Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Day We Renewed Our Vows on the Tropicana Field!

We have talked about renewing our vows, but it always seemed like a distant dream. Something we would do at our 10, 15 or 20 year mark....if we could afford it at the time. This month (June 27th) marks our 6 year wedding anniversary. When I heard that my Tampa Bay Rays were having a vow renewal ceremony after a game; I wanted in! I was bummed to find out that the ceremony was on a Saturday. We work every Saturday and it is hard for us both to get off of work with little notice. When I found out that a local blogger (Tara at Everyday Ramblings of My Life) was giving away tickets to the game AND the vow renewal ceremony, I entered, crossed my fingers and was determined to make it work if I won. The Rafflecopter Gods smiled down on me and I won!!

The game was at 4:10pm and we had to be at work at 8:30pm. For the first time ever we drove to the Rays game instead of walking (we live only a few block away) for a quick exit. This was also the first time EVER I prayed for a quick game. To be honestly truthful I tried not to let myself think about the vow part because I wasn't sure that we would have enough time to do it. I didn't want to get my hopes up and be completely devastated bummed.

We arrived at the game and had fantastic seats right behind home plate!

No zoom, filter or editing on this picture. For some reason the view is always better in person than on camera. Trust me; they were great seats!

The game was a great game and mostly in our favor. In the 5th inning there was a horrifying devastating blow to our team. Our pitcher Alex Cobb was hit in the head with a 102.4mph line drive. I can't even put into words how I felt at this moment. I watched it happen. I watched Alex fall forward off the mound. I watched him laying completely still. Even knowing now that he is okay and only had a mild concussion, it makes me nauseous to think about it. I don't know Alex Cobb personally, but I feel like I do. He is one of MY Rays. I have watched him since his 2011 MLB debut for the Rays and he has been having a great year. This ball didn't just hit Alex, it hit everyone in the stadium (and probably the people watching at home that night). It was awful. I'm not going to post the video, but you can find it easily on Youtube and most Sport News sites. Everyone at the Trop that night constantly checked their phones for updates. It was hard to get back into the game after that, but home runs from my two favorite players (Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria) helped. The Rays took home a win (5-3 over Kansas City) and I personally think of it as a rally for Alex Cobb and I am sure I am not the only one who thought of it like that. It was the only game in the series where we were able to beat Kansas City.

Much to our surprise after a long inning or two and the Alex Cobb delay; the game was quick! The only think I disliked about the vow ceremony was that we had to leave our seats and line up at the end of the 8th inning. If you know me personally; you know how hard this was for me. I am obsesssed in love with baseball. I NEVER leave a game early. Even if we are being crushed. I hated missing the last inning and was upset that there were no televisions to watch it on while we waited. Luckily, the last inning was quick and uneventful.

As the line started moving and we were walking towards the field; it hit us. We were really doing this! We were walking on the field for the first time AND renewing our vows right before our anniversary. I can't even begin to describe how excited and thrilled I was. We walked out onto the field and the Rays girls had created an arch for us to walk through with baseball bats.

I thought this was a really nice touch. The Astro Turf at the Tropicana Field is very spongy and fun to walk on. We touched it and it felt kind of like straw. They had everyone line up along the first and third baselines. I was ecstatic to see that my favorite player (Matt Joyce) was still on the field. He had a group of boys with him that he was talking to. We weren't able to go up to him, but it is the closest I have ever been to him. Hopefully someday I can meet him. A few of us joked about running into the bullpen or up to Matt Joyce, but no one did. We were there to renew our vows.

Matt Joyce (far right) close


They had one person of each couple to stand in foul territory (I was did that happen? It did get me better camera shots though) and one person to stand in fair territory. They then had us to face each other and hold hands. Rusty (the in-game Rays host) was dressed in a suit and officiated our baseball themed vows. I was able to get a copy of the vows and they are pretty awesome. I am including the beginning of the ceremony and most of the vows below and highlighting the baseball related changes:

""Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to renew the vows of
these men and women in matrimony.

