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anyone else feel disappointed in your wedding?


MedicMom
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Background: DH and I were married in a quickie civil ceremony at my parents house, mostly because he needed to get on my insurance. Our families and my best friend were in attendance. He was a deacon in the church he'd been at all his life, and his church family was so offended that we had a civil ceremony, instead of allowing them to do their usual decorate the church and throw a potluck dinner in the gym and invite everyone, that they basically shunned him(and us). I'm sure it didn't help that I was not religious in any way either. We had a wedding several months later which had been scheduled long before the quickie ceremony(it was not at a church either). None of his extended family or church family came; not even his aunts and uncles or family minister. My family and friends did, but less than fifty percent of people invited came. We actually didn't meet the mandatory minimum number of people and had to pay for people who weren't there. I had to get a replacement dress last minute off the clearance rack and it didn't fit, the flowers weren't what we ordered, and we couldn't even do a rehearsal or rehearsal dinner because of my work schedule. I frankly didn't really like how everything went down, but I was working 80 hours a week at a new job and had no time to plan, he needed insurance, I had never been to a church potluck no dancing wedding and couldn't picture it, and we basically alienated everyone he was close to--and I didn't like or enjoy either wedding. I refuse to even have pictures printed because it was so bad.

8 years later his sister is getting married. I went to the church held bridal shower today since I'm family, and there was about forty women there. It was nice(I didn't have a bridal shower). Her wedding will be filled with people who watched her grow up and it will be meaningful. They'll throw her a baby shower when the time comes and being meals when it's born. I didn't even have a single person in my life bring dinner when I was on bedrest and then had a baby in the NICU. I mentioned something to DH about it later, just that I didn't like our wedding or how it all happened, and he just said he hates weddings anyway. So there's no hope for a meaningful and pretty vow renewal someday.

 

Okay.

I know it's very silly, but I have a lot of very nice weddings to attend this summer, and I can't seem to release that tiny feeling deep inside of disappointment.

Edited by MedicMom
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It's never too late to have a new ceremony--renewal of vows is what it is sometimes called.

 

Maybe pick a 'major' anniversary year, like 10, and do it then. 

 

We had a wedding that I was really happy with, and then at year 25 we had another ceremony that was really nice.  We didn't invite anyone to the second one; YMMV but it was just for us and our child.

 

I have a friend who is Catholic, and whose wife was not.  About 6-7 years after their wedding, they had a Catholic wedding, which meant a tremendous amount to him. 

 

There are lots of models for this.  I'll bet you could figure out something really special.

 

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Well this is Ms Analytical talking so take that into account and I do NOT mean to offend: The wedding is merely the starting point of what will hopefully be a long journey with many ups and a few downs as life generally is. The marriage that you built is infinitely more important than that one ceremony.

 

Then there is the vow renewals which you can do at any time. Invite only nice people who support you and not stuck up people who do not represent Christianity well or don't even try. I know we are all human.  I certainly don't always represent it well either but shunning a member of the church on their wedding day is grounds for church hunting. Hm!

ETA: Okay, so now I read that dh is not much for vow renewal. What is important about a wedding to you? Can you just have a party on your next anniversary. Do you have any friends that would help with decorations, etc? Do you want the ceremonial experience or mainly family & friends around you? Or both?

If it's both, you may need to start a little work on your dh. :lol:

Edited by Liz CA
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I wish I had picked a foofier dress. I picked something lovely, that looked just like me. Simple, easy, perfect for me. But I missed my one chance to dress like a fancy bride, and I regret it.

I wanted a simple, classic dress. My mother forced a fancy, floofy thing on to me.

 

My dress is all I regret about my wedding. The rest was exactly what I wanted and would still choose.

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To be perfectly fair, while they were jackwagons, I also offended and alienated a lot of people. DH is clueless when it comes to social norms, but this church was his family for 25 years, and I did offend them. My wedding experiences were country club catered affairs, and when the ladies asked what I would want them to make for our reception I thought they were joking. It was a complete cultural mishmash and I had absolutely no idea. They weren't offended about the marrying quickly, but they offered to throw together a nice church wedding for us and I turned it down. I didn't understand they were simply within their norms; I thought they were fake offering to be nice.

 

I do feel very bad about that. I wish my mother in law had warned me, but I don't think she knew the depth of my naïveté on the way they were used to things. My husband is just clueless about that stuff anyway.

 

Maybe I'm really feeling the lack of community in my life tonight and attending that nice bridal shower just illustrated to me how much of an island my little family is.

First world problems, I know.

