It’s not unheard of for diehard sports fans to travel across the country to see their favorite team play. But getting married on enemy turf? That’s a little more unconventional, and it’s just how Julia Abbott and Greg Comer like it.
The couple, both loyal West Virginia University fans, will tie the knot near Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, shortly before the WVU Mountaineers take on the Longhorns.
Why wed at a football game? “Why not?” says Julia Abbott. “We’re huge football fans, and so are our friends. We love tailgating and all that comes with it. We wanted to do something fun, something different.”
Fair enough. But why travel from their Bridgeport, West Virginia, home all the way to Austin? Abbott says the choice was more intuitive that some might think. “I’ve always loved Texas,” she says. The cowboy boot-wearing, country music-listening, warm-weather-loving Abbott begged her parents to let her transfer to UT after her freshman year at WVU. They said no, but she still heard a siren call, at one point even considering a graduate school application.
“I just think UT has a great history,” Abbott says. “And I’ve felt drawn to it. I love warm weather, and Greg and I both work in oil and gas, which is big in Texas, so there are similarities.”
When she saw that the WVU-Texas game was scheduled for Oct. 6., the first anniversary of her first date with Comer, Abbott asked her fiancé: “Want to get married at the game?”
His response: “That would be my dream wedding.”
Several of their football-loving friends were already planning to travel to the game, so it made logistical sense. They started calling UT officials, and before long, they reached Texas Exes program director Carol Barrett.
Barrett knew just the person to officiate the wedding: Longhorn legend Harley Clark, co-creator of the Hook ’em Horns sign. Retired judge Clark, BA ’57, MA ’60, LLB ’62, Life Member, is no stranger to Texas gameday weddings: he last performed one for a Texas couple during halftime in 2009.
About 100 friends and family members of the couple will attend the wedding—and, of course, the post-wedding, pre-game tailgate reception nearby. Then Abbott and Comer will change from their formal wear into homemade t-shirts reading “Just married” and “We tied the knot in the parking lot” before going to the game.
Julia Abbott and Greg Comer. Photo courtesy Julia Abbott.