Ashley Thasher, 10, and her sisters Allison, 13, and Alyssa, 6, had never been to a wedding until Friday afternoon. But, after watching her grandfather Jim Thasher get married at the Anderson Cracker Barrel, Allison said she wanted to have a big wedding.
But Jim Thasher and Barbara Sewell did not want to go through the extravagances they both did in their previous marriages. Tuesday, they decided to get married, and while they were at the Cracker Barrel to eat, they asked the manager if they could hold the ceremony at the restaurant.
Jeremiah Craig, associate manager of the restaurant, said the couple were regulars, coming to eat three or more times a week.
“They’re real good people,” Craig said. “And they care about the community.”
Craig contacted the Revs. Joyce and Buddy Patterson to do the ceremony.
“I couldn’t say no to them,” Joyce Patterson said. “I thought it was just precious.”
Joyce and Buddy Patterson have run New Vine Ministries for 20 years. They were ordained together three years ago, and since then have performed numerous weddings, but Joyce Patterson said this is one of the more unusual requests.
“It’s just strange the places some people want to get married,” she said.
Craig contacted the Pattersons because they are also regulars at Cracker Barrel stopping into the restaurant around five times a week.
“That’s our favorite restaurant, not just because the food’s great, but the people,” Joyce Patterson said.
The wedding was a first at the Anderson restaurant, which opened in 1989, Craig said.
Barbara and Jim Thasher, both in their 60s, were joined by a small contingent of their families.
Tom Thasher, one of Jim’s two sons, and his three daughters said he was surprised when he found out where the ceremony would take place.
“It’s not every day that someone gets married at Cracker Barrel,” he said.
Barbara’s daughter, Debra Sanchez, was surprised by the effort Cracker Barrel put into setting up for the couple. Two tables were set up inside of the restaurant, each covered in white table cloths. Two tall, white candles sticks sat on each table and a bouquet of flowers sat in the middle. The restaurant also made a large, decorated wedding cake for the couple.
“I thought it was really neat what Cracker Barrel did with the tablecloths and cake,” Sanchez said.
Jim Thasher said he came up with the idea to have it at Cracker Barrel because it is the couple’s favorite restaurant, even though they met at Bob Evans in New Castle.
“It’s not the idea of having it (at Cracker Barrel), it’s the idea of having a wedding,” he said. “When you get married, it don’t make a difference where you have it as long as God is there.”