A Caps Wedding
They met on the message boards. He was Flipper. She was capscrazy. Soon they were introduced in person, as so many of us are, at a Caps message board happy hour. Their friendship was platonic for three years, but eventually it became something more, just as young hockey prospects change forms, shape and reshape, as they move their way through the juniors ranks. They would send each other private messages on the message boards; the purported subject was often hockey, but the subtext was something else entirely; penalty minutes and checking lines unleashing the passions they tend to unleash. The ice was cold; their romance became red hot.
They started dating on the day of the NHL lockout; "at least something good came out of it," said Flipper, aka 34-year-old Dave Polk. Due to different rooting styles, they kept their separate Caps tickets; "I honestly think if they sat together, one of them would kill the other," said a friend, Elyssa Brecher. And finally, this June, on a beach in Mexico, they were engaged to be married. Like so many of us do, they then considered exactly what their wedding should be like. And as with so many of us, their thoughts turned to the puck.
"We decided, 'Hey, why don't we try some hockey stuff,'" recounted capscrazy, aka 32-year-old Michelle Rexrode.
Which is why the lucky couple found themselves at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today, wearing authentic Capitals jerseys (she was Chris Clark, he was Brian Pothier) and posing for the Save the Date cards so many of us have posed for before our own weddings: The lucky couple crossing blades at center ice. The bride-to-be taunting the groom-to-be while he sits dejectedly in the penalty box, or shooting on the groom-to-be while he stands in goal. The bride-to-be checking the the groom-to-be into the boards.
"That's so good!!" shouted out the photographer and groomsman-to-be, Steve Strawn.
The couple wanted to use these photos on the invitations, but it turns out it's quite pricey to create a photo-based wedding invite, so instead there will be several varieties of save-the-date notices-as-hockey-cards; "collect all three or four!" Michelle advised. And while the ceremony will play it straight, the reception will have certain minor hockey accents.
"We're completely going, I don't want to say overboard...." Michelle began, looking at Dave.
"Yeah, we are," Dave said.
"Yeah, we are," Michelle confirmed.
And so there's the rehearsal dinner at Kettler, and the hockey puck favors, and the introduction, during which the wedding party will wear jerseys and the priest will be dressed as a referee and they'll all pass underneath an arch made of raised hockey sticks.
"I'm not shooting your wedding," the photographer noted at this point.
The cake, naturally, will be shaped like the Stanley Cup, provided the bakery--Charm City Cakes in Baltimore--can pull it off.
"If they can make an armadillo wearing a paramedics' uniform, a Stanley Cup cake shouldn't be too far behind," said Brecher, becoming the first human in creation to utter that particular line.
Aside from all this, the couple appears to be quite sane. He works at the Kennedy Center, she is a contracts officer for a government contractor. They just want their wedding to be fun. Naturally, they're inviting all their Cap-rooting friends to the big affair, including the Horn Guy, he who blows the "Let's Go Caps" horn; "if he does that during the ceremony, I'm going to kill him," Dave said.
The wedding is scheduled for May, which, if you look at the hockey schedule and you do the math, is about the time for the....
"Can't say it," Michelle interrupted. "Not saying the word. Don't say it. We don't want to jinx it."
Fair enough. Comcast SportsNet was also documenting the photo shoot today, and a CSN employee asked the couple whether the honeymoon would have a hockey theme.
"No," Michelle said, "we're actually...."
"We're going somewhere where ice does not form," Dave finished, which is really a shame. If they actually cared about this sport they claim to love, they'd have already booked their trip to Saskatoon.
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