You're Invited: Jacklyn Ward and Jon Gray

WHEN THE ROCKIES PLAYER WED HIS LONGTIME GIRLFRIEND, THE SMALL CEREMONY WAS PITCH-PERFECT

August 21, 2015
Ceremony venue: the garden of Skyline 1801 apartments

Real Weddings: Jill and Ryan Kronberg
Real Weddings: Jill and Ryan Kronberg

“BABE, I GOT CALLED UP. I’M GOING TO THE BIG LEAGUES.”

It was the news that baseball pitcher Jon Gray and his fiancée, Jacklyn Ward (now Gray), had been waiting for since … well, forever. Welcome to The Show.

There was only one problem: Jacklyn and Jon had planned to get married three weeks later in Nashville (where his Triple- A team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, were scheduled to play), not Denver, the couple’s new home now that he was joining the Colorado Rockies.

They had to make August 21 work as their wedding date.

After all, that was the anniversary of their first date, back in 2007, the summer before she entered the eighth grade and he the 10th in Chandler, Oklahoma. They had always promised themselves that that would be the date they would marry. Since those days in Chandler, the couple had survived long stretches of being apart, as Jon went from the rookie league in Grand Junction in 2013 to the Rockies’ AA team in Tulsa in 2014 to his 2015 season playing for the Isotopes. “Long before we knew that baseball was going to turn into a career for Jon—and that August 21 would fall right smack in the middle of the baseball season—we’d decided we would get married on August 21, so we told ourselves, let’s just do it.”

Now they were scrambling to make that date work. “After the Rockies called him up, he flew to Denver, I drove to Albuquerque to pack up all his stuff and drove it to Denver, our families met us there for his debut at Coors Stadium, then I flew back to Oklahoma, packed up all of my stuff, drove to Denver, found an apartment in two days, unloaded all of our stuff, and realized, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re supposed to get married soon!’ ”

The wedding, which was held in the garden of their apartment building, with both sets of parents there (as well as the couple’s “babies,” Yorkies Bentley and Sophie), was casual but deeply felt. Jacklyn, who got her dress from Ann Matthews in Albuquerque, even picked her own bouquet—but then forgot it as she was walking outside for the ceremony. But that’s just what the couple wanted.

“We were very relaxed and chill,” Jacklyn says. “So many people spend so much time planning their big fancy weddings, and we wanted to spend a lot more time thinking about our actual relationship. We wanted to focus less on this one day and more on the rest of our lives, as we began this new journey together.”

A journey that continued that night, as Jon went out to pitch for the Rockies. Jacklyn, as always, was in the stands cheering him on.

Real Weddings: Jill and Ryan Kronberg