Should Our First Anniversary Be a (Awful) Wedding Re-do?

AAPW: I want a wedding do-over

by Liz Moorhead, Editor, Ask APW


Q: My husband and I got married in the fall of last year, but unfortunately I have nothing but bad memories of the planning process and the wedding itself. I let family pressures from both sides get to me, and the arguments we had over the wedding almost destroyed our relationship. To mark the recovery of our marriage and to make up for the miserable experience I had planning and attending our wedding, I would like to have an anniversary party in fall 2016. Is this okay? I don’t want any presents or anything, just a little cake and punch reception for a couple dozen people in a small local tearoom. It’s what I wanted our actual wedding reception to be, in fact, rather than the full-on dinner and dancing extravaganza that I was pushed into having (and hated). I’m worried that people will think we’re full of ourselves or after more presents or something, and I’m also worried that my husband’s family will push to make it into a big event with dinner and everything again (their argument was that no one would come to the wedding, especially from out of town, without a full meal, open bar, and dancing). So, can I have this little party, and if so, how can I keep it from being turned into another extravaganza?


A: Dear Anonymous,

These are the same jerks that ruined your plans in the first round. You really want to start that up all over again?

Not loving your wedding sucks, it really does. And I can completely understand the wish to replace bad old memories with good new ones. But this may be the year to do that as a couple, just the two of you, without the worry of family and guests and pushy arguments. And maybe take some time to look back over that disaster of a wedding if it’s not too, too painful. After a solid year, hopefully retrospect has made some of those “ouch” moments less terrible, more funny. And if you try, I bet you can dig around and find some good things about the day to remember together, too.

Revisit the party idea maybe on your fifth or tenth anniversary. As a guest, I don’t know that I’d jump to, “Yeesh, another gift?” but I’d probably feel a little like, “What? Didn’t we just celebrate your fuzzy romantic relationship with a big lavish party?” Besides, in a few years, you’ll have a bit more experience handling family pushing their ideas on your relationship, and if they do have vocal opinions about your anniversary party (they may not, those things aren’t as fraught as weddings), you’ll be more practiced at standing firm.

Instead of an actual re-do, celebrate what you’ve got, whatever good came from all that mess (which, it sounds like, is the two of you, in a good place). Hunker down, out of the fray, and enjoy this relationship that’s too awesome to be marred by one bad wedding. Maybe include everyone else in a few years (if you feel up to it).


Liz Moorhead

Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.

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  • emilyg25

    Just have a party! Don’t call it an anniversary party or anything. Invite the people you want and plan what you want. No one will think twice if you keep the anniversary/wedding redo bit to yourselves.

    • Vilmos Kovacs

      My husband and I recently threw an engagement party for friends. They gave us the date, vibe city and guest list and we took it from there. We had a great time throwing the party. They had a great time having a fun night with all their favorite people without the stress of many wedding events. They opted just to have friends, so no family expectations. Everyone knew my husband and I were throwing it, so any judgement about venue, budget, or choices reflected on us and not them. And people had a great time and thought it was a cool party, which made us feel great. But we didn’t care if anyone thought it was lame, because the honored couple were super happy. We sort of felt like, we are dropping a grand and doing a nice thing so if anyone has something nasty to say, less beer for them. And it is easier to think about whether a venue or food is a good choice when you are trying to please other people you love. It was so much fun and such a lovely memory. If you have the ability, finding someone to celebrate is a great, great way to throw a party. It just amplifies the love.

    • Alexandra

      Yes, just have a party! I never knew you could just have a party for fun
      until I met my now-husband’s best man and his wife. They have parties
      all the time, at the slightest provocation, and it is always a total
      blast. Now we have parties all the time, too! We even have a line-item
      in our budget for them.

      Invite around 20 people, serve yummy food and play a fun game or have a fun theme, ta-da! Awesome party!

      Knowing that you actually can have a party anytime you want took a lot of the pressure off my wedding, which also wasn’t my idea of an ideal social event. I realized that (at least for us) our wedding had much different objectives than an ordinary social event, and that it wasn’t fair to bring “fun social expectations” to my own wedding, which was more of a family obligation kind of thing. But since we have fun social events all the time, I was ok with my wedding being really meaningful, but not actually all that fun.

