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Pandemic Bride - Should we vow renewal or anniversary party?

DH and I tied the knot (eloped) in January of 2021. It was the second wave of the pandemic and we wanted it to be official because life was short and it was a terrifying time. Now that life has returned to somewhat normal and it has been 3.5 years since we got married, we are looking at options. We are both sad we did not get the big wedding, that are friends/family weren't there to celebrate, and that we don't even have any photos from the elopement. 

I reached out to a friend yesterday who's also a pandemic bride and got eloped and said she has these feelings too. I talked to another friend and they said it would be cheesy to do a vow renewal so soon (i'm thinking for our 5 year anniversary) and that it's usually reserved for 15/20 year anniversaries. I am so torn because I want to celebrate my love, I want the big party, I want to say my vows to my husband in front of everyone, I want the photos and memories but I feel we missed our window by eloping. I do not regret eloping because it obviously led to us being husband and wife and that is more precious and meaningful to me more than anything. 

Any other pandemic brides/wives been in this situation? What would you do? Should we just have an anniversary party for our 5 year or do a vow renewal on the 5 year that is essentially a wedding do-over? 

Re: Pandemic Bride - Should we vow renewal or anniversary party?

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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited May 23
    I would have a 5-year anniversary party. You can make that as big a party as you like.

    As much as you would like the vows in front of everyone, the boat has sailed on that. But you could offer each other public toasts if they don't go on too long.
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    Please don't have a wedding do over. Throw a big party with dinner and dancing but don't do the vows, wedding dress, bridal party and wedding cake (party cake is fine). Short toasts to 5 years of wedded bliss are fine.
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