I had always been taught there are four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. According to Google and my female co-workers, there are in fact five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and wedding.
Don’t look now but it’s mid-July, which means we’re in the thick of “wedding season,” a span of four months (May through August) where over a hundred thousand couples tie the knot – that’s 70 per cent of all the yearly weddings in Canada.
What does this have to do with the Vancouver Canucks? Well, on top of honesty, kindness, respect, compatibility and humour, also known as the top five characteristics people want in a partner, Meghan and Brian Nishi were each in search of a fellow diehard Canucks fan to spend the rest of their days with.
They found it.
Meghan and Brian are currently living happily ever after following their wedding in late 2009, but it’s how and when they planned their wedding that makes the story worth telling.
For starters, when the couple waffled on whether or not to get married, they left their destiny to chance.
“A lot of thought and prayer went into the decision but we finally left it up to fate,” said Meghan, who lives in Victoria with Brian. “It was early last March (2009) that we made a deal with each other if the Canucks won on that particular night we would get married by the end of the year and if they lost we wouldn't. They won!”
In keeping with the unorthodox, Meghan and Brian avoided the chaos of wedding season. Hockey fans get married during hockey season, plain and simple. Untraditional, yes, but so was everything about their wedding, their Canucks themed wedding.
Meghan, 24, is a student teacher from Mill Bay, while Brian, 33, is a teacher who hails from Richmond. They met coaching separate swimming teams a few years ago and spent the ensuing summer contemplating the Canucks off-season moves. Friends became BFFs and the two eventually became an inseparable pair, the relationship thrived for many reasons and the Canucks played a role in that, which made wedding planning a synch.
“We're not really fancy dancy dress up type folks, so we started by doing our engagement shots in Canucks jerseys,” said Meghan, who grew up idolizing Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden and Kirk McLean.
“For the actual wedding and reception, we did little things like name the tables after our favorite Canucks players. We decorated the main tree out front with some Go Canucks ornaments (being a Christmas wedding). To win the tables rights to go to the buffet for dinner we had a trivia challenge which was part Meghan/Brian trivia and part Canucks trivia. We also had special bride and groom Canucks jerseys and even though we were not allowed to wear the jerseys in the church for the ceremony, they were great for the reception and are a great momento to hold onto; we've actually worn them to just about every game we've been to since the wedding.”
Coinciding with the numbers of former Canucks captains Stan Smyl (12) and Markus Naslund (19) was the wedding date of December 19, so Meghan suited up in #12 and Brian took #19 for the reception. It was just meant to be.
“I actually bought the jersey before I bough the dress. I was pretty late buying a dress, I didn't worry too much about how it would look together because to be honest, that's not really me, but I did have to make sure the jersey would fit over it.”
Meghan had her priorities straight and the dream wedding she had envisioned, save for a few hiccups along the way, became a reality. Some may question this couple’s dedication to the Canucks in having the team play such a big role in the wedding, but in hindsight Vancouver could have been even more involved.
“To be honest, if we had it to do again the Canucks would probably play a bigger part. They are a huge part of our lifestyle, I can't wait to get home from work at night to hang out with Brian and watch the game. One of the neatest things after it was all over was a Christmas tree we had set up for people to decorate Christmas ball ornaments to go on our tree in the future and a lot of them said 'Go Canucks Go Nishis.’ They're pretty cute.”
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. This quirky couple is already prepared for that next step as their future nursery is planned around their Canucks memorabilia.
Go Canucks, Go Nishis!
*All photographs courtesy Jon-Mark Photography, jonmarkphoto.com