This is a brief aside from my never-ending recaps. (They will end. Soon. I promise.)
Today (April Fool’s Day) is actually the dating anniversary of the Cannons. Today marks seven years of us, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on our marriage a bit.
I remember reading somewhere when I was younger that the best sign of a good relationship is that your partner makes you a better person. I’ve always remembered that, but never really applied it to my own relationship until recently.
I would say that our relationship hasn’t changed much since we got married, and in many ways that would be true. But in one big way, it has. I finally learned a lesson that Mr. Cannon has known all along. It is the best thing about our relationship, and what makes me know how lucky I am to have him in my life. It is also incredibly simple, and I can pretty much guarantee that you have heard it before. It is, after all, the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, more simply, treat other the way you want to be treated. Or, more religiously, love your neighbor as yourself. It’s pretty prevalent in society.
I always thought I understood this basic rule, but I didn’t. I have always treated other people in a fair manner, and am even nice for the most part. I try not to be judgmental. I generally give other people the benefit of a doubt. I try to see the best in everyone. And I would like others to do that for me. But let’s be hones—I don’t just want to be treated fairly, or nicely. I want to be treated better, in a way I probably don’t deserve. I want to be given breaks. I want my life to be easy. Don’t we all?
We wanted to get all the “official” wedding stuff done quickly so people could just relax and have fun, so we did our dances to get everything going. We did not prepare a cool choreographed dance for our first move. We slow shuffled with Cherry Bomb, who would occasionally reach up and push our faces together to make us kiss. Even though the first dance is usually really awkward for everyone, both participating and observing, I really loved it. (I can’t speak for my guests. They look pretty damn bored in the background of these pictures.) We danced to the song I had dreamed we would dance to at our wedding since we first started dating. And, if you remember from earlier, it is also the inspiration behind the engraving on my wedding ring—Jonathan Richman’s “My Baby Love Love Loves Me.”
My baby love love loves me now/Even more than I prayed for/My baby love love loves me now/Even more than I praaaayed
I prayed/I asked/But I didn’t expect this/My baby love love loves me now/Even more than I prayed for/Even more than I prayed
Cake cutting is an incredibly bizarre tradition. Where did we come up with that one, seriously? As if there is anything less necessary than a second person helping to cut a cake. Honestly, adding a second person actually makes cake cutting MORE difficult. But it is a tradition, and one I was excited about because I love cake, and our cake was awesome and I couldn’t wait to show it off.
Mr. Cannon and I didn’t really talk about it beforehand. I assumed he would smash some cake on me because that seems like a pretty Mr. Cannon move, so I was prepared for anything.
As you can tell from this picture, we had no idea how this whole cake cutting business was supposed to go. Mr. Cannon started trying to cut the cake himself, and then I remembered I was supposed to help.
I’m not sure what our pastor was expecting from our reception, but it is fair to say that he decided to roll with the punches once he saw that we were keeping it relaxing and casual. After our caterer arrived and set things up, Mr. Cannon gave a brief welcome and thank you to our guests and introduced the pastor, who came up to say grace. He gave a nice blessing to our marriage and our families, but he did a musical grace, in keeping with our not-so-serious reception. Although this was a total surprise, it was also meaningful for me because we did the exact same musical grace when I went to church camp when I was a kid. It’s to the tune of “Rock Around the Clock.”
“God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food! We’re gonna thank him in the morning, noon, and night! We’re gonna thank our Lord, cuz he’s outta sight! Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.” My sister was totally weirded out that I knew the words to this song. I am totally weirded out that I remember them, since I went to church camp in fourth grade. But it was a pretty cool coincidence.
Family pictures were fast, furious, (not really, I just can’t say fast without furious anymore) and simple. We’d given the photographer lists of groups we wanted and she just called out names and switched us around. We took the pictures at the front of the sanctuary. For the sake of brevity, I’ll just share a couple of my favorites:
This is my family- my parents, sisters, brother, SIL, BIL, nephews, daughter and husband. How cute!
Our pastor requested we get back to the church an hour prior to the ceremony so we could fix up any last minute things and be hidden away so the guests wouldn’t see us. So, girls and I stood around in the room we’d dressed in earlier, biding the time before the ceremony started.