      • gonzalesbeach

        totally agree and why wait til the fall (unless it’s for budget reasons/booking the venue etc.)? maybe a spring tea party would be nice. and if LW is concerned about people thinking it’s another party to celebrate their relationship then just promote it as a party not an anniversary party. yes, the focus won’t be on your (LW’s) relationship- but rather about getting together with people you love. and that’s the main point isn’t it?
        side note: I’d ever even think I had to bring a gift to an anniversary party – is that a thing?? have I been doing etiquette wrong with this? Although I usually offer a small [read SMALL] host gift if I attend a party – like a bunch of rosemary from my garden.

      • april

        Yes to parties-just-for-the-heck-of-it! I used to be totally intimidated by the idea of throwing parties, but then I read Amy Sedaris’s “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.” Now I’ll use pretty much anything as an excuse to organize some sort of get-together.

    • Emily

      I agree with the “just have a party-party” sentiment. If it’s important to you, maybe have a champagne toast in honor of your anniversary, but leave it at that.

    • AmandaBee

      Agree, although I think it would be fine to tell people that you’re “having a little get-together to celebrate our first anniversary”. But I’d treat it as a party, not as a wedding, in the sense that I’d skip formal invites and all that hoopla. Just call people and invite them out to dinner to celebrate. Those who really want to be there will, and those who don’t see the point won’t. And since it’s a party and not a wedding, IMO you’re free to not invite anyone who might have a problem with that or who has not been supportive of you and your husband.

      My only caveat: if YOU are thinking of this as a wedding do-over, that might put enough pressure on the situation that you’ll feel stressed all over again when planning. Even if this goes really well, it probably won’t have the significance to make up for the wedding you didn’t love. I would really do some self-reflection to think about whether this event is going to be an enjoyable or stressful one for you and your husband. If it’s stressful, the advice to celebrate it in a nice intimate way with just your husband might be something to consider.

  • Amy March

    “I’m worried that people will think we’re full of ourselves or after more presents or something, and I’m also worried that my husband’s family will push to make it into a big event with dinner and everything again.”

    Yup. Those things are both obviously going to happen (give yourself credit for knowing your people!) and the answer to standing up to them is all the unpleasantness you tried and failed at a year ago. I agree with Liz- these people are not willing to celebrate you in the way you would like to be celebrated. It is sad, and unfortunate, and reality.

    I like the idea of doing something festive though. Do you have a group of friends who might like to come over for afternoon tea? A couple other people you might want to take out to dinner and drink all the wine and make some new memories? I do think it is too soon (and unlikely to work) to have the anniversary party you are thinking of.

    • Alison O

      The second part of the second sentence is what stood out to me, too. It sounds like the worst part of the first wedding was the people drama. If you want the “do-over” (which I don’t think is possible to actually approximate because you are, in fact, already married), it sounds like it needs to not involve those people. However, it sounds like LW wants the family to be involved again if she’s concerned about them.

      I wonder if this desire to re-do the wedding isn’t so much about your sense of loss of having a nice wedding, but rather what the wedding may represent, which is the loss of not having more pleasant family dynamics or intimacy with your most important people or a sense of self-determination, stronger boundaries, etc. Might be something to reflect on and focus your energies on taking steps in those directions (including the “step” of accepting things as they are) in your everyday life rather than putting so much emphasis on the wedding/re-do side of things.

      And I would def take the money I’d spend on a do-over and instead spend it on myself for a vacation or on massages, psychic visits, dinners out with hubby/wifey or special friends, etc. over a longer period of time, i.e. more joy every day, not just one day.

      • AP

        “I wonder if this desire to re-do the wedding isn’t so much about your sense of loss of having a nice wedding, but rather what the wedding may represent, which is the loss of not having more pleasant family dynamics or intimacy with your most important people or a sense of self-determination, stronger boundaries, etc.”

        This x1000.

  • Laura C

    I can totally see mourning the wedding you wanted and didn’t have, and wanting to recreate that vision now. But it seems like asking for disappointment — even if you can somehow subtract the in-law drama, which it sounds like you probably can’t, there’s a good chance that doing the thing you wanted to do in the beginning will revive the sadness about having hated your wedding, etc.

    I do think, as other commenters have suggested, that there are lots of things you can do, where by not making it publicly anniversary oriented (and maybe by just not inviting family, since after all, it’s just a party and you’re allowed to have just a party with your friends) you’ll be able to do something that feels celebratory in a you sort of way. But minus those echos of difficult times and disappointments.

