Print Employees marry at senior center
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 08:00

She was Sabrina Herbst when she went to work Friday morning. When she left that afternoon, she was Sabrina Frasier.

Sabrina Frasier beams up at her brand new husband, Mike Frasier, immediately after their first wedded kiss at a Camp Verde nursing home Friday, July 16. Both the bride and groom are employees of the extended care facility.It was a life-changing experience for Frasier née Herbst, and a special event for the residents at Verde Vista Care and Rehab, who don’t often get to attend weddings in their own home.

The man of the hour was Michael Frasier, 36, a 12-year veteran of the facility’s kitchen.

Frasier née Herbst had made her acquaintance with Frasier when she took a job there five months ago, but it wasn’t anything more than that until he was running late one day.

She called him to make sure he was on his way. That call led to more phone calls and text messages. And then, well, first comes texting, then comes marriage.

Whether you believe in love at first text or not, it led these two co-workers into deciding to spend their lives together.

The couple doesn’t make a fortune at Verde Vista, but the employees at the facility are practically a family, said Jan Myers, activity director at the site.

Once the word got out that the soon-to-be newlyweds were tying the knot, Myers said the staff pulled together to plan a wedding.

They only had a week, Myers said, but it went off without a hitch. Everyone pitched in, including the facility’s nutrition specialist, who whipped up a delicious-looking wedding cake, complete with a topper depicting a bride dragging a disheveled groom across the frosting.

The decorations were put up, the guests were brought in and it seemed clear that even with only a week of planning, a real wedding was about to take place. A table piled high with wedding gifts gave testament to how this workplace had pulled together, some wrapped in tin foil as a likely nod from the couple’s kitchen co-workers.

Friends and family filed in wearing a mixture of blue jeans and blue suits before a gaggle of guests armed with flip phones and cameras, determined to catch every second of this rare workplace event.

By the time the bride came into the room over a layer of flower petals, no one would have guessed she had only clocked out from work an hour-and-a-half earlier.

So had the groom, who listened to the Rev. Paul Dinno talk about weathering the inevitable storms of marriage while a much more literal storm took shape outside. Still, the audience was delighted by the bride’s glowing appearance in her wedding dress as the wind howled against the windows of the lobby.

The storm was bad enough to send a tree branch through a co-worker’s back windshield, and it caused the lights to dim throughout the celebration. Dinno said the storm was evidence that nature itself was celebrating the event.

The power actually went out while Frasier was reciting his vows of matrimony. Fortunately, it was only for a few seconds, no doubt creating a story that will be told in future generations of the Frasier family.

It was clear how tight this family is when Dinno asked who was giving away the bride. Without hesitation nearly every single person in the room shouted, “We all do!”

Once the new couple kissed to applause and a sparkle in the eyes of the elderly guests enjoying the beginning of a new family, they left in a minivan decked out with all the bells and whistles of a newlywed-mobile.

Their honeymoon would only last the weekend; Myers said they were both scheduled to work again bright and early Monday morning.