The 9 ways I'm making our vow renewal better than our not-so-great wedding #Advice#disappointment#perspective#vow renewal Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted May 12 2014) Guest post by Danielle Photo by One Love Photography I first found Offbeat Bride during a search for non-floral bouquets. After overcoming some trepidation because I didn't understand "porn" and "STDs" in the Offbeat Empire context, I joined a wonderful, supportive community of people who were united in their desire to be authentic. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to properly handle the treasure trove. Offbeat Bride and The Offbeat Bride Tribe became my Cave of Wonders. There were so many amazing things I'd never seen or imagined! Seriously, SO many! But Offbeat Bride and the Tribe are so much more, and that's where I missed the boat. Or, I found the boat, and got in, but forgot to use the sail, or something. Our wedding planning began well; it did not continue that way. Our 2009 wedding was endured rather than enjoyed by our guests and ourselves. Blame is useless. I cannot undo what has been done. Related Post Our wedding day was not awesome and it's okay Right after the ceremony, the only thought in my head was "this wedding would never be good enough to be on Offbeat Bride." But I knew there was a way to create new, happy, memories… my husband and I could have a vow renewal! This time I want to enjoy the planning. I want to look forward to the day. I want to have fun. I want our family and friends to enjoy the event. I want to celebrate our relationship. In the five years since our wedding, I've reflected on how I can make the vow renewal planning a much better experience than wedding planning was. Here are my top nine realizations… 1. Stop telling everyone everything Resist the urge to talk about your wedding with everyone. Some people are not going to love your decisions. Sometimes those same people will tell you exactly why what you're doing is [insert negative word here]. 2. Read Offbeat Bride articles, not just porn posts Definitely read all the philosophizing, advice, and WTF category posts. I totally read articles in these categories while I planned. However, in the midst of the difficulties in planning the wedding, and the "OOOH shiny" aspects of planning the wedding, I will admit I got a little lost in looking at too much porn. 3. Remember that you are (or can be) part of the Offbeat Bride Tribe The Offbeat Bride Tribe's forums and journals are a great resource for communicating with awesome people. It's a safe space and that is invaluable. It's worth taking the time to sign up, and really explore the community's tools. 4. Accept that you will probably spend money on the wedding Spending money is difficult for me. Sticker shock hit me hard. I went down the rabbit hole and thought, "This money could be used for [insert practical thing], NOT just one day of my life." Although this is true, it was not helpful. A budget and saving money are helpful. 5. Care about the wedding After a really difficult point, my husband and I told ourselves and everyone else we "didn't care" about the wedding, we only cared about our marriage. Everyone should care about their relationship more than their wedding, but our apathy was contagious — leaving others to not care about the wedding either. And because, duh, we did care about the wedding, that hurt us. 6. Do not decide in spite Some of our wedding decisions were based in frustration, hurt, and anger. Doing this may feel good in the moment, but it will not in the forever. It was acceptable to be frustrated, hurt, and angry. It was not acceptable when we became petty and immature. 7. Remember that things are just things I love symbolism. I love meaning. I love the why. But not everything needs to mean something. You can incorporate something into your day because it is pretty/makes you smile/is funny. Just because it CAN all mean something, does not mean it HAS to. 8. Share the day, don't give it away People told me and my husband that "a wedding is for the guests." I do not agree. A wedding is your day that can be shared with others. You should make as many or as few decisions about the event as you want. 9. Be authentic Related Post Why I worry when people say they want a "unique" wedding (let's talk about authenticity vs. attention) "We're thinking of having all our parents walk us down the aisle together," you say to a friend, and then watch for a smile or... Read more It is great to go against the grain, but be true to yourself while you do so. We are not one thing, one category, or one piece. We are many. Embracing one trait does not negate the others. One can be offbeat and traditional, masculine and feminine, Trekkie and Jedi. Offbeat Bride and long white gowns are both part of the wedding industry. Five years later, accepting my desire for another ceremony has been hard. I've wrestled with this want for years. At times it still feels frivolous, selfish, and indulgent. We are married, a new ceremony won't change that. So I reject the name "vow renewal" for the ceremony. I do not want to renew our vows. I've decided instead to call our celebration a "vow rejoicing." The phrase best expresses what I hope our