I fixed my hair and added my veil. We double checked our make-up. Everyone joked about how happy they were that I was marrying Mr. Cannon and not one of my ex-boyfriends. We laughed and goofed off. Everyone played with the scepter I had made for Cherry Bomb, in case she pulled off the flower girl thing. (She did not. She ended up spending the ceremony in my MIL’s lap. But, she also made it through without crying, so it was still a win.)
It felt like that hour flew by and took forever at the same time, but finally it was time for the ceremony to start. The way our ceremony was set up, our pastor and the men were already at the front, and us ladies walked up the aisle alone, one by one, with the exception of myself, who was escorted by both my mother and father.
I look kind of weird in that picture—maybe smug or something? (Maybe constipated?) Really I was attempting not to cry, as I was getting pretty emotional over the whole thing. I was thinking about the huge commitment I was about to make and trying to will myself to keep it together. I also look like a giant there. I am taller than my parents, but I swear I’m not really THAT tall. Jeez.
*Many apologies for going missing. Once again, school has gotten the better of me and I have had to put blogging to the side to prioritize my homework. But the semester is over, so I’m going to finish up these recaps while I’ve got the chance! If you’re new to the Cannon story, you can read our relationship recap or start at the beginning of our wedding recaps or the beginning of our wedding planning. In short, we had a rainbow wedding with a backyard barbecue feel.*
After we walked around and got our couples photos done, we did our bridal party portraits. I told everyone to get there earlier than they really needed to be there so they wouldn’t be late. (Consider that a pro tip!) So, everyone was sitting around waiting for us to show up and do pictures.
I have to say I’m kind of mixed on wedding party pictures. On one hand, it’s fun to get a bunch of pictures of you and your friends. And obviously you planned the outfits and everything and want to document that. At the same time, there’s a cheesy element to doing preplanned pictures like these. Maybe I’m just awkward at posing, but it is kind of weird to do. I do love the results, though, so I can’t complain too much.
The guys did pictures-
As I said before, this series of pictures is my favorite of the day. Our photographer pretty much said walk around and have fun. So, we did!
We walked up to the boardwalk so we could get the contrast of the wood against the green of the trees. We actually spend a lot of time at this park, so it was really special to have our reception there and get so many pictures taken as well. First we did the obligatory picture of our shoes. And I still love my shoes, even though they were SO uncomfortable. My feet were killing me by the time I walked down the aisle, and they didn’t stay on long during the reception.
Our first look was pretty anti-climatic. I mean, I already knew what he was wearing, and I’m pretty sure he had a decent idea of what I was wearing. Plus, we had spent most of the morning together, so it wasn’t like we’d been building up the anticipation and missing each other. But, even though it wasn’t really a big deal, it was fun to see each other all dressed up and get to hang out before the wedding started.
We did the first look at the schoolhouse in Wildwood Metropark. He stood by, waiting, and I ran up. I’m pretty sure he saw me before he was supposed to, but he was a good sport about it and still let me show off the dress. I believe I announced that I was a cupcake in my dress, and he agreed. Also, I showed off the shoes because, let’s face it, I am pretty in love with those shoes.
I’m all, “I’m walking like a weird penguin.” And he’s like, “I still love you! But not enough to take my hand out of my pocket.”
I arrived at the Beauty Bar for my appointment and waited in the lounge area for a few minutes while they got everything set up. I went to my hair appointment solo, and it was really the only alone time I had all day. I know it may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but I actually enjoyed having a while to reflect by myself. Of course, I small-talked with my hairdresser for a while, but there was a part of me that was facing inward, even while I felt outside of myself. It was oddly mundane, even though I realized what a big deal the day was at the same time. Every stupid little thing was part of a bigger thing that was a part of MY WEDDING DAY, and I couldn’t help but ascribe importance to every little moment. So, I think that alone time gave me the opportunity to just chill out and collect myself so that I could stop feeling like I was going to simultaneously vomit and crap my pants.
Once my hair was done, I hopped back in the car and drove back to Ward Pavilion to see how the decorations had come through and HOLY CRAP were they even better than I had imagined. It turned out everyone could decorate just fine without me there directing them. Who would’ve guessed? Everyone? Including me if I wasn’t a complete psycho at the time? Well, yes, most likely. After visual confirmation that everything was going to be fine, I was able to let out a breath that I felt like I had been holding in the entire week. I was finally able to just be excited about our wedding without the nervous part. I can’t stress enough how huge of a relief that was and how happy I felt.
Since the reception was looking good, I decided to run over to the church to start getting dressed. My ladies all met up with me there and we started getting dressed. OK, everyone was dressed but me.
