This Murietta couple are such big Angel fans they got married in the stadium.
Ryan Crist vowed to love Jayme Noorigian “when our Angels are winning, and, yes, even when they are losing” (which seems really heartwarming this season). He also swore he’d be “patient and forgiving” of her love for country music and the San Diego Chargers.
For her part, Jayme vowed to now and forever “root on your beloved Angels,” and unreservedly accept his love of sports and the mighty memorabilia collection that goes with it. (The collection sprawls across the house they share in Murrieta, but who’s complaining?)
With that, the heavy machinery worker and the secretary for a construction company became husband and wife in a May 11 ceremony at home plate in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, under the shadow of the Big A. And all 180 guests, it seemed, heaved a collective sigh. Finally.
See, it took Ryan eight years to make it to home plate.
The game started back in high school, when Jayme Noorigian first noticed her friend Lauren Crist had a cute brother named Ryan. Nothing much happened, though, as is the way those things sometimes go. They all eventually went their separate ways from high school, and the girls lost track of each other over time.
But then, Lauren invited her old friend Jayme to her wedding, where things began to get interesting with Ryan. “We hung out the whole night,” says Jayme, 30.
Then, they just kept hanging out. After a couple of years of dating, they moved in together. Bought a house together. But still, there was no wedding ring.
“I was really getting that itch of ‘OK, what’s going on?’ especially that last year. But he would never hint around to anybody about what his plans were,” she says. “I had gotten to the point where I thought it was never going to happen. It wasn’t that I was exactly OK with it, but I thought, ‘This is our life.’ I thought he didn’t want to get married. He always called it the ‘Oprah’ segment of our relationship.”
And, frankly, all of that minor league play was important to mature the players. “I was a little out of control. She has definitely seen the best and the worst of me,” admits Ryan, 34. “She made me into a better person, too. There is no telling where I would be without her.”
Jayme agrees patience is their best virtue. “We learned a lot about each other,” she says. “As much as I complain about how long it took, I would never take it back. The waiting was the best thing we did.”
The proposal might have been a long time coming, but Ryan had a strategy. Last January, he revealed to a couple of close friends that he intended to pop the question sometime during that year. But months went by. Friends would text him: “What up? What’s the plan?” He kept quiet.
Finally, last July, Jayme was organizing a birthday party for him. The plan was to barbecue at home, then meet up with a large group of friends at the stadium to celebrate during the Angels game. Ryan waited until the game started broadcasting on their outdoor television … and, meanwhile, Jayme went upstairs to get changed.
“She took forever,” he says.
“Well, it wasn’t like I thought we were in any rush,” she replies.
When she came back outside, he got down on one knee and presented her the ring – the one she told him she wanted but never thought she would get.
“She had sent me some pictures of what she wanted. There was no hinting around! I couldn’t mess up,” he says.
“It surprised the heck out of me. I was in shock. We were both shaking,” Jayme says. “Here I was getting things together for his birthday, and meanwhile he was organizing everybody for a surprise engagement. It ended up being a kind of dual celebration.”
“Uh, it was kind of just the engagement,” Ryan says with a smirk.
“Well, OK, that’s true,” his smiling bride says.
Jayme had had years to dream about her wedding. She thought she wanted a destination wedding, but when the time came, it was too complicated and too expensive, and ailing family members wouldn’t be able to go. Then, the idea hit them: Why not Angel Stadium? Ryan had been going to games since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and they had shared so much in their enjoyment of the game. The Angels are a huge part of their lives.
A few months and many, many, many phone calls later, they got approval and were given three possible dates. May 11, 2013, was the one that worked, and so that day, the stadium was all theirs. The guys hung out in the locker rooms and played baseball all day (there might have been a few beers involved, too, says the groom) while Jayme and her bridal party got ready in the suites above, watching the action below.
“It was the best experience ever. I would not change a thing from that day. Everything was just perfect,” Jayme says.
Ryan adds: “It was fun all day, and then it was like, ‘Game time. Let’s go.'”
In the stands behind home plate, their biggest fans cheered them on, and maybe more than a few were brought to tears when Ryan hit a home run with his vows. Going off the script, the usually taciturn Ryan told Jayme: “Over the past eight years, you have seen me at my highest of highs and my lowest of lows, and through it all, you have stood by my side and have molded me into the man I am today. … Jayme, my brown-eyed girl, I love you with all my heart and can’t wait to start the next chapter of our lives together.”
The next chapter includes a new member of the Crist clan: Baby Crist, who came on board during the honeymoon, is expected to arrive next spring.