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Yes, I am.  It wasn't quickie, or cheap, and all the details were spot on.  It was by all accounts a beautiful Southern outdoor wedding (in June, lol).  We could have done with about 80% fewer guests, and 95% more agency.  But like DH says, the point was to get married, and that we did.  It took me a little while to embrace the pragmatism there, but I have.

 

ETA: that was 12 years ago. 

And I feel you; I'm feeling like an island unto myself tonight, too.

Edited by CES2005
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Well this is Ms Analytical talking so take that into account and I do NOT mean to offend: The wedding is merely the starting point of what will hopefully be a long journey with many ups and a few downs as life generally is. The marriage that you built is infinitely more important than that one ceremony.

 

Then there is the vow renewals which you can do at any time. Invite only nice people who support you and not stuck up people who do not represent Christianity well or don't even try. I know we are all human. I certainly don't always represent it well either but shunning a member of the church on their wedding day is grounds for church hunting. Hm!

ETA: Okay, so now I read that dh is not much for vow renewal. What is important about a wedding to you? Can you just have a party on your next anniversary. Do you have any friends that would help with decorations, etc? Do you want the ceremonial experience or mainly family & friends around you? Or both?

If it's both, you may need to start a little work on your dh. :lol:

DH is barely interested in celebrating our anniversary; he thinks celebrations as a whole are ridiculous.

My SIL has been talking a lot about the different meaningful traditions incorporated into her wedding and what it means to say her vows in front of a community of people. We had none of that; we were getting married for the piece of paper and it was all very stark and clinical. I now see the value in community and tradition, and I am somewhat mourning not having that.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Have you actually ASKED your DH if he would be willing to do a vow renewal?  Even though your DH doesn't see value in these things, his response to your statement may have been more a defense mechanism since he cannot retroactively make those ceremonies better for you.  Maybe he would be willing if you asked him directly.  I don't think it will get you what you need, but I could be wrong.

 

I agree, it sounds like what you are mourning is not the ceremony but the lack of community and connections.  I'm so sorry.  It is very hard to be isolated.  When you are just trying to survive the days, over time even strong connections can get severed.  

 

I remember because of your specific circumstances you have been struggling with isolation for quite a while and not feeling like there was a good option for changing that any time soon.  That makes things so much harder, since you can't proactively change the current dynamic and you don't have a specific time you can look forward to when it will end.  I don't have answers but I do have tremendous sympathy.   :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Yes, I was disappointed in my wedding because I didn't want a wedding but it was a concession to my husband because he did. I wanted to sign the paperwork and take a vacation.  I knew what a hassle my complicated family situation would be and he was naive about it.  But marriage is about compromise and our moved up from 6 months to 11 days, 45 chair seating, 15 minute ceremony, cake and punch wedding at the in-laws' house was what I had to do so I did. It couldn't be only what I wanted. Oh well.  I don't dwell on it or think about unless someone specifically asks.

As people have said, just because you didn't have community and tradition then at the wedding doesn't mean you can't have community and tradition now.  Why not create it in some other way either related to your marriage or in some other aspect of life?  You husband doesn't have to understand it to be supportive and encouraging.  He can simply say, "What can I do to help?" and then do it cheerfully as a gift to you.  People do all kinds of things I don't get, but I still support them.

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Aw, I'm sorry that you are feeling so disappointed.

 

DH and I both hated our wedding.  Everything about it.  I was young and had an overbearing mother who had her own idea of what my wedding should be like and it was nothing like what we wanted.  I just didn't have it in me to fight her on everything so we just did it her way and got through it.  I hate my wedding pics because my dress didn't fit right (it was too big) and it kept sliding down my shoulder almost causing a wardrobe malfunction. My in-laws were against us getting married and it was clear at the wedding.  Then, we had a reception a few weeks later with my DH's family (different state) and had a similar situation where I was uncomfortable with a lot of the plans, but didn't feel comfortable speaking up so the reception was pretty miserable for me as well.   

 

Fortunately, we've had thirty years of a happy marriage and were blessed with four wonderful kids.   :001_smile:

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I would not take your dh's statement that he doesn't care about celebrations, etc. to mean he would never consider or refuse to do a vow renewal. Just because it means nothing to him, doesn't mean he wouldn't do it if you really wanted to. But, you have to decide if you really want to do a vow renewal, after you have realistically assessed how it would be, not the fantasy of what you wish your wedding had been, you know? If a vow renewal would make you happy, work toward planning one. If you are simply feeling regret about what might have been and a new ceremony wouldn't fix that, then you have to deal with those feelings. It might seem too late now, but maybe you need to express to someone (MIL, SIL etc.) what you just shared here: how you were so naive and never meant to hurt people and really regret alienating them, etc. It might not change anything, but at least you'll get it off your chest.