But that’s OK. I needed some help getting ready. First, my sister did my makeup. She even managed to get fake lashes on me. Way to go, sister!
After not sleeping the night before the wedding, we had an early morning start the next day. Since we only had the reception hall the day of the wedding, we needed to get in and get everything set up bright and early so we still had time to get hair and make-up, first look and pictures done before the 2:30 pm ceremony. We were scheduled to meet the ranger opening the hall at six, so we were up showering, loading the car and driving over there bright and early. The hardest part of this super early morning was dealing with little miss Cherry Bomb. She’s not really a morning person, so there was a LOT of whining and crying involved with the early morning wake-up.
Picture by Mary Wyar Photography
After we got back from the rehearsal dinner, I was pretty freaked out because I felt like there was so much to do. Mr. Cannon and Cherry Bomb went to bed, and I finished up our last wedding projects. I knew I would be stapling the programs, but there was one project that completely slipped my mind until the rehearsal. Pastor Bob told my nephew he would be carrying in the rings on a pillow or something, and I was kind of like, “Uh, yes…” because I did not put together anything for the rings to be put on. Crap! So, I dug around in my cabinets to find a small white plate I knew I had. It was from an old set of dishes I had in college. The rest of the set had been given to Goodwill except for this one plate, which was kept because I had put tuna on it to bribe my cat into a cat carrier when we were moving. So, as you can imagine, I was not very attached to it and was fine with it being sacrificed to the wedding.
I used the ribbons left over from my bouquet construction to decorate the plate and then used one smaller ribbon to tie the rings. Considering how completely half-assed and last minute this construction was, I actually love the way it turned out!
Photo by Abby Troxell of Mary Wyar Photography
We got to the rehearsal and not very many people were there yet. Our pastor asked if we brought our marriage license and we did not. He asked if we could bring one to ensure it would be there for the wedding, so Mr. Cannon headed back to our house to get it. Then, when Mr. Cannon was almost back to the church, the pastor asked if we had one of our programs he could look over to make sure there weren’t any surprises for him, so I called Mr. Cannon and he went back to the house again to get a program. Luckily we live pretty close to the church, so it didn’t take too long, but it did get us off to a late start.
While Mr. Cannon was gone, everyone started showing up. Some people were arriving from out of town, and my bridesmaids were arriving from shopping trips they made after our nail salon meet-up, so many people were late. One of Mr. Cannon’s brothers and his girlfriend came straight from a Renaissance fair in costume, which certainly added a festive flair to the event. I don’t have any pictures of the rehearsal, but it was pretty simple. We had the guys in the front and the women processed by themselves up the aisle. I (obviously) came last with my parents on either side.
We didn’t do a big hotel party or sleepover with our bridal party. In fact, we spent the night before our wedding together, in our house. But I did want to have some girl time with my ladies before the wedding. So, on the day before the wedding, the girls all gathered at my house and we bid Mr. Cannon and Cherry Bomb good-bye as we headed to the mall to get our nails done.
I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do with my nails yet. (What can I say? I told you all I started half-assing our wedding planning at the end!) I had originally planned on doing pink nails and french toes, but at the last minute, staring at the polishes lining the walls at the salon, I decided to get purple toes instead. Why not add some more color to our already colorful wedding? I think it was a good choice.
Photo by Abby Troxell of Mary Wyar Photography
I wanted to make sure to do at least one nice thing for someone else the week of our wedding, as a way to give back at a time when we were receiving so much in both material gifts and love and support. Luckily, a chance was dumped on my lap when I found out that our church was having a blood drive a couple days before our wedding. Since I took off work the week before the wedding, I was able to go fill in an afternoon slot and give blood before I headed over to my parents’ house to finish up some wedding crafts.
The guy who drew my blood was also engaged and getting married soon, so we talked a bit about weddings. The blood draw was successful, and I went and ate my free cookie and drank my complimentary juice. Then I drove out to my parents’ house and began spray painting beer bottles for our centerpieces. I had previously spray painted wine bottles with no problems, so I wasn’t too worried about the beer bottles.
And then I started spraying.
And apparently, exposing yourself to spray paint fumes when you’re down a pint of blood is not a great idea. I almost passed out three times before I finally gave up. Luckily my little sister was able to take over and finish up the last few bottles. So, my advice is to make sure your good deed will not knock you out as you prepare for your wedding.