Approximately one minute after Josh and I got engaged, another question was popped (about a million times): Have you picked a date? Well, no, in fact in the 24 hours that followed our engagement, we had not picked a date. However, after the 100th time we were asked, we found ourselves incredibly motivated to just set the damn date so we’d have something to tell people other than, “Ah . . . well . . . we dunno, sometime next year probably.”
Settling on a date depends largely on two things: conflicts and venue availability. I already knew my brother and two of my best gal friends were getting married next year. So, we attempted to do what any nice, sweet Minnesotans would do: we tried to pick our date first so everyone had to work around us! I know, so thoughtful, right?
As far as venues, our choices were limited due to the fact that my grandparents were practicing Catholics and had a gazillion kids (12 boys, to be exact. My poor grandmother!). Plus, we’re a tight-knit family, so not inviting everyone is simply not an option. Add in our high school and college friends, Josh’s many relatives scattered across the country, work colleagues, and our parents’ friends, and bam! We’re well over 400 people. Hopefully, with some soul-searching editing and those who can’t make it, we’ll be in the 325-350 range. Still—yikes!
We didn’t feel like a big banquet hall fit our personalities, however, finding something more unique presented a challenge with a group our size. Additionally, Josh and I aren’t particularly religious, so we thought a two-fer ceremony and reception site would be perfect. Plus, who doesn’t love marching straight out of their wedding ceremony into a fun cocktail party? And then there's the food. I work for a chef and I am a wee bit of a food snob, so having to go with a specific caterer because a venue has a contract with them wasn’t going to work. No chicken a la king for this gal!
Photo courtesy Uppercut Gym
After scouring the Internet for a few days and many, many e-mails, we set up an appointment to check out Uppercut Boxing Gym in Nordeast . . . Seated capacity: 350. We could bring in whatever caterer we’d like. I could lean on my booze/beer/wine contacts for libations instead of having to go through a hotel’s food and beverage program. And a boxing gym—it certainly adds a unique touch of personality most banquet halls lack. I know what you’re thinking: a boxing gym? (I know.) For a wedding? (You bet.) Is that really the tone you want to set for your marriage? (Eh, why not?) Does it smell like a gym? (Hard to say.) And if I’m attending, can I wear a cut-off No Fear t-shirt? (Yes, provided you wear jorts as well.)
Photo courtesy Uppercut Gym
We walked in the door and knew it was the right move—basically, a warehouse-style blank canvas with huge windows, a very urban patio/parking lot where we can have the ceremony (a huge sand pit consumes the space. Not sure how we’ll deal with that). There’s plenty of parking and bathrooms. And the kicker: the boxing ring stays in the space, which might not be up everyone’s alley, but we love it.
So with only touring one venue (!), we sent in our deposit and locked in the date, which would be June 28, 2014. Thanks for asking!