 

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My only regret is not going on a honeymoon. We eloped in January at a chapel about 15 minutes from us and had a backyard reception in May. Then 4 years later we got married in the Catholic Church so anyone who came to that was invited to my parents' house after for homemade pizza. We never went on a honeymoon because I was on my last semester of college and by the time I graduated I was pregnant with our first and going away didn't cross out minds.

 

Our ten year anniversary is in January 2018, so we plan on doing a trip for that with just the 2 of us.

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I now see the value in community and tradition, and I am somewhat mourning not having that.

I think this is the real issue. Your wedding could have been all that you note but been okay if it had any of this that you are mourning.

 

And it isn't all about your husband. It takes two to get married and if you want something, he should not think it stupid and silly just bc it isn't his kind of thing to enjoy.

 

Do you feel like you have community and traditions now?

I would start with answering that question.

 

And no, you are not the only person who discovered traditions and community are more important than their younger selves thought. Especially once children start arriving. Me too.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:   I'm sorry you are feeling bad about your wedding.  

 

I honestly don't think a vow renewal or whatever is going to help you feel better.  I agree with a PP about talking it over with some of the people who were involved.  Are you in any contact with the people from your husband's church?   I assume he is no longer attending there and no longer a deacon.

 

Looking at this from the point of view of the people at church, I can imagine they may have felt shunned themselves.  It would be very shocking and hurtful to me and others in my church if one of the deacons (who is considered an officer of the church) married someone who did not share his faith (that's what I gather from your OP), refused to allow the church to put on the wedding, and got married in a civil ceremony.   I think it would be breaking some of the vows a deacon takes upon ordination.  Of course I don't know if the church your husband attended views deacons in the same way.

 

Anyway, I say that not to make you feel bad, but to see it from a different point of view. 

 

Does your husband know how  you feel?  I would start with talking to him about it.  Let him know that it is still bothering you.  Maybe you can find some way to do something meaningful that fits both of you and you can set your bad feelings behind you. 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

Edited by marbel
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I was very disappointed with mine. My family is grace baptist. They think alcohol and dancing are sins. His family is Czech-German-Catholic and all of their weddings are giant drunken dance parties. Like, six kegs and 10 cases of wine for 250 people.

 

I told my husband that we would not have that kind of party. Even if I wanted to, we couldn't pay for it. I tried to compromise with wine at dinner and some modest dancing. He said that if there were no drunken dance party, he would not invite his family. So we didn't. Since we didn't invite his family, I thought it would be in bad taste to invite all of my family and friends, so in the end we had 25 guests. Now I don't get invited to anyone else's wedding because they weren't invited to mine.

 

My sister did my makeup and I hated it. A friend took the pictures and I hated them. Yeah, it's just a day, but I get so jealous and remorseful seeing or attending nice weddings.

 

 

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I think this is the real issue. Your wedding could have been all that you note but been okay if it had any of this that you are mourning.

And it isn't all about your husband. It takes two to get married and if you want something, he should not think it stupid and silly just bc it isn't his kind of thing to enjoy.

Do you feel like you have community and traditions now?

I would start with answering that question.

And no, you are not the only person who discovered traditions and community are more important than their younger selves thought. Especially once children start arriving. Me too.

Yes to all of this.

 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:   I'm sorry you are feeling bad about your wedding.  

 

I honestly don't think a vow renewal or whatever is going to help you feel better.  I agree with a PP about talking it over with some of the people who were involved.  Are you in any contact with the people from your husband's church?   I assume he is no longer attending there and no longer a deacon.

 

Looking at this from the point of view of the people at church, I can imagine they may have felt shunned themselves.  It would be very shocking and hurtful to me and others in my church if one of the deacons (who is considered an officer of the church) married someone who did not share his faith (that's what I gather from your OP), refused to allow the church to put on the wedding, and got married in a civil ceremony.   I think it would be breaking some of the vows a deacon takes upon ordination.  Of course I don't know if the church your husband attended views deacons in the same way.

 

Anyway, I say that not to make you feel bad, but to see it from a different point of view. 

 

Does your husband know how  you feel?  I would start with talking to him about it.  Let him know that it is still bothering you.  Maybe you can find some way to do something meaningful that fits both of you and you can set your bad feelings behind you. 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

I was thinking the same thing. OP, it sounds like you didn't understand just how important it is to be a deacon in a church. For him to marry outside of the faith, and not in a ceremony before God, and for the new bride to flat out refuse to have anything to do with the church--including the free wedding they would throw for her--was a BIG deal. You've said you didn't realize at the time what a big deal it was. It's a super big deal. I don't agree with some posters that they were being jerks. I think they were deeply concerned at what was happening and didn't know how to handle the situation.

