It may have started with cats…
Once upon a time, Matt lived with a 21-year-old white, fluffy beauty named Gala and Stephanie was shacked up with a soon-to-be 22-year-old long-haired stunner named Sindel. Sadly, Gala and Sindel never met prior to their “untimely” passings in the summer of 2017, but their caregivers did connect through their felines’ freakish longevity. And it didn’t hurt that Matt and Stephanie both loved The Replacements and hockey. What are the odds? And we knew from personal experience that anyone who had the same cat for more than 20 years was a keeper.
Why did you choose Mayne Stage?
Stephanie wanted an intimate setting for more than 200 people that was close to the couple’s home and, of course, had a stage for Matt’s band, “Doomgrynder!” This was actually a lot harder than you would think. However, Mayne Stage was the perfect venue – the art deco vibe, the hanging lights, the balcony and the two very large bars on both floors. And, of course, it had a gorgeous lobby where the couple could display their campy cat movie posters.
What were you most looking forward to at your wedding?
Stephanie admits that “Getting to marry one another in front of our family and friends, and with a very personal ceremony – we wanted to lock each other down! Other than the actual ceremony, we were most looking forward to having all of our friends and family (the people we love most from all parts of the country) come together in the same room at the same time. We wanted them to have the night of their lives – with great friends, an awesome array of music (string quartet, a DJ and a punk band), an abundance of delicious food and drinks and, hopefully, a lot of laughs.”
What was the best thing that happened at your wedding?
For Stephanie, it was having her husband serenade her from the stage with “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Who doesn’t want to marry a rock star?
“And our officiants, Jennifer Larson and Nick French, brought down the house with both their sincerity and their humor. I couldn’t stop laughing, especially when Cheap Trick lyrics were incorporated into the “readings.” Even better, I couldn’t have cared less when it dawned on me I left my beautiful bouquet with the charm of my dad in the green room. It just meant I had to carry it around the rest of the night.” said Stephanie. “Oh, and dancing with our moms to Queen. Their awesome moves on the dance floor hopefully erased the images of the couple’s attempt to dance to the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “The Two of Us.” So the bride had three. For the groom, it was getting married. He won’t admit it… but Doomgrynder was a very close second.”
Matt, tell us the story of “Doomgrynder”?
“Joe (bassist), Bryan (drummer) and I were in a band formed in ’91 called Slide Off Saturn. After toiling around throughout the Nineties, we split so everybody could focus on adult careers across the country. Joe and I reunited in 2002 in Chicago and decided to reignite our rock band urges. Joe’s wife Nicole (drums) joined and later, Kevin on bass and then keyboards. We never played any shows, which was fine because we just wanted to rock our work weeks away. Some years later an old friend, Nick (guitar), moved to Chicago and promptly sat in. Nicole was in and out of the lineup, so whenever Bryan came in from Atlanta he would play drums. About three years ago, Joe and Nicole moved to San Diego and Nick, Kevin and I remained in our space with Nick’s girlfriend recently playing bass and violin every so often. At this point, Nick and Sara were commuting from Janesville, WI. Then in early summer 2019, Joe and Nicole came back to record some original material written before they left. Those sessions proved vital as rehearsals for the wedding. We had one night in a friend’s garage, two days before the wedding, to play our set. Cops came and left. That night was the first time all seven of us were in the same room at once. August 10th came and, as they say, the rest is history…”