new day will be. People will probably judge. Some may treat our invitation like a chore. The day won't be perfect, as I learned before. But so long as there is happiness, laughter, and love (and I follow my own advice this time), it will be more than enough. Any other vow renewals in the house? What are you doing differently this time? Guest post written by Danielle I am 28-year-old library studies graduate, and a disabled Korean adoptee, whose inner child has begun escaping more and more as I've grown older. http://tribe.offbeatbride.com/members/danielle PREVIOUS Monica & Clint's literary garden wedding NEXT Kaitlyn & Joe's cupcakes and courthouse jail tour wedding Show/Hide comments [ 39 ] I love this idea. My fiance and I battled with the idea of a destination wedding (something we both dreamed of) vs. staying local. In the a local wedding was the best way our close family and friends could be apart of our day. Even though I am happy with the wedding we are planning I love the idea of someday doing a destination "vow rejoicing." Thanks for your insight Danielle! Reply You are welcome! I hope that whatever you decide to do in the future is everything you want it to be. Reply THANK YOU for posting this. 4 months later, I am still struggling really hard with the difficulties that surrounded my wedding day, and the fall-out afterwards. My husband and I both have regrets, and both still occasionally reflect that we should have eloped, something we didn't do for the sake of people who, in the end, didn't treat us very well during or after the wedding. It's been really hard. So I really thank you for putting your wedding regrets out there, and tips for having a "rejoicing" – the husband and I are thinking of having a small elopement renewal at our 5 year anniversary, so I appreciate your perspective so much! Reply It was and still is very hard for me to reconcile my feelings about our wedding. When I figured out that what I really, really wanted was a day of joy and love, it was much easier for me to be at peace with the decision to someday have a vow renewal. I tend to be private, but I am glad to share a bit of my story if it helps someone else. Reply Hi Christi, Thank you also for sharing. Im 3 months out and still feeling the hurt and regret. I guess this is a rhetorical question but can you believe we feel this? I never in my life thought that others would have the power or right to take my joy. I cant get past it. So as Danielle put it we are talking about doing another ceremony. Yet it does at times feel indulgent. Will others also be so judgmental as to consider it just a gift grab? But there I go letting others affect me again. I think the decision if whether or not to invite anyone will be the hardest part. Reply I hate it when people say that weddings are for the guests. Nor wedding was for us, 100%, and keeping that thought in our heads during planning kept all the negative talk and the nay sayers from overwhelming us. It was our day that we were choosing to share with other people, and I think the fact that we remembered this, and reaffirmed it often, is one of the reasons this went so well. Thanks for sharing this list! Reply Balance is key in everything! Congratulations on keeping that very important fact in mind. And you're welcome! Reply Amazing advice, thank you so much. Reply You are so welcome! Reply As someone who's mother in law had a huge two hour crying fight with her son this morning when he told her we wanted to have 40 people there and not 250, and has been dealing with a series of issues the last few weeks that culminated in her breakdown, I needed so much to hear all of this. Reply I'm glad the post helped you. I'm sorry you're dealing with difficulties, but I hope they get better. One thing I've also tried to remember is that I can only control myself, my actions, my words, my reactions. I cannot control other people. I also try to remember the needs and wants of others, but also do not let them consume or overwhelm me. Reply My wedding 5 years ago did not go well for us. I forgot my vows, the ribbon for lacing up my wedding dress had to use wrapping ribbon because it was all I had there for decorations, and I also forgot my second dress because I knew it would be hot the day of the park wedding. Our wedding cake had the wrong color flowers on it and only three showed up out of 30 invitations. So we ended up being hot, too much food left over, and miserable. We knew we should have planned to just have a ceremony at the park and go to a restaurant afterwards but wanted to have a party. Since then I have lost the photos of the wedding and our sand unity had broke. So we are planning on a fifth anniversary renewal of vows and treat it like a wedding we wanted. A nice ceremony and go through town to have pictures taken, have dinner at a nice restaurant afterwards. I hope this will help bring new nice memories for the wedding vows. So this is a great thing to talk about renewing vows or rejoicing wedding vows when others look at you like you are nuts to plan another wedding when they do not understand what happened to the first wedding. Reply I'm sorry so much went awry at your first wedding. All the best to your future and renewal! Reply We