First comes love, then comes marriage...then comes an all-night reception at the Hotel Minneapolis for 42 newlyweds and 500 or so of their family and friends.

With hours to go before the first same-sex couples tied the knot at  City Hall after midnight Thursday, workers at the Hotel Minneapolis were rushing to organize the reception. An ordinary wedding celebration is complicated enough, but this one will feature dozens of couples and wedding parties marrying one after the other from midnight until dawn.

As workers from Event Lab hung the decorations, Courtney Moradipour, the hotel's catering manager, supervised the setup of the tables that will offer food, drink and desperately needed caffeine to the couples and their invited guests. For those still awake and celebrating at 5 a.m., the hotel will transition from reception to early breakfast.

"A lot of people were beyond excited to work the overnight shift," she said. "We're staffed and ready. This is such an exciting event."

The Hotel Minneapolis is just one of the local businesses that stepped forward to donate their services to the newlyweds. At City Hall, the flowers, the wedding photography, and the music and the manpower of local police and City Hall staff have all been donated. At the reception, there will be Betty Crocker wedding cakes donated by General Mills, a donated espresso bar, donated Glam Doll donuts, free food and drinks from the Hotel Minneapolis, free champagne, four rotating DJs and a string quartet.


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