Iowa State offers wedding possibilities

Leah Gage

Getting engaged is one of the happiest moments in a couple’s life, followed by some of the most stressful months the two might face together while they plan the wedding.

There are resources on Iowa State’s campus to help with that stress and can make planning a breeze.

The Iowa State Alumni Center is one venue to look at when starting the planning process.

Since opening six years ago, the Alumni Center located across the street from Hilton Coliseum, has been offering a large indoor ballroom and social area for ceremonies and receptions, as well as outdoor options, each holding 200 people.

“We hold about 40 weddings a year,” said Lexie Elliot, Alumni Center Events Manager. “At least half of those are Iowa State alumni.”

Elliot and the events staff at the Alumni Center provide on staff wedding coordinators for the event to help make sure everything runs smoothly. The staff is now including more all inclusive wedding packages for the couples.

When looking at the Alumni Center, make sure to discuss with the coordinators any restrictions or pre-provided services to avoid double booking and spending more money than necessary.

The Memorial Union is also a great resource to look into in the early stages of wedding planning. The Event Management Office at the Memorial Union assists with 25-35 weddings a year.

These ceremonies are not just held within the Memorial Union, but also on Central Campus on both sides of the Campanile, in the Lagomarcino courtyard and in the Food Sciences courtyard.

All inquiries for these locations are made through the Event Management Office at the Memorial Union.

There are four options for ceremony and reception spaces inside the Memorial Union: the Campanile Room, the South Ballroom, the Sun Room and the Great Hall. Each room holds a specific amount of people for the ceremony space.

For reception spaces, couples have the option of renting out each room singly, or renting out multiple rooms to allow for more people and space. There is also a difference in space availability if the event is being catered buffet style or with servers.

Katie Gieseke, Event Management Office Manager, notes that all packages offered through the Memorial Union are all inclusive.

“We do all of the set up of the tables and chairs, any platforms for the head table, we provide the sound system and microphones, and we also give you a wedding coordinator,” Gieseke said.

At the Memorial Union, all catering for the event must be done with ISU Catering, but when it comes to reception entertainment, such as a band or DJ, that is up to the preference of the couple.

There are some restrictions with decorations as well, which can be discussed in the initial meeting with a coordinator at the beginning of the planning process.

If getting married on campus isn’t suitable for a couple’s wedding plans, but there’s a special location on campus they want pictures at, there is an option.

“The Memorial Union is open, it’s public, as is central Campus,” Gieseke said. “Every summer there’s at least three weddings a Saturday who will come through to take pictures in front of the campanile or by the fountain. The Campanile and the fountain are the most popular places for couples to take pictures, but they’ve also taken them on Beardshear’s steps, in Lagomarcino Courtyard, and really just all over the place.”