An Indiana couple recently decided to make something of a public spectacle out of their wedding by hosting the service in front of over 60,000 sports fans.
Joseph Swaim, 48, and Jennifer Hardey, 39, got married at Lucas Oil Stadium before a much-anticipated game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. The kicker? The ceremony was officiated by Blue, the Colts’ mascot.
This has to be a first, right?
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 15, 2017
Swaim is a longtime season ticket holder who could not pass up the opportunity to tie the knot in his home stadium after finding out that the mascot was ordained and allowed to preside over weddings.
Combining his love of football with the biggest day of his life was something of a dream come true for Joseph, and as he prepared to take the plunge, he could barely believe it.
“It’s still kind of sinking in,” Swaim told the Indianapolis Star just before the ceremony began. “Standing in this stadium right now, I still can’t believe it.”
Former Colts HC Tony Dungy with Brazil, Ind., couple Jennifer Hardey and Joseph Swaim. The couple will be married in the end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium prior to tonight's Colts-Broncos game. pic.twitter.com/p4VGxCcMTE
— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) December 15, 2017
Hardey was ushered onto the field in her wedding dress by her father, who has been undergoing cancer treatment. Her dad, a long-time Colts fan, wasn’t able to walk due to his illness. However, he was able to be on the field, escorting her to her future husband in the end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“He kept saying he wants to walk me down the aisle,” Hardey said. “We told them that it would make my dad’s day to be able to give me away.”
Mascot Blue then proceeded to hold up giant cards containing traditional marital vowels. He then pronounced the couple husband and wife in front of thousands of applauding sports fans.
The couple then took off in a specially prepared cart, complete with “Just Married” sign on the back.
Blue took them for a spin around the stadium as the couple received the applause and congratulations of the packed crowd.
Oh, and their wedding gift from the Colts? An all-expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
“How many get to have that as their story for their wedding?” Swaim said.