  • Fiona

    This is totally different than what you were suggesting, but could you maybe do a little weekend away with your spouse and plan a renewal of your vows – and maybe an anniversary photo shoot? It could help you to reclaim your feelings around the whole event and do it without any input but from you and your person as a way to make positive memories around a wedding-like event?

    • Lisa

      This is kind of what I was thinking. I once saw a bride on a TV show talk about how that was the compromise for her and her husband to having the big wedding in which she wasn’t really interested but that their families wanted. Maybe after the weekend away they could have a regular party that they want (possibly with an anniversary champagne toast thrown in as someone else suggested)?

    • Kayla

      I really like the idea of doing a weekend away and trying to incorporate whatever little things you did like about your wedding. The vows? The wine? The first dance? Maybe there were a couple nice things in there that you hated at the time but can salvage.

    • Totally agree with this!

    • AP

      I love this idea.

  • laddibugg

    I agree with waiting five (well, 10, really) years to have an anniversary party.
    I think you could do a party at home for the 1st one, but anything more than that and I’d feel like you were trying to be like Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.

  • Kayla

    Personally, I would not be able to let go of the hurt and disappointment of the wedding I hated while planning a do-over wedding. That would just keep me stewing in rage, especially if the second wedding ends up having the same problems as the first wedding. Then what? You’ll have to plan a third wedding? That sounds… tiring.

    Instead, I wonder if there’s something you can do with your husband as a kind of letting-go ritual. Burn you leftover invitations in a bonfire? Go for a swim in your wedding clothes? Rent a wood chipper and make that box of old decorations into mulch? I’m reaching for wedding-related ideas here, but I really do believe in the emotional-release power of trashing some shit.

    • VKD_Vee

      God, I would be EXACTLY the same. The rage and upset would just take over. A invitation bonfire (or similar) sounds cathartic as hell! Liz’s advice to try and let it go for now, while still keeping a renewal in the cards for the 5 or 10 year mark, was really fantastic too.

      • Kayla

        Oh, totally. I mostly loved my wedding and I’m still planning a(n imaginary) 10 year anniversary party. It has everything my wedding didn’t. Hot dress. Live band. Eyeliner for days. Unity cocktail. (Thanks @ashlah!)

        Whether it happens doesn’t even matter. It’s the repository for all my wedding should-haves. They live there happily.

  • Mrrpaderp

    My advice turns on what LW actually wants. If it’s a wedding re-do, complete with vows and out of town guests and both sides of the family, then I’m sorry but I think that’s a lot to ask. I’m pretty hard pressed to feel offended by an invitation – it’s not a subpoena, we should assume the best intentions of our loved ones, all that jazz. But I would be pretty miffed if even a very good friend asked me to take vacation time, fly/drive far, and get a hotel room for her one year anniversary when I just did the same for her wedding the year before. And she wasn’t even going to feed me dinner this time. It wouldn’t be friendship ending by any means, but I would give some major side eye and definitely not attend.

    If you just want to have a party, though, then have a party. I think you can safely call it an anniversary party if you keep it pretty low key. Like, a text/email telling folks you hope they can come to your party over your one year anniversary, not a snail mailed invitation to your Anniversary Party. If I were invited to something like this, I would bring a bottle of wine; I would not feel obligated to bring some other kind of gift.

  • Kate

    I think planning another wedding type celebration so soon after the wedding is just asking for disappointment. Talk about re-opening barely healed wounds, yikes! I would plan a trip or something instead. Invite friends along if you want, but there’s no need to invite the same people who ruined the wedding the first time.

  • I think you should have the party if you want! Accept no pressure for how it should be, but don’t put that pressure on yourself for how it should be either.
    My husband and I got married on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, so our one-year anniversary fell on the Super bowl the following year. (We didn’t hate our wedding, or anything, but a sad thing for me is that with inviting all our families we had to exclude many of our local friends). So we threw a super bowl party and invited all our friends I wish we could have shared our wedding with. We mentioned in the invite that it was also our anniversary, and we put our our year-old top tier from the freezer to share with our guests and made a small mention of the occasion. (This year although our anniversary was Tuesday, we’ll be celebrating with our 3rd annual super bowl party!) I think it’s important to strike a balance between self-aggrandizing “look at us it’s our anniversary” and “hey we love you and we want to celebrate with you!” And I think a huge part of how you do that is to make it as low key and expectation-free as possible.

