Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ETIQUETTE QUESTION - PLEASE HELP!

Okay everyone... I'm forewarning you that this blog might be a bit of a downer but its all relevant to the question I need answered at the bottom of the post I SWERRRR...

Like every girl I dreamed of the "dream wedding."  I've also worked in special event planning for approximately 4 years at this point and have therefore stockpiled idea after idea for my own wedding.  All that was missing was the "one."

When I met my husband in 2006 we knew within a very short time that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together (Gaaaagggggg).  But seriously, I told my dad the very next day that I had met the guy he was going to give me away to.  To which my dad probably replied something like, "Good God here we go.  You need to chill out."  But I meant it.

At this time Dennis' dad was battling non-hodgkins lymphoma.  Within a few months his cancer was back with a vengeance and we were spending a good amount of time commuting between work and the Cancer Institute in Detroit.  We did have some fun along the way but our "courtship" had a very dark cloud looming over it.

Then the day came where they called everyone in to let us know that there was nothing more they could do for his dad but make him comfortable in his last weeks.  I couldn't believe that this man's health had deteriorated right before us in such a short amount of time.   And I couldn't come close to imagining how my then boyfriend could bear the finality of the situation.  Furthermore ,as rough as it was going to be I knew I had to somehow put aside my own sadness for both his dad and for him and his entire family, and be as supportive as I could possibly be.

One night Dennis said to me that although we hadn't been together long, he knew that we were going to be together.  And that if I was ok with putting a rush on things he would like for us to get married before his dad passed away.  (Of course I said yes.  Even though it meant giving up the dream wedding - the possibility for him to have a memory of his dad at our wedding meant far more).

Even as a writer, I cannot begin to put into words the amount of emotional turmoil that ensued over the next couple of weeks.  We went back and forth on whether or not it was "appropriate," if we wanted to give up the "dream wedding," if we wanted our wedding day overcome with the sadness that was in everyone's hearts at that time.  We had no idea what we were in store for.

Dennis spent the next two weeks at his dads bedside while I frantically and single-handedly tried to pull together as nice of a wedding as possible for us.  Hours were spent calling family, as it was too late for invitations.  Luckily I was working as an event coordinator at a beautiful venue and even though it was peak wedding season, we were able to squeeze in a morning ceremony and brunch reception on Sunday, August 12th.

I would work during the day, checking up on Dennis, and getting status reports about his dad then run to Michaels, work on favors (frivolous but I wanted it to feel as "normal" as possible), run to Costco and buy fresh flowers, run to the mall to pick out a sundress for my maid-of-honor, run to Kohls to pick up outfits for the flower girl and ring bearer, etc.  

At this time Dennis was working 3rd shift so I'd go take him "lunch" at midnight and sit with him on the tailgate of his truck and talk about his dad and our future together.  It was an insanely exhausting couple of weeks.

So the wedding day came.  There was no bridal shower.  There were no bachelor/bachelorette parties.  There was no bridal party.  There was no first dance.  There was no honeymoon..... And there was no Dennis' dad. 

He passed away two days before our wedding.  Two days before he passed I went to visit him.  He was sleeping a lot and had not shown any signs of communication that week.  I sat down next to him and told him I was there.  I told him that he had an amazing son and that we were getting married and that I would take good care of him and make him happy.  He opened his eyes and I put my hand in his to show him the ring.  He smiled for the first time in days... and for possibly the last time. 

Because of this, his dad's family insisted we go on with the wedding.  As torn as we were Dennis said that, since much of his dad's family were in town for the funeral that it would be the closest he'd get to having his dad there.  So we did it.  Heavy hearts and all.

Sometimes we talk about it and say we wish we had waited.  Instead of waking up the day after our wedding and jumping the next flight to a romantic tropical location, we got ready and went to his dad's funeral.  But ultimately, do we regret it?  Absolutely not.  We've made it through some of the toughest couple of years imaginable.  We've dealt with more in the last two years than most marriages have to endure in the first 25.  And we are as in love with each other as we were in the beginning.

And that, we feel, is cause for celebration. 

So my question is this:  Is it inappropriate for us to have a blowout party for a 5th anniversary?  I know its usually the 25th or 50th that people go all out for but we'd really like to renew our vows (in that romantic tropical place - money pending) and come home and have a huge party.  It'd give us a chance to enjoy the party planning process and actually celebrate our union during a much lighter, happier time. 

We certainly wouldn't want people to bring gifts and would do something less formal than a wedding reception.  There'd be no toasts, or wedding cake or wedding dress.  I really feel like everyone who knows us and knows the circumstances that surrounded our wedding would understand why we're pimping out our 5th anniversary but on the other hand I don't know if its inappropriate.  Advice?  Pretty please??? 

3 comments:

  1. I am stopping by from Lady Blogggers. This is a funny coincidence because just last night we were talking about our own wedding, 23 years ago. My dad died unexpectedly during the planning stages and I just could not imagine walking down any aisle without him. We changed our date and got married in my mom's house.

    I think you should go for it! People will be happy to celebrate with you:)

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  2. Reading your story made me choke up. YES!!!! I say go for it. I don't feel it is inappropriate at all. You two deserve it!! I also feel everyone would be super happy to celebrate with you.

    <3 Becca

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  3. I say YES to the party. Absolutely. My husband and I did a vow renewal for our fifth. We had our own resons for wanting to do it, and I'm not sure everyone understood them, but our family and close friends circled around us that evening in our church and supported us. And we had a heckuva party after.

    So yes. Celebrate. CELEBRATE!!

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