Rising Missouri River Changes More Than Landscape Over Weekend; Gives Bride & Groom a Unique Wedding Adventure
Just about every bride has a story to tell about her wedding day, and Tanya Sue Hergott of southeast Nebraska has a story most likely unlike anyone else.
For months, Tanya had her heart set on celebrating her big day at the River Inn Resort, with plans to marry her fiance John Rizek under the red canopy on the third deck of the floating bed & breakfast south of Brownville.
On Friday, with the Missouri River waters rising before their eyes, Tanya and Randel Smith, owner of the River Inn, decided the wedding would take place, even though major adjustments would have to be made.
The water had reached the main access road to the River Inn, including shutting off all access to the resort by way of car, which meant only one way to get there – by boat.
Randel made the decision to use the Spirit of Brownville as a shuttle service from Brownville’s upper levee to the resort for the expected nearly 200 friends and family members of the bride and groom for the Saturday late-afternoon wedding ceremony.
On Friday afternoon, the Spirit, piloted by Randel’s son, James, made their first run with the wedding party and some catered food to the River Inn to hold the wedding rehearsal ceremony and dinner.
The guests who arrived for the wedding on Saturday were asked to park on Brownville’s Main Street and were transported to the river on the Brownville Trolley, which was driving by Mark Caspers. The guests then boarded the Spirit on the upper levee near the Farmers Cooperative elevator. Members of the community had started sandbagging the levee earlier, but the water was not expected to go over it and the bagging stopped.
The Spirit shuttle service was used from 3 p.m. to about Midnight on Saturday to accomodate for all of the wedding guests, including the Rev. Bob Chitwood of Brownville, the cakemaker, who brought with her Tanya’s four-tier white wedding cake, and the Bluffs Catering crew from Rock Port, Mo., and the multi-member live polka band from Lincoln.
And, despite the flood, the resort guests received their sit-down gourtmet breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning and their rooms were also tidied each morning, as the breakfast and cleaning crews were shuttled by the Spirit into the River Inn to ensure this past weekend’s guests were treated to a stay similar to those who have access to the resort by way of car.
And, after what was planned to be a fairly nonunusual wedding weekend, Tanya, John and their wedding party guests boarded the Spirit mid-Sunday morning for their last shuttle cruise. Tanya boarded the boat and said, “It’s been an adventure.”