A School Crush Blossoms to Love
by LINDA MARGISON
photography by SETH TEETERS PHOTOGRAPHY
As a sixth grader, Akilah Cannon saw Logan Leverenz on the Winslow Sports Complex baseball fields and knew he was special.
“I thought he was so cute,” she remembers. “I had his name written all over my notebook.” The youngsters saw each other frequently at ballgames that summer, but lost touch when they went to different middle schools that fall. She attended Jackson Creek, while he went to Batchelor.
Their paths crossed again at Bloomington High School South and while working part-time jobs at Dairy Queen. For most of that time, they only hung out as friends, but their relationship took off after Logan graduated in 2011. That summer, they went on their first date, to get frozen yogurt at Red Mango on East 10th Street. Two months later, Logan asked Akilah to be his first girlfriend.
Fast forward seven years. Akilah had been hoping to get engaged for about a year, and Logan was ready to pop the question. In order to execute his plan, he recruited his two best collaborators—his mother, Lori Leverenz, who reserved space at Fountain Square Mall, and Akilah’s mother, April Cannon, who decorated the space with candles and roses. She also orchestrated a ruse to get Akilah there, telling her that their large family was having portraits made. Then, Akilah walked in and saw Logan with a ring.
“I was so shocked and couldn’t quit smiling,” she says. Logan added to the surprise by reserving the back room at Nick’s English Hut, where their friends were waiting to celebrate the proposal.
The couple moved to Chicago in June 2017. Logan, 26, chose to work remotely for Bloomington-based Author Solutions, so Akilah, 25, could start her career in the Windy City after earning her bachelor’s degree in apparel merchandising and business from Indiana University. She now works as an associate buyer for Follett Corporation. But Bloomington was the place they wanted to tie the knot.
They returned for Thanksgiving a few weeks after they got engaged and toured six venues on Black Friday, choosing One World at Woolery Mill. “Woolery Mill took our breaths away,” says Logan. Akilah adds, “They took care of absolutely everything, including tables, the buffet dinner, signature drinks—everything.”
On the day of the wedding, while Akilah and her attendants were taking a break from photographs by Seth Teeters Photography, her mother, who was also the wedding coordinator and maid of honor, surprised her with a hidden blue heart—made from Akilah’s late grandfather’s tie—stitched in the inner lining of the bridal gown.
When the long-awaited moment arrived, Akilah was escorted down the aisle by her mother and her father, Patrick Cannon, to Dondray Brown and the Bethel AME Church choir singing “Make You Feel My Love.” Akilah and Logan stood with six of their closest friends and family as Isaiah Butcher and Brother Fred Stanger officiated the ceremony.
Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings & Design Studio created bouquets of baby’s breath carried by Akilah’s attendants, as well as white rose and hydrangea arrangements throughout the gold-accented venue. Festive signs and caricature drawings, on display during the cocktail hour, were created by Christine Wilson at Creative in Bloom.
Akilah and Logan got a sparkler send off at the end of the formal festivities. The next day, they rented a boat at Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina, where they had a block of rooms for the wedding party and spent the day on the lake celebrating. Logan and Akilah took a honeymoon trip to Cancun, Mexico, in early December.