  • Eh

    My BIL/SIL’s wedding did not go as they had dreamed. Their was a lot of drama from my husband’s relatives (people vocalizing their dislike of my SIL at the wedding). A lot of the vendors did not do what was expected of them. And to top that all off things just did not go their way (my SIL’s phone ended up in a pond). My BIL/SIL do not have good memories of that day so for their first anniversary they were going to have a party but things with my husband’s family were actually getting worse. So instead they celebrated their anniversary, just the too of them and they reaffirmed their vows. Then they got stuck outside in a downpour. They have much better memories from their first anniversary than their wedding.

    My dad and step-mum have a huge family get together for their anniversary every year. It is clear that no gifts are expected. It’s about spending time together with their family and friends.l, not trying to make up for their wedding so it’s a very different situation.

  • Vanessa

    Slightly off topic: do people really celebrate other peoples’ anniversaries? (with the exception of parents/grandparents &/or 5-year increments after 25 maybe?) My mom asked me this year if I had sent my brother & his wife an anniversary card and I was like “WTF are you talking about?” And even though I’m not married yet I think I would be equally weirded out if one of my siblings sent me a similar card after I do get married, but maybe I’m just the Anniversary Grinch?

    To the original LW – if I got invited to a 1-year anniversary party hosted by the couple I might roll my eyes at first but after that I’d probably be happy to go and have a good time.

    • Vilmos Kovacs

      I get lots of nice messages on my anniversary. I wish other people happy anniversary. Not always with a card, but sometimes. It isn’t the craziest thing. More celebrating!

      • Vanessa

        Yeah I mean, if I talk to someone on or near their anniversary I usually mention it but it’s usually in the context of “hey happy anniversary what are you two doing to celebrate?” I think anything beyond that would make me very uncomfortable, both giving or receiving.

        • Vilmos Kovacs

          Oh, that is a bummer to hear. It never occurred to me that I was making people uncomfortable with anniversary cards. I just like excuses to use pretty stationary and to let people know that I’m thinking of them.

          • Vanessa

            Maybe “uncomfortable” was too strong. And if it brings you joy, keep doing it!

    • Amy March

      I try to send anniversary cards to people whose weddings I have attended. I’m not particularly good at it, but at least for 1st anniversaries I make an attempt.

      My parents have always received and sent anniversary cards tot heir close friends. I think it’s nice, and common, and not weird at all.

    • Roselyne

      … The most we’ve wanted (or received) has been a phone call from my parents wishing us a happy anniversary, and my in-laws watching our daughter for an evening.

      I’d be kind of weirded out by an anniversary card from ANYONE that wasn’t my husband, honestly. It just seems not super relevant to anyone outside the relationship.

      • Heh our anniversary was this week. Got a couple facebook messages, a text from both our moms and his sister, his parents sent Edible arrangements (his mom’s favorite) and my grandparents sent a check. Hard to argue with food or money ;-)

    • Alison O

      I would find it very touching if someone other than my partner acknowledged our anniversary, but in my peer and family circles it’s not something I’ve seen done. The only anniversaries I’m aware of having been celebrated beyond immediate family (and my parents don’t even expect us children to acknowledge it) are grandparents’ 50th and 60th.

    • Eh

      In my family we do not ‘celebrate’ other people’s anniversaries (well we kind of celebrate my dad and step-mum’s but that is more about spending time as one big family) but we might acknowledge other people’s anniversaries (eg with them a happy anniversary on FB). My in-laws celebrate and give gifts to couples on their anniversary. I think it’s weird and every year (we celebrated our 2nd anniversary last fall) we have a clash with my inlaws when we make plans to spend time together just the two (now three) of us.

    • TeaforTwo

      I definitely do not. We’ve had two anniversaries so far, and both times our parents have sent an email acknowledging the day, but that’s it. It’s nice of them, but I don’t expect even that.

      To be honest, what I love about our anniversary is that it’s this special day just for us, and we spend it together doing some of our favourite things. I don’t want to talk to anyone else.

      As for other people’s anniversaries…I’ll “like” a post about it on Facebook, but that’s it. Parties for milestones 25+ are great, but before that I think anniversaries are for the couple to celebrate. The big milestone anniversary parties tend to be mostly family anyway, and it makes perfect sense that your kids/grandkids want to fete a Golden Anniversary, because that’s how the family started!

