Two English majors bring their love of literature to life in this enchanting wedding.
Emily Elizabeth Miller & Daniel Josiah Reitz | Barrackville | 9.30.17 | Photographed by Naomi Wolfe Photography
Once upon a time in 2013, two Fairmont natives crossed paths at Fairmont State University. Emily Miller was a new English major who needed some assistance with her class schedule and asked fellow English major Daniel Reitz to help her. The next semester, they took four classes together. For poetry class, Daniel kept writing poems about a redhead who had caught his eye. Emily thought it was a weird coincidence and nothing more. Two weeks later, Daniel said, “I’ve been trying to drop hints, but you’re not catching on. Would you like to go on a date?” After their first date, it didn’t take long for these bookworms to fall in love.
Daniel and Emily got engaged in March 2017 while visiting her grandmother’s home. On the border of her grandmother’s property, there was a 50-year-old tree, which Emily had grown up climbing and playing on. When they found out that the owner was going to cut it down, Daniel took Emily to see it one last time. They climbed the tree, and, to Emily’s surprise, Daniel got down on one knee—while balancing himself on a giant tree branch—and proposed. Excited, she said yes.
Based Off of a Book
While Alice had to fall down the rabbit hole to find her Wonderland and the Pevensie children had to go through a wardrobe to find Narnia, Emily and Daniel just had to go to their backyard to find the perfect venue for their fairy tale wedding. Daniel and Emily wanted the barn to look whimsical and magical. The wooden tables and the giant wreaths and candelabras were made by Emily and her family members. Her father also picked out a tree from the forest behind their barn and chiseled on it “D+E” as a gift for the couple that would later serve as the cake’s base. For their decorations, they brought books from their own library and antique vases and bowls that belonged to Emily’s mother.
To continue the fairy tale theme, Emily found a fantastic gown for her wedding. At first, Emily just wanted to recreate vintage photos with her mother and her mother-in-law’s wedding dresses. When she went to visit Daniel’s mother, his 96-year-old grandmother offered her dress for the project. When she pulled it out of the closet, it was a 1930s buttercream satin gown with ten yards of fabric. “I got goosebumps all over when I saw it,” Emily says. When she went home to try it on, her father took one look and said, “That’s it. You don’t need to try on any other dress.” Daniel’s grandmother was delighted and let Emily alter it for herself. Emily took it to Seams Sew Perfect Alterations in Fairmont to alter the collar and the sleeves to give it a more modern look. And with the extra lace from the dress, The Pretty Pickle made necklaces for the flower girls.
When the bridal party’s outfits were selected, the couple could not help but laugh at the Lord of the Rings references that they inevitably created. The groomsmen wore brown vests and the bridesmaids wore long green skirts with white lace tops. Combined with the height difference between Emily’s cousins and Daniel’s brothers, their wedding party slightly resembled hobbits and elves from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.
A Magical Day
Emily and Daniel got married at the top of the hill that overlooks the farm. Emily was escorted by her father and walked to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed by the duo Key to Adams. It was a magical moment for Emily and Daniel. “Getting to the top of that hill, seeing everyone, and walking down the aisle to my future husband was just breathtaking,” Emily says.
At the reception, the barn was a fairytale dream. From the décor to the enchanting wedding cake perched up on the tree stump, the barn was everything the newlyweds could ever have hoped for.
The couple shared their first dance to “I Do Not Love You” by Ron Pope. After their dance, Emily sang Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” “She took me by surprise,” Daniel says. “It was definitely my favorite part of the wedding.” Because Daniel and Emily enjoy trying different types of bottled sodas, they had Coca-Cola bottles as their favors, along with vintage keys to follow the wedding’s theme. The rest of the night was enjoyed with good food and good music.
It was a magical day full of love, laughter, and joy. The newlyweds left a few days later and honeymooned in Iceland. They now live in Mannington, where they continue to write their happily ever after.
Dawn & George Miller
Mary & Glen Reitz
Naomi Wolfe Photography
Family heirloom, recreated by Joni Parish, Seam Sew Perfect Alterations
Flower Girl’s Dress
Seam Sew Perfect Alterations, Fairmont
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire
Men’s Wearhouse, Pittsburgh, PA
Key to Adam, Upshur County
Perennial Florist, Fairmont
Kime Floral, Fairmont
Curley’s BBQ, Havelock, NC
Tom and Leah’s Farm, Trumbull, OH
Bonnie Belle‘s Pastries, Clarksburg
DJ Ultrasound, Morgantown
Weekend Project Studios
The Loft, at Miss Emily’s Farm, Barrackville