GratiTuesday: I’d Do It Again

After thirteen years of “dating” (which included buying and remodeling a house together), my husband and I officially tied the knot in 2003. In a few days, we will celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

When we made our wedding plans, we both agreed that we didn’t want anything too formal. Neither of us are religious so a church wedding wasn’t even considered. We wanted our wedding to be a joyful gathering of friends… kind of a party during which two people happen to get married. When a neighbor offered his big, flat backyard, we knew that it would be the perfect venue.

When I look at our wedding photos, I am reminded of how much our wedding reflected our personalities… then and now. Our guests were encouraged to wear “casual, tropical attire” and our flowers, linens, and decorations were bright and colorful. Dancing began with a conga line recessional and continued into the evening to the tunes of the rocking blues band we hired.

Conga line recessional.

Many of our guests remarked that, if they were ever to get married again, this was how they would want their wedding to be. They shared that their weddings were as much (or more) about what their parents wanted as what they desired.

Me and my best friend.

Looking back on our wedding day, I am filled with gratitude. Most of all, I am grateful for the man I married. Our invitations read, “This day I will marry my friend… the one I laugh with, dream with, live for, and love.” That is just as true today as it was then. I am grateful for my memories of that glorious September day, filled with love, laughter, and dear friends. I am also grateful that, when I look back at that day, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d do it all again, just the same.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

83 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: I’d Do It Again”

  1. Beautiful post. Like you, we did it our way: we eloped rather than submit to a wedding that we didn’t want. Then, 6 weeks later, we had a party (reception? Whatever anyone wanted to call it was okay by us). Like you, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Janis, it is wonderful to read that the tender feelings you had for your husband when you two got married are still present after all these years. Congratulations! Peter

  3. Wonderful! I cringe when I remember the things I thought we HAD to do or have on our wedding day. The tuxes were hideous. We were young and really had no idea what our own tastes even were at that point. I want a do-over!

  4. Love your dress…do you know/remember what fabric it was made out of?
    And BTW: I personally believe you’re celebrating your 28th year of love and commitment…just sayin’…

  5. Wish I’d had that wisdom so many years ago. I was the follower of what my family wanted. At the time, I really didn’t even care! Now, as my son and his fiancee plan their “different” wedding, I see how much more fun it could have been. At least the marriage has lasted! 🙂

  6. What a fun wedding, and one I would have enjoyed being a part of, certainly! 🙂 The photos show that your joy was full on that day, you speak with love and joy in the current, and may the joy extend well into the future. Happy Anniversary, Janis!

  7. Happy Anniversary and Congratulations on 15 years! Simple weddings are the best. I’ve been married to my best friend for 32 years – it was the second time for us both. We went to a Justice of the Peace with the couple that brought us together and two days later had a big party with family and friends. It was wonderful. Your picture shows your joy. Wishing you many more years together!

    1. Simple is good. I think that just the fact that our guests didn’t have to dress up encouraged everyone to be in a celebratory mode. I like the idea of a private ceremony and a big party. It sounds like you also did what you two wanted to do.

  8. I think the absolute best way to celebrate an anniversary is to truly realize that, given the chance, you’d marry him/her all over again. Sounds as if you had a fabulous wedding!

  9. Great post – and a great way to do a wedding. We also did it our way – and while a bit more formal because the ceremony was in a church, the reception was potluck and the whole thing cost about $500.

  10. What a sweet post, Janis! Congratulations to you and your husband! In today’s day and age, any relationship that successfully spans 28 years should be applauded, commended and celebrated. May I ask what day your anniversary falls on? If you prefer not to answer, just ignore the question; I won’t be offended! I’m curious only because Alan and I will be celebrating our anniversary on Saturday, September 15th. No matter how you and your husband choose to celebrate, I hope you enjoy every minute of your special day!

  11. It was a lovely wedding and lots of fun! We were honored to be there to celebrate with you. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years!

  12. Janis, What a wonderful post and memory! Congrats of your anniversary!

    While I did a more traditional wedding, I at least recognized much of it was for the parents. It was our gift to them. But I was old enough to also know where my limits were and didn’t do anything I really did not want , so we had a great time as well. I too married my best friend…and that has made all the difference in life!

    BTW – I agree, you need to celebrate your “30 years together”! That’s an amazing accomplishment.

    1. Sadly, my mother had passed away a few years before we got married and I wondered what, if any input she would have had regarding our plans. My mother always enjoyed a party and wasn’t all that traditional, so I think she would have said “go for it!” I’m warming to the idea of a 30th “anniversary” celebration… 🙂

  13. That’s the way to do it! We also did something similar (otherwise I would have skipped it all together). Congratulations on your long, happy relationship.🎉

  14. What a wonderfully happy and memorable post, Janis. Happy anniversary to you and your best friend. Your wedding day sounds and looks just perfect (and a tad similar to our wedding party in St. Martin). Having made the right decisions in life and that “no regrets” feeling is what counts. Like you, I wouldn’t change a thing about our celebration, if I could do it over again. 🙂

  15. Such a beautiful post full of love and gratitude Janis, congratulations to you and you best friends. May you have many happy anniversaries and I must say, those wedding photos look so much fun!

  16. Congratulations! On an enduring friendship, the wisdom to marry right and well, and sticking together through everything that happens as the years pile up.

  17. Rob and I have been together for 11 years and married for 7. Like you, we focused on having a big party with all our friends and family. Our wedding was so much fun, and not stressful at all.


    1. So many people I know say that they hardly remember their wedding… I think because of all the stress and obligations. I remember all of it, including when the cops came and said that we needed to quiet down… and also asked for the name of our band 🙂

  18. I was looking at posts on Anniversaries and came across your positive, up beat blog. I like your words on how you wouldn’t change a thing and get married the same way. Our 40th Wedding Anniversary is next week, and I agree with you. I am a very new blogger navigating this world. Thank you for your gems. Erica

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