 

But you know that now and you're realizing that you messed up. And you're mourning that mistake. I get it. I was very self-centered as a young twenty-something. So much so that my own parents believed I didn't like them and so they moved 2500 miles away from me. From my point of view, they abandoned me and I've mourned the loss of them for 20 years. But from their point of view, I was giving out signals that I didn't want them around...so they left. The situation is much more complicated than I'm making it sound, but bottom line is that when I am as objective as I can be, I sent signals to them that made them believe I didn't care. And then did the one thing that has caused me the most grief in my life--they left. I can't even describe how much that hurt. So, I get it. I get making mistakes in innocence that cause grief for YEARS (decades even!) afterwards.

 

I have spent the last two years or so developing different friendships than I used to in the past. When I find someone who is kind and gentle, I start inviting them out to eat. I have a group of 3 friends and we get together every couple of months for a loooong dinner out. I have other friends whom I meet with one-on-one for lunch. As soon as I'm back from a dinner or lunch, I open my calendar to three months in the future and write, "Set up lunch date with so-and-so." Then I set them up. I'm forming a new community of friends. I'm forcing myself to take the time to do it.

 

I think you need to try to find one or two people that you can devote time to developing a friendship. I don't know your situation. I hope there is someone out there that you can do that with.

 

Basically, I feel for you. The thing that helps me going forward, is to be deliberate in planning time with people one-on-one. And I do my best to try to let the past stay in the past, but it's hard for me. I mean, seriously, it's been 20 years, yet I still mourn the loss of my parents. It's really hard to round up the money to fly out to see them. I will only be able to afford to see them a handful of times before they die. It breaks my heart.

 

Also, I have accepted the sadness. I do my best not to sit around dwelling on it, but I've accepted that some things hurt and you really never heal from them. It becomes a part of your story and it is not fun, but it's just how it is. The sadness will always niggle in the back of your mind. Sometimes trying to change it makes it worse, but realizing that this is just something that will be here and being honest that it won't go away, makes it easier to bear. Sometimes the struggle against it is harder than just bearing it.

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It's hard navigating this stuff. I alienated a lot of people in my early married years I think. Just being a clueless young adult did the trick...

 

My wedding was okay, I would do a lot differently now, simply because I am more confident in what is actually important to me, dh and our families. But we were babies and our parents offered to pay so we went along with things.

 

You weren't intentionally trying to offend, has your dh tried to mend those relationships? Does he want to?

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I let my parents bulldoze me into the kind of stuffy country club (actually officers' club but similar level of formality) to impress my dad's business associates and extended family THEY wanted. They were footing the bill so I let them but I regret not having a clambake on the beach.

 

 

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Kind of the opposite, I regret having the "big" wedding. That community, the support of extended family, the lasting friendships, the traditions? Didn't happen.

 

I wish we had eloped. I wish we had known how it really would be just DH and I against the world. I'm honestly embarrassed by the whole thing now.

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I'm sorry you have some leftover disappointment...  But look at it this way:  you probably did the very best you knew how to do at the time!

 

My wedding was small and simple, and I didn't want to plan it myself.  My dh and mother planned the entire wedding together.  My dh even picked out my wedding dress.  I just wasn't interested in any of that.  But, it all worked out and we got married.   :)

 

Now, years later, I'm suddenly interested in planning weddings!  I hope one of my dd's decide to get married one of these days...   ;)

 

 

 

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I do think they were jerks not be be kind to you when it was  the right time. It was pretty "fleshy" of them not to be gracious when it was within their power. I would remember that when they take up stupid "special offering" stuff if you go there. I wouldn't give them money for anything, like ever. That is the ultimate payback for a fleshy church. They only want the dough, anyway, so if you with hold it, that is the only way they get the message. 

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I do believe in PWTSD, post wedding traumatic stress disorder. Seriously. It took me a long time to get over organising my daughters wedding and I still can hardly think of it without just having to shut it out quickly and think of something else.

 

So I don't think you're crazy for how you feel, but I also think that your dhs church friends' cutting you both off is outrageous!

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DH is barely interested in celebrating our anniversary; he thinks celebrations as a whole are ridiculous.

My SIL has been talking a lot about the different meaningful traditions incorporated into her wedding and what it means to say her vows in front of a community of people. We had none of that; we were getting married for the piece of paper and it was all very stark and clinical. I now see the value in community and tradition, and I am somewhat mourning not having that.

Even though you missed out on it for your wedding, It's not too late, especially for your young family, to find a community or communities, and to start participating. If not through a church, then perhaps as part of a neighborhood, homeschool group, volunteer organization, etc.
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I have never quite let go of a pang of bitterness over my wedding. Life was hard, his family disapproved, it was the middle of my parents messy divorce. His family decided in their mind what the wedding would look like and i was too quiet, messed up and busy with family drama to do anything about it

 

I told dh I wanted a vow renewal a couple years later and he was deeply offended. He understands now, but theres no money at this stage in our life.

 

I tell myself it was just a stupid party, what does it actually matter in the grand scheme of things. But occasionally it stings a little.

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My husband and I got married at the justice of the peace in Florida. Our three month old daughter was the only guest. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, he was wearing his work clothes and boots, and our daughter looked stunning in a Gymboree dress. No, I don't regret not having a wedding. Our life is so much more than a wedding.

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Yes. I'm disappointed that I got dragged into an attempt at a "real" wedding.  I wanted immediate family in a courthouse.  I let myself get roped into a church, flowers, music, strangers (to me) in the pews, a dress I hated, crunchy hair, and a party I didn't want.  "My" day was about my mil, not me.

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Hated my wedding, i let my MIL dictate too much of it, all while insulting me in the process.  i even had it in OH while 90% of my friends lived in CA just because Dh's family lived near there.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

 

I don't have very much fond memories of my wedding.  But I am still married 22 years later, while his siblings with their fancier weddings, have all been divorced......so, there ya go.

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And for the record, I hate vow renewals.  I don't know why, but I just do.  I might consider just having a 25th anniversary (or you pick which year) party/reception with no gifts, and have a huge celebration.

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We eloped for many reasons and I am still quite happy with that though I am forever grateful to one of our three guests who did lovely photos unasked. I still entirely recommend eloping as long as one brings a photographer friends along and have cake. The only things I would change is a warmer dress (November wedding and I only had a blue shortsleeve dress), more comfortable shoes as my 'nice' shoes were practically dead at that point, more photos and more cake. 

 

At our 10th wedding anniversary, my spouse and I had a pub meal with all the people we'd have invited plus some newer friends. It was lovely, the kids were all dressed in outfits with stars, I used my dress for part of it as it mostly fit (somehow became too short and tight at the hips over the years in storage, I added a long cloak and sparkly star leggings to deal with that), and it was just a nice meal in a relaxed loving environment. I do slightly regret not having the funds and mind to do it for the 5th or 8th anniversary or something else sooner as my spouse's brother and grandmother were too ill to attend and passed away within a few years after that and I would have loved to have had them there.

 

Being able to do that meal did bring a sense of family and community we didn't have when we first married as we simply hadn't built those connections - even my spouse with his family, what he's built with them now is very different to what he had in university when they still very much viewed him as the baby and I was someone they barely knew & I think the dynamic would have been so completely different and...if not negative then forced if we had tried. I remember with fondness about 5 or 6 years into marriage, my now late stepfather-in-law pulling me aside to apologize that he'd been so against it when he found out - which was the first I'd heard of that - but having seen us over the years, he changed his mind and in his opinion, our eloping was the best thing we could have done in his mind.

 

Family and community are ever changing and I think we have to keep connecting to and developing them in our own ways to build it. We considered a vow renewal, even went looking at places, but really we just wanted the big meal together that none of us had to cook so everyone could get a chance to talk with each other -- along with more photos and cake (picked a pub with a massive amazing cake display, very important part of our choice). I think, even if your spouse doesn't like celebrations (mine isn't big on them either - I've spent about a month just trying to get him to pick something to do for Father's Day), there are things you both enjoy that could get you what you're looking for. 

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If I had it to do over again, Dh and I would grab a few people, find a pretty stretch of beach to get married on, and hit a restaurant after. Khakis and button down for him, long white sundress with flowers for me. Nature being the decorations.

 

The reason is that we wanted to get married with just parents, siblings, and a few friends in the chapel on my campus with a dear, ordained professor officiating. The chapel was gorgeous, had year round white and pale peach rose arrangements out, pipe organ, baby grand piano, and music professors who provided this gorgeous music for free for their students. Music was a hugely important thing to Dh and I, my rad piano skills having been the thing that got his attention in the first place. And the restaurant was not expensive. The whole thing could have been done for $500.00 and would have been exactly what we wanted.

