Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our First Anniversary

Winter wedding
Winter wedding
Daniel and Annelise Rowe

A year ago today, Daniel and I were married in the most beautiful winter wonderland setting at our church. We were surrounded by family and friends, and we felt the love from our entire congregation—since we had our wedding at our church, we made it an open invite ceremony—and it was beautiful, fun, so special, and a big, giant party.

One of the best things about our marriage is that it was built on the strongest foundation possible. We have God as our center—our rock. Through him, we know we can do anything and that nothing can divide us or tear us apart. When we know we love the Lord first and foremost, he teaches us how to love each other and how to be better for the other person. Like every couple, we've had trials over the last year, but with God, we were able to get through them and the love we have now is stronger than ever. We couldn't do it without Him.

I can't believe the last year went by so quickly. We have changed immeasurably, helping each other become the new people we are today. We make each other better people. We are best friends. We love spending time together, making big decisions together, and building our lives together. This may be the end of "year one," but it's just the beginning in the story we're writing as we go.

I love you, Daniel. My best friend. My leader in the Lord. My husband. My other half. My sweets... I love you.

Daniel and Annelise Rowe

Sunday, December 16, 2012


For our honeymoon, Daniel and I went to McCall, Idaho. Just a short three months ago, we had gotten engaged there on a warm summer's day. During our honeymoon, the quaint town was deserted since it wasn't snowing (except for one day), and the ski mountain wasn't open yet. It was like we had McCall entirely to ourselves.

We ended up running into my dad and his girlfriend at our hotel's restaurant and game room one night. They have a cabin in McCall and came over for a drink before dinner. They ended up joining us for a game of shuffleboard. What a fun surprise to get to run into my family!

We ate amazing food at all of McCall's best restaurants, did lots of Christmas shopping at local specialty shops, enjoyed one day of snow, relaxed in the spa at Shore Lodge, saw a little fox by the golf course, drove up to see the ski mountain one afternoon, and played lots and lots of Scrabble by the hotel's amazing fireplace.

It was relaxing, romantic, and the perfect week to finish of the best week of my life. I feel like I'm still on the honeymoon. I haven't fully gotten back into everything yet... no answering emails, not mentally all there at my job, and I just want to cuddle and spend time with Daniel all the time. Just a note for all those brides thinking of getting married around the holidays... it is busy. Enjoy every little minute of it. Soak it all in... and truly appreciate everything you have. I wouldn't trade a single moment of the entire week for anything.

Wedding Week posts:

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Photos: c/o Andy Petek

The dress.

You may remember back in September when I mentioned that I bought my dress online. It was a high-low dress, had capped sleeves, and was made of chiffon. It was really pretty... but it wasn't me. Not only did it not fit well, but it also was a very summery dress... and I just wanted something that was different. I think what really sealed the deal was that I tried on that new dress for my mom, and her reaction was, "Oh... that's nice." Obviously, it wasn't meant to be.

We didn't have lots of time to do the whole "dress shopping" thing. The wedding was only a month and a half away, and I needed to find the dress—and fast—in case alterations needed to be made. My mom and I started looking around online and couldn't find anything close to what I had in mind. I knew I wanted sleeves, lace, and a bottom half that didn't poof out like a cupcake. We found a couple options, but they were way out of my price range. I really tried to work around a modest budget for our wedding, and spending more on a dress than what I spent on the entire rest of the wedding just wasn't going to be an option.

My mom threw it out there, "Well, why don't you come try on my old dress." That dress. Ha. We both giggled for a moment. That dress, from my parents' wedding in 1981, had been preserved after their wedding and had been moved all over the country (six states) with us in a big gold dress box. In fact, it lived under my bed in almost every house we lived in. We decided that I would go try it on, just for kicks. If anything, that would at least give my mom a good reason to get it out of its old box and donate it—something she had wanted to do for years.

We pulled it out of the box and the first thing we noticed was that it was not as "bright" as normal wedding dresses. Despite being a faded ivory, it also had water damage on the lace detail of the Austin-Powers-poofy sleeves. The ruffled wrist of the right arm was entirely orange from the water damage. Nevertheless, I hauled it back to the bedroom to try it on.

As soon as I emerged from the room, my mom and I had a good laugh for a few minutes. I hadn't been able to zip it because the zipper went up too high, so when I came out it was like a big, ivory sack with orange sleeves. My mom zipped it up, and it was a perfect fit. In fact, I don't think it could have fit the contours of my body better. The bust, the hips, the waist—it was snug, but not too tight, in all the right places. It was also the ideal length for my 3-inch heels. I turned around to let her see it, and when she gasped, I knew it was the dress.

Two days later, we met with the alterations lady who ended up making just three changes to the dress. She cut off the bottom half of the sleeves below the elbow (and where the lace detail stopped), tightened the remainder of the sleeves to fit my arms, and added a hook so we could bustle the dress. The only thing we weren't able to fix was the warped zipper... however it ended up looking like it had been bunched on purpose.

On our wedding day, I felt beautiful. I wore simple pearl studs, a pearl bracelet, and some champagne glittery shoes. It was so simple. I did my makeup with matte eyeshadow, using cream, light pink, plum and charcoal gray. I was really particular about doing my own hair and makeup, and it didn't take me as long as I thought to do either. That day, everything just worked.

As I walked down the aisle, holding my father's arm, wearing my mom's 31-year-old dress, looking at my mom with tears in my eyes before I ascended the steps to meet Daniel, and finally getting to see my Daniel, standing there with a smile meant only for me, it was one of the best moments of my entire life... on a day that I will never forget. 

Wedding Week posts:

Friday, December 14, 2012


Our wedding. December 1, 2012. The best day of my life.

Daniel's Best Men—brothers Ian & Adam, the groom himself, and his groomsman, my brother Stewart.

My bridesmaid and friend, Shaye, and my Matron of Honor and sister, Marnie.
Flowers: courtesy of Rustic Living.

My dad walked me down the aisle. I walked to Hillsong's "Joy to the World."

Our two families.

Guestbook: courtesy of The Guestbook Store.

Ian's Best Man toast.

Adam's Best Man Toast. I don't think these two brothers could have made us laugh harder. During my sister's toast, we sang a little bit of "Sisters, Sisters" from White Christmas. She totally made me cry.

My new brother, Adam.

Cutting the cake! The cake on the left is a Norwegian wedding cake, also known as a Kransekake (krun-seh-cock-eh). The tradition is that you pull up from the top and how ever many rings you pull off from the cake is the number of children you will have. Daniel and I—lucky ducks—couldn't actually get any of the rings to pull apart when we attempted it. It was frosted together a bit too tight (sabotage from our parents, I tell you), so it's now our family's greatest wish that Daniel and I will be expecting eighteen children. Oh, sweet joy.

 It was the happiest day... so much love. I'm so thankful for everyone who helped and who came to bless us in our new life together. This is just the beginning of our beautiful life.

PS>> Our photographer was my brother-in-law, Andy Petek. He is amazing. If you're in the Northwest and looking for a wedding photographer for 2013, he's booking now. He will travel to Washington (he lives in Seattle), Idaho and Oregon. Email him at andypetek(at)gmail(dot)com for rates and to see portfolio samples.

Wedding Week posts: