Romance in Rutgers Stadium

Romance in Rutgers Stadium

RU grads choose sports venues for traditional pre-nuptial ritual


The RAC serves as one backdrop for the engagement photos of Rutgers alumni Mikki Tardiff and Jimmy Curcio.
Jimmy Curcio and Mikki Tardiff figure they’ve been to the Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway maybe 40 times over the years, including picnics. That’s not to mention the hundreds of times each attended games as children growing up in neighboring towns.

But none of those trips compares emotionally with the one they made on March 29. Not even close.

The Scarlet Knights weren’t on the field that blustery Tuesday – this being off-season, of course. No, the stars of the day were Tardiff and Curcio, who chose the venue as the setting for their formal (so to speak) engagement portraits.

“We’re both crazy about Rutgers, so it was a perfect fit,” says Tardiff, a 2006 graduate of Douglass College (now Douglass Residential Campus) who works as an orthodontic assistant in Warren. “To be on the field with nobody there was so neat: just Jimmy and me … and the photographer.”

“Our families, our friends and their families all go to the games with us, and we tailgate 10 hours in the yellow lot before each football game. What could be more natural than the stadium for our pictures?” adds her fiancé, an actuary who earned his degree in math from Rutgers in 2007 and who’s back on campus studying for a master’s in business and science.

Most of the engagement photos were taken at center field, with its large Block R serving as witness. Later, the photo shoot adjourned to the Louis Brown Athletic Center (better known as the RAC), where photographer Ron Soliman posed the pair framed by the iconic RAC lettering and gazing into each other’s eyes.

Although they’d been undergraduates together, Curcio and Tardiff met three weeks after his commencement, at the Knight Club on New Brunswick’s Easton Avenue. She told him she kept a binder full of clips from the football team’s fabled 2006 season, he said “No way” in disbelief, and the rest is history.

When they walk down the aisle at Rutgers’ Kirkpatrick Chapel on June 17, their 11 bridesmaids and 11 groomsmen will be decked out in red and black, and the shoes peeping out from Tardiff’s gown will be scarlet pumps.

A deacon will perform the ceremony, but only because Curcio couldn’t convince his bride to let football coach Greg Schiano do the honors.

Media Contact: Fredda Sacharow
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