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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cassie's Journal - May 27, 2017



Congratulations, Violet and Dillon Jacobs!

Mrs. Violet Jacobs – now that’s something I didn’t think much about before today, and while that might be considered old-fashioned elsewhere; it is still the norm here for our brides to take their husband’s last name – a tradition that I plan on following when Michael and I get married in the not-so-distant future! ;^)

Before I get to the rest of the wedding-day news; I’ll give a big thank-you and shout-out to Mother Nature.  Yes, we’ve had a fair bit of rain and some spectacular thunderstorms roll through here today, but when it really counted most today; she gave us sunny skies and a complete break from the rain for about three hours this afternoon – enough time for us to get Violet to the wedding without getting wet; see her happily married off to Dillon; and even have a short blast of wedding photos done at the park before getting our newlyweds to the Inn where they could stay dry through until they headed off on their honeymoon after the reception.

Okay, with that said; let’s try to do the rest of this update in some kind of order – starting with my early-morning wake-up call.

That came too-soon after starting my nap; I used some self-healing to make up for the lack of sleep; and then got ready quickly and met up with Michael for the walk to the Inn.  We were there early too so we’d have time to get the prep work done for the holiday weekend breakfast buffet, and while that was more work for us; working the dining room for breakfast buffets is a bit easier for the servers while we just need to deal with drinks, refills, and clearing away dirty dinnerware and cutlery.  Yes, there is the occasional rebel diner that doesn’t want to get in on the buffet, but I just feel sorry for most of those poor, deluded souls that miss out on the great food that Jacob puts together for his special meals.  That meal was very popular, and while we didn’t sell out the main dining room; we did have a big crowd; and I was kept busy helping Miranda through until nine-thirty.

Michael and I had an extended break then, but we didn’t really stop working – we instead helped out with getting the combined small dining rooms set up and decorated for the wedding reception.  While a lot of that was planned out, we were also winging it in a lot of ways today because it is a holiday weekend; and we couldn’t just close the Inn and give Violet and Dillon all of the dining rooms for their wedding.  They did want to have more than one hundred and fifty guests for the reception, though; so we settled for having some overflow into the main dining room – even though they wouldn’t be able to be in the same room for parts of the reception.  As much as was possible, Miranda made that a kids and teens kind of overflow with some supervision for those kids, but there were also some extended cousins and local friends that ended up in the main dining room too.

That’s getting the story a bit out of order already; so let’s get back on track.

Michael and I helped with the decorating until eleven; returned to the kitchen to help with the lunch prep work; and worked there until twelve-thirty when we were set free to go home and get ready for the wedding.  While he went home to do that; I was on the edges of controlled wedding chaos when I got home – partly because the thunderstorm going on at the time was a bit worrying for some of the parents and girls in the bridal party.  Back-up plans were already being used for the bridal party photos by then, but I wasn’t involved in that while I used the shower in Mom and Dad’s room to get cleaned up; Mom helped me with my hair; and I got dressed there too while my room was bridal party central for Violet.

This is likely a good time to actually mention the wedding party; since I haven’t really done that in my journals.  I have mentioned that Jake and Stephanie were best man and matron of honor for Violet and Dillon; and it should be no surprise that Dawn, Isabelle, and Andrew all stood with their sister and brother.  Dillon didn’t include Chris or Martin in the wedding party, but only because he and Violet set limits on the size of their wedding party; and he chose to have Josiah and his best college friend, Ray, for his final two groomsmen while Violet only had room for her best college friend, Heidi for her third bridesmaid.  Rounding out their wedding party was Ethan and Ehlana as their ring bearer and flower girl, and yes; twins are absolutely adorable for that particularly-special wedding job!

As I mentioned, the skies cleared in time to get Violet to the church on-time and without getting more than the soles of her shoes wet, but there wasn’t time for many outdoor bridal party photos.  I left for the church fifteen minutes before they did; and Michael picked me up for that little hop so that I didn’t try walking there in my heels.  Walking would have been as fast by the time he found a parking spot, but his parents wanted the van at the Inn for later anyway; and it gave us extra options for seating if needed after the ceremony.  Michael and I didn’t need to be seated in the sanctuary because we were part of the music for the wedding; and we needed to rush a bit to get his guitar tuned and then into the sanctuary to our ‘reserved spots’ in the seating that’s normally used for the praise team.  That did give us one of the best views in the house for the ceremony, though; so that was a great bonus for us!

