BY JIM LOCKWOOD
Ashley Mahlstedt and Corey Weaver started planning their wedding after getting engaged in February 2019.
They initially set a May 2020 wedding date, but the pandemic prompted a postponement.
They moved their big day to Saturday, Aug. 1, and whittled the guest list from 170 to 50.
But on Friday, the day before their wedding, during the late afternoon — and while on the way to rehearsal at the Church of St. Gregory in Clarks Green — a call came from the reception venue saying something unexpected arose and it would not be able to host the reception after all.
The rehearsal dinner at Mahlstedt’s parents’ backyard in Clarks Summit happened to have been catered by Backyard Ale House of Scranton.
So, the family on Friday popped the question to Backyard Ale House: Could it also cater the wedding reception in the same backyard the next day?
“Yes,” was the answer, the newlyweds and Backyard Ale House co-owner Patrick Nasser said in phone interviews during the wedding reception Saturday.
“We were catering the rehearsal party at the same residence. They said, ‘You did so great at the rehearsal party, can you do the wedding tomorrow?’” Nasser explained.
No cold feet here. With very short notice, Nasser and his staff vowed to pull it off. Backyard Ale House has been doing off-site catering in recent years, Nasser said, noting he stayed up all night planning, and staff members shuffled schedules.
“We made it work for this couple,” Nasser said. “We had under 24 hours to put this together for them. We do thrive on taking on these challenges.”
The bride and groom, of Collegeville, exchanged vows Saturday at 2 p.m. at the church. Their backyard wedding reception began at 5:30.
Backyard Ale House recreated their wedding-reception menu of plated dinners of salmon, chicken and steak, and appetizers, said Ashley, 31, who grew up in Clarks Summit.
“They somehow pulled it together. It’s better than we probably could have planned,” she said.
After buying a house in March, and then pushing off the May wedding date, the couple already had been on an emotional roller coaster for months, said Corey, 32, who grew up in Chester County.
The couple never wavered in the face of adversity.
“If anything, it’s made us stronger,” Corey said.
Noting the unusual circumstances, Ashley added, “No one’s ever going to have a story like that.”
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