There was nothing we didn’t love about Mills and Johanne Thenor’s vow renewal ceremony. The style, cake, and family photos were impeccable. But most impressive was their determination to reaffirm their love during such a dark time in the world.
The couple first met back in 2007 through a mutual friend. “We had our first date at Cuban Pete’s in Montclair, NJ, and the rest was history,” says Johanne. The couple originally married on July 30th, 2010 at Palace in Somerset, NJ. Ten years and three children later, the couple planned for an awesome 2020 vow renewal ceremony. The unforeseen effects of the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench in their plans.
“We decided to do our vow renewal in the comfort of our home and make it very personal and intimate with our kids,” the couple tells ESSENCE. The bride, who owns her owns her own events company called JP Events & Design, did a bang-up job picking out the dreamy floral, table, and décor for their special day. Though some of their closest family and friends could not attend because of travel and health reasons, the day was still magical and love reigned supreme as the Thenors said “I do” again.
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"Mills and I met in 2007 through a friend who thought we would be good together," says Johanne. "At the time, we were both single and wanted to be in a more stable friendship that could turn into a possible relationship. My friend gave Mills my number, and we connected soon after over the phone. I thought he had a sweet soothing voice. We talked for hours and had so many things in common. The more we spoke with each other, we discovered that we both wanted the same in life."
Though Johanna's daughter had a mini mishap with her dress earlier in the day, the designer sent two backups to choose from. Don't these two look gorgeous?
High Fashioned Bride
Johanne found the perfect dress for her vow renewal: a Badgley Mischka asymmetric bow gown. "I knew it was my dress when I first saw it at Bergdorf Goodman," says the bride. "My size was no longer available, but I decided to purchase the same dress in a bigger size at Neiman Marcus in Short Hills, NJ and had it altered. Because I worked in the fashion luxury industry for 19 years, I knew exactly the style of dress I wanted and what compliment my body shape."
The Blushing Bride
The bride's bouquet was full of luscious white and blush roses.
Dressed To Impress
Mills wore a navy blue Prada suit while the couple's two boys wore sharp suits by Isaac Mizrahi suit. Layla's adorable dress was a custom creation from Monbebe Couture.
Closer Than Close
The couple's wedding was hyper-intimate, with only 10 people in attendance.
Nothing Can Come Between Us
The beauty of their love shines through!
The Thenors included sacred communion in their vow renewal ceremony.
The Way You Love Me
"I love the way Mills loves me," says Johanna. "I love the way he looks at me, the way he cares for his family, and how he always put me first. I'm his baby."
Re-Committed And It Feels So Good
Black love is magical!
Love Of My Life
"It felt amazing marrying my baby, the love of my life, my headache also my Tylenol," says Mills. "I had butterflies all over again. I love this woman with all of me."
Loyal To The Soil
"I love Johanne's smile, her love for family and her loyalty," says Mills. "She’s very giving and has a beautiful heart."
A Walk To Remember
Johanne walked down the aisle with her sons to John Legend's “Nobody in the World.”
Bless This Union
The couple's officiant was the amazing Reverend Roxanne Birchfield.
Always And Forever
This is a love built to last.
The couple's three children, Liam, Logan and Layla, gave us instant heart eyes! 😍
Be Our Guest
The bride created a luxurious table setup illuminated with crystal candelabras, gold flatwares, and custom personalized modern menus.
"The decor was very luxurious and romantic," says Johanne. "The flowers were all white with beautiful greenery and lots of candles for a more romantic feel. The ceremony space beautifully designed with a white backdrop and gorgeous lush florals, and the ceremony aisle was covered with lush florals and gold lanterns."
A Slice Of Heaven
The couple's cake was simple and elegant with beautiful gold accents.
Johanne's Advice To Brides
"It’s important to step back and enjoy the moment. It goes by fast. Focus on what matters and don't sweat the small stuff."
Love On Top
"It felt amazing to be a bride again marrying the love of my life," says Johanna. "It was exactly how we pictured it would be. PERFECT. Having our kids play a part in it was magical."