Pat and Janelle "tie the knot"!
Apr. 27, 2010
For those of you who keep your Aikens Calendar pinned on the wall, you may have noticed that April 24th was announced as both Julie's birthday (Happy Birthday Julie!) and Pat & Janelle's wedding day! We have been busy in the office for obvious reasons getting all our ducks in a row before we head up next week. That said, the wedding preparations took priority and we are certainly glad that they did. You couldn't have asked for a more glorious day for the newlyweds! Saturday started off with the wedding ceremony in the historical "Cathédrale de St-Boniface". This is where Manitoba's founder, Mr. Louis Riel, is buried. Although it burned in the late 60's, it was rebuilt to glorious new standards and this is where Pat and Janelle exchanged their wedding vows. Many friendly Aikens faces, both current and former employees lined both sides of the aisle to watch everything unfold. Janelle's radiance as she appeared at the back of the church accompanied by her parents was a sight to behold. She floated down the aisle and tears of joy were streaming everywhere in the church as she approached her groom. Pat was then nervous slipping on Janelle's new ring, but with a few extra twists he was able to seal the deal in front of a joyous crowd. The marriage was official! The wedding party for both sides had a lot of Aikens flavor. Janelle's Maid-of-Honor was Aisha, who is going to be working as the sous-chef in her 4th summer at Aikens. The bridesmaids were Elise and Michelle, both of whom have been at Aikens for the past 3 years. On the groom's side, Pascal "Diesel" Dragon and Pat's brother Richard were the groomsmen. Pit was the best man. As you can see, the Aikens family is a tightly woven piece of fabric! After a few hours of pictures and limo partying in the afternoon, the wedding party made their way to the beautiful Millennium Center in downtown Winnipeg for the reception. This turn of the century bank was converted into a multi-purpose reception hall over the past few years. Adorned with marble columns, stone walls, glass ceilings five stories high, original boardrooms and vaults, and the original marble bank counter, this edifice is something special. Pat and Janelle greeted the over 200 guests by the main doors as people made their way in. People were seated at 28 different tables, each with a nickname of a spot on Aikens Lake! For instance, Gerry and Lorraine sat at a table called "Lone Coyote Reef" - the spot just in front of their residence! Kik was of course seated at the Kik's Corner table - and so on. The head table was set up behind the original marble counter that separated the tellers from the public, and was the perfect vantage point to see everybody enjoying their five-star meal! Although the acoustics did bounce around plenty in this old room, everybody was hushed as the speeches started. Janelle's parent's Pauline and Royal shared the microphone back and forth, incorporating a lot of humor into their heartfelt speech and welcoming Pat into the family. Pat's parent's then went up and kept the crowd roaring. Maurice was a gem up there, urging the newlyweds to make a lot of babies! Norma had prepared some very impressive paragraphs filled with fish-inspired puns. Next up was the Maid-of-Honor Aisha. She had the room in both tears and laughter, and you could tell that her life-long friendship with Janelle was getting stronger every day! Pit was next up with his much-anticipated best-man toast/roast. Many people were wondering which way this would go, toast or roast, and in the end it was a mix of both. There were certainly moments where roasting Pat created some good laughs (especially some of his early episodes when he was just starting out at Aikens!), but also some kudos on the things he has done to entrench himself in the Aikens management team. Pit also managed to incorporate some moose calling routines into the speech, you don't hear those during just any old wedding! The last ones to take the stage were the newlyweds themselves. Pat and Janelle were very comfortable behind the microphone. They were able to get all their thanks out, proclaim once again their love and devotion to each other, and they were even able to deliver a few jabs back out to the crowd. As an aside, during this past sportshow season Pat hand-tied flies for every person at the wedding. These were left at each dinner seating as a gift from the couple. Pat announced a $200 bounty for the first person to land a master angler fish on one of his flies and send him the photographic evidence! Gerry noted that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach - but in Pat's case it was probably through his fly! Another worthy pun. It was a beautiful evening for the newlyweds that lasted well into the next morning. Andrina hosted the after-party right across the street in her new loft, and Sunday was a day of rest and recovery for most. The honeymoon is taking place in the Napa Valley, and only one day after they return we are heading up to open up the Aikens Lake 2010 season! Pat and Janelle are the 3rd couple to have met at Aikens and to subsequently be married (the others being Marty & Lise in 2001 and Aaron and Devon in 2009). It was heartwarming to see how Aikens is such a big part of so many people's lives. We are proud that not only did Pat and Janelle meet at the lodge, but also how they are planning on being a big part of it for a very long time! Make sure you congratulate them when you see them on the docks this summer!