are having a vow renewal handfasting ceremony for our tenth anniversary. Our initial handfasting ceremony turned into a disaster. I wasn't getting along with my in-laws at that point and unfortunately some of the decisions made about the wedding at that time were made in anger, hurt and frustration and did nothing but stroke egos (mostly mine)–So, I have to agree with No. 6 in the list because I know how bad doing that can be. But, I was a young and hard-headed 23 year old at that point. Now, that I have a much better relationship with my in-laws I'd like to have a happy memory for us concerning our handfasting. The wedding party fell a part about 2 weeks before the ceremony because one of my bridesmaids who was engaged to one of the groomsmen had a huge and nasty breakup. The guy flat out refused to participate if "she was going to be there" and the other groomsmen who was a friend of this guy (and married to my matron-of-honor) decided he needed to stand by his friend at the time and stayed with him the day of the handfasting because he felt like people were picking on him and felt bad that he was going to be alone that day. So yeah…total disaster…. So we're having a casual handfasting at a park with a potluck picnic reception. It's going to be August and terribly hot so I'm not wearing a big dress. I'm torn between a sun dress and wearing dressy shorts, a cute top and my sandals. Our daughter is going to be a jr bridesmaid in her favorite "punk rock dress" and my niece and nephew will be a flower girl and ring bearer respectively (which I've done to make sure the kids feel included in the whole thing) I trust this will be much better than the first go-around and will keep all these things on this list in mind this time..now that I know better. 🙂 Reply I personally feel cooler in a dress..easier to 'air out' Reply Thank you for your comment! With regard to your relationship with your in-laws, I also agree that my bonds with mine and my husbands families are stronger now and that is also a big part of whey I want to have a vow renewal. I was also 23, and totally agree that the woman I am now is quite different from the woman I was. I'm sorry that those things happened at your wedding, but your second ceremony sounds great. I hope you enjoy it! Reply Our wedding was beautiful and still fraught with heartache and hurt. We were and are still working through issues with his parents and sister, issues that were brought to a head by the wedding. We did the best we could given the circumstances and we put a tonne of effort into making our day full of love and commitment and joy. It mostly worked. And part of the reason why is because every time my Skipper saw it was getting to me, he'd whisper in my ear, "This is only our first wedding. I am going to marry you a million times more, after today." It strengthened me to remember that it was only one day, and to make the most of it but if it wasn't everything I had dreamed of it being, thats ok, because there are so many more days ahead of him and I for us to fill with even more love and commitment and joy. And we are totally going to have vow renewals as often as we feel like it! Reply Sometimes your best effort does not make everything perfect, but that doesn't void what you are experiencing. My wedding was not perfect, but it was not without its joys. Congratulations on finding the positive in the midst of what was a difficult process. Reply Awesome article! Thank you for bringing this subject to light! Planning my september blended family wedding, I like to call the Ultimate do over, I started this journey first we were eloping then well with the kids (2 mine/2 his) research i did says should be included to solidify the family, OK so now ceremony/wedding! Casual at renassiance festival was to be 20 invited thought at first total easy, simple, unique! What I thought was perfect, nothing like the 250+ church, reception text book (aka boring) I planned for first wedding at age 23. Well…..simple small ren fest wedding nothing has been simple!!!! What started as 20 invited turned to 65. Because thing about unique EVERYONE wants to be apart of something different! I have people I only casually know hinting about being invited (started sticking to my guns lol) well now budget is about blown, and requirement for wedding party needs to in costume! Ever try to walk into a store to buy Renaissance attire? Yep nope, all online! My Dress came in huge, has to be altered for $200 more. Many other little mini headaches! And life happens as life does raising 4 kids and keeps chipping away our savings for wedding! I know the day will be beautiful and joyful, kids are excited "we" as in whole family is getting married , so that part of me can't wait,excited, happy then there is a part of me that can't wait for it to be over, and go on with life cause I can really use some no stress time! I feel bad to feel that way, and actually first time I admitted that! We are in the home stretch now no turning back, going to hang on to rollercoaster and afterwards I get to sigh relief its over in the arms of the man I am crazy in love with! Reply Good for you for holding up your boundaries while exercising some flexibility. Your wedding sounds great. You sound like a great Mom! Reply My hubby and I are creeping up on 20 years (2016). We had the best wedding we could have at the time, but it was full of obligatory choices (church wedding, lots of distant relatives we barely knew and compromises to avoid family drama) and lots of settling for what we could afford. 