EVERETT — The bride and groom strolled out to the pitcher’s mound, she no longer worried about grass stains on her white gown.
He took off his suit jacket, gave his new wife a big smooch and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
It fell short of home plate.
“The kiss kinda messed up my head,” said Cullen Jackson, 26. “But our wedding photographer said it looked great in the picture.”
Stacie Young and Cullen Jackson were married on her 31st birthday Sunday, shortly before the start of the AquaSox minor league baseball game against the Spokane Indians.
The Everett couple is the first to tie the knot at the AquaSox park, said Erica Fensterbush, of the organization’s front office. And the Jacksons won’t be the last. There is a growing interest in baseball-game weddings, Fensterbush said.
A wedding at the ballpark costs just a tad more than a child’s blowout birthday party there. And it’s a no-brainer for baseball fans like Jackson.
Jackson’s been a baseball enthusiast since he played T-ball, Little League and Babe Ruth, and a Seattle Mariners fan since the 1995 season. Since moving to Everett, the AquaSox team is a favorite now, too.
“I love baseball,” Jackson said. “Of course it wouldn’t matter where or when our wedding was, as long as Stacie was there.”
“But why not have it at the ballfield?” Young said. “It’s close to our house. We’ll always be able to say it’s where we got married. It’s awesome.”
Young, a graduate of Lynnwood High School and Edmonds Community College, works for Romac Industries in Bothell. Jackson, a recent graduate of the University of Washington in political science, hopes to get a job with the Everett Police Department.
What did their mothers have to say when Young and Jackson announced that their wedding would be at Everett Memorial Stadium?
“It’s just like Stacie to want something different,” said her mother, Laurie Andrews. “I just wanted a nice day, and we got it.”
Jackson’s mother, Leslie, just shrugged.
“As long as it wasn’t underwater, I told Cullen I didn’t care,” Leslie Jackson said. “I wouldn’t look good in a wet suit.”
The couple chose wedding colors of blue, red and creamy white to match AquaSox blue and the stitching on a baseball. The color scheme was reflected, too, in the old-style Cracker Jack boxes, bags of peanuts and vases of used baseballs that decorated the reception tables under a tent in the bullpen. The wedding music played on the loudspeaker was prerecorded on a baseball park-style organ.
Guests sat in the stands behind home plate, where the marriage ceremony took place. On the field, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids were joined by the bride’s son, Grant Young, 8.
In his vows before the crowd, the groom teared up as he told his bride and Grant that he would forever care for them.
“In our life together, there will be strikeouts and some intentional walks to first base, but I will always love you,” Jackson said.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.