We didn’t have much in the way of money for our wedding day so my husband promised that I could have the wedding of my dreams for our fifth anniversary. I felt that having a wedding after already being married was a little strange, however, I thought a vow renewal would be amazing. So for five years, I plan our vow renewal .
Two months before the day, I send out invites. Just a small gathering, family and close friends, which probably totaled 20 people. I reserved the community room and began earnestly putting things together. I got some flowers to place here and there, a small cake that simply stated, “Congratulations on Five Years of Wedded Bliss,” a variety of music from everyone, wrote my vows and got a lovely but casual dress. About two weeks before the date, my mother-in-law starts making comments about how tacky a vow renewal is, how anniversaries are for couples to celebrate amongst themselves privately, how rude I was being expecting this kind of thing. Since she always made the comments under her breath and never to me directly, I let it go.
The day arrives. I come home from work, get the kids all cutely dressed, get all dressed up myself, then head down to the community room with the kids and get set up. An hour after the start time, I realize that no one has called, let alone shown up. Not even my husband. I make some calls but I don’t get any answers. Another hour goes by and I begin packing up, it’s finally sunk in that no one is coming. It’s still early in the evening, only about 7pm, so I pop a movie in for the kids while I try to figure out what to do with the flowers and cake. At quarter to 8pm, I’ve changed into my usual jeans and t-shirt and the kids are in pajamas. My husband walks in as they’re brushing their teeth and I’m just finishing up in the kitchen. He wants to know where I’ve been, that he was at his parents’ house and I never showed up. ((Side note: his parents have always had pizza night on Tuesdays and our fifth anniversary landed on a Tuesday.))
I asked why and he said that it was pizza night, so I informed him that it was also our fifth anniversary. He said that he thought it had been cancelled because I had decided that anniversaries should be celebrated privately between the married couple only (gee, who does that sound like??). After further inquiry and more phone calls over the next week, I found out that my mother-in-law had called everyone who’d been sent an invite and told them that I had changed my mind so the vow renewal was cancelled. Yet no one had bothered to confirm with me? Lovely.
Ya’ll should’ve seen the fit mother-in-law threw when I couldn’t get the time off work for her anniversary party about less than two months later. 0611-14
While what your mother-in-law did was reprehensible, my first thought was that you have serious marriage problems. The communication between you and your husband appears to be almost non-existent and even if he believed anniversaries should be celebrated privately between the couple, it was abundantly evident that he preferred to chow down on pizza at his parents’ home than arrange a lovely, private evening with you to celebrate 5 years of marriage. It’s quite troubling that your husband makes a promise to you and then nonchalantly forgets it in his quest for pizza and that your party is cancelled yet he does not hear this news from you.
And your MIL knew the entire guest list, including who your close friends were? How did she know this? Even your closest friends did not promptly call you to get the dirt on the changed plans? My friends would have been burning up Facebook and email wanting to know if I was OK if I cancelled like that.
Your MIL was right in that you committed a fairly huge faux pas in inviting people to a wedding vow renewal right at a meal time with no plans to feed them that meal. Did you really think people would come to a party after working a normal work day, at dinnertime (5 pm in your case), watch a vow renewal, eat some cake and dance the night away on an empty stomach? To be honest, if I were your friend, I might not come either. You appear to have spent 5 years planning a party that wasn’t particularly hospitable for your guests.