Memorial Day Weekend Under the Big Top

Reception pic1We were honored to host a large wedding reception over the Memorial Day weekend.  Two of our local families were joined in marriage and the families pulled out all the stops to host a large reception celebration for the event.  We honestly couldn’t have worked with more helpful family members who had to be extremely flexible as things went slightly awry when a huge downpour stopped the big tent from going up on schedule on Friday night! Thunderstorms were a huge threat all week and we kept watching to see if the weather was going to put a huge damper on things as the Saturday wedding and reception was just ahead.  I went up to check on things as the huge downpour started to clear out and the tent crew was heading out as lightning strikes had hit nearby.  I didn’t realize how much water has accumulated and managed to get my car stuck in the mud and muck and started to mar up the grounds.  What a mess.  I started calling the bridal group to alert them not to drive up on the grounds for fear of getting stuck.  The nice tent crew guys pushed me out so I could drive home.  We started to worry about all the traffic that would be up the next day for set up.

Reception pic2Saturday morning the tent crew arrived again and started to   work.  The groom, who is a local farmer, had to bring his loader to help hoist the tent up since the rain water had weighted down the tarp.  Suddenly it seemed people came from out of the woodwork to lend a hand in setting up tables, tablecloths, flowers, drink stands, and more. The morning had stayed dry, but the forecast still called for rain later in the day around reception time.  There was an organized flurry of activity outside while caterers worked diligently inside on food prep for the 5:30 meal.


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Early that morning I had a few quiet moments with the sweet bride who was organizing some last minute details before she would scoot off with the bridesmaids for “primping”.  I prayed over her and the wedding and their marriage and the weather forecast.  We just trusted God for his best for their event.  Rain on your wedding day is a good thing right?

Reception pic5At some magic hour everyone disappeared to go get dressed and begin pictures of the wedding party just before ceremony time.  The guys were stunning in their light grey tuxes and the girls were beautiful in their varying shades of taupe and cream.  Excitement flowed through the Old School hallways and I could almost can feel the old girl laugh as young people hurried up and down her steps.  The photographer kept everyone in tow making sure the pictures were perfect.  So easy to do with digital photography these days.  One feature of the Old School is that her stairways, steps, rooms, hallways and foyers make for very dramatic photographs. The rich history of a bygone era makes each picture unique.

A quick check of the weather showed that the rain had been taken out of the forecast!  The only downside left was that the winds were going to kick in and they were forecasted at 15-20 mph.  Up on our hill you feel every mph.  This could mean trouble.  The table flowers still needed to be set out on the reception tables and the florist saw that the tablecloths were blowing off as the wind blew.  She quickly started shifting chairs to hold the cloths in place and literally saved the day keeping flowers and candles from taking flight.  The strong breeze help ease the humidity but we were hoping it didn’t have any other catastrophic effects.  With the ceremony over, guests began to arrive….

We started to laugh when a huge yellow school bus pulled up and said she was the shuttle bus for bringing the guests from the church to the Old School and wondered if there was room to turn around.  We honestly had to say no to preserve our grounds from the many turn arounds of a huge school bus, so the guests did get a ride, but had to trek up part of our uphill driveway.  The Friday night downpour had still left our grounds a bit soggy and we were trying to be accommodating yet still preserve a tad of grass.

Reception pic3Oddly the winds lasted only a short while and finally calmed down.  A heavenly omen?  We were certainly pleased with God’s plan for a beautiful evening.  Our precious catering crew was ready to serve right at 5:30 and they worked approximately 260 guests through the line in exactly an hour.  The guests were having a great time and the united families celebrated in style.  Someone was heard saying it was a night they would always remember!  As the evening progressed the garden lights began to shine and make the evening even more magical.

My husband and I took time make sure everything was flowing well – especially our indoor plumbing and we were able to meet quite a few folks standing in line for respite.  They often would ask if we were in line and we replied that we were the “hall monitors” and wanted to know if they had a “hall pass”.  Old School humor….

The night ended wonderfully and the Bride and Groom stayed their honeymoon night at the B&B.  Earlier we tidied their room as it was the changing station for all the wedding party.  Sleeping in was on their agenda after a long, wonderful day.

Reception pic4We were pretty tired too…. we cannot thank the family enough for coming the next day and cleaning up and hauling away all the trash, decorations and pretties that made the evening so lovely.  They were so kind and thoughtful and even found my UPS delivery of sandals that came that day (I know, I know….) and had been put up during the flurry of activity.  The catering crew from Simply Scrumptious Cakes & Catering in Chamois cleaned my kitchen and it looked like they had never been there prepping for 260 people.

Outdoor weddings and receptions are always subject to the weather and so like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get…..

Congratulations to Alex and Aubrey Paulsmeyer.  We are honored you chose to celebrate your reception in the town you grew up in.  We are so glad you love the Old School and her heritage as the starting place of many weddings and receptions for this community.  We wish you many blessings as you start your life here together!

Two tired, but happy Innkeepers…. we love the Old School and we love Chamois.

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