This will be the first of many wedding stories.
On a cool Saturday in early October there was a cabin north of St. Croix falls ready and waiting for over 200 guests to arrive. The property owner's daughter was getting married at the family's getaway. We had the opportunity to meet with them over a year before when they were starting the planning process.
The wedding week had finally arrived, and our staff was excited to serve! All the planning, updates, and phone conversations had all been in preparation for the big day! The family did an amazing job preparing the property with building updates, landscaping, field preparation, and much more. It's amazing for us to drive in and see all the changes and projects completed.
It was now our turn to transform the property. Wednesday was the tent set up day. After 3-4 hours, everything was up and ready for the family to start decorating. We had been watching the weather closely since a large storm system was taking shape and due to hit that location on Wednesday night. We explained to the family that the tent would most likely sag, and sections of the support poles may fall due to the storm and extremely sandy ground.
Sure enough, strong storms hit the area with huge winds. The family heard trees falling in the woods and dust flying all around. They had received over 4 inches of rain in 30 minutes with winds gusting. We arrived Thursday morning to take a look, and the tent was still standing for the most part.
In no time, the tent was back up without damage. If the storm were to happen on the wedding day with guests inside, they would have been evacuated to a severe weather shelter in the nearby shed. After we were finished installing all of the items (such as chairs and tables) under the tent, we walked over to the ceremony spot to finalize the chair placements and talk about other day-of duties we were performing.
The wedding day soon arrived, and in the morning we showed up with the luxury restroom trailer and set up it up for the wedding, including turning on the inside heat! The temps ranged from the 50's to low 40's, so the heated restrooms were a huge hit. We were there cleaning and stocking throughout the afternoon and evening.
Next it was time for us to set up the chairs for the ceremony. Once the chairs started going up, the parents came over and said, "Wow, it's really happening!"
The ceremony was now underway, and we could relax a little bit, grab a little late lunch, touch up the restrooms, and sweep the dance floor once more. I caught a little bit of the service, and it was wonderful! Looking out at all the guests and seeing a once in a lifetime event is truly an honor. The marriage begins here!
After the ceremony, there was a time for pictures and relaxing for the guests. The family is big on food, and they prepared everything themselves! They had unique meat offerings and side dishes. After the dinner hour, the father of the bride offered me some meat. It was great, and I wondered what it was. He told me it was rabbit. That was a first for me!
The reception followed with dancing and speeches, and the groom had his own band on stage for a time. We were cleaning the restrooms, picking up trash, monitoring the power, cleaning the dance floor, and much more. I even had a chance to try out the desserts!
Later in the evening, I had the chance to see a full moon, not up in the sky but right next to a big bonfire. The bride works for a theater production company, and the large moon was part of a past production. The picture only shows the glow, but it made for some very unique shots!
As the night progressed ,so did the joy of the guests, family, and the bride and groom. The dance floor was so full I could hardly sweep! At 1:00am we headed home after a successful day. Monday clean-up came quickly, and we had some extra help from my wife's parents. Soon the tent was again empty and ready to be taken down. We talked with the property owners and had some great laughs and talked about how well everything went. We get to know the bride, groom, and family quite well, and once the wedding is over, it's sad to say goodbye. It's an honor to serve on such a special day, and we don't soon forget the people we serve.
This is just one of many stories that unfold every weekend for us. We encourage brides and grooms planning a wedding in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to enjoy the process because having a wedding outdoors on the family property is priceless. It only happens once, so make it a great one!