KC bride and groom will wed, then rush to Royals game before reception

Tricia Freeman and Kyle Kovach of Kansas City are getting married at 1 p.m. Saturday. But that’s not going to stop them from making the Royals’ playoff game just two hours later — in a wedding gown and black tux.
Tricia Freeman and Kyle Kovach of Kansas City are getting married at 1 p.m. Saturday. But that’s not going to stop them from making the Royals’ playoff game just two hours later — in a wedding gown and black tux. epagaFOTO

Most fans will wear blue T-shirts to the Royals’ playoff game Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Not Tricia Freeman. She’s going in a white, tulle, ruched, $2,200 designer mermaid wedding gown by Mori Lee.

With a bolero.

But let’s back up.

Freeman, a lifelong Royals fan, is getting married to Kyle Kovach on Saturday afternoon at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church at 52nd Street and Troost Avenue.

But on Thursday, the bride won two almost-impossible-to-get tickets to Saturday’s American League Championship Series game in a raffle at her office. And wedding or not, she’s going.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said the 26-year-old, who is a marketing coordinator for Sedgwick LLP, a multinational law firm at Crown Center.

She actually won her choice of tickets to either Friday or Saturday’s game at Kauffman Stadium. Friday was out — rehearsal dinner. That left: her wedding day.

Tight, but doable, she thought. The nearly one-hour Mass and wedding ceremony is at 1 p.m., with pictures to follow from 2:20 to 3:15. The game starts at (gulp) 3:07 p.m. Oh, and there’s a reception at 6:30 p.m. downtown that the Kansas City couple need to make (after taking even more pictures at Liberty Memorial), lest they get an earful from the bride’s mother.

OK, so they’ll be late to the game, and they’ll probably have to leave early. But not going is not an option.

“They’re just really good seats,” Freeman gushed.

The couple already had booked a bus for the afternoon to take the wedding party around the city for pictures. The new plan? Buy some last-minute tailgating supplies, take the bus to The K, and let everyone get their party on in style while the newlyweds go to the game.

“Isn’t that crazy?” said Freeman’s mother, Lisa Madsen of Kansas City. “But you just want her to be happy and enjoy her day. And if this is what makes her happy, then I think it’s awesome. I just hope nobody spills a beer on her dress!”

Or his tux. Classic black, thank you.

Regardless of the score, Freeman said, nothing could spoil their day, which will end with them heading on a honeymoon to Montego Bay in Jamaica.

“But it will be the perfect ending if they win,” she said.

The couple just want to cram as many memories into their special day as possible.

“I’m a huge fan,” said Freeman. “I grew up watching the Royals.”

As for Kovach, a 28-year-old account rep for a commercial trucking firm? He’s sort of a (cough, hack) Cardinals fan.

But there’s hope, his fiancee insists. In his three years in Kansas City, he has come to appreciate the boys in blue and even root for them.

Freeman has rooted for the Royals her whole life — just never in a designer wedding dress.

A unique wedding day is fitting for this couple, who also got engaged in a different way. Kovach proposed last year during an ALS ice-bucket challenge in Freeman’s parents’ backyard.

“I got a ring, and then I got ice water dumped on my head,” Freeman said.

Such memories they’ll have.

On Thursday, she arrived at work at 8:30 a.m. By 9, Jim Nations, the firm’s chief financial officer, called everyone in for the Royals ticket drawing and pulled a name out of a brown box.

“Our first winner is … Patricia Freeman,” he said.

Her eyes got as wide as whiffle balls.

“But I’m getting married this weekend!” she blurted to peels of laughter.

“That’s too bad,” some said. Others said, “You have to go.”

The youngest of six girls sent a text to her sister, Kim Fry of Brookside, who immediately wrote back.

“I told her you will never regret doing it, but you will always regret it if you don’t,” Fry said. “I just think it’s such a cool opportunity. Our family is born and raised Kansas City, and we love the Royals. And what better way to spend your wedding day?”

Fry, meanwhile, is nine months pregnant, with her baby due in less than a week.

“Let’s just hope we get to enjoy this experience without a baby joining us,” she said. “There’s only so much excitement we can take in one day.”

James A. Fussell: 816-234-4460, @jamesafussell