      Earlier on in your marriage than that…go be alone together! Drink champagne! Have sex! I don’t need to be there.

    • CMT

      I acknowledge (on Facebook) the anniversary of my two best friends I married. And sometimes first anniversaries of couples whose weddings I attended, but that’s just because Timehop reminds me.

    • AP

      Same!!! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one! I think an anniversary is for the couple sharing it, and if others acknowledge it, that’s nice but not necessary. I don’t even really know anyone’s anniversary (dates were never my strong suit.) I tell my mom and stepdad Happy Anniversary every year, either in person or via text, but that’s all I’ve ever done. And then a few years ago they had a 10th anniversary, and I found out way after the fact that my mom was disappointed that I didn’t throw them a party! I was stunned! I had no idea they wanted a party. I would have been more than happy to host one if I’d known, but I was totally blindsided and felt super guilty. But now that I’m married, I’m thinking if I want an anniversary party, I’ll be throwing it myself, thanks.

    • EF

      I think it depends on your crowd? We got a whole bunch of happy 1-anniversary wishes recently, but I think it was because of 2 things: 1) all the people on my side are children of divorced people, or broken homes, or have never had a good marriage role model. So they’re cheering for us, and let it be known! [note: i’m one of those people that’s like, what exactly does a good marriage look like?]
      2)far, far opposite on my partner’s side, is the land of rock-solid marriages and not one case of divorce, but a lot of sickly-sweet couples. and they send best wishes as a sort of, yes! you’ve joined us! thing.

      I sent my brother a 1 year anniversary card a couple months ago because he didn’t acknowledge my wedding (I was engaged before he even met his wife, and then he got married 7 weeks before me. Sigh.), and I sent them a nice present. I’ll probably continue to passively-aggressively send a card.

    • emilyg25

      No, not in my family/friends. I’ve never even acknowledged my parents’ anniversary. Our anniversary is just for us.

    • Annie

      I never celebrate other people’s anniversaries. If you made it to some big anniversary milestone, sure, let’s get together and eat cake and raise a glass to Grandma and Grandpa on their 50th anniversary. Otherwise, it never comes to mind as a thing I have to celebrate or share congratulations about. Like others have said, anniversaries are for the two of you, not for everyone you invited to your wedding.

      That said, I do remember one couple’s anniversary, but only because it was also the day the last Harry Potter book came out, and a big group of us went to buy it together the night before.

  • Me – You – SameBoat

    God I could have written this a couple months back. I thought about do-overs and what kind of made me more mad was that I couldn’t think of a single thing I would really change to make it all easier. With the money, family, and wedding expectations we had, we threw the best wedding we could really. I’m sorry LW that your wedding wasn’t what you hoped for and probably deserved. But what we deserve is a devilish concept that doesn’t really do us any good. I could commiserate with you about the many things that went badly through the planning, day-of, and aftermath, but I will stick with one. At the very end of the night on our wedding when there was no one left except a couple good friends, I got ridiculously sick from drinking too much. Which I was terribly embarrassed about.

    Now I can and have rationalized that as the bride I didn’t get enough to eat in all the excitement, that in all the stress of juggling all the wedding details and the copious amounts of family drama, I finally in the one small area at the end of one evening during this entire process lost my poise. And that has helped a bit. Also you know who ended their wedding night throwing up? Lily from How I Met Your Mother. A fictional character yes, but the point is – did that say anything about the quality of her marriage or they happiness they were destined to have along the rest of their journey? Nope. They were married. She tried to be the chill bride and a lot of shit still sucked. The part that didn’t suck? Marshall, her husband. Getting back around to the “deserve” idea, my motto now is (and cue the music) “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

  • LisaG

    It sounds like what you really want is to go back in time and change your wedding. Which is totally understandable given how things went down. But keep in mind that you’re only 6-months post wedding right now and things are still very raw and painful. I think in a few years you will have some distance from the situation and can decide if a true do-over is what you need to be able to move on. Or you may find that after some more time the negative memories have mellowed a bit and been overwritten with newer, happier ones. For your first anniversary pick something that you really want to do with your spouse and do that. Have a party at another time if you just want to get together with your favorite people.

