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Golden Knights fans renew marriage vows before Game 3

Couples reaffirm love for each other and Vegas hockey team

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- The couple held hands, looked into each other's eyes and shared a tender moment, as the crowd gathered and the music blasted in the background at Toshiba Plaza before the Vegas Golden Knights played the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

"Do you Charles and Alyce promise to always keep your love Vegas Strong?" asked Brian Mills, the wedding officiant, in a shiny Golden Knights jacket. "Do you promise to always shower each other with a Fleury of kisses? And do you promise to always be faithful, not only to each other, but to your hometown Vegas Golden Knights? Do you promise?"

They did.

"Then by the power vested in me by the state of Nevada, it's my happy privilege to pronounce that you are still husband and wife," Mills said.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: What���s a Vegas wedding without some Golden Knights vows? 💒

Just when you think you've seen everything in Vegas, just when you think the Golden Knights have thought of everything, you see season-ticket holders Charles and Alyce Wheeler renewing their vows in Golden Knights jerseys beneath a Golden Knights logo before a Golden Knights game.

And they were just the first in line.

"It's just fun," said Kim Frank, Golden Knights vice president of marketing. "It's so Vegas."

Frank said Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz challenged his team to do something new this year, which was difficult considering everything they did last year during the magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in the inaugural season of 2017-18.

"Kerry always pushes the envelope or has us push the envelope," Frank said. "He was like, 'We did tattoos last year. What else is Vegas? How can we bring it here?' We all started talking. This was an idea that kind of stuck."

The Golden Knights reached out to the Little Church of the West, a wedding chapel about a mile down the Strip, which provided Mills and Milos the Mini Elvis.

"It's the playoffs; it's the Golden Knights," Mills said. "We're the hottest ticket in town, man. The NHL's the best here. We want to be a part of it."

Carley Sisolak, Golden Knights manager of marketing and events, did an arts-and-crafts project in the office, making an arch with a Golden Knights logo.

The Golden Knights invited couples to sign up for weddings, commitments and renewals -- free of charge and available to those 18 and older -- in two-hour windows before Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday, with walk-ups afterward.

The ceremonies were on a platform on a Golden Knights truck surrounded by vendors, face-painters, DJs, performers and more.

"There was no way we could not do this," Alyce Wheeler said.

The Wheelers got married Dec. 22, 2004, when they were both in the Army. They came to Las Vegas on their holiday break and tied the knot in their Class A uniforms in a small ceremony at the Chapel of Love.

"It was like whoever was outside the courthouse, because we didn't have a whole lot of time," Alyce said. "We didn't have any plans. This guy was like, 'Hey, we can give you guys a deal.' And we got married, and that was it."

Alyce was deployed to Korea three days later. Charles reported to training in Georgia. 

They moved to the Las Vegas area in 2010. They got into the Golden Knights, who happen to be owned by West Point alumnus Bill Foley, at least in part for how they responded to the mass shooting on the Strip on Oct. 1, 2017, and bonded the community.

Their marriage renewal certificate will go with their hockey and military mementos.

"We wanted to get married in jerseys," Alyce said. "We love the Golden Knights. It's the first thing that I've ever liked (as far as) a sports team or first time I wanted to follow sports. We just fell in love and got addicted, and now we couldn't imagine it not being a part of our lives."

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