Pastor Wes Dahl reckons he’s performed marriage ceremonies for 50 couples in his career but on Monday evening he pitched his first-ever connubial bliss home run.
More than a hundred guests, many of them wearing baseball uniforms, sat in the bleachers on an Aldergrove baseball diamond infield for the baseball-themed exchange of vows by Barb Andrews and Bruce Taylor.
Prior to the ceremony the couple had posed for official wedding pictures while wielding bats in the ball diamond. The dugout had been decorated with curtains and bows, the home base had a heart placed atop it and the table for signing the marriage documents was made of baseball bat legs.
To top it off, the bride had cut a baseball in half, placed the wedding bands inside it and taped it up so that the wedding party could throw the ball around the field before the couple opened it up and placed the rings on each others’ hands.
The couple, who first met seven years ago at a Cinco de Mayo “Boogie for Books” fundraising dance for Aldergrove’s Betty Gilbert school, are obviously baseball fanatics. It is the second marriage for both of them and they had both brought their four, now-grown children up with a love for the game as well.
Bruce also served as the school’s Parents Advisory Council president at the time when he first met Barb, and the couple continues to be active members of, and contributors to, the community’s events — especially baseball.
Giving back to their community is important to Bruce and Barb. They have volunteered countless hours on numerous community projects, not the least of which is Aldergrove Minor Baseball. Whether it is holding a position on the executive board, coaching, umpiring, spending pre-season time on field maintenance, preparing fields pre-games or simply cheering on teams, there is a good chance you’ll find one or the other at the field.
This spirit may explain why their wedding didn’t get rained out, as the skies opened up with a brilliant sun just before the ceremony.
Pastor Dahl expressed it well, drawing on both Biblical scripture and pithy baseball aphorisms in his words to the couple. He quoted baseball great Mickey Mantle, who once said, “The older I get, the better I was” to hearty laughs from the couple and guests, as well as a quote from Proverbs.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; wear it like a necklace around your neck, write it on the tablet of your heart.”
And with that the couple boarded a golf cart which had a dozen baseballs tied to the bumper and were driven off, smiling and waving, to the reception at the nearby community centre.