Our new, expanded sanctuary hasn’t been filled to capacity for any weddings since the expansion, but Violet and Dillon did have a big turnout for their wedding – particularly for the Jacobs’ side of their new, combined families.  That might sound a bit strange, since the Proctor family is one of the best-known and connected in town too, but Dillon’s Mom has taught at the school since college; so she has a close relationship with nearly every family in the area through the school and the kids she’s taught over the years.  From my perspective, Dillon was a perfect combination of nerves and joy when he lined up at the front of the sanctuary with Jake and the other guys a few minutes before the bridal party was invited to begin the processional.  He also looked great, but at the risk of insulting our happy newlyweds; Jake was gorgeous in his tux!

For the record, Michael is not jealous if I tell him things like that about his brother; and there’s a big difference between the love we share and my appreciation for Jake’s hotness! ;^)

Now where was I?  Oh right – the wedding ceremony!

Ethan and Ehlana didn’t steal the show as they led off the processional, but they were awesome; and certainly had everyone in the sanctuary smiling as they walked side-by-side to the front of the room and then sat with Violet’s mother and brothers – and with Uncle Rick once he’d escorted Violet.  Heidi, Isabelle, and Dawn followed them; Stephanie was stunning in her matron-of-honor dress; and then Violet lit up the room with her beauty and brilliant smile as she happily walked with her father toward her future.  That’s a bit melodramatic, but I was probably just a bit whimsical by then; and it is how I was feeling at the time.  Dillon looked a bit dazzled by then too, but he held it together pretty well; and Jake only teased him a bit while they watched their amazing girls complete the processional.

The father-husband hand-off was of the traditional style; and Violet and Dillon went with a mostly-traditional ceremony too.  That might have been obvious to anyone based on the tuxes and Violet’s amazing, flowing wedding dress, but traditional in our church does not mean the ceremony is much longer; since the additions only add maybe five or ten minutes to the shortest version that would come in at about fifteen minutes not including the intermission for signing the marriage documents.  All of that was a bit of a blur for me, but it was special to watch my cousin and Dillon getting married while holding Michael’s hand and sharing all of that joy with him.  Their wedding vows were simple and heart-felt; Ethan had fun delivering the rings to Stephanie and Jake; and then it was time for Michael and I to add our contribution to the ceremony during the papers-signing intermission.

I am not going to say much of anything about the wedding song we picked out and sang for Violet and Dillon.  This day is supposed to be all about them, and while the wedding guests loved our music; I only want to add that doing that duet with Michael was another one of those moments of pure joy for me that makes me glad to have such a great memory so I can remember it forever.  While we only had the one song to sing; we continued to play the piano and guitar for the rest of the intermission; and then I gave up the keyboard to one of our regular church pianists for the recessional music.  Violet and Dillon were introduced by Pastor John, but before I miss mentioning it; his parents were both involved in the ceremony too – just as they are for nearly every kid that they’ve also baptized.

One thing that’s helpful for weddings when thunderstorms are a risk is that everyone is encouraged to rush around a bit; so the meet and greet after the ceremony was short and sweet; Violet and Dillon were whisked off to the park for the wedding photos; and Michael and I went over there and were put into the first batch of pictures so that we could move on and get back to the Inn to help out with the major dinner rush and reception dinner that was going to keep us busy for the rest of the night.  We brought clothes along; changed at the Inn; and were working hard by a quarter-to-four.  That meant missing out on most of the wedding fun at the park and the rest of the action going on before the doors ‘opened’ at five-thirty for the reception, but I was too busy to think about that at all – and that’s something that Miranda and Jacob are used to dealing with; since they didn’t even get to take the day off for Jake and Stephanie’s wedding.

What is new, though, is their ability to host weddings at the Inn without closing it to the public, and while that will normally still be restricted to using the small dining rooms; there will be off-season times when they could use the large dining room for the wedding reception and the small ones for normal Saturday night business.  We do get some fall weddings around here that are booked for after harvest; so that might work out great for some families that have needed to have their receptions in barns or houses in the past – or in the fellowship hall at the church.  I guess they have the occasional reception at Sheldon’s, but that’s usually for family or close friends; since they don’t have space for large parties.

Rebecca, Jenny, and I were all put on the server crew for the wedding reception, but we worked the main dining room until we needed to switch out and begin taking drink orders for the wedding guests.  I’m glad that we got to at least have that small part in the reception, but we were also very busy; and my fun came in the form of hundreds of little cameo moments that came along with the work as I helped to serve the Head table and the ‘VIP’ tables closest to the bride and groom – including the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  There was a reception line and a social hour before we began serving dinner; and then I had two hours of non-stop action as I delivered each course of the meal and kept up with everything else – like drink refills and clearing away dirty dishes.

Buffets are fairly-normal for weddings or parties at the Inn, but Violet and Dillon had opted for plated meals with four options that were pre-selected.  That makes for a bit more work for the servers; but it is less work for the kitchen.  That’s relative when we’re also pushing capacity while still expanding the staff to accommodate the extra dining space, but it did work out tonight; and it is easier for the guests too when they don’t have to try and fill plates for kids at a buffet when those kids are also dressed up in their best clothes.

