Shelby's Social Diary

A dream day: Houston power couple renews their vows (again) on a mega yacht along the French Riviera

Houston power couple renews their vows on a mega yacht on the Riviera

55 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Keith Moore, John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams
Capt. Keith Moore, left, leads John Eddie and Sheridan Williams in renewing their wedding vows. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
57 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, Shelby Hodge, Janet Gurwitch, NAME
Mike Mayell, right, reads the Irish wedding blessing to the wedding party. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
70 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 bouquet flowers
Bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids were peonies, the bride's favorite flower. Photo by Shelby Hodge
63 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Bill Caudell ,Mike Mayell, John Eddie Williams, Shafik Rifaat, Ron Franklin and Randy Powers
The wedding party: Bill Caudell, from left, Mike Mayell, John Eddie Williams, Shafik Rifaat, Ron Franklin and Randy Powers. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News Shelby Cristal champagne France, June 2013
Cristal for all their friends! Photo by Shelby Hodge
59 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Shelby Hodge, Sheridan Williams, Janet Gurwitch and Karen Mayell
Shelby Hodge, from left, Sheridan Williams, Janet Gurwitch and Karen Mayell in their wedding glory. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
72 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, wedding cake
Chefs Laura Hall, left, and Aron Tuckett present John Eddie and Sheridan with their anniversary cake. Photo by Shelby Hodge
74 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, wedding cake
The anniversary cake was the delicious finale of the celebration. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Lady Sheridan, yacht
The 190-foot Lady Sheridan cuts a striking figure in the Mediterranean waters. Northrop & Johnson
News Shelby Wedding Table France June 2013
The table was set for the wedding dinner. Photo by Shelby Hodge
56 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, Shelby Hodge, Janet Gurwitch, Keith Moore
John Eddie and Sheridan Williams, from left, Shelby Hodge, Janet Gurwitch and Capt. Keith Moore. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
55 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Keith Moore, John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams
57 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, Shelby Hodge, Janet Gurwitch, NAME
70 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 bouquet flowers
63 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Bill Caudell ,Mike Mayell, John Eddie Williams, Shafik Rifaat, Ron Franklin and Randy Powers
News Shelby Cristal champagne France, June 2013
59 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 Shelby Hodge, Sheridan Williams, Janet Gurwitch and Karen Mayell
72 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, wedding cake
74 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, wedding cake
Lady Sheridan, yacht
News Shelby Wedding Table France June 2013
56 Shelby Renewing Vows in France June 2013 John Eddie Williams, Sheridan Williams, Shelby Hodge, Janet Gurwitch, Keith Moore

When Sheridan and John Eddie Williams last celebrated a renewal of their wedding vows, it was 10 years ago in a chapel in Las Vegas and "Elvis" conducted the ceremony. For their 15th wedding anniversary on May 30, the Houston couple stood before Capt. Keith Moore aboard the Lady Sheridan to commemorate the milestone —their yacht afloat in the waters along the French Riviera.

How sweet it is. 

The duo had not planned anything special for their anniversary — surely floating in the lap of luxury in the Med was special enough. But not so for the three female guests (including this writer). They declared themselves "bridesmaids," took control and organized a surprise ceremony. They even made a trip to Cannes in search of matching "bridesmaids" dresses. They found the perfect orange confections with matching scarves at BCBGMaxAzria. While they were shopping, the Lady Sheridan crew went to work as well, providing all the right touches for the romantic celebration.

And so it began. Rather than the evening cocktail hour on the main deck's open-air sitting area, the couple and their yachting guests were invited — via handwritten invitation — to the salon on the upper deck for the champagne-infused party that included chilled bottles of Cristal, bouquets of peonies (the bride's favorite flower) and decorative clusters of white balloons. 

The finale was a special chocolate and hazelnut wedding cake made for the occasion by the Lady Sheridan chef.  

As the couple entered the salon, the yacht's engineer made certain that Pachelbel's Canon in D, a wedding favorite, played on the sound system. Capt. Keith, a striking figure dressed in his formal attire, invited Sheridan and John Eddie to stand before him as the bridesmaids and yachting guests looked on. He had researched the Internet for just the right verbiage for the vow renewal that included plenty of "I do's" and at the end presented the couple with an official "renewal of vows" certificate.

In addition to Moore's sentimental ceremony, yachting guest Mike Mayell, who with his wife Karen celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary earlier this year, read an Irish wedding blessing, a Mayell family tradition. Joining in the well wishes in addition to the Mayells were Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Randy Powers and Bill Caudell and Shafik Rifaat.

Once it was done, the groom kissed the bride, the champagne corks popped and guests applauded and cheered. Then it was on to an al fresco dinner where the finale was a special chocolate and hazelnut wedding cake made for the occasion by Lady Sheridan chef Aron Tuckett of Australia and sous chef Laura Hall of Florida.