Real Bride Interview | Anna Milhouse

Today, you have the treat of reading through an interview with a real bride! A few months ago I sat and spoke with Anna about her experience in planning her wedding. And she got REAL! Anna is someone you want to know. She’s full of life, fun, wisdom, love and is an advocate for women. I learned new things while interviewing her and we laughed a lot. I hope you leave feeling encouraged and excited as you continue to plan your wedding! Let’s jump right into the Q & A portion. Look out for some pictures of Anna and Bobby’s wedding as you’re reading!

What's your name? Anna Milhouse. Previously, Anna Brown. 

When and where did you get married? May 26, 2013. In Northern CA in a small town outside of Redding. It was a very intimate ceremony - around 75 people. Our wedding was in a best friends parents back yard. I remember the most important thing I wanted was stringing lights. We didn’t have the biggest budget but I knew that stringing lights make everything look more magical.  I thought I would be the person to be married later in life, so it was a surprise to me to get married at 25. However, he was my first boyfriend at 24 so I encourage people to really hold out for a good one. 

What do you think about when you hear or see #MarriageGoals? If you could revamp it and start a new hashtag what would it be and why? Ugh…gosh!! Do you mean #MarriageGoals or #RelationshipGoals?! 

Whatever you want to answer. Maybe, let’s say both. It makes me sad because you really only get the highlights (#goals) because of the nitty gritty parts. Sometimes I want to talk about the really hard parts but Bobby is very private. But I think it’s important that people know that it’s a good relationship because you worked through the hard stuff. Sometimes people would be say to me “oh you are goals” but I want to change it to “commitment goals” In order to get there you have to be committed. Your roots in each other and your ability to weather the storm together is what creates longevity.

What was your now husbands involvement look like while wedding planning? Laughter - I would say that when we first got engaged I made a rule that I didn’t want to talk about the wedding for the month. I felt overwhelmed by peoples excitement and unwarranted involvement. I needed a minute to breathe and just enjoy being engaged. Bobby however, he was very anxious about getting started on the planning. It was almost like he was trying to involve ME. I had been focused so much on the person I wanted to be with, more than the wedding I wanted to have. So I knew nothing. I didn’t know about chairs, flowers, tables, table clothes, veils etc. All of it could become overwhelming quickly and that’s when he would get most involved. He would rather make the decision and pay and I would want to wait and think about it before we move forward. It was hard though because our styles are very different so it was hard to want to have him involved at times. But also, weddings are a lot of money so I think a part of premarital should be finances!

Describe your man. Bobby is very kind, emotional, generous, spiritual, hard working and romantic. He is such a charmer which I love and hate at the same time (rolls eyes)

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What was his reaction when he first saw you on your wedding day? Well, that actually brings up one that I would have changed about outfit. Since I had a veil that covered my face I didn’t get to see his reaction. OH, but I heard it. He was audibly crying. I really wish I could have seen that but you can kinda see it in our wedding video.  

How did you feel walking down the aisle? Laughs. So my dad get’s social anxiety and as we were waiting outside the gate to walk down the aisle he kept saying “I think we need to go. I think it our turn” I kept telling him to call down and he basically tried to run us down the aisle! That brings me to another thing I would have changed, my shoes. They were blingin’ but really uncomfortable to just stand in. But, as far as how I was feeling? I was feeling was complete alignment with God about who I was supposed to be marrying. 

Did you have your own wedding vows? Give me a line or two or all :) I wanted to write my vows so people can feel the depth of our love and how long I’ve waited for him. But I also wanted to make sure that I wrote something in my vows that only Bobby would understand.  

"You’ve awakened my love Bobby, you’ve awakened my love."

In my life God would talk to me and say “Do not awaken love before it is time” any time I would be interested in someone that clearly wasn’t for me. I was pissed every time God would lead me to that verse. So Bobby knew the weight of what I was saying.  I also wrote about who I was as a person and about what I was going to give to Bobby. I wanted people to know that it was still me though. For example, me saying “I’m funnier than you” - in the heaviness of the vows I wanted there to still be a moment of…this is Anna. I made sure that when we said each other’s  vows that I looked him in the eyes. What he had to say I knew he meant. He could barely get them out because he was crying so hard.

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What impact/legacy do you hope that you leave? I knew that our marriage was going to quiet some lies. I was told that my standards were too high or people would say that he didn’t exist, and Bobby is all of those things. Being with him is a statement that men like him exist and it can be paired with commitment. There was an innocence in our love for each other. Because we had never loved anyone else like we did each other. I was surprised by the amount of conversation that ensued after the wedding. The goal was never for it to be a wedding everyone would talk about for years. It was so low budget and we just did what we could. Rather than extravagant things being the centerpiece of our wedding, we were the centerpiece.