 

My parents birthed a cow when we told them because they had built it up in their heads that we were going to do everything the way their church demanded, and invited everyone they had ever met. My father was actually quite verbally abusive about it. We should have taken that as a sign and ran. But Dh did not want to start off on a bad foot with them, and felt we should go along. So we did. And it was a nightmare. 325+ people most of whom we did not know. My parents insisted on serving an elaborate meal - apparently fly this was a big tradition in the church. Not potluck. Not at all. The parents bought all the food, and then the kitchen committee cooked and prepped it and manned the kitchen.

 

It was really quite awful, and their pastor hated me and Dh. In his mind, Dh and his parents weren't "the right kind of Christians" so he treated us and then like crap the whole day making all kinds of nasty comments, sneaking "obey" into the vows after promising to leave it out, and then asking Dh in the middle of our vows, "Don't you think it is time to get truly 'saved' ?".

 

We were unhappy and miserable. My uncle managed to get a few good shots of the two of us alone together before the ceremony started, and those are the photos we had blown up and have on our wall. We did not bother with any other pictures.

 

We spent the early years of our marriage avoiding my parent's like the plague, and establishing boundaries.

 

We did have fun with a vow renewal. Middle ds's college, Western Michigan U, this past October broke the world record for simultaneous vow renewals. They had a very pretty place set up on the lawn of the alumni center, provided wedding cake and punch, etc. We wore WMU Broncos tee shirts, and ds joined us for the event. The mayor of Kalamazoo officiated. They broke the record with 1201 couples.

 

Here is the link:

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2016/10/wmu_breaks_world_record_with_l.html

 

It was fun, laid back, no worries.

 

If we had gone against my parents the first time, our wedding would have been enjoyable, meaningful, beautiful, and affordable.

 

Weddings bring out the crazy, narcissistic traits of many relatives which is why I encourage couples not to have them, elope instead, grab a friend and go to the justice of the peace, or head to Vegas.

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Weddings bring out the crazy, narcissistic traits of many relatives which is why I encourage couples not to have them, elope instead, grab a friend and go to the justice of the peace, or head to Vegas.

 

Or pay for it yourselves.  Then all anyone can do is throw a hissy fit and not come.  DH and I joked about eloping.  But my do over would involve a church wedding, and more focus on the marrying part than the event surrounding the marrying part.  But for that to happen, I do think many times the couple needs to hold the purse strings.  Even if a wedding is in a fancy church, the components don't have to be fancy.  

 

I'm sorry yours was such a trainwreck.  This thread is sad and comforting at the same time.

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Aw I'm sorry.  :grouphug: For my second marriage, DH and I went to the courthouse. My mom told me I couldn't have a second wedding because no one would come. I had no party or any type of celebration. We  didn't even have anyone stand up with us, the judge's secretary did it. Then my sister got remarried and threw a whole shin-dig with my mom's help. Yes, I was bitter. Why didn't she tell my sister she couldn't have a party or proper wedding?

 

I don't want to renew my vows because I believe that is silly for me. We're married. It's done. 

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I had a cultural mismatch with DH's family too.  They lived in a very small town, and it was apparently expected to issue an open invitation to everyone who lived there, even though I'd only met maybe 4 of the people from town who weren't relatives of DH and he hadn't lived in that town in 15 years.  I still hear criticism about that from DH's family from time to time.

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I've always kind of thought that vow renewals were for couples celebrating "getting through a rocky patch" in their marriage. Since we all have rocky patches, I don't think anything in particular about that (except to wonder why they would want to announce it like that), but I've never thought that people would he renewing their vows just to have a better celebration. Is that actually the most common motivation for this idea?

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I do have moments where I wish we'd just eloped (in the original sense of the word) like we kept half-joking about. Most of the people in the wedding party, and most of the guests, are not part of our lives now, and I'm not sure that the stress was worth it. I was so jittery from the stress of dealing with planning and guest/family issues that some people thought I had cold feet about marrying DH, which couldn't be further from the truth! That still colors how certain people see our relationship, to this day! Very ugly. Not sure it was worth it, but my mom did want a nice wedding for me, and I cannot break my mama's heart.

 

OTOH, I really think that a wedding should be a big communal celebration of the joining of two people and families, and we did get that. It was a perfectly nice wedding and I'd probably change several things if we were to do it now, because we've matured and grown and learned more about the world and ourselves. I'd have a religious wedding rather than a secular wedding, too. BUT, like I said, it was a sweet wedding with a fun reception, and we were doing the best we could at that stage of our lives.

 

With our eighth anniversary coming up, I think the important thing is that I still just love being around this guy. :001_wub:  We've built a beautiful life together.

