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.
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.
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.
83 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: I’d Do It Again”
This is my favorite post of yours. Happy Anniversary dear friend..oh and Paul too!
Thank you (and thank you for commenting 🙂 )!
Thank you, Laura.
Thank you, Jill.
It was a beautiful, fun and amazing wedding! The rehearsal dinner was a hoot too! Happy Anniversary!
We had a good time, huh? Thank you for being a big part of our day.
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.
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Weddings can be very stressful, especially when you are trying to please others. It sounds like you did what you wanted to do, which is how it should be.
Beautiful! Congrats 🎉 and happy anniversary! 🌹
Thank you! It was a fun time and a happy day.
Congratulations. I can tell from your pictures that it was a very happy day!
Thank you, Kate.
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
Thank you, Peter. Looking at our wedding pictures before writing this post, I remembered how I felt that day and, you’re right, not much has changed.
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!
The great thing is you can have a do-over! Everyone loves a party and I’m sure your friends would love to celebrate with you!
Everyone would love it—except my husband.
Oh, well… he’d sort of be key to the event.
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’…
All I remember is that it was soft and silky (but not silk). I think you are right about the anniversary of love and commitment. Maybe we should plan a big to-do at our 30th.
No maybe about it! Plan on it! (IMHO)
What a beautiful tribute to your love and adoration for each other Janis. Happy anniversary!
Thank you, Linda. A lot has happened over the 15 years, but we are happy and doing well.
That is the main thing Janis … being happy in the present.
Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary.
That looks like such an awesome wedding celebration. You should renew your vows…have a similar party (and invite me)!
See you soon!
That sounds like fun… and, of course you’d be invited!
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! 🙂
I think more personal weddings are becoming more common now. Not so many expectations.
Happy Anniversary Janis and Paul. You both look so happy and in love. And yes, isn’t that as it should be? Congratulations for continuing on to a wonderful life together. ~Kathy
Thank you, Kathy. We’ve had a lot of fun over the years and, now that we are retired, we are enjoying life even more.
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!
Thank you, Debra. We had a great time that day celebrating with family and friends… and the celebrating continues (most of the time 🙂 ).
How beautiful you both are.
Ahhh, that’s sweet. Thank you.
Happy Anniversary, Janis ❤️ Beautiful photos from what sounds like a perfect day! Best wishes for the next 15 🙂
Thank you, Joanne. I imagine your family feels the same way about your son’s wedding 🙂
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!
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.
Congratulations. Nice post about a lovely event.
Thank you, Judy. After looking at my photos for this post… I think I want to have another party 🙂
Happy Anniversary Janis. Looks like you had a perfect wedding.
It was the perfect wedding for us and I’m so happy we had the freedom (mostly due to our age, probably 🙂 ) to do exactly what we wanted.
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!
That’s so true, Anne. Neither of us are perfect (shhhh, don’t tell my husband) but I can’t imagine being with anyone else.
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.
Wedding costs are crazy and can get our of hand quickly. I bet your $500 party was just as much fun as those costing thousands. I love that you had everyone contribute food to your potluck… the best gift of all.
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!
Happy anniversary to you too! Ours is on the 13th… not a bad luck day at all 🙂 . I’m pretty sure our celebration will be low-key… just like we like it.
Today’s the 13th! Happy Anniversary! Enjoy every minute of your special day!
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!
I can’t believe it has been 15 years either… sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes a lifetime ago.
What lovely photos and memories! Happy anniversary to you both! ~ Lynn
Thanks, Lynn! Thank goodness for photos… they help with the memories 🙂
That’s so lovely! Happy anniversary.
Thank you, Anabel.
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.
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… 🙂
Aww, Janis, this was so heartwarming to read, it brought a tear to my eye! You look so happy then and still so 15 years later! Happy anniversary and hugs to you both!
Thank you, Terri. Things have worked out rather well… 🙂
Congratulations and happy anniversary, Janis! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.
Thank you, Natalie!
Thanks for sharing all of this! Great photos.. and congrats to you both! – Marty
Hi Marty! It was fun to revisit the day.
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.🎉
Good for you! In many ways, I ‘m glad I didn’t get married much younger. When we did, we were old enough to know what we wanted.
Happy Anniversary! Bet those years went by fast too. I hope you two have many, many more happy years together.
Thank you. The years have gone by fast and we’ve had a lot of fun!
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. 🙂
I’m not surprised that you and Mark had a non-traditional wedding too. I hope that you are enjoying your latest adventures on the road.
Great photos of your wedding, and congratulations on your anniversary!
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!
Thank you! I loved going through all my photos of our wedding and remembering the day.
Congratulations! On an enduring friendship, the wisdom to marry right and well, and sticking together through everything that happens as the years pile up.
Thank you! I think friendship and trust are the most important elements in a long relationship. Fortunately, we have both.
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.
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 🙂
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
Thank you for your lovely comment! I’m currently on a two-month blogging break but I wanted to wish you and your husband a wonderful anniversary, and welcome you to my blog and the blogging world.
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