Members come to the gym for all sorts of reasons—to work out, to get healthier, to socialize and to get married.
Huh? To get married? Yep, for one Texas couple, the gym was the perfect location for their recent nuptials.
Don Stephens and Nilva Candiago, members of Stroud’s Fitness in Hurst, TX, exchanged vows last Saturday before 40 guests inside the club, where they had met more than four years ago. Stephens and Candiago stood on treadmills—which were not in operation, mind you—while other members went about their daily routines.
Kirk Stroud, the club’s owner and an ordained minister, performed the ceremony. He was hesitant to do this wedding only because two of the four couples he had previously married had divorced. But Stephens has been one of Stroud’s best friends for more than 25 years, and Stroud has known Candiago for about eight years. Plus, it was Stroud’s wife, Samm, who introduced the newlyweds. Who better to perform the ceremony?
“I knew the marriage was going to last, so I didn’t mind doing that one,” Stroud says.
Believe it or not, this wasn’t the first wedding at Stroud’s Fitness, which has been in operation for 16 years. Back in 1997, before the club moved to its current location, Stroud’s was the site of an Orthodox Jewish wedding. Oy vey!
“It was quite something to see,” Stroud says. “I didn’t do that one, obviously.”
The 20,000-square-foot Stroud’s Fitness sits between Dallas and Fort Worth. Stroud says his club is more of a mom-and-pop operation. There’s an LA Fitness about five minutes away and a 24 Hour Fitness about 10 minutes away, he says.
“The camaraderie we have in our gym is a little different,” Stroud says. “I know everybody’s name.”
That includes Mr. and Mrs. Don Stephens.