 

OP, I get what you're saying about community. When I was in my early 20s and getting married I had no clue how important it would be. And I've learned that community doesn't just grow on trees, ripe for the picking. You've got to cultivate it. You've got to reach out to a community, not wait for it to fall from the sky. You've got to be a little vulnerable, willing to help out, willing to extend grace when people don't act their best, willing to examine yourself, and even risk getting a little hurt. It's just like love. Lack of community was a huge hole in our early married life, and we're finally finding it now that we've put down roots in a neighborhood and found a church home.

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I don't have fond memories of my wedding either. We got married when I was in college (Spring semester junior year) because my family refused to support me any longer as well as other reasons caused by his conservative family & my dysfunctional one. We got our marriage license over the Christmas holidays and were married less than 3 weeks later. We had less than 20 people in attendance and spent less than $500. It was a total joke. My soon to be sister-in-law made it all about her and her DD. Nobody was happy - not his family, not my family. I never had a bridal shower. We didn't have a reception. We didn't take a honeymoon. We were married on Sat. and I had a big paper due on Monday. After the ceremony, the two of us went out for a nice dinner, a now storm rolled in, so we went back to our apartment and I wrote my paper.

 

I used to cry about it. There are no pictures of us together. No happy memories. Just a lot of "what the heck happened?" and "How could things have been different?"

I asked for a renewal on our 10, 15 and 25 year anniversaries. DH always says no. It will never happen; the money has never been there and DH just isn't interested. I'm heavier than I was and my face has fallen due to years of hardship and sadness; I don't think I would want to do it now anyway. It's something I have to live with.

I never had a baby shower either nor did anyone celebrate either of my college graduations.  Celebrations of or for me just aren't something my family has ever considered.

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I've always kind of thought that vow renewals were for couples celebrating "getting through a rocky patch" in their marriage. Since we all have rocky patches, I don't think anything in particular about that (except to wonder why they would want to announce it like that), but I've never thought that people would he renewing their vows just to have a better celebration. Is that actually the most common motivation for this idea?

Not that I have seen. Many that I have known of have military couples. He or she got leave, they ran to the courthouse, and at some point in the future, they have a ceremony and reception for their family or friends. The others I have seen were within couples who did suffer some pretty major life event that reAlly tore at their relationship. They worked through and survived, and then decided to have a ceremony and celebration as a kind of "we made it" milestone marker.

 

Ours was the only ,just because that I know of and that was so we could have the fun of helping ds's school set the new record. So the purpose was fun, not serious, not actually all that much related to the vows themselves. We would not have otherwise chose to do a renewal.

 

Now wait, I do recall a local pastor hosting a Valentine's Day event for couples who had been married 20 years or more. He had a vow ceremony, and then the church had a cake, punch, and finger food reception with flowers on the tables. Each couple got a free 8x10 photo. It was many years ago before we moved to the area. I just remembered my parent's talking about it.

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I had a culture mismatch also. They weren't too happy when I didn't adopt their religion. Its a bit of a laugh because they don't follow it and stopped attending about ten years later, so it was just a name only thing. The other things are outgrowths of their internal family fued, and they want us to join their side. We refuse and insist on manners. Mil is banned right now because her last visit (she wanted dinner and air conditioning and just showed up) consisted of expressing her certainty that I would be dead soon, since she was irate that her son chose not to devote the entire evening to her. The wedding was the same, she wanted to control everything and was quite nasty. The photographer was quite professional and told her the family photo would include both sides,not just hers, and if she wanted just hers she could make an arrangement, as the person who hired him had not contracted for the photo she wanted (just her, her husband and her children, no bride, nospouses of dc). She has not welcomed any of her dils as anything other than servants. Yes, we knew she had mental issues, but not to what extent. A do over would skip the whole thing, and do the justice of the peace, as most weren't celebrating. We won't be having a college grad party for our dc, as they are unable to celebrate and will talk about how stupid and what a waste of money it is. This generation is not open to diversity, they want social dominance with us at the bottom. We aren't interested, we are humanists and wish to live in a society of equals that respects all individuals.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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<snip>

 

I don't want to renew my vows because I believe that is silly for me. We're married. It's done. 

 

Yeah, I don't understand the point of a vow renewal.   I've never been to any wedding where the vows were not permanent (to death).  Obviously wedding vows do get broken. But they are typically not renewable.  

 

Once when my husband and I were in a beautiful garden that held weddings, I joked that we should have a vow renewal ceremony there. He said "oh, do you want to change the terms?   Make it for 10 years, maybe?"     :lol:

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I don't have fond memories of my wedding either. We got married when I was in college (Spring semester junior year) because my family refused to support me any longer as well as other reasons caused by his conservative family & my dysfunctional one. We got our marriage license over the Christmas holidays and were married less than 3 weeks later. We had less than 20 people in attendance and spent less than $500. It was a total joke. My soon to be sister-in-law made it all about her and her DD. Nobody was happy - not his family, not my family. I never had a bridal shower. We didn't have a reception. We didn't take a honeymoon. We were married on Sat. and I had a big paper due on Monday. After the ceremony, the two of us went out for a nice dinner, a now storm rolled in, so we went back to our apartment and I wrote my paper.