  • S

    This letter resonates with me. My wedding was awful. Neither the planning nor the day are happy memories for me. My wedding, the events that stemmed from it, and the negative feelings surrounding it, were so bad that I actually sought counseling during our first year of marriage. We were married over a year before my husband even thought it might be okay to print some wedding photos and put them up, and even then I cried when I saw them-not happy tears, either. For so long I dreamed of a wedding do-over on our anniversary. But I realized that re-doing our wedding wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t erase my original wedding or the memories I have from it. My husband and I ultimately decided that we would continue to celebrate our dating anniversary, which was ours for four years before we got married, and that we would let our wedding anniversary pass without much fanfare. We shared our decision with our families as they are the only people who would likely acknowledge our wedding anniversary anyway, and that was that. I am glad we got married. I’m glad that my bad wedding was the start of my great marriage. Have a party if you want, but know that a new wedding won’t necessarily stamp out your old wedding from the annals of time and your memory.

  • EF

    I am very pro throwing a party down the road. If 1 year is what works for you, do it! Chances are the people you’ll want to invite (and like, leave out the family that ruined stuff) know that the wedding was hard on you. They’ll probably be happy to celebrate again, especially if they are local.

    I was extremely sick during our wedding 13 months ago. Things have been *hard* off-and-on since then, just due to giant life event stressors. I don’t know if we’ll make it to 5 years, but we’ve said from the beginning that we want to have a second party then, because it will be OURS and not the state telling us we have to (as we definitely needed a visa) and family being either over-involved or ignoring the event completely. Adding to that, now, is going through the hard stuff (living abroad has gotten so much more difficult, underemployment, parent sick, parent dying, facing old trauma…shit’s gotten real) makes it seem like you totally earn parties every few years. So yeah, do what you want, I think.

    A friend of mine had that big wedding a few years back, and spent her third anniversary with her husband on a beach in mexico, doing a commitment ceremony with just them, an officiant, and a photographer. It’s what she wanted the whole time, and she was so, so happy they did that. Different strokes!

    • notquitecece

      <3 <3 <3

  • don’t invite the controlling relatives. throw the party you want for the friends who you know will enjoy it.

  • Kara Davies

    You could always go find a place and renew your vows to eachother as just the two of you, then go out to dinner with your nearest and dearest “just because”. You’ll know that it’s your happy do over, they don’t need to.

  • sara

    An in-between option would be to organize a casual get together with your local friends. I would 100% be excited to drop by a low-key celebration for local friends (especially if the invite specifies “no gifts”), but would feel a little weird about receiving something like this as an out-of-towner. While obviously it’s on your guests to RSVP yes or no, I do think it’s a pretty big ‘ask’ to ask friends and loved ones to spend their vacation time and money on you two years in a row. Plus, focusing on friends instead of family would avoid any drama with your family members.

  • Amanda

    Just have the party! It’s okay to have an anniversary party. Invite the people you want, who will be supportive. You don’t have to invite “extended both sides” or the pain in the ass people. Have your cake and punch and tea and wear the perfect little dress you want.Celebrate your happy first year of marriage with the people who support you. You don’t need to write on the invitation “This is to make up for how much I hated my wedding.” No one needs to know that but you and your husband. I for one love cake and would be so happy to share and be a part of the community of a couple I love, both at a wedding and a year out.

  • Emma BD

    So I agree with the advice given but I also noticed you asking for permission- “Is that okay?” and “Can I do this?” Girl, at the end of the day do whatever you feel is right. If you read this article and these comments and decide that you still want to do a small reception do-over, then go for it! You don’t need anyone’s permission to do what will make you happy.

  • Raissomat

    I’d do it, but whitout the family. Just call it a party like the other commenters said, and only invite people who make you feel awesome and supported.
    Also, for the sake of your relationship and yourself, get that in-law situation under control with lots of talking and some conflicts are dangerous for the couple, I’m talking from experience. When I say talking I mean with your husband!! It’s important you both are on the same page and hold together.
    Good luck!!!

  • May

    I DID THIS. Completely, utterly hated my wedding and it consumed me for a year. Then I decided to throw a 1st anniversary party as not a redo but something to make up for how awful the wedding was and to reclaim the part of planning it for US. And yes I called it an anniversary party, so what? No need to hide that. My BIL made fun of us for planning it and I told him he doesn’t need to come if it’s too stupid a concept for him, no one’s forcing him. I booked a private dining room in a restaurant, we dressed nice, and I paid for brunch for about 20 people and yes it made me feel better. I excluded the people who gave me strife and that included both sets of parents. It was lovely and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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