The Vista Verde Royal Wedding

Over the weekend, we all were wrapped up in the excitement of Johanna and Javin’s wedding.  It was an amazing day!  I know many of you have been waiting for the details, so here they are:

In the days leading up to the wedding, the sun was shining and it was just beautiful around the ranch.  We started getting ready a few days before as the Lodge needed a pretty deep clean after being closed for a month.  We had moved all the furniture into the basement a few weeks earlier, so we had a clean slate for the wedding. Thursday Sarah and Lewis did a major shopping run, to get all the groceries for the brunch.  Thursday night the girls put on a little shin-dig for Jo, showering her with fun little goodies and whooping it up late into the night.  Friday the rental tables, chairs, etc.. showed up, and that is when the Lodge started to transform.  The Great room was set up for the ceremony, the Dining room for a post ceremony gathering, and in the wing we had everything staged for a great turnaround after the ceremony.  Jo and Jav were calm and cool during the rehearsal.  I had to laugh, looking at Jo’s bridesmaids.  Anita and Steph were two of them, and then she had two friends from growing up in Indiana.  The ranch friends were in skirts and cowgirl boots, while the “city friends” did their part to bring real world fashion to the ranch.

Early Saturday morning, we all started getting ready.  We knew it was coming, but were still somewhat surprised to wake up to lightly falling snow.  Lewis was madly cooking in the kitchen, Ben and I were doing a final clean on the Lodge, and Jo and her bridesmaids were up bright and early for hair and make up.  The cowgirls clean up well!  After some photos in the Great room, everyone was ready for the main event.  At 10am, Javin escorted the mothers down the aisle, while Jo waited behind closed doors in the dining room.  Nathan was playing DJ with the ceremony music, while many of us rushed from our roles in the set up in time to grab a seat and watch the ceremony.  It was beautiful, casual, and touching.  And, to no one’s surprise, they both said “I do” and then sealed it with a kiss.

After the ceremony, we moved the guests into the Dining room to enjoy some coffee, sign the guest book pages and watch a slideshow of the couple.  During that time, the newlyweds took the more traditional family photos.  The photographers even got them to step outside into the falling snow.  Cody even jumped in on a few photos with his favorite gal.   During that hour, there was a mad rush in the Great room as we took away the chairs, rolled in 9 tables, set them and got ready for the brunch.  It was amazing to see so many people pitch in to help.  There were the current staff who were on the schedule to help.  But, then all the former staff (think Kyle, AJ, Lee, Teresa, Josh, Jess, Rachel, Jenn, and more) hopped in and were willingly put to work.  Much to Sarah’s surprise, we turned the entire room around in about 15 minutes.  I am always amazed at how quickly a job like that can be completed when so many people help.  That gave everyone a little more time to visit, sip coffee and enjoy the beautiful view outside.

As the guest sat at their tables, we brought in the bridal party and then the newlyweds.  While folks dined, they visited and hugged, took more photos, and then finally got a bite to eat themselves.  Lewis did an outstanding job of preparing an amazing brunch spread as the solo chef of the event.  He told me he decided to come in earlier to just do it himself when he heard his kitchen assistant was going to be Terry.  He may be great on a horse, but with sharp knives?  It really was fun to watch the core management staff jump in and pull off this wedding with just a few of us.  Dace manned the waffle station, Bill carved the ham, Kelli assisted Sarah with the buffet, Steve manned the juice bar and Charlie was Mr. Coffee.

After a wonderful meal, we toasted with mimosas, enjoyed cupcakes for the wedding cake, and sent them on their way to Colorado Springs for their honeymoon.  After they left, the Great room took another transformation.  The tables and chairs went away, and all the regular furniture came back up.  We had planned to do that while there were so many of us around to get it done quickly.  Once again, all sorts of folks jumped in to help and the job was done in less than an hour.  The TV was switched to a football game, and the crew all enjoyed relaxing and visiting for a while.

From all of us at the ranch, we wish Jo and Jav the very best.  We love you like family, and will miss you as you move onto your next venture in life!