fashion tips › Couple renews vows at Blacksburg wedding showcase

Couple renews vows at Blacksburg wedding showcase


Emily Miller still felt the emotion trembling in her voice Sunday as she looked into her sweetheart’s eyes and pledged to love and support him for the rest of her days.

“The first time, I started crying right at the beginning of the vows,” said Miller, 29, a Montgomery County teacher. “This time, I almost made it to the end.”

Sunday’s wedding, held during the 8th Biannual NRV Bridal Brunch & Sweetheart Showcase, was an encore performance for Emily and Dan Miller.

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The young couple eloped just before Christmas shortly after Dan, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, found out he’d be transferring to Hawaii this year.

That first ceremony was a small, quickly organized affair attended only by close family. The couple always planned to throw a larger celebration down the road when time was on their side.

But neither expected their next exchange of vows would take place during a busy showcase as friends, family and other couples in the midst of wedding planning looked on.

“I thought, what has she gotten me into,” Dan Miller, 30, said of the unusual wedding setting.

The chance to host a second, larger wedding came about unexpectedly for the couple after a friend nominated them for the bridal expo’s “Make a Wedding Wish Come True” contest.

The contest picks a deserving couple to win a free wedding with the support of vendors who donate clothes, music, photography, hairstyling and other services.

In the past, the wedding was held after the showcase, sometimes months later. But when organizers suggested trying to stage a ceremony at the event this year, Emily and Dan were game.

The timing was actually fortuitous, they said, as it gave them a chance to celebrate with their Virginia friends before their big move.

“It’s a sweet way to end this chapter together, before she leaves,” said Bethany Nuckols, a bridesmaid who’s been friends with Emily for the past four years. “We’ve really enjoyed being part of her special day.”

The event hall at the showcase, held at the Inn at Virginia Tech, fell silent Sunday afternoon as the strains of a harp and flute heralded the start of the bridal procession.

“We are all here to celebrate love,” said the Rev. Karen Osborne, who officiated the service, as people stopped to watch the ceremony.

The newlyweds smiled and took each others' hands. Both grow emotional as their renewed their vows of love and fidelity.

“That was a good moment,” said Dan Miller, adding he enjoyed the chance to walk down the aisle with his bride again.

Dan is currently stationed in Connecticut where he’s in a submarine officer advanced training program. The couple is awaiting a firm date for his transfer to Hawaii, but it’s expected to happen this spring.

The news last year that he’d be moving to Connecticut and then onto a new, still-unknown assignment proved a defining moment in their relationship.

When Dan, about to embark on the twists and turns of a military career, asked Emily what she saw in their future, she recalled she felt a pang at the thought of losing him.

“I knew then that I would go anywhere he goes,” she said.

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