GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Big Old Building is closing down.
It's sad for so many in Grand Rapids who have memories inside its walls, memories Mary Bauman hoped to make there too…after her engagement to Matt.
"He and I went to Holland, where he's from, and we just got coffee," recalls Bauman, "and he took me to Centennial Park, and my best friend was there. She took pictures. It was super sweet. It was low key, which is what I wanted."
But for Mary, her special day isn't quite working out how she wanted. She booked her reception at the BOB.
"I really loved the floor we were on," she says. "We were going to be at level. Just like the open brickwork, all that."
She booked the BOB in September 2021, more than a year before her October 2022 wedding.
But by then, the BOB will be closed.
"We actually booked it a week after we got engaged," says Bauman. "We were pretty quick about getting a venue because we knew... People had pushed their weddings back because of COVID, and we wanted to get married in October."
The Gilmore Group is trying to help Mary relocate her wedding.
"That she would help us find a new venue, but that basically, we just had a contract with Gilmore Catering left. But we didn't have a venue at that point."
But still, Mary doesn't have a venue.
"We're going to go tour a place next week," she says, "but it's been difficult finding places that still have our date, since we have our ceremony venue already booked."
Mary says she had no idea the sale of the building meant closing her reception area.
"I understand it was always a possibility that the BOB was going to sell. But I didn't think it would impact having our reception there."
But still, she says it's not about the wedding; it's about her marriage to her fiance, Matt.
"We just came into each other's lives at the perfect time," Mary recalls. "It was kind of in the middle of the pandemic, so we were like, 'Okay, if we can make it through this, let's just get married!'"
Mary looks forward to making memories with Matt that will last forever.
"We're kind of at that point where before we start other new things, we can start this new thing too."
We're told Gilmore Catering isn't affected, so brides who have booked them for their caterer are in the clear.
In general, it's disappointing for a bride, no matter how you slice it.