20 years later, we're VERY different people and we're looking forward to celebrating our 20th with a vow ceremony that's all about the people we are now and the amazing community of folks who are part of our life. And this time I'm having FUN planning it and not worrying about appearances or unrealistic obligations. Reply "…we're looking forward to celebrating our 20th with a vow ceremony that's all about the people we are now and the amazing community of folks who are part of our life. " This very much encapsulates one of the personal reasons we are having a vow renewal. The people and couple we were five years ago is very different from the people and couple we are today. Congratulations on your marriage, relationship, and life! Enjoy everything! Reply #6 & #7 really resonated with me. #6 – There were plenty of times during wedding planning when I got really angry and fantasized about acting out of spite. At one point, I was so furious I was ready to fire our officiant and get a new one three weeks till the wedding. Husband talked me out it and I'm forever grateful because our officiant was terrific. I think "Don't wedding plan angry" is really good advice. #7 – And it's okay to have things just because they work for you. Our venue was not somewhere that was steeped with meaning. The first time I visited, I didn't even like the aesthetics of the space. It was simply the only place that could accommodate everything we wanted for a reasonable price (and fortunately, I came to like the aesthetics better too). The flowers were whatever the florist picked. My hairclip was purchased the morning of the wedding. I had zero previous relationship with the charity we chose to donate to for the charity favors – it was simply the only charity Mom and I could agree on and no one else cared. Totally ok for things to be just things you like, things that work, or just things. Reply Thank you for saying that #6 resonated with you. I was feeling very self-conscious about admitting that particular list item. For me, planning a wedding is similar to buying a house. You have ideas about what you want, and through the process you learn that maybe there isn't a perfect place, in your budget, in the right location, but you look at the options and see which one works best. Reply Thank you so much for this. I have just been wrecking-balled by demands on our wedding in the last two weeks (and during one of my most busy years of work ever) and your advise has made me see sense rather than red! Number 6 particularly. I have had to swallow my responses to rudeness so much lately that I was on the verge of being particularly spiteful and having read your advice definitely will not do this! I don't want us to remember our day because of silly point scoring. My recommend to anyone dealing with bad juju via emails is to set up another account just for you, then email your angry/hurt/mean reply to yourself not the other person. You feel a LOT better having written it down, but it all gets sent to a dark place never to be opened rather than causing even more hurt. Leaving you free to reply calmly and with tolerance to the real email sender. Reply Thank you so much for your comment. I was/am ashamed of my #6 related behavior. I almost didn't put it on this list. It was bad enough that my family knew how I'd behaved, but putting it out there for the internet to see was hard. All the best! Reply Thank you for including 6. I behaved like a little brat at one point. I blame it on stress, lack of sleep, and getting the biggest financial screwup thrown at us two weeks before travelling to wedding location. I do not handle pressure well sometimes, was crying like a baby daily, and we would have cancelled if a few people hadnt bought plane tickets. Yes all that. But does not change tge fact that I didnt handle it well and was just a bit too bratty. Reply This is beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing! Reply Thank you for the compliment! Reply Yay vow rejoicing/renewals! My husband and I were married in a small courthouse ceremony when I was 9 months pregnant (I delivered a week later, to the day!) and, while I thought this was all that I wanted at the time, I realized later that I was just so overwhelmed with becoming a Mama that I had put my wedding dreams on the back burner, but they were still very much there! Once our son was born and I had a chance to settle into being a new Mama, my desire to have a wedding in the woods came back full force. So, a year and a half after our wedding, we renewed our vows in the center of a labyrinth in the middle of the woods, with our friends and family all around us. Was it perfect? Of course not! But I'm so glad I didn't give up on what I wanted and that we got the opportunity to celebrate with the people we love. I have a memory from that morning that will always be with me. I had been at our location all morning hanging bunting and setting