I should move this along; since this could take all night to write if I include all of the little details.

Dinner started at six-thirty; we cleared away the desserts by eight-thirty; and then there was a break so that everyone could mingle while we got set up for the entertainment.  The weather again helped us with that; and Miranda and Stephanie made a quick change in plans and set up the big screen and everything else they needed in the main dining room so they’d have more room for that part of the reception fun.  That was possible because the dinner rush was pretty much done with by then while everyone wanted to get home or back to campsites during a break in the thunderstorms; and the bigger room allowed Violet and Dillon to have everyone in the same room for the speeches and roasting without crowding an extra fifty or so people into the smaller dining rooms for that.

Again, that was more work for us, but we got it done; and then I still kept busy delivering drinks or helping out in other ways while Violet and Dillon enjoyed the show that included trips down memory lane in multi-media forms that included childhood and teen photos and videos to go along with the stories that were offered by their friends and relatives.  Violet’s Woodvale friends had a particularly-great presentation about her life in Woodvale before Dillon stole her away from them, and I was really happy that they could get involved with that when there was no way for Violet to include all of her friends in her wedding party.  I won’t cover all of the details for that either, but that was a really awesome hour and a half of fun for everyone – even for those of us who were working.

Violet and Dillon had another little break then to get changed before heading for their airport hotel and honeymoon; so that was also a chance for the guests to take washroom breaks and get drink refills and snacks.  We weren’t doing a midnight buffet or anything, but there was a desserts and snacks table set up for anyone needing another hit of food.  Violet and Dillon returned to do a round of visits to all of the tables; dropped off thank-you gifts; and then they only had their immediate family and wedding party with them when they went outside and hopped into their car.  They hadn’t wanted a limo because they wanted their car at the airport for when they get back next weekend; though they would have had one if they’d wanted it.

That did mean that Dillon needed to put in that driving time, but since we still had hours of work to do after they left; I won’t feel too bad for him – especially when they have a week off while I’ll be working and then getting ready for exams while they’re away having fun in the sunny south.

The reception did wind down then, but I was busy and didn’t get involved much in the goodbyes and the rest of the fun.  I was on the clean-up crew for the small dining rooms first; moved on to the main dining room after that; and then wrapped up by work day at around one-thirty by the time Michael and I stocked ‘the library’ with everything our guests will need for the rest of the night and their self-serve breakfast.  Some people might think that wouldn’t be a selling point for staying at the Inn, but Olde Bakery treats are involved, and it is a complimentary meal; so I actually think it’s an awesome bonus for the Saturday night guests.

By then, I was really tempted to bring Michael home with me for the rest of the night, but we do already have a house full of guests; and we weren’t quite done for the night then because Jacob and Miranda had a van load of gifts to drop off at my house for Violet and Dillon.  They’d helped out with that because my parents and a few other volunteers were booked as designated drivers, so Mom and Dad didn’t get home much before we got there and unloaded the minivan with help from Chris, Martin, and Dawn.

Now that’s something I nearly-missed mentioning – Dawn’s date for the wedding!  Don’t get scared, because she invited Jillian to be her ‘date’; and Jillian came here today with her parents.  They’re spending the night in town too, but Jillian’s the only extra guest we have here; and she’s bunking with Dawn for the night.  Chris and Martin didn’t bring dates, but they could have; and just decided not to do that when it also meant that those dates would have needed to be here for five days on a holiday weekend.

Michael went home with his parents, and if you’re wondering why I didn’t include Rebecca in that; it’s because Lucas picked her up and she’s out at the farm for the night.  I had a bedtime visit with my family after he left; some bonus girl chat time with Dawn and Jillian after that; and then they went to bed and I grabbed a shower because I needed to have another one after all of the work.  My day could have been over then, but I did my bedtime computer checks; dealt with some family business work; and then got started on this update.  Since all of that was in ‘normal’ time; you can guess how late it is now – and I’ll only have time for yet another nap before we’ll be up and going again for Tai Chi and a major family and friends breakfast.  We’ll also have the holiday weekend service at the church, and the teen praise team is leading the music for that; so Michael and I will be even busier with that too before we’ll then spend the rest of the day helping out with three holiday weekend buffets at noon, three, and six o’clock tomorrow afternoon.

Why and I not sleeping right now?  I have no idea; which means that I probably should be doing that instead of this!

Even with all of the work, this has been an awesome day; and I am glad that I’ve been able to help make it so special for Violet and Dillon – even if I couldn’t share as much of the fun with them as I’d have liked.  The holiday weekend busy is going to resume in a couple of hours, though, and I have pretty much covered the highlights for my day; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!