Anna + Keith, February 20, 2016

Kari Miller

Posted on February 20 2018

This month we are featuring a real wedding story from our own Anna Ellis, Blog Guru for Tiny Dog Press. Her second wedding anniversary is today, February 20, 2018! Here is her story.

First look

I am going to start this out with a full disclosure: I did not enjoy many parts of the wedding planning process. (And if you’d like to read about how our original wedding day had to be called off because of the 2016 blizzard named Jonas, you can find that story here.) But my husband and I both knew that the most important piece for us was family: how our families were involved in the event and ceremony, and including family in our vows.

Family photo

When Keith and I got married, I became a step-mother to two girls, age five and seven at the time. We asked the girls what role they wanted to play in the wedding, and they both said “ring bearer!” So we bought two pillows, and each one of them carried a ring. We wrote our own vows and the ceremony, and made sure the girls were part of both. We also had a sand ceremony that included all four of us.


I know my husband would say the tasting with the caterer was his favorite part of wedding planning, but my favorite was writing the vows and ceremony, although it did cause a certain amount of stress. I wrote and rewrote my vows at least a dozen times. So much so that I mentioned all my revisions in the final version! As a creative writer, it was hard to decide on the “perfect” way to say things that feel so big.

Getting ready with the kids


What was the most memorable part of the wedding day? I can’t choose just one! Here are three.

(1) Keith and I had a “first look” on our own, which was a nice moment to reconnect before the crowd arrived. I also got to greet the girls, and help them line up for the entrance ceremony. They were so excited and proud to be a part of the event!


First look 1

First look 2

First look 3

First look 3
First look 4


(2) I loved sharing our ceremony and my vows with everyone after so many many rewrites. I was very proud of them. Keith’s vows were beautiful too. We now have them printed and framed in our bedroom.

Lining up for the ceremony

Lining up for the ceremony

Ceremony 1


(3) Keith and I had not planned on having a first dance, but when no one would “dance first” we jumped up and had a spontaneous first dance to “All the Single Ladies” by Beyonce. It was the first time either one of us had seen the other dance, and it was a riot.


    Sand ceremony

    Bouquet on the table

    What advice do I have for other brides who are planning a wedding?

    Take your time. For the first couple months, really think about what is most important to you, and don’t rush the process. We pushed ahead and got married about six or seven months after we got engaged, which made the planning very condensed. If I had more time to spare, I might have made different choices. And in the end, no one will remember what your favor was, or whether or not you had a photo booth. They will remember the ceremony and the people you made a part of your day most of all… and maybe the food.

    Maybe the food


    Who did you use:

    Ceremony & Reception Location: Chase Court

    Photographer: Mckenzie Elizabeth

    Flowers: Mother of the bride

    Officiants: Sister of the groom

    Gown & Accessories: BHLDN

    Hair: Carey Elizabeth at Sprout Salon

    Makeup: Melissa LeRoy at Charm City Skin

    Stationery: Tiny Dog Press

    Catering & Desserts: Zeffert & Gold

    Music: DJ Rosie Hicks

    Accommodations: The Empire House

    Join our e-mail list!