tables. It was late morning and still cool and dewy out. I found a little bench set back in the woods near the labyrinth and sat for a moment by myself just listening to the birds and thinking about my husband, our son and my step-son, and I just felt grateful. So grateful. The ceremony hadn't even started yet, no one was on site but me and a few family members helping to set up, but it's one of my favorite memories from that day. I'm happy we did our vow renewal for a lot of reasons, but especially for that one moment in the damp morning woods, sitting on a bench feeling like the luckiest damn girl in the world. Reply That's a beautiful story! Thank you for the comment! It's wonderful to hear that others also had vow renewals, not just because they reached a certain milestone in their married life, but because things were not quite what they had hoped they'd be the first time around. Congratulations on your lovely family! Reply I've been reading Offbeat Bride for months now ever since my husband and I started planning our vow renewal, but I never felt compelled to write until now. This story reminds me a lot of what we went through 8 years ago, when we eloped in Canada 8. We had no choice — same-sex marriage simply wasn't legal in most of the U.S. yet, and we wanted legal protection and the right to challenge the laws if something happened to either one of us. Now — here we are, with marriage legal in our home state (NJ), and we're rushing to put together a vow renewal because of family pressure to "do something" so they can all party and celebrate. I know they don't mean it this way, but it felt for a while like we were being forced to do this. But then we thought about it more and realized, we wanted to re-affirm our love in a public setting. We wanted our friends and family (and especially friends) to be there. And we wanted to do it our way. So we're paying for it, in a location some may find inconvenient, on a Summer date many may already have plans for. That's fine. My best friend is officiating. No wedding party, no huge guest list (like my parents asked for), no crazy dances (like my in-laws asked for). Just the party WE want to throw, with the people we want around us. Yes, it's still stressful. But it's so much better when it's ours. We're doing it for us, and not for anyone else. Reply First off, congratulations! Second, I'm also from NJ, so hi! Third, I'm glad that you and your partner have come to the conclusion that you two want to have the vow renewal. And I agree, when it's yours it is so much better! Reply This is a wonderful post. I hope your vow renewal goes swimmingly this time! Our wedding was a disaster, too. We couldn't afford to have it in my home state, so I planned it at a beach in WA and none of my friends or family from NY except my parents were able to attend. My in-laws' fighting and refusal to help me plan ahead (they were providing the food for our barbecue reception in a park) made us so late getting to our destination the day before that I never saw the ceremony or reception sites beforehand. I was working 60+ hours a week and had little time to actually plan the event. The in-laws also fought the day of the wedding and MIL refused to see or speak to anyone; they were the only ones who knew where the sites were and wouldn't show anybody; my husband and I had to go shopping for stuff they didn't want to buy (like dessert and drinks); I got ready alone because Mom had gone to help set up the reception site; I had no time to do my hair and cried off all my makeup because I thought we had lost the rings and tore apart our luggage until I found them; my dress didn't fit right because my MIL was the only one who could fasten the bustier and she was AWOL so I had to go without it; the music was accidentally taken to the reception site so I walked down the "aisle" in dead silence; my husband's family took up all the front row seats, so Mom sat in the back and sobbed through the whole ceremony, unbeknownst to me until afterward; the officiant forgot to bring her microphone, so nobody could hear the ceremony; there hadn't been time to set tables at the reception site beforehand, so I did that while MIL said, "I'd help, but don't want to get my dress dirty;" people left the trainwreck really early; and my then-FIL decided he hated the music my husband and I chose, so he blasted a country CD from his pickup truck. On repeat. It's been only about 2.5 years and I'm still kind of pissed and wish I had listened to my husband when he said he would rather elope. But my family has big, jubilant weddings and I had wanted just a small part of that. I'm hoping we can renew our vows someday in NY, with just my parents, brother and his family. No floofy white dress to appease my mother, no narcissistic in-laws. 