Redoing ‘I Do’

Second thoughts on first marriages reveal wishes for better hair, smaller hats, fewer guests, and cheaper champagne

Even the most happily married among us might alter a few aspects of our wedding-day plans if given the chance to re-tie the (same) knot. These 10 couples, with nearly 200 years of marriage among them, offer a little nuptial hindsight.

Annie and George Frisch, Lake Angelus
/// Married 29 years
Their reception at the Detroit Athletic Club, which featured The Hal Janes Orchestra, “was a great party, or so we were told by everyone for weeks after,” Annie says. The problem? A huge reception line. “It took so long for us to greet some 300 guests that we weren’t able to dine or settle down for a long, long time. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend a more manageably sized affair. Ours was just a huge bash — wonderful, but insane.”

Nancy McCauley and John Branstetter, Highland Township
/// Married 28 years
Before the ceremony, John went to “chill out” with friends at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. He left his family, in town from Missouri, at his home with instructions to meet him at the Fair Lane Estate nuptials. “I left my family with a map and directions to the wedding, but they got lost and were really late,” John says. “We freaked out anticipating what may have happened. [There were] no cell phones then. I should have stayed at the house to lead them to the wedding.”

Chris Morrisroe and Phil Treais, Waterford
/// Married nine years
After the at-home ceremony, Chris says, “We had a band playing around a [backyard] campfire at night, but I know my husband wishes that we had lit up the yard better so guests could play lawn games into the night.”

Joella and John Jarchow, Troy
/// Married 41 years
“I should have remembered to ask all my attendants’ parents,” Joella says. “I missed asking a family.”

Kim and Michael McInerney
Kim and Michael McInerney

Kim and Michael McInerney, Bloomfield Township
/// Married 27 years
“I wish our wedding would have been videotaped,” Kim says. “We couldn’t afford to do it at the time, and I also thought that it would be a distraction during the ceremony, but now I wish that I could show
it to the [three] kids.”

Peg and James Richard, Dearborn
/// Married 12 years
“I wish my hair would have been different. It was very short and I kind of looked like a bubblehead. I don’t like looking back in photos.”

Collette and Ed Geck, Clinton Township
/// Married 26 years
“I wouldn’t have worn the wide-brimmed hat I wore,” Collette says. “It was so big, and I’m just not a hat person.” Today, she’d opt for simple flowers in her hair and an understated veil. “We also would have had Ed’s dad sing at the wedding — he had a very nice singing voice.”

Raenette Franklin McManus and Michael McManus, Bloomfield Hills
/// Married 11 years
On the morning of their wedding, Raenette realized that she had miscalculated the number of bottles of champagne they needed. On the way to the nuptials, she stopped for more. “In my wedding-day panic, I grabbed several bottles, paid quickly with a credit card, and ran out,” she says. “When I got the bill, I realized they were $125 each!”

Audrey and Eric Wright, Leonard
/// Married 10 years
“My wedding was so fantastic, the greatest day ever,” Audrey says. But because of work schedules, they had only four days for their honeymoon. “Our flight left … at 6 the next morning. I would have loved to stay home another day or so, opened gifts, and celebrated with my family and friends before they all scattered back across the country.”

Diana and Stephen Kuehl, Milford
/// Married six years
“I would not have left for my honeymoon the day after the wedding,” Diana says. They spent their wedding night at the Westin Hotel in the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport, with plans to fly out in the morning. “Somehow the time slipped away,” she says. The couple, who were to take a Caribbean cruise, found themselves dashing through the airport to catch their flight. They made it to the plane, but their luggage did not. The cruise ship staff lent Stephen a tuxedo to wear for dinner each night and cruisers took to calling him “James Bond.”

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