Favorite moment of the day? LaughsI have a few. I am so grateful for the women in my life. They told me the day will go by so fast so to really take my time. There was a moment we pushed our chairs back and sat and looked at everyone/everything. It was a heavy moment because it was like “holy shit we just got married”. Bobby was very intentional about being in the moment which helped me stay in the moment too. 

Also, going to the venue really early and setting up with my bridesmaids. That was a lot of fun just drinking champagne and putting flowers together. I felt relaxed knowing it was all getting done. That’s just my personality though. At the same time, my best friends mom (who has been like my second mom to me) was in the kitchen cooking with Bobby’s mom and aunt so it was cool to see them having fun cooking together.

We also didn’t care what flowers we had, we just wanted whatever flowers were at the flower shop that day. It was kinda crazy because it was peonies, wildflowers, and baby's breath. The flower shop said they never get peonies but they had them that day. So my mom bought all of them. It was like God was taking care of me.

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What would you do differently if you could do it again? As previously mentioned-the veil and shoes. I maybe would have a reception dress because it got cold. I would also maybe do like a weekend wedding where there was time for people to get to know each other so on the wedding day everyone would kind of know each other.

Three words that sum up your day? Lovely. Joyous. Intimate. 

First dance song? "I Won’t Give Up" by Jason Mraz. We did it as a waltz, well attempted to. Then it turned into the Wobble with all the bridal party and then Bobby invited everyone else in and taught them the dance. 

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Did you and your fiancé have any non negotiables when planning? The non negotiable was the stringing lights. I had a small freak out moment when they said it would be hard to hang the lights. I didn’t turn into a bridezilla or anything but I was just like “I will go up and hang myself.” 

Were there any faux pas that happened the day of the wedding? Ugh, yes. My sister during the toasts said “And if this doesn’t work out then we can run away together.” We found out later that Bobby’s mom wanted to fight my sister for saying that. Also when the photo assistant showed up in a floor length white lace dress. Wtf. 

It was so collaborative. My best friends mom was also like the wedding planner and she honestly was an angel during the process. There wouldn’t have been a wedding without her. She also likes to drink. She drank a lot. So when it was time for the cake cutting, she was no where to be found. I don’t blame her though. It was her house! Party on girl. But I had to go in the kitchen myself, grab the cake and yell out that we are cutting the cake. I don’t know if it was a faux pas or a moment to be cherished because that’s just the way we are. 

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How did you feel when the wedding planning was all over? Hmmm……..Like I could breathe. Wedding planning was not my favorite. I also was sad that I didn’t get more time with all the people that came to celebrate. 

Wedding planning can also give you a princess syndrome. Everything is all about you and what you want for months and then poof.

What is your honest advice for brides? Don’t focus on the wedding focus on the marriage. Because after your wedding is over, you still have your marriage to think about. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. 

We only had one argument that day. I didn’t know that he went to the hotel and decorated the room. He was pressuring me to leave and the wedding was still poppin. I remember telling him, “I have the rest of my life with you, you can wait a little longer to leave.” That didn’t go over well. Ha. We had already discussed a time to leave but I can get swept up in the fun.

Did you stay within budget? If you went over what would you have gotten rid of to cut down? Was it worth it? Yes we stayed under 5k and still had money for the honeymoon. I don’t know how we did that but we did.

Did any of your relationships change with friends or family? LaughsThe one with mom did. I feel like that’s common. My parents didn’t think we were doing it in the right time. It’s a bummer that their concerns clouded their excitement/involvement. I am still sad about the fact my mom wasn’t more involved. I also know that there was some strain between my bridesmaids but I wasn’t a part of it. I surround myself with really strong women. 

How did you go about selecting your bridesmaids and why did you choose certain ones? I had 7 bridesmaids. There were 5 that were very easy to choose. There was one that would be a problem, but the longevity of the friendship made me feel like I needed to include her. I am not unhappy about my decision. I feel like they all added something. I feel like there was only one bridesmaid that cared about herself more than me. But I tried to stay low maintenance and neutral about most things so 7 people wouldn’t argue about it! 

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If you were looking back at your photo’s or video in twenty years, what would you want to remember about your life with Bobby right now? Thant we maintained our friendship and were vulnerable enough to be silly. Adventure doesn’t require a destination. I’m really hopeful about the season we are in. 

If someone ever makes a movie of your lives, who would play your husband and who would play you? Ashely Graham would play me of course. I’m trying to think who would be perfect to play Bobby.  Mike Epps or the late Bernie Mac. Cause he’s funny but has depth

Wedding vs Marriage - tell me your thoughts now and your thoughts back then. I don’t know if there is a way to describe it before it actually happens. For me, the wedding planning was hard but the wedding was magical. Just knowing it’ll all be perfect when you stare into the eyes of husband. It’s easy to get wrapped up in performance and impressing people but it’s YOUR wedding at the end of the day so make sure you are comfortable with it. I mean if you would have plopped me into a fairy tale wedding I wouldn’t know what I was doing there.