“Look out! There’s a boom over your head.”
Those were the first words new bride Lisa DeFluri said to her husband, Steve Twomey, after their marriage ceremony, a few hours before the Rose Bowl football game on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.
She was talking about a television station’s microphone boom, as reporters clamored to capture photos of the festive occasion in sight of the famous stadium where the University of Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles were about to do battle.
The amount of media attention given the couple’s vows was beyond anything the two educators ever imagined, said Steve Twomey (pronounced two-me).
“Our wedding plans had changed several times. It had gotten to the point that it was what other people wanted, not us,” he said. “Then, we were sitting on the couch and Lisa said, ‘Let’s get married at the Rose Bowl.’ At one point, we had talked about getting married at a (San Francisco) 49ers tailgater.”
Twomey, 25, teaches English and coaches football at Lebanon High School. He quickly agreed, and within minutes, phone calls to family members had been made and planning was under way.
The couple bought tickets and canceled reservations for a beach wedding near Santa Cruz.
They are both sports fans and had grown up together in Washington.
After college, they knew they wanted to teach in the Bellingham, Washington area, or move to Oregon.
Steve got a job at Lebanon and Lisa, also 25, teaches and coaches basketball in Springfield.
“We love Oregon,” Steve said. “I have lots of family here. Eugene is a great city. There’s everything there. You don’t have to go to Portland. It’s a big little city because the university is there.”
Family members and friends created a green and yellow arch and Steve’s stepfather, Randy Miles, a Coos Bay firefighter, performed the ceremony. He wore a green a yellow Kenny Wheaton jersey.
The bride wore a white Marcus Mariota jersey and the groom wore a black Mariota jersey.
About 200 people attended the wedding, but it was the amount of media attention the event received that surprised the couple.
“It was surreal,” Steve said. “We have found at least 30 websites that carried the story. It was a total surprise. We thought there would be a couple papers and we’d get a few photos from them.”
In addition to the Democrat-Herald, reporters from Los Angeles television stations, CNN, Fox and even NPR got involved.
After a buffet lunch, the couple and family attended the game, which Steve called "amazing."
“I was a little concerned at halftime,” he admitted. “We were sitting next to a Florida State fan and he was very nice, but I felt kind of sorry for him after their fifth turnover.”
The couple stayed in a motel that night and plan to take their official honeymoon in Florida this summer.
A wedding reception is being planned over spring break in Washington state.
“I really hadn’t told many people we were going to do this,” Steve said. “I told a couple football coaches. After we got back, I got a lot of comments from my students. Several brought me copies of the story that was in the Democrat-Herald. One parent sent us cookies for a wedding present and they were very good.”
Steve said he and Lisa think the wedding venue worked out perfectly for them.
“It was great,” he said. “We didn’t ask for any of this to happen, but it’s been great.”
The newlyweds won’t be traveling to Texas to watch the Ducks take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday, but his mother, Tammy Miles, and stepdad, Randy, will be there.
“I think the Ducks will win 24-20,” he said.
Steve said he and Lisa are “pretty low-key people” who got a lot of national attention for a few minutes.
“For Christmas, we got a gift card to Applebee's and we love it,” he said. “That’s who we are. We are both sports fans.”
But although they both root for the Ducks, theirs is a house divided when it comes to their favorite pro teams.
Steve is a die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan. His new bride is loyal to the Seattle Seahawks.
And that’s OK, he said.