When David Quach asked Liz Horsch to marry him last year, he made one other proposal: how about exchanging vows on their anniversary, Feb. 2?
"I really, really loved the idea, so we started planning everything out," Horsch said.
First on the list: Book the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul for their wedding because it holds a special place in the hearts of Horsch's family.
Next: Find a place to have dinner in Minneapolis. No problem, right?
Except that turned out to be a lot easier said than done.
In their excitement, Horsch and Quach hadn't realized that they'd be exchanging "I dos" on one of the busiest weekends of the year — maybe ever? — in the Twin Cities, when a little thing called the Super Bowl rolls into town. Thousands of visitors are expected in the metro area leading up to the big game in the heart of Minneapolis on Feb. 4, and hotels are either fully booked or near capacity. Roads are already closed all around downtown, with more on the way.
"After I found out what weekend it was, I asked (my fiance), 'Are you sure you want to do this now, are you sure this is going to be the best time and that we're not going to get overwhelmed with the amount of people and the amount of craziness?'" Horsch said.
But he was dead set on it. "He said, 'I really want to marry you, we'll get through the craziness.'"
"How can you say no to that?" Horsch said.
So the couple resumed their search, only to run into roadblock after roadblock. Some places didn't want to book a private party that night because they were already expecting a high volume of diners. Others were quoting steep prices for their small group of just immediate family.
It was almost enough to make the couple change their plans.
"Me and David looked at each and we honestly thought we might have to change our date if we don't find something that isn't this ridiculous," Horsch recalled.
That same concern led some wedding planners in the metro area to block off that weekend, knowing it could be tough to fulfill requests.
"We blacked out the dates surrounding the Super Bowl because we knew it would be a logistics nightmare, both with travel and finding vendors that weren't booked with parties for the Super Bowl," said wedding planner Kerry Hollenback of The Simply Elegant Group in an email.
In the end, Horsch and Quach called about 20 places before finding and picking a restaurant just outside downtown St. Paul.
The couple has been doing their best to keep family members updated on what's going on, but acknowledge that some things — like the best driving directions — could change at the last minute, given the potential for eleventh-hour road closures.
"I do have temporary plans in place that I hope become permanent," she said.
But whatever Horsch can get done now, ahead of the Super Bowl week madness she's doing. She picked up her wedding dress in early January and her bouquet of fake flowers is already made.
Now: Onward to Feb. 2, when she and Quach will kick off their life together.