Cocks in the Hen House 07.28.10: I’m Getting Married for the Eighth Time


By @Wing2J

In August of 2003 I had the great fortune of having a wonderful woman stand with me in front of a priest and say, “Sure, I’ll marry this guy.”  It seemed like a natural fit.  Two absolute sports nuts like us belonged together.  Our first date was a AA ballgame in Harrisburg followed up by watching Ray Borque finally get his Stanley Cup on a blurry TV at a cheap hole-in-the-wall bar.  Shortly after getting engaged and moving in together, we bought our first Phillies season ticket package.  She soon came to dominate my Fantasy Football League, much to the chagrin of my high school and college buddies. It was her idea to be introduced at the reception to “The Theme from The Natural” while wearing the jerseys of our first loves (Phillies for me, Red Sox for her. This was before Boston won the Series, and their fans turned obnoxious, mind you.)  Obviously, sports were, and still are, a very large part of our lives together.

Fast forward to almost a year later.  We’re kinda bored and looking for something to do on a lazy summer night.  Enter the Reading Phillies and the Altoona Curve: 

Reading Phillies to host Renew Your Wedding Vows night 

FirstEnergy Stadium — The Reading Phillies will host a “Renew Your Wedding Vows” night at the on June 11. The ceremonies will held prior to the Phillies game vs. the Altoona Curve at 7:05 p.m. Couples will be able to have their vows reaffirmed on the field.  

So I did what any right thinking sports obsessed person my age would do…  I asked my wife of not even a year to marry me again.  Thankfully, she said yes.

On the drive up to Reading that night, we guessed at what these “ceremonies” were going to entail.  We settled somewhere along the lines of “run onto the field, have a non-denominational officiant say a few words, run off the field.”  Man, were we wrong.

The evening started off with every usher, ticket taker and non-concessions based employee of the stadium crew greeting us while wearing tuxes and bridesmaid dresses.  We checked in with the promotions folks and were pointed to the correct gate for entrance onto the field.  As the longish line moved closer and closer to the field, we passed by a table with a bunch of players sitting and signing papers.  It turns out that one of those papers was our Officially Sanctioned Reading Phillies Marriage License. (Ours was signed by some middle reliever that never really went anywhere, for those of you keeping score at home.)

Marriage license in hand and giggling like loons, we stepped onto the field.  After receiving flowers (for her) and a firm handshake (for me) from even more dapperly dressed promotions folks, we were directed to walk through the Wedding Arch, which was being formed with baseball bats by Screwball, Change-Up, Bucky, Blooper, and Quack, a.k.a The R-Phils Mascot Band.  After passing through the arch, we were asked how to pronounce our names by a clearly overworked intern, only to have it quickly relayed to the PA guy, who officially announced us to the entire stadium while our goofy faces were up on the giant video screen in the outfield.  Then we walked along the third base line, hung a sharp left, and parked ourselves about halfway up the first base line to await the start of the ceremony.

Then only thing we *did* get right with our prediction for the night (a non-denominational officiant) strolled out onto the pitcher’s mound, microphone in hand to…introduce his assistants for the ceremony.   And before we knew what was happening, we were standing in front of an Elvis impersonator and a giant anthropomorphic carrot that were getting ready to marry us.  …  Are you back from reading that line again? No, I’m not kidding.  Elvis and a giant freaking carrot.  True story. 

So this triumvirate of wackiness proceeded to spew some lines about love and all that awesome stuff before pronouncing all 70-odd couples officially married again.  The whole ceremony was quickly wrapped up with the traditional kissing of the bride, and an abbreviated first dance to Etta James’ “At Last”.  They gave away some cool wedding related prizes.  There were gift cards/certificates to florists and jewelers. The grand prize was a second honeymoon to Vegas. Sadly, we didn’t win.  My new(?) bride and I were then escorted off the field by more tuxes and given lots of sheet cake to nosh on until the game actually started. 

All in all?  It was an absolutely fantastic night, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the whole experience.

In fact, we were so pleased that I asked her to marry me again the next summer.  And the summer after that.  And the summer after that.  And every summer since.  Sometimes the giant carrot is there, sometimes not. The Phanatic was an assistant once, and he gave my wife a big hug (as if he could give any other kind).  One year Mini-KISS played our reception.  Just between you and me, I’m anxiously waiting for Elvis to make a repeat appearance. Last year there were fireworks. 

At the time of this writing, my wife and I have been married seven times and counting.  We’re getting married for the eighth time on August 8th (fitting!) of this year.

So sure, you could head to Reading to see the Phillies of the future.  You might find the next Larry Bowa or Darren Daulton or Ryan Howard.  You’ll probably catch a foul ball, or at least get pretty darn close to one.  On more nights than not, you’re going to enjoy the heck out of yourself. But some nights, if you’re really lucky, a sweaty fat guy in a carrot suit will tell you it’s time to kiss the bride…

@Wing2J is not a local Philadelphia sportsblogger, popular or otherwise.  He is a recovering jock, a current nerd, and forever a sports fan.  He dispenses pieces of his brain 140 characters at a time on Twitter.

For more minor league baseball awesomeness, check out the Reading Phillies at http://www.rphils.com

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One Response

  1. Such a great post!! I live in Berks Co. and frequent GPU Stadium… It really is a great place to go see games… the stadium is old school with some upgrades (they actually just got an OK to do major renovations), but it has a great atmosphere.
    These guys could some day play for the big boys… for example I watched DomBrown play there last year and the beginning of this season… it’s always fun to see them play at CBP and be able to say you used to watch them when they were basically a nobody.
    …the only thing that makes me cringe everytime is the Toothfairy who comes out to clean the bases in between some innings. My friend and I swear that she is on loan from Al’s Diamond Caberet that is located across the street from the stadium. She comes out in knee high, bright pink platform boots and a too-too. It’s quite scary… but hey, even poll dances need a second job these days with this economy!!

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