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Vegas couple renews vows with Reaves as 'Reverend Reavo'

Golden Knights fans won contest from Chapel of the Flowers

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Laura and Justin Long had two wedding ceremonies before Sunday; one to sign the marriage license 39 days into their relationship four years ago, and the other a year later to celebrate with family. This third one would be the charm.

That's because Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves was the ordained minister for this ceremony.

"We're huge Knights fans, and we're huge Reaves fans," Laura said. "It was pretty easy to fall in love with Ryan when he scored the goal to get [the Golden Knights] into the Stanley Cup [Final in 2018]. We're happy that he got to be here and celebrate our love with us."

Approximately 50 Vegas Golden Knights fans were in the crowd at Chapel of the Flowers in downtown Las Vegas celebrating the vow renewal with the happy couple. Their two children, 7-year-old Gage and 2-year-old JJ, were beaming with joy.

The wedding chapel held a contest for soon-to-be or already married couples. The grand prize was to have Reaves perform the light-hearted ceremony.

Video: Ryan Reaves officiates fans' vow renewal ceremony

Laura, who said she has never won anything before, put in an entry for the fun of it.

"So, I just casually mentioned to Justin, I was like, 'Oh, by the way, I entered this thing. We can meet Ryan Reaves.' He was like, 'Yeah, OK.'," she said. "A few weeks later, [the chapel] messaged us … I was super excited."

Laura and Justin met through a mutual friend. They had been divorced before. Laura said that experience helped her know that she and Justin were right for each other. After less than two months of knowing each other, they tied the knot on July 4, 2015. One year later, they had a more formal ceremony.

This celebration of love was different.

It was everything the Las Vegas residents could have hoped for in a Golden Knights-themed vow renewal. Rally towels that said "Married by Reaves" were on each seat. The 'by' was encased in a heart with two hockey sticks crossing through.

The couple kissed and the Golden Knights' goal horn echoed through the small chapel. The Longs walked back up the aisle to the tune of "Viva Las Vegas," the classic Elvis Presley song that plays after every Golden Knights victory at T-Mobile Arena.

It was an environment befitting of the culture the Golden Knights have created in Las Vegas for the past two seasons.

"Just the synergy that the Knights have created and the grown-up feel the city has now, because we have a sports team now, and more are coming," Justin said. "You always remember your first time, the first pro team here. [Golden Knights owner Bill] Foley took a chance on us as a city … what they've done for this town is just unparalleled to anything we've ever seen."

A married man himself with two children, Reaves arrived at the chapel wearing a green suit and had a script he rewrote in its entirety in the hours leading up to the wedding.

Reaves doesn't consider himself a public speaker off the ice, but he thought he held his own in a setting that was out of his element. He was still happy to do it.

"Any time you can do something new in the community, especially with fans, I always love doing this stuff," he said. "The fans, when they come to T-Mobile, they give us everything every night. To be able to do stuff like this when I have time in the summer is easy."

Reaves said he and his family have established roots in Las Vegas. This was the first summer in his NHL career that he didn't go to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the summer.

"[My family and I] set up shop here. We want to get involved in the community," he said. "Obviously, I want to retire here. I want to play here as long as I can. So, being out in the community is important."

That also includes being a reverend again in the future.

"I don't know if Reverend Reavo is a permanent gig," he said. "But there could be other ones. We'll see."

Photos and video provided by Chapel of the Flowers.

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