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Inside Viola Davis and Husband Julius Tennon's 'Elegant' Vow Renewal

02/18/2016 AT 09:15 AM EST

When Viola Davis was planning her wedding vow renewal, there was one word she kept in mind: elegance.

"In our initial meeting, she described an all-white event and something simple – but elegant but with emotion," Yingka Chou of Master Plans Events & Designs tells PEOPLE exclusively of helping coordinate the How to Get Away with Murder star's Valentine's Day celebration with husband Julius Tennon.

So when it came to crafting the centerpieces for the reception Sunday, Chou made sure each component was symbolic.

"I opted to make a wreath-like arrangement with three floating candles representing Viola, Julius and [their daughter] Genesis being surrounded by friends and family. And the abundant white hydrangea represents destiny," Chou says.



She continued: "Incorporated with it was white roses representing purity and true love. The hints of ranunculus represents everlasting love and commitment. Each of these elements demonstrate the renewed love and commitment to each other."

Inside Viola Davis and Husband Julius Tennon's 'Elegant' Vow Renewal| Couples, How to Get Away with Murder, Wedding, Viola Davis

Julius Tennon and Viola Davis

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Davis, Davis' mother and flower girl Genesis all wore Carmen Marc Valvo dresses at the ceremony.

At the reception, Davis gave a speech that was later posted on her Facebook page.

"I really feel alive. This really makes a life," said Davis, 50, who first wed Tennon, 62, in 2003. "If I had to look back on my life, this is the moment that would play out and I would think, 'Well done.' "

"This auspicious meeting between us happened almost 17 years ago ... It's been the most beautiful union," added Tennon. "Viola, you've been amazing. She teaches me every day how to man up, how to agree to disagree but let's get it done, don't let the sun go down on your anger."

Inside Viola Davis and Husband Julius Tennon's 'Elegant' Vow Renewal| Couples, How to Get Away with Murder, Wedding, Viola Davis

Carell Augustus


After the speeches, the guests – which included many of her HTGAWM costars – enjoyed music provided by DJ Jalha Montgomery, a Sweet Lady Jane cake and received a thank-you gift bag with beauty products from philosophy and Anastasia Beverly Hills, good hYOUman apparel, and bath and beauty products from Milena's Boutique.

Look for more details and photos from Davis and Tennon's vow renewal in the May issue of Essence.
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