Don’t Rain on My Parade – or Wedding!

Last Saturday, when the weather forecast was for showers in the morning and storms in the afternoon and evening, Taylor Christine Collins and Robert Lee Ash Jr. were married in an outdoor garden ceremony that was nothing short of spectacular.

To begin with, the morning showers did happen but were just enough to settle the dust after an extended dry spell. And, as most anybody knows, they were over before the kickoff of the UofL football game that stunned everyone, especially Florida State. The predicted late afternoon into evening heavy storms never happened.

In the planning for months, this wedding was originally scheduled to have the ceremony and seated dinner reception in a sunken colonnaded garden under the open sky. Plan B, called “What if it rains,” was always in place as a backup. On Wednesday before the Saturday wedding, based on the forecast, Plan B went into action. An enormous 100+-foot-long tent was erected for the reception with an adjacent secondary tent, not quite as large, for the ceremony if necessary. All of this was if the weather scuttled the original plans to have the whole thing under an open sky.

Late Wednesday into early Thursday, the weather forecast looked even more dire. Moving the entire event to Friday, which was the next day, was even briefly considered. This would cut 24 hours out of the setup and decorating schedule, not to mention notifying 250 guests of the change in plans. Fortunately, for a lot of reasons, Saturday soon remained the day of choice with a modification of some details.

Unless the weather prevented it, the ceremony would go on in the sunken garden and 250 gold chairs would be set up around the garden’s reflecting pool. Post ceremony cocktails would be served in the previously mentioned adjacent tent, and the reception tent would be set for a seated dinner with a band stand, dance floor and long banquet tables with another 250 gold chairs. The catering tent would be set unobtrusively nearby and a covered walkway put in place to lead guests to the tented necessary “necessary.” Finally, a spot in a field next to the ceremony tent was identified as the location where the 10-minute evening finale’s fireworks would be set off.

It should be mentioned at this point that amidst all of this wonder, fun and flower-filled glamor, the parents of the bride, Kevin and Sandy Collins, made a substantial financial gift to the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy in order to secure the wedding’s location. The groom is the son of Robert Sr. and Shellie Ash.

Both Whitney Thompson and Kendahl DeZarn were Taylor’s matrons of honor. Her maid of honor was Madison Eberenz. Bridesmaids were Angela Davenport, Katie Johns, Christy Ott, Lauren Walker, Erica Parsley, Anna Clements, Lucy Klausing, Ellen Jones, Margaux Underhill and Kathryn Denbow

Groomsmen were best man Robert L. Ash Sr., Chad Chism, Drew Eckman, Drew Henderson, Sean Williams, Brad Cecil, Brian Brown, Shane Collins, Peter DeZarn, Austin Hundley, Lou Ott, David Johns and Brad Davenport.

The flower girls were Collins DeZarn, Cooper DeZarn and Adelaide Thompson. The ring bearers were Wyatt Davenport and Bishop DeZarn.

The officiant was Dr. Michael Gatton.

Following the ceremony, popular Nashville band “Burning Las Vegas” provided the music for the evening in the reception tent, which was a riot of white orchid sprays, white hydrangeas and white roses on tables with tall crystal candelabra and lit by 40 crystal chandeliers and dozens of mini-spotlights.

Before a wonderful Wiltshire Pantry dinner that was served on gold rimmed chargers, the bride’s father welcomed all guests. With such good music, the whole party had no problem dancing for the balance of the evening right up to the time when an eye-popping fireworks show and the happy couple’s departure in a spectacular black Duesenberg ended the evening. VT