Maybe it was that scene in Bull Durham. You know, Millie and Jimmy decide to get hitched, and it happens at the ballpark.
For whatever reason, something about getting married on "the diamond" resonates more with ballparks than a football field, basketball court, and certainly, a hockey rink.
So, when MLB made this announcement today, it seemed to capitalize on the Americana of it all.
For the first time, as a part of 2011 MLB All-Star Week in Phoenix, Arizona, Major League Baseball will host a wedding at All-Star FanFest. Couples are invited to share their stories at allstargame.com/fanfestwedding for a chance to win the All-Star FanFest Wedding, which will be held Tuesday July 12 at 11:00 a.m. Arizona time at the Phoenix Convention Center, site of MLB All-Star FanFest (I will be reporting from the All-Star Game that week and will see about crashing the wedding).
Since it's MLB, the All-Star Game, and all, this isn't going to be some "minor league" affair.
The winning couple will receive a wedding package which includes a ceremony on the Diamond at All-Star FanFest, a catered reception for 50 guests by Aventura Catering, a wedding ring package from Molina Fine Jewelers worth no more than $15,000 that will include either an engagement ring or two wedding bands, a wedding dress by Uptown Bridal, roundtrip airfare and two tickets to the 82nd MLB All-Star Game.
The couple will also receive items from Major League Baseball partners including a $500 MasterCard prepaid gift card, beverages for the reception provided by Budweiser (What? No Dom Perignon?), hotel stay provided by InterContinental Hotels Group, and a $500 Newlywed Lawn & Garden Kit donated by Scotts featuring a wide array of Scotts Miracle-Gro products (we're assuming that will not be part of the wedding night activities).
Host of NBC’s “The Marriage Ref” Tom Papa will join WE tv’s “My Fair Wedding” celebrity wedding planner David Tutera, MLB All-Star Ambassador Luis Gonzalez and Jenni Croft Badolato from ABC’s “The Bachelor” to assist Major League Baseball in selecting the winning couple.
“Baseball fans are so passionate about their sport that I expect many will jump at the opportunity to get married at a great event like MLB All-Star FanFest. This is something unique to Phoenix, and I’m incredibly excited to help make a memorable day for a special couple,” said Gonzalez.
According to MLB, couples can enter by going to allstargame.com/fanfestwedding and submitting a short video explaining why they should win the All-Star FanFest Wedding. Eligible entries will be reviewed and judged by Major League Baseball and the celebrity judging panel based on criteria including the couple’s connection to Major League Baseball and the creativity and quality of their online submission.
Scottsdale wedding planner, Charlee Geisler of Signature Events has been selected by MLB to coordinate the big day. “I have been planning weddings for more than 20 years and have never done anything quite like this,” said Geisler. “The winning couple will not be disappointed. I have a great plan for this event and it is anything but ordinary.”
Additional services donated by local Phoenix businesses for the wedding include:
• Angelic Grove – Wedding and event décor
• Eyes 2 See Photography – Wedding photography
• Serendipity Video – Wedding videographer
• Classic Party Rental – Specialized party supplies and rentals
• F/X Entertainment – Ceremony and reception music
• Celebrations in Paper – Invitations and wedding program
• Cheryl Roberts with Steven Paul Salon – Hair and make-up
• Julia Baker Confections – Wedding cake
• Men’s Wearhouse – Tuxedos
The online contest entry period for the All-Star FanFest Wedding closes Wednesday, June 1.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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