 

I used to cry about it. There are no pictures of us together. No happy memories. Just a lot of "what the heck happened?" and "How could things have been different?"

 

I asked for a renewal on our 10, 15 and 25 year anniversaries. DH always says no. It will never happen; the money has never been there and DH just isn't interested. I'm heavier than I was and my face has fallen due to years of hardship and sadness; I don't think I would want to do it now anyway. It's something I have to live with.

 

I never had a baby shower either nor did anyone celebrate either of my college graduations.  Celebrations of or for me just aren't something my family has ever considered.

'

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Oh, dear. If I dwelt on my life I could fill a thousand pages of things done wrong, or not done when they should have been. Photos of 'events' and no photos of the day to day things I would really like to remember. Mementos lost, and junk saved. It is just too painful. I would pay for time travel to go back and fix things, lol. But until then, I try not to focus on the bad past and take advice I was once given to remember the good things.

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I've always kind of thought that vow renewals were for couples celebrating "getting through a rocky patch" in their marriage. Since we all have rocky patches, I don't think anything in particular about that (except to wonder why they would want to announce it like that), but I've never thought that people would he renewing their vows just to have a better celebration. Is that actually the most common motivation for this idea?

 

Wow, no. I would assume the opposite- that most vow renewals are because the couple didn't get the wedding they wanted originally so the renewal was to make up for that. Most of the vow renewals I have been to the couple originally eloped/went to the courthouse or had a very simple celebration and now they were finally getting to have the big shin-dig because they could afford it.

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I had a tiny wedding. I was ok with it at the time. I realize now that I should have made it slightly bigger, as I didn't invite a few people that I really ought to have. I was a bit clueless.

 

DH wore a suit, I wore a pink flowered dress I got at the mall. The cake and my bouquet were professional, but everything else was potluck finger food. The church was a tiny storefront type of church and my mother and her friend got a billion balloons and a helium machine and filled the entire celing with them. I liked that. It was all a bit cheesy, though, and very thrown together. The guests seemed to feel awkward standing around picking at their finger food. There was soup there, but no tables, so they were trying to eat soup on their laps.

 

But what made it bad was when the pastor started his talk. Pastors are supposed to say nice things about marriage or whatever and then head into the vows. This guy decided to talk about sex. A lot. I had no idea he would do that. Why would he do that? It was incredibly embarrassing for everyone there. Afterward my best friend said, "Well...that was....interesting...."

 

The ceremony was recorded, but I was too embarrassed to listen to it. About 5 years ago, after I'd been married for 20 years, I finally got the nerve up to listen to it. I thought, "I was awfully young. It probably wasn't as bad as I'm remembering."

 

But it was. Incredibly inapporpriate. I really, really hope that everyone else forgot about it, and yet...who forgets the wedding they went to where the pastor talked about sex the whole time?

 

Urgh. I cringe whenever I think of my wedding now. If I could do it over again, I'd either have a bigger wedding with more traditions (the white dress, some dancing, sit down dinner) or completely the other way and go to a Justice of the Peace with just our parents there and very best friends and then head immediately to the airport for a honeymoon.

Edited by Garga
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Dh and I were married in a quiet ceremony by the mayor of our town.  It was just two witnesses (friends of dh's) and my oldest daughter.  We did it because dd and I were moving in with dh.  We didn't tell anyone because we were planning a bigger (but still not big) church wedding about 8 months later.   But I ended up getting pregnant with ds about two weeks after the wedding.  There was no way I was walking down the aisle 8 months pregnant.  So, at Christmas we announced to everyone that we were pregnant, and oh by the way, already married.  

 

We planned to do a vow renewal/church wedding for our 5th anniversary but there was too much crazy with two little kids, for 10 years but dh was unemployed and there was no money for anything.  We've been married 13 years and things are settling down, so maybe for our 15th especially since we belong to a church and attend regularly now. 

 

We did have a honeymoon.  Dh set up a surprise honeymoon in the Bahama's for the Valentine's Day right after we got married.  Made all the arrangements with my parents to watch dd, with work to take the time off, etc.  I was 12 weeks pregnant which made the deep-sea fishing trip rough (and cut short) but it was a very nice trip otherwise. 

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