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The Big Wedding – Behind the Scenes

Last week, I wrote a bit about Steven and Sarah’s big wedding June 1 here at the inn.  In addition to the normal planning and hosting of this big event, we also encountered a few non planned events leading up to the wedding. Thought you might be interested in them

January 1 -The weather – As most of you know who live in the east and southeast, this has been a very wet year.  To date, Bryson City  is almost 20″ above normal in rainfall.  Because this was to be an outdoor wedding and reception, we were paying special attention to the weather and were glued to the Weather Channel looking at long range forecasts. It had not escaped our attention that it has rained every weekend since the beginning of the year with the exception of Memorial Day weekend.  What a helpless feeling.  Many Prayers were being said.

May 2 – The Cooks – When the wedding was first planned, we had a wonderful cook on staff that we loved and trusted. She was known for her prime rib which we normally don’t serve but Sarah and Steven wanted.  We all met with her last year, planned the menus,and made all the arrangements for both the  rehearsal dinner  and large buffet wedding dinner.  All the planning and meals were based on the promises and availability of this cook.  Then, on May 2, she suddenly and unexpectedly quit,  for reasons we still don’t quite understand.

May 10- Graduation – Since our winter can be unpredictable, the date for our local high school graduation is not set until spring.  So in May, they finally announced graduation would be, you guessed it, Saturday morning, June 1. ..the date of the wedding.  At the time, we had four high school students working for us in our dining room…all seniors…all graduating.

-May 1 – The Bear – Early in May, we were surprised to see a large black bear casually walk through our woods towards our garbage can area.  This has happened before and is always intriguing. We took lots of pictures and began to haul off our leftovers every night after the meal hoping to discourage the bear from returning.  However, that did not deter the bear.  He (we think it’s a male) continued to come every evening, sometimes twice an evening, smelling whatever the cooks were preparing and looking for leftovers.  Interestingly, he would come about 4:00pm, the same time the wedding ceremony was to commence just a relatively short distance away. No matter what we tried, we could not keep it away.

May 20 – The Snakebite  – Less than two weeks before the wedding, we were outside working when we noticed Scruffy, our small dog, walk up limping on three legs.  I checked her out thinking she got something caught in her paw.  I couldn’t find anything wrong  and she was still in obvious pain, so I took her to the vet and found she had been snake bit.  Multiple subsequent trips to the vet were necessary, another distraction we did not need.

June 1 – The Snake – The morning of the wedding day, with a full house of guests, Andrew and John Thomas pointed out a small copperhead just outside our house door.  With bravery above and beyond normal men, the brothers and I were able to quietly eliminate the snake without disrupting any of the activities.

The surprises just kept coming… But there was a happy ending

The Weather – The weather Friday and Saturday was perfect; cloudy with a slight breeze.  It was not hot and did not rain a drop, UNTIL after Steven and Sarah were long gone and we had cleared the front yard of all the tables and chairs.  Then it rained all night Saturday and into Sunday.  Well, prayers do work.

The Cooks – We had two of our former cooks, Donna and Wally, and two brand new cooks, Starr and Jay,  and Maggie, Chad’s wife, do a marvelous job preparing our wonderful meals.  They all pitched in working  long hours and without complaint and prepared all the outstanding meals.  We also had a little help from The Well House in Dillsboro, which prepared our Prime Rib.  We cannot thank them enough.

Graduation –Well we couldn’t change graduation, but we did call in help from our friends and former employees.  People like Tim and Sandy and extra work from Christine, Heather, and Loretta plus the hard work of Chad, Maggie, and Gail made sure everything was done just right.  Thanks to all.

The Bear – Our friendly bear just disappeared and did not show its face the entire week of the wedding.  But it did return the week after the wedding and the adventure continues.

The Snakebite – Scruffy has almost completely recovered. She has a shaven leg where she was treated and still favors it some, but is slowly getting back to normal with, we hope,  a little more appreciation for where she ventures into the woods.

The Snake – There have been no more snake spottings anywhere…thankfully


The result was a perfect weekend, a perfect wedding, and a  wonderful time…..but the adventures getting there will long be remembered









  1. Margie Smith says

    So happy it all worked out to have a wonderful wedding! Hope I can return to Hemlock one day. I thought it was wonderful place to stay!