Somehow I’m finding myself in early September – with not a single thing written in all of August – and I still haven’t taken the time to share our wedding which happened almost a month ago on August 11th. It’s so hard to believe that it’s been that long already. For all the time it took for us to finally get to our wedding day, it went by so stereotypically fast and here we are, back in our regular routines. Except now we’re in our regular routines with a “Mr & Mrs” firmly attached as a prefix.
So although it’s been some time, let’s go back to August 11th, 2012, the day that Sherry and George got married.
It was an absolutely perfect day. And by perfect I mean that everything worked out, everything went without a hitch, and everything was a lot of fun – this, despite the torrential downpour. I should add that it was the only Saturday that saw rain the entire ding-dong summer. Still, it was surprising how little it mattered. I had spent the two weeks prior obsessively studying the weather, the patterns, the satellite images, and I did a whole lot of begging, pleading, and praying the days (and especially the night) leading up to our big day. Even on the Saturday as I did my makeup in a bathroom lit with a few 40 watt bulbs and raindrops, I thought maybe just maybe it would clear.
It didn’t. And as I brushed mascara onto my eyelashes it amazed me to realize that despite the fact that I wanted a beach wedding so desperately, I honestly didn’t care. It wasn’t the most important thing by any means. The only thing that held any importance was that we were (finally) getting married and it could have snowed for all it mattered. (I am glad it didn’t snow.)
Our backup plan worked out amazingly. Our friends Dino and Nancy had come from Montreal and they rented a great little cottage in Ketch Harbour, about 20 minutes from Halifax, right across from an inlet with a nice pier and they offered us the cottage as a plan B wedding site. I was already there with Amanda, Nancy, and the kids anyway, so once it was decided at 2 pm that the rain wouldn’t let up in time for our vows I just needed to head upstairs to get dressed.
It was completely do-it-yourself. I did my own hair in a double bun (my stick straight hair refused to hold a curl for the ringlets I’d originally planned and I, just as stubbornly, refused to fight with my genes), did my own makeup, and made the bouquets out of hydrangea from my front yard and an assortment of flowers from the store.
And I did yoga in between everything.
I think the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that I got so nervous. I expected to be excited, and I was, but the nerves blindsided me. I guess that I figured that almost 14 years into this relationship would find me perfectly calm but I was wrong. It wasn’t that I was nervous about getting married to George; if you’re unsure after that many years that may indicate a problem. I think it was just the thought of going down those stairs and having all those people there. It took some calming breaths to keep it together.
Rescue Remedy helps too.
(I’m totally sending that picture to Bach, it should make them laugh.)
Finally, after getting everything put together it was time to go. I took time for one picture and then we were ready.
(Okay, and one last pee and shoe adjustment, haha.)
The kids walked down the stairs first. At the bottom of the stairs is the living room, the door to the front deck, and then the dining area. People sat on both sides while George and I stood in front of the door with our minister. Once Hayley got down she played some music on her violin as Amanda came down, and then finally me. It was mildly overwhelming to see so many faces when I got there, but it was amazing.
Miraculously, I didn’t cry, but believe me – I came close.
The ceremony wasn’t overly long (which is how I wanted it!). George’s dad gave a reading, we did the vows, the exchanging of rings, and the blessing of the rings.
Oh yeah, and that whole smoochy thing.
After a brief prayer (I specifically requested The Lord’s Prayer to end the ceremony) we had a bunch of pictures taken in the living room which ended up working well. The color of the walls and the curtains looked nice as a backdrop, even if it wasn’t the Atlantic Ocean like I had imagined.
With George’s parents:
Where it all started, back with the studio boys, which was when I first met George:
My amazing friend Nancy who opened her rental doors to our big day and did so much:
Then as everyone started heading out for the reception, the rain slowed to a drizzle and we decided to venture outside for a few fun photos. Our two wonderful friends Patricia and Bruce had agreed to take some pictures for us and they threw themselves into it so enthusiastically. Bruce provided us with an enormous umbrella that he had in the car and they braved the rain to follow us out to the pier. As much as I love all the pictures, the pier shots are by far my favourites.
Best photo EVER:
When it started to seem like the weather wasn’t going to cooperate for us, George’s family realized they also needed a plan B. Originally the reception was to be held at his aunt’s house in the backyard where there would be a rented tent over the food, chairs on the deck and the grass, and lights in the trees. Instead they rented a hall for us and that worked out so well. I did need to do some last minute decision making to acquire decorations but it was great. On the Friday we went to the hall after our rehearsal and put out tablecloths and made it look amazing.
I had our favours which were glass jars filled with sand, two shells, and a tag with ribbon and so I put those out on the tables and surrounded them with shells and pebbles, and a little bit of wedding confetti. Balloons topped it all off.
When I say it was a do-it-yourself wedding, it really was. Instead of ordering an actual wedding cake we got a sheet cake from Costco which was delicious, and all the food was made by George’s family and some family friends. By the time George and I arrived, the kitchen was full of fish and chips, scallops, meatballs, chicken, black eyed peas and rice, and I can’t even remember what else, all waiting to be sent out to the buffet table.
I can’t recommend a buffet strongly enough, it’s a great wedding food option and I loved it.
This candid photo of us waiting to come in is one of my favourites as well:
The food was delicious and the evening was so much fun. With an actual venue we suddenly needed more entertainment than background music so George’s cousin Les agreed to MC the night and his cousin Tom played DJ for us.
After dinner, Amanda gave a speech that was funny but also made me a little, er, misty-eyed and I know it wasn’t easy for her to get up there to do it. She even had props! She included masking tape (as she recounted how I used to put tape down the middle of our shared room at our grandmother’s house, and handed a roll to George in case he needed to section things off too), a sleep mask (after sharing how I used to allegedly antagonize her by staring at her in the morning), and ear plugs (to muffle my singing, hmph!).
Meanwhile Dino gave a spirited and funny speech where he mentioned how he had hired me as the only woman in a recording studio with four men, and warned everyone not to try to date me. George ignored the warning.
And then finally George’s dad presented a lovely speech where he welcomed me “officially” to the Carter family and asked everyone to raise a glass…
… then he brought down the house by adding, that we all know every marriage has its ups and downs, but that he hoped “Sherry and George’s only ups and downs will happen between the sheets.” I’m surprised our laughter didn’t blow the roof right off.
We did some thanking of people, then cut the cake so we could move on to dancing.
Our first dance was to “Still the One” by Shania Twain.
The rest of the evening was spent dancing and even some performances went on! George and Dino played “Daughters” by Jon Mayer and Prince’s “Purple Rain” and we even busted out the mics for some sing-alongs on the dance floor; Breanna did some freestyling, Hayley and her friend Kenya sang, and even I sang with Kenya.
It was without a doubt one of the best nights of my life. Yes it rained. No we didn’t have the beach. But as Nancy said, the sun was shining inside that cottage and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing day.
It took us awhile, but we sure did it right in the end.