NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 3, 2013

Formal or casual, ballpark weddings a hit

(Continued)

Though Fenway only allows weddings on non-game days, the baseball lovers enjoyed snapping photos with World Series trophies and other baseball paraphernalia. Having the wedding at Fenway allowed an otherwise formal event to be “a little bit more fun and approachable and exciting,” Cantarow said.

Baseball fans have been celebrating nuptials at major league ballparks for at least five to 10 years, and while some parks have seen an increase, the numbers remain small. Fenway has 25 to 30 wedding events a year; Citi Field, home to the New York Mets, five or six; Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves play, 13 to 18; and four to five are held at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Chicago White Sox play.

Many people don’t realize you can celebrate at a ballpark, said Anja Winikka, site director for TheKnot.com, though ballpark weddings have grown in popularity as more couples seek unique locations.

“It falls into the category where couples did away with the idea of a traditional venue and they went for something that was truly them,” Winikka said.

Each park has its own policies on when and where celebrations can be held, and sets its own prices. Fenway, for example, charges a $3,000 ceremony fee, $7,000 to use the EMC Club, where the Cantarows celebrated, plus the cost of food and drinks.

Ceremonies and receptions at ballparks can be fancy with a night of dinner and dancing, or kept casual and folksy. They can be infused with the aura of the game (picture Cracker Jack centerpieces), or not. But no matter. It seems that if you invite people to a ballpark wedding, be prepared for most everyone to accept.

Bridal couples (and their lucky guests) love to experience the stadiums and fields in a way few people do. Imagine saying your vows at home plate with your guests watching from the stands, posing for formal portraits atop your favorite team’s dugout, or seeing your names or photos on the giant TV screens.

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