Caril & Bryan: A Sunset Ceremony At The Inn On Crescent Lake

by Susan Berryman

When Caril went to a local auto dealership to purchase a company car, she was prepared to negotiate a deal. What she didn't expect was that the dealership would throw in a little something extra to earn her business: a date with Bryan, the manager. "It took about thirty minutes to sell me the car, and another two hours for Bryan and the entire sales staff to convince me to go to a Chiefs' game with him the following weekend," laughs Caril.

THE BRIDE Caril Duncan, 33
THE GROOM Bryan Weatherman, 36
THE DATE August 3
THE SCENE Ceremony and reception at The Inn on Crescent Lake

When the two met they were both committed to remaining single. But after nearly six years together, they felt the itch to make things more permanent. One afternoon, out of the blue, Bryan asked Caril to sit on the couch, close her eyes, and hold out her hands. She did as she was told and waited, hoping to feel a small velvet ring box in her hands. Instead of handing Caril a tiny box, Brian asked her to hold her hands apart. "When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee in front of me, and I was holding a platform that held a velvet box with the most gorgeous ring I could have imagined," says Caril. Without hesitation, this once happily single woman answered yes.

Caril and her good friend Karen Wagner spearheaded the wedding plans, and the two spent four months coordinating the event. "Karen has superb taste and is the only person I would trust to help organize an event of such importance," says Caril. "She was instrumental in making sure I was a relaxed bride without any worries." They found The Inn on Crescent Lake, a bed-and-breakfast in Excelsior Springs, MO, to be the perfect place for the casually elegant celebration they envisioned. Surrounded by 19 wooded acres with two ponds, the property is the ideal place for family and friends to gather for a weekend. "I'm the youngest in my family and I don't remember any family vacations where we all were together," says Caril. "Having the wedding at the inn provided the opportunity for everyone to spend not just an evening together, but an entire weekend."

The festivities began at the inn on Friday night when young and old gathered for dinner, followed by an evening swim at the pool. The next morning the ladies relaxed poolside with massages, while the men hit the links and the youngsters fished and raced paddleboats. At sunset, the front lawn became an intimate ceremony site, flanked by views of the historic mansion and a colorful sunset. Escorted by her father, Caril made her way down an aisle that had been created from fresh pale pink rose petals.

After the informal ceremony, the couple greeted guests and enjoyed appetizers and cocktails under a large white tent next to the pool. Everyone mingled as a saxophone-keyboard duo played light jazz and rock tunes under a trellis-covered patio by the pool house. Family and friends toasted the happy couple, then sampled light entree selections including smoked salmon with mustard dill sauce, pesto stuffed chicken breasts, beef tenderloin with Mediterranean relish, and a portabella salad marinated in rosemary vinaigrette. "I can't say enough about how wonderful the food tasted," says Caril. The remainder of the evening passed with more mingling, dancing, and swimming for the kids at the inn pool. "The reception was so much fun. And most importantly, everyone had a good time," says Caril. "My nephew Caleb recently asked if Bryan and I could get married again so we could have another wedding weekend!"

Sunday morning, the newlyweds shared an early breakfast with their guests and then headed to the airport for a quick three-day honeymoon in Santa Barbara. "Our vows were put to an early test when the luggage containing our bathing suits, shoes, and necessary toiletries was placed in the wrong car," remembers Caril. A quick trip to Target rectified the situation, and the two checked into the five-star Bacara with signature red-and-white Target shopping bags for luggage. After a few days of spa treatments, incredible meals, and long jogs on the beach, the couple had forgotten about any hassles endured while traveling. There's one honeymoon memory, though, that this modern couple will never forget: "Not only did I keep my maiden name, I also made the hotel reservations," laughs Caril. "For the entire honeymoon stay, Bryan was called 'Mr. Duncan'!"

-- Susan Berryman
photography © Doug Hesse

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see the right-hand column of this page.

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