No matter how the Bruins postseason turns out for the players, it has certainly been a memorable one for Adam and Denisse Bellantoni of Middleborough.
The newlyweds married at center ice at Warrior Ice Arena, the team’s Boston practice facility, between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, saying “I do” before lacing up their skates and playing hockey with friends decked out in “Team Bride” and “Team Groom” jerseys.
The Saturday afternoon nuptials marked the first time a wedding has taken place at Warrior Ice Arena, according to the staff there. It was a fitting occasion for the Massachusetts-raised newlyweds and hockey players who met on the ice, got engaged on the ice, and describe themselves as lifelong Bruins fans.
“It was amazing,” said Denisse, 39, a veterinary technician. “It was better than we could have ever imagined.”
The couple met nine years ago during a coed hockey pickup game at Bridgewater Ice Arena.
“I found out she was a vet tech,” said Adam, 42, a purchasing manager for a windows and doors company. “I love dogs. I was telling her about my dog, Cam. After that, we had our first date.”
“Which was a Bruins game,” Denisse said.
“And we’ve been together ever since,” Adam continued. “Denisse is probably the most caring person that I’ve ever met. She loves every animal and all animals love her. It’s pretty amazing to see. She’s a genuine person. I know she always has my back and I always have hers.”
“He’s got the biggest heart out of anyone I’ve ever known,” Denisse countered.”He’s willing to do anything for anybody at any time and expects nothing in return. He has as much love, if not more, for animals than I do. He makes me laugh every day, makes me smile. We just have so much in common. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
The dog-loving couple has five pups of their own, all named after current or former Bruins players. There’s Tuukka, for Tuukka Rask; Chief, after Johnny Bucyk’s nickname; Looch, for former player Milan Lucic; Ryder, for former player Michael Ryder; and Torey, for Torey Krug. Adam’s dog Cam, for former player Cam Neely, has since passed away.
The couple each play in two hockey leagues and enjoy playing together in coed tournaments. They got engaged during the Aug. 4 Sticks on the Beach coed tournament at the Tony Kent Arena in Dennis as they posed for a team photo. Adam got down on one knee on the ice.
“I was totally blown away because I was not expecting that at all,” Denisse said. “He turned around and opened up the ring box, and I just looked at him and said, ‘What are you doing?’ And then I started to cry.”
When it came time to talk wedding plans, Adam’s mom, Natalie Whittemore of Hingham, posed another big question.
“My mom said, ‘If you could think of one thing that you really want to do for your wedding day, what would you do?'” Adam said. “And I said, ‘Play hockey.’ I said, ‘What if we could get married at the Warrior Ice Arena?'”
“I said, ‘You know what? That would be awesome,'” Denisse recounted. “So I said, ‘Let’s call them and see if that’s something we could even do.'”
They did. And it was.
Denisse’s father walked her down the aisle to B.Bumble & the Stingers’ “Nut Rocker,” the old TV38 Bruins song. The bride wore a white gown with Bruins Chuck Taylors on her feet. The groom donned a black Bruins suit jacket. Maid of honor Alysson Flannery of Whitman and best man Tom Powers of Halifax sported traditional wedding attire.
Denisse and Adam were married by fellow hockey player Chris Stockbridge of Abington, who became a wedding officiant in order to marry his friends, and were flanked by 38 teammates from their leagues, half in white “Team Bride” jerseys and half in black “Team Groom” jerseys. Immediately after the couple exchanged vows, they changed into their hockey clothes to play a celebratory game with their friends.
“Unfortunately, Team Groom came away with the win,” Denisse said with a laugh. “That’s OK. We played well. We’ll get them at the rematch. We plan on going back there on our year anniversary and having a rematch game.”
After the game, the couple swapped outfits once again, changing back into their ceremony clothes, before being introduced as husband and wife to Pop Evil’s “Be Legendary” in the arena’s event room. The wedding party entered to a mix of “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne and “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa. And that was most definitely not the reception’s only reference to Bruins team colors.
The flowers were a yellow and white mixture of sunflowers, lilies, and roses reaching out of children’s skates mounted on hockey pucks. Family and friends posed with paper hockey-themed props — sticks, helmets, pucks — in a photo booth area, cut loose on a dance floor comprised of hockey rink boards, and took home individually wrapped chocolate hockey pucks tied with black and gold ribbon for favors. Guests ate gold and white cupcakes for dessert, while the bride and groom dug into a miniature cake in the shape of a Stanley Cup.
The couple that never misses a Bruins game hopes to see their team win the actual Stanley Cup this year. The Bruins are just one win away from their third Stanley Cup Finals appearance in the last nine years. The team last won the championship in 2011.
“It’s just been so exciting to be able to watch,” Adam said. “We’re wishing them all the best in this run, and we really hope they can make it all the way. And if they do, things are going to be that much more memorable — not that they aren’t memorable as it is.”