebrate Love! ~ Larry


      Comment by Larry James — Saturday, February 16, 2013 @ 12:00 am | Reply

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