Americans love baseball. Be it the devotion to the World Series or the award-winning PBS series on the sport by Ken Burns, even a casual observer of American culture would recognize that this sport, with more than 150 years history in this country, holds a special place in our hearts. I know many folks who are noteworthy devotees of the sport, and I find them uniformly smart, creative, and thoughtful. So, when I was invited to officiate a wedding for a baseball loving couple at Yankee Stadium, I jumped at the chance.
Kulani and Joyce flew 10+ hours from Hawaii to exchange wedding vows in the “House that Ruth Built.” Kulani, who came from a long line of Yankees fan, organized his dream wedding, with no detail too small for the big day. Joyce, once a Boston Red Sox fan, had “come to the other side,” during her courtship with Kulani and was a most enthusiastic bride for this fantasy wedding.
Our wedding took place in a balcony area of the empty stadium, which was in preparation for an evening game. The panorama of the field was the backdrop for the big event. The groom was dressed in a gray suit and the bride sported a perfect navy dress. Among the unique touches: Special athletic shoes with their wedding dates emblazoned on the heel. While the ceremony script was fairly tradition, I did try to weave baseball facts and anecdotes, drawing from the rich literature on “Baseball as a metaphor for life.” To get us in the mood, I had downloaded an I tunes album, “Take me out to the Ballpark!”
Following the ceremony we were treated to a special tour where we took pictures all about including in the garden area that pays tribute to all of the remarkable Yankees—Gehrig, Mantle, Ruth and more. The excitement culminated as we stepped onto the field. Under the bright blue skies of a crisp summer morning, our couple was cradled in the warmth and excited of one of America’s great “secular cathedrals.” They were sporting custom-made Jersey’s with “Mr. and Mrs.” on the back. It was fabulous!
Apparently these sorts of events are not all that unusual. If you have any interest in arranging such a wedding or vow renewal, you can reach out to the non-baseball events department of the Yankee office. Our coordinator, Lesley Urivetzky, was a perfect hostess and representative of the Yankee organization. It was a once in a lifetime pleasure to officiate this wedding, and I am grateful for this superb opportunity.
To Joyce and Kulani I say, “Ho’omaika’I”