Miller Wedding

The offbeat bride: Ashley, middle school band teacher

Her offbeat partner: Paul, high school marching band teacher

Date and location of wedding: Nohr Art Gallery, Platteville, WI — November 20, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: I wore a bright pink wedding dress! We paid for our whole wedding on two teachers' salaries. We bucked tradition by writing our own ceremony, getting married in an art gallery by our best friend, and having pink and teal where ever it would fit. We had a brass choir play the bride down the aisle, and all music was hand-selected and arranged by us. We did a sand ceremony, and presented each family with a flower to symbolize a gift of our union.

Miller Wedding

Miller Wedding

Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote the wedding ourselves. It was officiated by our best friend who was ordained online and was proud to call himself a “mystic warrior.” We had three readings: A letter from Beethoven (the one that says “Ever Thine, Ever Mine. Ever Ours”), “Guess How Much I Love You,” and the lyrics from “The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel (our first dance song).

Miller Wedding

We had two members of the wedding party sing “Pie Jesu” by Andrew Lloyd Webber during our sand ceremony. We read our vows from a plaque that I made Paul for one of our anniversaries. I wrote that to him five years before we got married, and we just couldn't think of more accurate words to describe us.

“By simply being yourself, you've shown me the best way to be me. By believing in my dreams, you've made me proud to be who I am. I love you because you let me into your heart, and changed my life more than you'll ever know.”

Miller Wedding

Our biggest challenge: My maid of honor (my sister, Kendall) was almost getting sick she was so nervous about her speech. She spent the WHOLE morning rewriting it. But when it came tome for her to get the mic, it was phenomenal.

We danced to the song “The Call” by Regina Spektor. “I'll come back when you call me, no need to say goodbye.”

Miller Wedding

My favorite moment: The moment that meant the most to me was when we read “Guess How Much I Love You.” In it, two rabbits are trying to explain how much they love each other, and the bigger rabbit always wins! In the end, the little rabbit says “I love you to the moon,” and the big rabbit responds, “I love you to the moon and back.” Paul and I mouthed the words “to the moon and back” to one another. It was so nerdy, but so wonderful. We actually engraved our rings to say that as well.

Another powerful moment was walking down the aisle. My middle/high school band teacher (and inspiration for teaching music) was killed by a drunk driver two weeks after I graduated high school. So when it came time to choose what song to walk down the aisle to, I had no hesitation. I picked the last song I played with her: “Elsa's Processional to the Cathedral” by Wagner.

Miller Wedding

Just before I started down the steps with my dad, he looked at me and said, “Ms. Lewis would be proud to see you in a pink dress.” When I was in high school I had pink hair, and Ms. Lewis always said I was her “pink lady.” After she passed away, and I got breast cancer, pink took on a whole new meaning. Having that pink wedding dress was a dedication to the woman that changed my life.

Miller Wedding

In college, my husband was part of a music fraternity called Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. It's tradition that the Phi Mu boys present at the wedding sing a song to the bride. It's called their “sweetheart song” and in college it used to make any music geek girl melt. The night of our wedding, I got that moment all to myself. Paul knelt on one knee on the dance floor, and I sat on his knee. Then, surrounded by the beautiful voices of our friends, I was serenaded.

Miller Wedding

Miller Wedding

My funniest moment: We had a brass choir play our wedding music. It was made up of professional musicians that are our friends and former students. It was conducted by our college professor, Dr. Ellis. (We love you, Barry!)

After we were pronounced husband and wife, we shared our first kiss and he never started the music! We were standing at the top of the aisle waiting to walk down and NO music was playing! We looked up to the balcony and he was too busy clapping and cheering to remember that he was in charge of getting us back down the aisle. We pointed at him, and said “Barry! Music!” Finally, the Star Wars music from “A New Hope: Throne Room Scene” kicked on, and we could continue on.

Miller Wedding

My advice for offbeat brides: Don't be afraid to ask for help. Even if you're a crazy control freak, help is always a good way to relieve some of your burden and bond you to those helping you. My bridesmaids all got together and helped make bouquets. They turned out beautifully, and it meant even more to see them walking down the aisle.

Miller Wedding


What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Savor every moment since it's gone way too fast. And don't let the “after wedding/it's over” slump get you down.

Miller Wedding

Miller Wedding

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Comments on Ashley & Paul’s musical pink-splosion wedding

  1. That dress is amazing and super gorgeous!! I’d love to know where it’s from! The rest of the wedding looks beautiful. What a happy day!

  2. Loved this wedding (even though I wasn’t at it and don’t know the people in it!). The pictures made me wish I were lucky enough to know you ultra-cool folks! The dress ROCKED! Hands-down the most beautiful bride I have seen in a long time!

  3. the sweetheat song tradition is the most awesome thing i have ever heard of. especially from a college fraternity.

  4. This entire post was one of the nicest things I’ve read in a long time. <3

  5. Yay musician weddings! I’ve been looking for a (classical-ish) musician wedding on here for a long time, and never submitted ours because I didn’t think it was offbeat enough. We had brass as well–my husband’s undergrad and grad trumpet teachers. He’s a Sinfonian, too, but I never got a sweetheart song! Going to have a chat with him later 🙂 Lovely wedding! Congrats!

  6. This is totally awesome! I am so jealous… being a high school band teacher was my dream career when I was a teen, but it just wasn’t feasible with how things are in my area. Your pink dress is amazing too! Congrats on your wedding!

  7. I want a brass choir! Although since I was guard (along with my man of honor and several guests) I really want a Spanish saber arch, lol. Or actually, can I get a saber ripple toss, how freakin cool would that be?

  8. omg all that music… if i could have another wedding… i’d do it that way. With so many musical influences. i’m dying.

  9. Ash-I love it! I didn’t know about the Miss Lewis part! What an inspirational idea…I felt so blessed that she could come to my shower. One of our fave books is “Guess how much I love you”….I love that your rings are engaved like that! Love ya!

  10. My FH is a Sinfonian too!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so freaking stoked to finally see another Sweetheart on here!!!!!!!! I literally almost bounced out of my skin when I saw that.

    Congratulations, (sorta) sis! (Her hubby is a “brother” of my FH’s. Therefore, almost sisters. Woot!)

  11. As soon as I read the teaser, I KNEW your hubby had to be a Sinfonian! Best moment of my college career was getting serenaded by a cute Sinfonian. LOL

    Your dress is amazing. Excellent music choices. Best wishes to you both!

  12. Hey everyone!! Thanks for liking the story!! 🙂 My dress was Mori Lee! Wonderful designer! 🙂
    I am also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, so music is a HUGE deal for us 🙂 Where my SAI sister at??? 🙂

  13. I cannot love possibly love this any more!

    I was Tau Beta Sigma, not SAI, but I definitely have music greek love and my heart melted reading about the Phi Mu Alpha sweetheart song!! (Our chapter serenaded us right as we got initiated, and I remember being eighteen and MEEEEELLLLTING!!)

    I’m also a middle school band director myself, and so seriously. I could not love this any more even if I tried!! CONGRATS!!

  14. Love this whole freakin’ thing. I laughed, I cried, I wasn’t even there. 🙂

    Happy marriage, you crazy kids.

  15. O.M.G.

    I am like, ecstatic to see people on this site who are/know of the various music fraternities!!

    But first: Your wedding is freaking amazing. “Elsa’s” is a bold choice, but who can go wrong with Wagner? I love your passion.

    And lemme just say, I am an active SAI alumnae, and I absolutely love my sisters. I also have a fondness for my Sinfonian (unofficial) brothers who have “sung” to me. It’s a beautiful thing!

    Keep on truckin’, lady!!

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