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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Marry Me’ event at Congress will melt your heart-print boxer shorts

    Marry Me event at Congress will melt  your heart-print boxer shorts

    Oh, Hotel Congress. It’s the bastion of all that is mustached, plaid and essentially amazing. Many students over 21 find themselves dancing their butts off every Thursday at the Optimist Club. And like any cool, vibrant location in Tucson, it has a few Valentine’s Day activities up its sleeve.

    Like weddings. On Valentine’s Day, seven couples will partake in the second annual “”Marry Me at Congress”” event, a free, quickie wedding/vow renewal/commitment ceremony.  

    “”Marry Me”” started last year as a more-or-less off-the-cuff idea. But in the spirit of Hotel Congress, they ran with it and turned it into a quirky yet viable recurring event.

    “”We think of something fun and just do it,”” said Gina Compitello, the director of banquet sales and events. This theme becomes self-evident with a quick glance at Hotel Congress’ event schedule.

    And there’s no doubt that the event will be fun, as well as beautiful. The seven ceremonies will take place one at a time in the Copper Room. With tile floors, dark brown curtains and the copper leaf on the walls from which the name is derived, the room is a popular venue for ceremonies and receptions. It is prone to adorable, retro-themed weddings with do-it-yourself decorations.  

    The ceremony sounds nice, even if a little unconventional. Starting around 1:15 on Monday, Feb. 14, each ceremony will last 45 minutes. Couples, along with up to 50 guests, will then head over to the club portion of Hotel Congress. With cake, champagne and a first dance for each couple, the mass reception will eventually turn into a gigantic party.

    By the January 29 deadline, a few dozen couples had put in their names. The application process involved applying in-person at the front desk, where hotel staff could initially screen the couples. Couples had to answer a handful of questions, such as their history together and why they were interested in getting married at Congress. After that, the matter was decided in the simple manner of drawing names.

    The words “”so”” and “”adorable”” were often thrown around by Compitello when describing the selection process. And admittedly, as far as jobs go, listening to romantic stories for a free wedding event seems pretty amazing. Plus, for such an unconventional ceremony, the couples must also be rather special.

    Take for example Mark and his bride-to-be Julia (the couple asked to exclude their last names in order to keep the wedding a surprise). The two had known each other for a long time through mutual friends, and met for the first time while they were both married. Reconnecting years later, both newly single, they went out on a date and became inseparable.

    After years together, Mark popped the question on top of Kitt Peak a week and a half ago. He rented a room at Hotel Congress that night and learned about the “”Marry Me”” event at the front desk.

    “”You know, we’re just quirky enough that we’re going to do it,”” Mark said, laughing. “”We can get up at 5 a.m., be half-asleep, staggering and stumbling around for coffee and still be poking fun at each other and laughing.””

    The couple had not planned on a traditional wedding, and the ceremony at Congress seemed the perfect way to encapsulate their fun, offbeat relationship.

    So why is Hotel Congress hosting “”Marry Me””? Though it’s a great marketing tool and definitely increases awareness for the Copper Room, the company is not doing for economic purposes.

    “”I think it really captures how we are as a company,”” said Compitello. “”Right now in Tucson, we need those good vibes.””

     

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