🙂 Reply Thank you so much for posting this, and to everyone for posting their own experiences. I relate so much to the part where you said you didn't care about the wedding. My husband and I also did this thinking that it was shallow for us to care so much about our wedding, and it makes me really sad now. I put more care and concern into planning my cousins baby shower in some respects then I did my own wedding. And now I think, why didn't I deserve the same effort and care into my own celebration with my husband? I am looking forward very much to planning a vow renewal for us where we can feel free of pressure, free of obligitory traditions and just truly enjoy the time with each other and our friends and family. I hope your vow rejoicing is amazing! Reply Thank you for sharing this. I can honestly say that when my husband and I got married in 2005, nothing turned out like we planned. We picked Sept. 1, set the date with the justice of the peace and picked the location. We scrapped the idea of a big wedding because my Grandmother had passed August 15th and without her, I didn't want any part of it. We were all set, ready to go when my uncle called and told me that no one would be showing up because that was the day they decided to bury my Grandmother. Everything went to hell. I had to call the officiant and reschedule and the guy actually yelled at me for messing up his schedule. I was ticked. Instead of it being a happy day, it was one of the worst of my life. We rescheduled for October 1st and let the families know, but mine told me that it was still too close to my Grandmother's death so no one felt like celebrating. My mother was our only witness. My father had to stay home because my brother was sick. I hated my dress – it was a $30 prom dress from a department store that was closing, my husband's suit was borrowed from his stepfather that was 3x too big. We wound up having to get dressed in the car in the parking lot because all the other facilities were being used for a different bride who proceeded to smirk at me because our ceremony was so simple. There were no flowers, no reception, no guests, etc. All we had was a 35 mm camera from the gift shop at the lighthouse and all the pics my mother took were off centered. The official told us we had to have witnesses and my husband had to go around asking people if they would witness for us and one couple said they would. He offered to pay them, but instead they gave us $20 and said they'd be happy too because they were celebrating their 5th anniversary – October 1st – and we were standing in the exact place they stood for their vows. Happy Moment # 1. Our only witnesses were my mother, the couple celebrating their anniversary and 2 Monarch Butterflies that stayed with us during the ceremony – the symbol I always see for my Grandparents 🙂 Happy Moment # 2. After the ceremony, we went for lunch and that went to hell. Fast forward 10 years – Oct. 2015. We're driving up to the lighthouse in Maine from our place in Connecticut for our 10th anniversary so we can spend the day w/ our kids. We're already in NH, when MIL calls and starts yelling at us that my husband's sister was in the hospital because she was having her baby. We needed to get our asses to the hospital. Where the hell were we? My husband gets pissed off and tells her we're 3/4 of the way to Maine and we weren't turning around. So MIL gets all quiet and she's like "oh, it's your anniversary, huh? I forgot. You need to get back here". Hubby told her no and hung up. Unfortunately the mood went completely sour, the kids were upset and I had a migraine. We wound up driving around and got lost because they've have some construction and nothing was familiar. We did get to the lighthouse eventually and were able to have some fun w/ our kids. The best part about the day was seeing 2 monarch butterflies hover over the flowers for just a few moments and knowing my Grandparents were with us. When we got home, my husband was so pissed off (He's still angry about how the day turned out), we pulled out the calendar and after looking at all the birthdates, anniversaries, etc, we decided on a new date to have our renewal. We're going to Vegas and we're going to have the ceremony we should have had. With cake, flowers, the clothes we want to wear and just us and our 2 kids. That's it. No accommodations will be provided – no one will show up, why bother . The only welcomed guests will be our grandparents (who have passed) – 2 monarch butterflies and a ladybug (my husband's grandmother). We're happy that we'll finally get the day we've wanted all these years. Reply Hubs has great memories of our wedding. Sadly, I don't. After a day that was disaster after disaster (pouring rain! power outage! sound system failure! forgotten vows! photographer left early! and so much more), he played cards with friends at the reception while I dealt with the stress of our combined families alone. The wedding itself was already not what we wanted due to a combination of familial pressure and being poor as heck, so overall, not a great experience for me. Plus, in the time since we married, I've transitioned into a new identity that feels far more authentic to me. For our five year anniversary, we're doing what we agreed we should have done in the first place and having our friends and chosen family come out to support us and party, instead of inviting people we feel obligated to include but don't really want present. We're dressing in ways that make us feel comfortable, going to places that are important to us, and getting a professional photographer to document the whole thing. We'd like to make it a day that celebrates the