Instead of feeding each other fancy cake, the couple chowed down on a few Fenway Franks. Rather than clinking flutes full of sparkling champagne, they toasted with cans of Goose Island beer.
As the second inning between the Red Sox and Chicago White Sox came to an end Saturday at Fenway Park, Eric Osleger and his fiancée, Elizabeth, stood in front of a group of complete strangers to say “I do,” a hastily organized wedding that caught both fans and the baseball organization by surprise.
Wearing a Tom Brady jersey and a white tie haphazardly wrapped around his neck, Osleger took his vows, kissed his wife (she didn’t have a veil or a white dress), and then the couple turned their attention back to their beloved team.
“We had awesome seats, so we got it down to 90 seconds,” Osleger said. “I didn’t want to block anybody’s view; that was my main concern.”
After the brief ceremony, people started buying the couple drinks. One guy even came up to Elizabeth and gave her his throwback Jim Rice jersey, and insisted she keep it and wear it throughout the remainder of the game, Osleger said.
“It was like a big extended family up in those seats,” he said. “Boston people didn’t disappoint me. They supported us, and made us feel like king and queen.”
Zineb Curran, a spokeswoman for the Red Sox, said the organization was not involved with orchestrating the special occasion, which took place just behind home plate. However, the team did share photos on Twitter this weekend of the couple as they tied the knot.
“Impromptu wedding ceremony between innings!” the organization wrote. “Congrats to the newly weds!”
It’s unclear how rare a marriage at Fenway Park actually is, but proposals on game day are all too common.
“We have anywhere from 50-60 proposals at the ballpark each season,” Curran said in an e-mail.
Osleger said the idea to get married in the ballpark in front of tens of thousands of uninvited guests came together when he recently found out that his friend, Jeremy Piccoli, who was scheduled to officiate at the couple’s wedding later this month, wasn’t licensed to do so in their home state of Connecticut.
Because they already had tickets to Saturday’s game, they decided Piccoli should marry them officially here, first, before the traditional wedding with family and friends on Aug. 19.
“He’s going to do a second ceremony,” Osleger said. But the expedited service at Fenway, he added, “was the legal ceremony, the one that counts.”
The day was an all-around victory for the newlyweds. The Red Sox beat Chicago 4-1, and the Oslegers enjoyed a bit of viral fame, as pictures of their miniature wedding bounced around online.
“Everyone basically in that area got their phones out and everyone was clapping and cheering,” he said. “I was expecting to get hecklers, but no one heckled us.”
(Editor’s note: People later heckled him on Twitter, especially for wearing a Brady jersey.)
Osleger said the couple is grateful for everyone’s support that day, specifically the fans who showered them with affection.
“It made the night extra special,” he said.