The North Loop gets a reimagined wedding venue from local event producers extraordinaire.
Game On: Stadium Weddings at TCF Bank and Target Field
The question has been popped and you’re deciding where you’ll celebrate your big day. Why not size up arenas where emotions fly high? Minneapolis is lucky to have two newly designed stadiums: TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Golden Gophers, and Target Field, venerable Twins territory. Each has features that promise to make your wedding day a champion event.
Super Bowl-Size Love Fest - TCF Bank Stadium
If you love tossing around the pigskin, if you’re a University of Minnesota alum or if you just plain love the new TCF Bank Stadium, your wedding will surely score a touchdown if you choose to hold it here.
Opened in the fall of 2009, the open-air, horseshoe-shaped TCF Bank Stadium on the U of M campus offers fresh, new facilities for events. Brides looking for a reception space can choose from three options: the Indoor Club (holding a maximum of 250 people, the stadium’s top floor offers sweeping views of the field and city lights beyond); the luxurious DQ Club Room (think windows—this space offers plenty of natural light with balcony access if guests want to go outside to sip their cocktails); and the M Club Room (this wide-open space can seat around 100 people).
So far, brides’ favorite locale has overwhelmingly been the DQ Club Room, which is where Jordan Bierschenk held her reception in May 2010—the first bride to christen the space. Though she’s an Iowa Hawkeye fan and her husband, Gordon, is a Gopher man, they agreed to tackle the new stadium for their reception. (Their first big compromise as a couple came when they agreed to feature both Hawkeye and Gopher logos on the 108-by-48-foot video board that bore the huge message, “Congratulations, Gordon and Jordan!”)
“My husband and I loved the fact that it was such a unique location,” says Bierschenk. “We had the most fun down on the field. That memory will be with us forever.” Bierschenk and her wedding party romped on the Gopher field after the ceremony, which was held at a church off-site. The guys acted out faux lineups and the ladies kicked off their heels as their photographer captured candid shots.
Megan Appell, special events sales coordinator at TCF Bank Stadium, says that the stadium is a special option for brides, especially if they have a connection to the university. Ceremonies can be booked here, but it’s important to note that there are no chairs or heels allowed on the field.
Also bear in mind that weddings can’t be booked more than a year out. After brides decide they’d like to use the space, they’re put into the capable hands of a seasoned event coordinator. The stadium provides the space, ambiance, catering, tables and chairs, setup and teardown, and security. The rest is up to the bride (music and dance floor, extra décor and linens).
“This stadium offers more than a hotel or a country club can,” says Appell. “It’s a totally unique way to celebrate the most important day of your life.”
Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Target Field
Totaling 1 million square feet, Minneapolis’ new Target Field has five separate levels featuring clubs and lounges with upscale décor, a haute cuisine kitchen to cater events in-house, stunning views of downtown Minneapolis and a sprawling baseball diamond at its heart. Setting foot in this stadium is more than your standard peanuts-and-Crackerjacks experience, so it’s no surprise then that brides looking for a sporty twist or a swank new location for a ceremony and/or reception choose Target Field for their matrimony.
“If you’re having your wedding at a ballpark, you can get away with doing some fun things,” says David Christie, senior manager of facility and events sales. “This is the perfect opportunity to relax and have fun.”
Brides can have their reception in the Champions Club Lounge, the Legends Club, or the Metropolitan Club. There are four different packages to choose from, with ceremony, reception or various combinations thereof.
If you opt to hold your ceremony at the stadium, Christie has a suggestion: Why not get married at home plate? The layout of the field is ideal for the choreography of a wedding. The wedding party can primp and hang out for up to three hours in the third- and first-base lounges attached to the dugouts, then saunter down to home plate where the officiant will be waiting, and wed before friends and family watching from the seats behind home plate.
While some couples prefer a more traditional approach, with classic blacks and whites, Christie says he’s seen die-hard Twins fans go for the team’s red and blue, even flaunting jerseys as part of their wedding regalia. They pose with bats and gloves for photos and some even hire the Twins’ organist to play.
Molly Andersen held her wedding reception in the Metropolitan Club on March 26, 2011. Coming from a family that planned its vacations around the Twins’ season, it’s safe to say she inherited a passion for America’s favorite pastime. Andersen had a ball planning the details of her wedding, which included vases filled with baseballs centered on every table, lineup cards listing the menu and seating chart (with baseball-themed positions for all), and a bobblehead Twins doll atop the cake.
“I knew I was going to have a good time; I wanted to make sure my guests did, too,” Andersen says. “Everyone was so excited to be in the stadium.”
Inside the club, Andersen’s guests enjoyed watching a slideshow of bride and groom photos on the many flat-screens throughout the space. Though she didn’t choose the option, Andersen could have designed a message or photo to be displayed on the 57-by-101-foot HD video board on the field.
Food for all events at Target Field is prepared in-house by Delaware North Sportservice, which has been in business for more than 90 years. They’ve been known to serve parmesan-crusted chicken scaloppini and high-end steaks to one party, and traditional brats and hotdogs to another.
At Target Field there’s no charge for tables, chairs or the sound system. Couples are in charge of hiring a DJ or band and any additional décor.
“Even if you’re not a baseball fan—or, heaven forbid, not a Twins fan—you can still enjoy this space and have a memorable event here,” says Christie. And you’ll be sure your big day will hit it out of the park.