struggles we've been through and the ways we've grown together over the past five years, as well as a day that shows gratitude to the people who have supported us and will continue supporting us as we go through life. Reply Hello, Thank you for the post . My husband and I were married in a lovely little ceremony at my mother in-laws house .everyone was called 2 days before naturally not everyone could attend on such short notice.I got my dress from A sales rack at May Company . No I was not expecting, the thing was we had begun to plan a beautiful Victorian wedding for the following year when a relative offered to sell us their home . We were told it would be easier to get a loan approved if we were married . We were going to quietly slip off to the court house and make it legal and still have the big wedding the next year as planned . My mom had helped me look at gowns and venues we discussed flowers and decorations . My mother in law found out and said no way your getting married at the court house in a flowery dress. She took over buying me a white tea dress Gunnysac also from May Co. She made the food and decorated the house .I didn't want to insult her and I thought I still had the dream wedding to look forward to. The day went off ok we forgot to warn the justice of the peace of the dress change so we clashed my white and her antique white . The cake we ordered in one day and never tasted looked pretty but was awfull. No professional pictures and not everyone could join us . I regret that I took that all away from my mom .She had been fighting cancer for many years and passed before my desired 10 year renewal .In fact a funeral for my uncle was planned for that exact day and my mom was gone . In fact my sister remebered at the service and asked the musicians for the service to play a song for us and ased a relitive to pretend to renew our vows .I did not know about this either . AKWARD! While I appreciate all my mother in law did that day it was all her . She did everything and made all the choices . It was not my day ! The following week my husband's best friend got married out of the blue so we didn't get to go on a real honeymoon either. A weekend in a local hotel .Again it was all nice but nowhere in any of this was me , no suits no ties no colors the flowers where what was available on a days notice . Does this seem selfish? A year passed and we'll we never got the house do to family squabbles and a year later life just got in the way .There was no time or money for the wedding I had dreamed of or been promised. Jump forward to our 25th wedding anniversary I thought this was it I had waited so long and we were now a family .I wanted to share just our struggles and joys the love and work it took to get here .Not the extravagant wedding I had dreamed of just a little barefoot beach ceremony with close family and friends that would represent us as a couple and a family . Time had not been want kinder to us this time .My sister and father has just passed away and I had obligations and a broken heart . We scrapped the idea it just wasn't working and who would come anyway and why spend money we don't have . I am coming up on my 30th now 2 kids in collage and one in high school. To tell the truth my heatlh has not been well and I think that is why my dear husband brought it back up again. Something to look forward to . I feel mixed emotions .I would live to have this moment with my husband and sons a picture or 2 of our family before they scatter to the wind . I mentioned to my mother in law yesterday and she said why ,I thought you had a beautiful wedding remember I did all the decorations and food and I bought you that dress .It was so small but nice .I thought you enjoyed it . What do I say ? I dream of an crazy vintage wedding that reflects who we are and who our family has become . Something to celebrate our past and look to the future . Our family's have lost so many members now and I am not sure if circumstances would allow them to attend anyway .I even said I would have it in their town so no one but our family would have to travel and no gifts so I would not make anyone feel finacialy obligated .Concessions again. Please tell me, am I being selfish ,is it a waste of money . Should I just be happy with what I had and be grateful we are still together ? Should I plan the dream wedding I always wanted if not a very scaled down version and hope my family and his mother understands and maybe even attends ? Thank you for letting me vent . I appreciate you all and love looking at all the different weddings and couples and appreciate how each couple made their special day there very own . Signed , Wishing for a wedding Reply I've been wrestling with that same guilt about wanting another ceremony. I'm totally happy with how my wedding went, but it was just the two of us at the courthouse with no fanfare or photographs. It's been strangely hard to come to terms with the fact that I am content with what we did but also want to have a party with my friends and family. I hope in a few years I'll be able to use some of this advice in planning my own celebration. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. 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