August 16th was forecasted to be stormy, rainy, and dreary. All week before, the weather portion of the broadcasts were filled with “plenty of rain Friday”. For some, this news comes with joy. For others, it means a huge detriment to wedding day plans. We were part of the latter, with our bride Katlyn sharing the sentiment. Katlyn chose her wedding venue to be Cedar Lake Cellars, a gorgeous place with a barn, a large, attached rooftop patio, a gorgeous lake, and even a spot across the lake where you can have the ceremony on a trickling waterfall while your guests can watch from afar.
Well, as usual, the rain held off for the entire day, and surprisingly, so did the oppressive August-in-Missouri heat. Still warm, but with a decent breeze, the wedding went on. The ceremony was held on the rocks near the waterfall, while the guests’ chairs were setup across the lake. It’s an interesting thing, this setup, and something unlike most weddings we experience. Generally, in the ceremony, you can hear the vows and ceremony naturally, with the microphone only a supplement. This wedding and setting is different, however. Because the guests are roughly 100-150 feet away from the actual ceremony taking place, the ceremony is significantly more intimate; almost as though you are spying on a private ceremony from across a pond, unbeknownst to the couple. Our wireless microphone system was paramount to the guests, so they could be present, watch from afar, but still hear every sweet word from the bride and groom.
The ceremony started, and went on without a hitch. The bridal party entered through this beautiful tunnel of vines and greenery that Cedar Lake Cellars has setup as part of their entrance, they went through the middle of the chairs and to the left of the lake, up to the waterfall. One-by-one, they walked slowly up to the arbor at the waterfall to a beautiful, soft piano ballad. Once they were all up there and the flower-girls threw their petals, the bride’s song came on: “Speechless” by Dan + Shay. The piano-driven intro set the mood and the rhythm, and the Katlyn entered with her father through a different path, around the other side of the lake. Because it was more distant and a longer walk, it seemed more intimate and drawn out. Her total walk took roughly 2 minutes, and the song fades, the ceremony starts.
Steve, the officiant gave an incredibly strong ceremony, moving from one portion to another. Other than a unity candle, the ceremony only took roughly 10 minutes, and the two were married! Quick, easy, done.
Once finished, Katlyn and Edward were swept away for some sunset pictures around the expansive property by Brittany Cannon and Skylar from Memories Media (video), and we were left to start setting the mood. The guests were all released to wander the space during the cocktail hour, while the staff moved the chairs from the ceremony setting to the reception area, just to the right, under the covering. As always, we put our playlist for dinner to play through, and we left our station to help the staff setup the reception. When you do this as often as we do, it becomes rather second nature; stack chairs, move stack, unstack chairs, set up. As soon as we were finished and everyone had a place to sit, we set off to check on on our bride and groom. The challenge: finding them. in a place such as Cedar Lake Cellars, with so many gorgeous spots and places around the historic several-acre farm, the creative minds of B. Cannon photography and Memories Media goes absolutely nuts. I wandered the property looking for the bride and groom to check on the status of the grand entrance while Lauryn stayed back and ran the music, constantly monitoring the energy of each song so as to match the atmosphere. As I came around one of the buildings on the property, I could hear laughs, a talking just over the hill. I came upon Katlyn and Edward taking incredibly sweet photos in front of a beautifully painted sky—absolutely stunning. Brittany and Skylar directed them through several motions and poses, attempting to get that perfect shot. Just a few more moments, I was told, so I went back up the hill, around the lake, to everything together for the grand entrance. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you would all find your way to your seats, the bride and groom and the bridal party will be entering the space shortly.”, and surprisingly everyone listened. So, I met the newlyweds and the bridal party on the other side of the tunnel and we got them lined up. Now, since I had Lauryn with me, we were able to pull something off incredibly smoothly. Each pair with the party had a different song they wanted to walk into. It is something that we can handle by ourselves, but it is significantly more difficult and a tad less polished. So, Lauryn was able to blend the songs to-and-fro while I announced the bridal party in from the dance floor, one after another.
Once in, I checked with Stephanie, the manager of the evening for Cedar Lake Cellars to confirm that dinner was ready, we went forward with the welcome speech with the Father of the Bride. He gave an incredible speech, sweet and accepting. He talked about an accident that Edward had some years ago, and about how Katlyn had never left his side. It really was so sweet, and there was not a dry-eye to be found.
After the blessing, dinner service began. Lauryn dismissed tables to the buffet line, while I watched over the atmosphere for the night. Finally, once every guest went through the line, we grabbed a plate. The food looked absolutely delightful, and tasted even better.
Finally, after the cake cutting, some sweet dances under the market lights of the dance floor, and an anniversary dance, we opened the dance floor. We finished the night with about an hour of open dance, and a modest dance floor. People were enjoying the music from their seats, as it was a tad muggy to dance, but still an enjoyable atmosphere. We finished the nights off with a mix of new and old hits, keeping a two-step request, and some others as well.
So, to wrap it up, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson: your wedding was absolutely gorgeous. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better venue for your personalities, and your guests were absolutely amazing. Your ceremony was so special, and your reception was so much fun. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you for your special day. It was an honor to be a part of your story.
Cedar Lake Cellars, your establishment is gorgeous. The food was great, the grounds are beautiful and well-manicured, and setup in a perfect way for a wedding. Your staff was courteous and efficient, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this wedding.