Weddings are the ultimate sign of commitment for a couple. The special day is often a gathering of family and friends joining together two people or two families. Each couple makes the experience unique to them. Most pick a venue, food, and clothing that expresses who they are as a couple. Some are choosing to truly express who they are through non-traditional wedding. Each year at the Spartan Race in Las Vegas several couples tie the knot in front of the Spartan Wall. These two couples took it a step further and shared the do's and don't they learned having an OCR Wedding.
The Ferrante Wedding
Tony and Laurie Ferrante fell in love when they started racing together. When the couple wanted to take the next step in their relationship they knew they wanted the OCR community to be part of the ceremony. “OCRs are our passion, our way to have fun together, and since it’s the second marriage for each of us we decided to make it memorable and declare our love doing what we love with the people we love.” Tony says.
The couple had several friends working on staff at BattleFrog Race Series and reached out to make their dream wedding come true. They worked with BattleFrog on a location and details of the race wedding. Tony says, “We made sure the race directors, managers, and organizers were all on board for our celebration from the very beginning… We tried to make sure that the impact of our ceremony didn’t distract them from their race duties.” The couple got married on 3/14/15 (Pi Day) at the Central Florida race, they choose this location so they could combine a theme park honeymoon into the trip.
The day of the wedding the couple donned a white tuxedo from Ebay and a beautiful thrift shop wedding dress. The couple along with a small group gathered as the two were wed by a Notary Public from the OCR Team MudRunFun. Surrounded by teammates, friends and family the two exchanged vows, posed for a few pictures then headed to the starting line. The newlyweds, along with most of the guests, went out and ran the course tuxedo and all. Family raced beside them and also cheered from the sidelines. Instead of the threshold, Tony carried Laurie across the finish line. After the race the group gathered at the venue to celebrate the Ferrante's union.
The Moss Wedding
Jason and Heather Moss met for the first time at an obstacle race and racing has always been an integral part of their relationship. The two fostered a love for the permanent course at Shale Hill in Benson, Vermont. From the beginning it held a special place in their hearts. In 2014, Jason proposed to Heather during the Polar Bear Challenge at Shale Hill so when it came time to planning a wedding they knew an OCR Wedding would be a natural fit. Heather remembers the phone conversation to Shale Hill owner Rob Butler…
Me: Hey Rob, Jason and I have a great idea.
Rob: Yeah? What’s that?
Me: We want our wedding to be a race at Shale Hill.
Rob: Let’s do it!
With that the couple began to plan the most unique obstacle race wedding to date. The couple treated the wedding like a true race. The invitations were bib numbers, RSVP's were death waivers, and in lieu of gifts participants registered for the race online. The couple had 13 companies sponsor their nuptial race outfitting the bridal party and even creating a swag bag for the guests. They designed unique finisher medals to commemorate the event. When guests crossed the finish line they received the traditional post OCR beer and special wedding race t-shirt.
The event started with Rob Butler performing the wedding ceremony for the Moss's. After rings for exchanged the couple and all guests in attendance took to the course. Heather says, “Our family joined in the fun and most of them ran an obstacle course for the first time. My 61 year old mom (my hero) included. They all loved it. My dad, was the exception… but he got to award the special medals we had made when each person crossed the finish line.” After the race the group walked a quarter mile down the road to The Wheel Inn who catered the reception on their front lawn. After a the reception everyone made their way back to Shale Hill for a bonfire and music.
No wedding is without it's bumps, Ferrante and Moss share sage advice for those looking to have an OCR Wedding. Ferrante says, “Both of you need to be 100% committed to having a Non-traditional Wedding. People on the outside of the OCR world will tell you that you’re crazy. Some family members may voice displeasure. Remember though, it is your wedding, not theirs.”
Ferrante continues in saying the key to a successful OCR wedding is planning, “Which race series you want to get married at? Ask for the permission and blessings of the staff first. You need to research the legal issues of getting married in that State or County (i.e. marriage certificate, blood test, pre-nuptial education, legal celebrants, etc.).”
Ferrante suggests having a reception off-site after the race. This allows time for your guests to shower and change and creates a central meeting place for the group.
Moss says simply, “have fun [and] do what you love” when it comes to your wedding. In fact, the Mosses had so much fun they have an anniversary race this weekend at Shale Hill. Moss invites the whole OCR community to sign up and celebrate with them once again.
For both the Ferrantes and the Mosses, the couple combined their love of OCR and their love for each other in a truly unique way. In speaking with both of them they remember the day fondly and say their guests agree. However you decide to tie the knot in the words of Moss, “do what you love.”