So this weekend was big for us.
We got married!
So we drove 6 hours to Cincinnati, Ohio where we were married on the baseball field before the Atlanta Braves Vs. Red baseball game. If you know anything about us, you know we are huge Braves fans. So this was perfect. After a lot of thinking, we decided to elope. Several different factors played into our decision.
1) As a lot of you know, my dad died of liver cancer a year and a half ago. So the thought of having a actual wedding without him was heartbreaking. I just didn’t want to do it without him. Although I have an incredible brother-in-law in, Will, that would happily walk me down the aisle, and I would be lucky to have him do it, it isn’t my dad. So I didn’t want a situation where I would have to walk down an aisle. It just didn’t feel right.
After the ceremony, when we got back to the hotel room, the necklace of my dad’s ashes broke as I was taking my hair down. To me that couldn’t be more symbolic, and a special sign from my dad. That it was time I could let go of my dad, because the next most important man in my life was finally in his right place as my husband. It reminded me of when my dad was on his death bed, he turned to Andrew and asked Andrew to take care of me. Andrew promised my dad he always would. And last Friday, he made that promise official.
2) We have very limited free weeks/weekends throughout the rest of the year, and we wanted to get married this year. Andrew travels for work, and from the third week in September all the way into the holidays, he is constantly gone. So we had little time to work with before the rush of the holiday season.
3) Every date we threw out, someone had some prior obligation. We had originally planned for an October wedding. We started throwing around dates to family and friends… and everyone was booked up. So we knew that just wasn’t going to work.
4) We are set to close on our new house on Tuesday. That means, we are going to put a substantial amount of money down on the house, and spend even more on all the costs associated with it. So we didn’t see the need to spend extra money on a wedding. Andrew and I aren’t really into the big ceremonial aspect of it anyway, and think it is kind of a waste. It just was not what we wanted.
5) We felt like it. Andrew and I love each other. We want to spend our lives together and didn’t really need to go through any big ceremony to prove that or announce it to the world. And a private ceremony on a baseball field before the game was just fitting for us. Our first date was at a Braves game. We named our son Turner. Our Christmas photos were taken on the field. We celebrate every birthday/anniversary with the Braves. A wedding with them was just the perfect match.
So wedding details.
It was perfect. It was relaxed. It was stress free. It was special. It was just me and Andrew. We left Turner at home with my mom and sister. We got to go to a suite at the ballpark before the ceremony. Enjoyed a glass of wine, toured the park, and just talked. It was special for us. The fact that we were the only Braves fans in a sea of Reds fans (19 couples in all were wed or renewed their vows) was even more special. We were definitely a topic of conversation for everyone.
Before going on the field, we got to see several people associated with the Braves. Brian Jordan, who played for the Braves before becoming an announcer for Fox Sports South wished us congrats, as did Braves announce Jenn Hildreth. They were equally as excited to see Braves fans taking the plunge. The word of two Braves fans who were brave enough to take the field at an opponents ballpark quickly spread and it wasn’t long before the Atlanta Braves organization caught wind of it.
We lined up on the field after our name was called out over the entire ballpark. Braves fans in the crowd erupted in cheers. After taking our place on the field, we were lined up directly in front of the Atlanta Braves dugout with Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez right in front of us. The look on his face was pure joy. He was so excited to see Braves fans on the field. He and the other coaches were giving us thumbs up.
Then in the crowd, we could see a handful of our friends. The only people we told about the elopement were a few of Andrew’s friend who lived near Cincinnati. We needed two witnesses, so we invited them. The day before the ceremony, we asked my sister. We swore her to secrecy, but we needed a photographer. Although the Reds took a couple of pictures before the ceremony, mine and Andrew’s pictures got cut short due to registration, so we were fortunate to have Ruby there to get these awesome pictures.
I don’t remember much of the ceremony. It was a whirlwind. We repeated after the minister and promised each other forever. We were shaking as we exchanged rings. it was all a blur. I remember jumping up and down because I was so dang excited. Finally, the day was here that I got to give everything I had to the most incredible man, father, friend, person, I have ever known. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?
As we were walking off the field, the Atlanta Braves third base coach Doug Dascenzo handed us a baseball that Fredi had signed and dated. It was totally unexpected and priceless.
Shortly after the ceremony I got a tweet from Jenn Hildreth that said to come to the dugout after the game that she had a gift from us. It turns out, the Atlanta Braves told her to get in touch with us because they wanted to give us another wedding gift. They gave us the singed official line up cards from the game. The ballgame that the Braves ended up winning! Plus, Jenn talked about Andrew and I on TV during her coverage of the game and included a clip of the wedding. How incredible is that? How many other people can say their wedding was on TV?
Although my sister had to leave right away, we got to watch the game and celebrate with a couple of friends.
It was perfect. It may not be everyone’s ideal story, but it is our story. And we love it.
We do plan to have a reception with family and friends in a couple of weeks. We want to celebrate with them too! All in all, it was incredible, and the most important aspect of it, we promised each other forever. And that is one promise I intend to keep.
And to those asking us what they can get us or if we are registered anywhere, we do not need anything. But if you would like to make a donation in our honor to help get this remarkable woman’s book published, we would greatly appreciate it!