Nine years ago today…

by DaniGirl on July 3, 2008 · 24 comments

in It IS all about me

It was one of the hottest days I can remember, the steamy tropically oppressive kind of heat that reminds me of my childhood summers in Southern Ontario. The thermostat registered well over 30 degrees, and with the humidex it was at least 40C, maybe more.

As we dressed for the day, my mother and I kept stealing worried glances out the window at the stormy skies. As it turned out, no rain would fall that day, but the morning skies were grey and threatening.

When we arrived at Fanshawe Provincial Park around 11:30, the skies had begun to brighten, but the sun peeking through the clouds only escalated the humidity. The tiny white clapboard church, built in the 1800s and relocated to the Pioneer Village in the 1970s, had barely enough pews to hold our 50 or so guests. They had come from near and far – Toronto, Windsor, and a large convoy traveling with us from Ottawa.

My maid of honour was my brother Sean, and Beloved’s best man was his sister Belinda. We were married by an ancient Justice of the Peace whose name has since escaped me. She had no sense of humour whatsoever, but was accommodating enough to marry us in the little church in the pioneer village using a ceremony mostly of our own design.

My dad escorted me down the aisle to the sound of Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of My Life.” Beloved and I wrote our own vows, and my friend Candice read a poem by e.e. cummings. The first stanza goes like this:

the great advantage of being alive
(instead of undying) is not so much
that mind no more can disprove than prove
what heart may feel and soul may touch
–the great(my darling)happens to be
that love are in we,that love are in we

It was a simple, short and lovely ceremony, full of love and laughter. That day in the pioneer village there was a strawberry social, and so while the guests treated themselves to strawberry shortcake after the ceremony, we posed for photos in the wildflower gardens and in the replica of the original Labatt’s brewery. We hired a friend of my brother’s as the photographer and instead of stilted portraits, we have a lovely set of bright candid photos that truly capture the fun of the day.

Our reception was in the provincial park next door. We had a catered barbecue picnic, with corn on the cob and peanut chicken skewers and the most wonderful salads. It was so unbelievably humid that the caterers had difficulty getting the charcoal lit and burned down enough to cook the chicken, and we ran out of bottled water and ice twice. We decorated the all-season gazebo, open on one side to overlook Fanshawe Lake (which is really just a wide spot on the Thames river), with sunflowers and white tulle ribbons, and little frog figurines danced around a mason jar filled with wildflowers on every table.

(We didn’t mean to start a frog theme when we fell in love with the sweet invitations that showed two frolicking frogs with the words “Join us in our leap of love” on the front, but that is exactly what we did. There were even frogs on the wedding cake my sister-in-law Belinda baked for us.)

There wasn’t much dancing – it was simply too hot – but there were waterfights. Beloved and I did manage a dance to “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Alladin as the afternoon drifted to a close. By six o’clock, the official wedding part of the day was done, but most of us reconvened later that night for an evening of camraderie, beer and souvlakis in several of Richmond Street’s finer establishments.

Nine years ago today, I pledged myself to Beloved with these vows:

I, Danielle, choose you, Mark, to be my love.
I pledge to you my life, my heart, my hope and my joy.
I promise to love you with my finest kindness and my deepest care.
You are my prince, my knight, my king;
My friend, my jester and my inspiration.
I promise that I will love you always, from this day forward,
Blissfully, joyfully, infinitely.

Nine years later, and my heart still sings when I think of the life we have built together.

Happy anniversary, my Beloved. You are the centre of my world, and I love you.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rev Dr Mom July 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Happy Anniversary!!!

It sounds like a lovely wedding!

2 Marla July 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Happy Anniversary, to you and Beloved! And as a present to him, you’ve outed him on your blog! It’s nice to see what you used to look like, Beloved/Mark!

3 daysgoby July 3, 2008 at 5:35 pm

*blub* *sniff* gzink

AWWWW! Y’all are lovely together!

4 suze July 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Awww. That sounds like a lovely, lovely ceremony and day. Congratulations on your 9th Anniversary.

5 Swirl Girl July 3, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Happy Anniversary! What a lovely poem (by one of my favorite poets) to nicely sum up what the day is about….and the years to follow as well!

6 Veronica @ Toddled Dredge July 3, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Your wedding sounds simply beautiful. Happy anniversary.

7 Batman July 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Happy Anniversary!!!!!

8 Mar July 4, 2008 at 7:16 am

Happy Anniversary! What a great way to remember it 🙂

9 Cait July 4, 2008 at 8:38 am

Dammit, usually when I cry, I come to your office to do it. Shame on you for making me cry then not being here!

Dani that sounds like the kind of wedding I would love, and I wish you both at least another nine years of joy.

10 Theresa July 4, 2008 at 9:40 am

I’m a little choked up…that was beautiful Dani!! You sure do have a way with words….

Happy anniversary!!!

11 snackmommy2 July 4, 2008 at 9:45 am


12 trixie July 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

13 Chris (Mombie) July 4, 2008 at 11:43 am

Happy Anniversary!

14 JoJo July 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm

OK, you should put a warning that tears are about to flow!!! Happy anniversary to you both.

15 Susan July 4, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Happy, happy anniversary to both of you! Thanks for sharing your family stories with all of us.

16 Jen July 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Oh, I shed a little tear there. Happy anniversary!

17 valerie July 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Sounds absolutely lovely. Happy belated anniversary, Dani!

18 ewe_are_here July 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Lovely! Happy (belated) anniversary!

19 dean dad July 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm


20 Renee July 7, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Happy Anniversary, Dani! Your wedding sounds wonderful; I wish I could have been there!

21 Jennifer July 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I remember! I remember! I was there. Happy Anniversary you two!

22 Belinda July 7, 2008 at 7:21 pm

I’m so sorry I’m late wishing you a Happy Anniversary!! But you just had to get married the same day as my husband’s birthday (you would think this would be the best way to remember), but I didn’t SORRY. I still laugh when I explain to people that I was the Bestman and not the Maid of Honor. A beautiful day it was, even with the blistering heat! Love you guys!!

23 Lee July 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Happy belated!

24 Jody July 30, 2008 at 9:26 pm

A very, VERY belated happy anniversary.

(I am still getting through the bloglines backlog from our Minnesota roadtrip, and now the west-coast adventure is almost upon me. I will NEVER catch up!)

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