Saturday, August 1, 2009
Summer = Wedding Season
Hockey camps have finished for the summer. The ice is out and there is refurbishing going on in the bowl which takes that out of commission for the month. What else is there to keep the business up and running? Weddings of course!
The lobby at Ralph Engelstad Arena boasts pictures of championship teams, trophies of note like the Hobey Baker award won by Ryan Duncan and Tony Hkrkac, and shows timelines of the different accolades. As “manish” as this may sound, the floors are imported granite, the walls are a warm brick, the pillars are lit through elegant sconces and the dance floor is graced with four TV screens congratulating the happy couple.
Just about every weekend this summer there has been a reception held in the front lobby of the arena. Unless you have graced The Ralph yourself, you would think this would be an awkward place to hold a wedding reception. Though, for the devoted hockey fans in the area, this is the perfect place to show their guests a good time.
All interests aside, receptions here are just another wedding reception. Standing post near the bar surveying the crowd, there are a lot of interesting stories one hears from the guests. A notable experience was during the notorious bouquet toss. The bride and her single followers were on the dance floor. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” was bumping through the portable speakers and the single ladies themselves were pushing each other out of the way vying for the elusive flowers to land in their hands. The tradition, of course, is to be the next couple to take the plunge.
Meanwhile, at the bar, the “single men” were grabbing a new cold brew, talking about that night’s baseball game that they were missing. With the trade deadline looming, their conversation morphed into who the Twins should get so they could get above .500 for the second half of the season in hopes of making the playoffs again. Baseball talks seize when there is a shriek in the background; the guys look and one rolls his eyes.
“Damn Dave – your girl caught it!” She jumps in excitement with her right hand high above her head, showing off her prize. Dave and company quickly finish their beers and grab another as to say good-bye to the good life. They learn that the end is near; the end of their single-hood and “good old days”. The beginning of adulthood as a plus one is in the near future. Maybe, if they get their way, they can celebrate in the same fashion. After their big walk down the aisle, they can celebrate with family and friends at the same place. The Ralph boasts more than University of North Dakota hockey, it also helps those lucky couple celebrate the first step of couple-dom!