As all of you know, Marriage is not something to be entered into
lightly. It requires a great deal of advanced scouting, heavy analysis
of your prospect’s on-field mechanics, and prior to offering them any
sort of signing bonus, making sure that this indeed is the five-tool
player that will fit perfectly in your clubhouse.

So today, you will be renewing your marital vows, in the most
sanctified of places, on a baseball field.
You will verbally sign a
contract extension, with a firm no-trade clause. And reaffirm that
when you designate your spouse for assignment, you are only telling
them to mow the grass or wash the dishes.

Exchange of Vows:

Notary asks each person "Do you take this person to
be your spouse, to live together in matrimony, to love them, to honor
them, to comfort them, and to keep them in sickness and in health, in
quality starts and blown saves
, forsaking all others, for as long as you
both shall live?...if so, say I do.

Each Person answers, "I do."


"By virtue of the authority vested in me under the power of Stu
, I now declare that yours marital vows are hereby renewed.
You may kiss your MVP.""

The vows were a little longer, but I removed the repetitive parts to make it shorter. To be truthful, I felt a little silly at first in the middle of a baseball field surrounded by a hundred or so people doing this mass ceremony. However, as we turned to each other and started to say the words; everyone else vanished. It felt very real and incredibly special. We state our love everyday, but to do it in this way was incredible. The Tropicana Field is one of our favorite places to spend time. Baseball is one of our biggest passions. I could not have asked for a better vow renewal.

After the ceremony we were told to head towards the exit where we could get our pictures taken professionally with a Rays background (we unfortunately didn't have time for that). We were ushered off the field pretty quickly, but I was able to get this as I rounded first base:

As we exited the field we were each handed a champagne flute with the date and Rays "Renew Your Vows" on it:

I was exhausted, hot and sweaty for work....but I didn't care. Thanks to Tara and the Rays for a night I will never forget.

Us goofing off while waiting to go onto the field

Us; Hot, Sweaty and Excited on the Trop field


Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints said...

How cute is this?!

Nikki_Crites said...

What a special way to renew your vows!

Tara F said...

Okay, this was totally awesome. I am so glad you guys had a great time and that the Ray's actually won. Ilove the special vows that you recited too. I can't think of anyone better to go to this game/event than you two. I am so happy you were chosen!

Lauren said...

Too cute, love it!! :-)

LAMusing said...

What a unique way to renew your vows! I'm sure it will be a special memory for many years to come - congratulations!

Theresa Wilson said...

This is probably the awesomest thing that I have heard in a while. This is amazing. I hope you had a fabulous time, and congratulations. One day this will happen to me. One day!

Theresa Wilson said...

This is probably the awesomest thing that I have heard in a while. This is amazing. I hope you had a fabulous time, and congratulations. One day this will happen to me. One day!

Veronica Lee said...

Congrats! How awesome is that!! What a special way to renew your vows!

Some Lucky Dog said...

What an amazing event for baseball fans! Congratulations!

CINDY B on rafflecopter

EnAiRrAh (Ryanne) said...

Congratulations! That's memory to remember,awesome way!

Darlene Ysaguirre said...

Congrats on the renewal of your vows and what a great way to do them =)

102 mile an hour ball i couldnt imagine anyone surviving getting hit in the head with that thank god he is okay

MD Kennedy said...

This sounds like so much fun! I wonder of all the parks do this, like Fenway!

Anonymous said...

What an exciting and momentous way to renew your wedding vows! My husband and I have been married for 16 years now, and I truly wish that one day he would surprise me with a wedding renewal that would be like a "real wedding", as our wedding day was just us (and two friends) saying our vows at a small chapel (no wedding dress, no big reception - NADA). :(

skater425 said...

This sounds like a wonderful idea. What a fabulous memory!

Wendy Lindsey said...

Very nice! Good for the both of you for making marriage work and for wanting to renew your vows. Looks like it was a blast too!

Courtney B said...

wow how exciting! something you will always remember for sure...

Starla said...

This is so awesome! Congratulations! I'm sure this is something you'll never forget. :)

Lynnette said...

That is so cool! Congratulations :)

Marjorie Hajim said...

OMG! This was so romantic! I wish I could do the same. More power. :)

skater425 said...

Sounds like a truly romantic day!