Super Bowl parties are not often thought of as a place to make a lifelong love connection; but for Alyssa Hood and Brian Flynn, it was love at first sight. Though they were both only 19 and neither of them were looking for a relationship, they could not deny the instant connection they felt. “We both told our friends the very next day that we were in love,” shares Alyssa. After six years of dating long distance, between different colleges and then different cities as Brian began a professional hockey career, Alyssa took the advice of her mother and quit her job in order to finally live with her beloved. Soon after, Brian – who plays professional hockey for the Montreal Canadiens – had a break in the NHL season for the 2014 Winter Olympics, so the couple decided to visit their home in Boston for the week. But that’s not all he had planned for the trip, as Brian had previously asked for the blessing of Alyssa’s father. With said blessing given, the hopeful groom proposed to his longtime girlfriend early on Valentine’s Day morning. “We celebrated with Champagne and family, followed by an intimate dinner,” tells the bride.
After taking a few months to themselves to enjoy the engagement, the couple spent the next year planning their wedding. One of Alyssa’s bridesmaids got married the summer before and offered a lot of assistance. Additionally, the mother of the bride was a huge help in the decision-making process. “We have similar taste and style, so we agreed on a lot of things,” Alyssa says of her mother. When selecting vendors, the bride found herself blessed to have a number of friends who are wedding professionals. Her gown was custom-made by a family friend and couture designer, her paper goods were done by her stepsister that owns her own company, and the men’s suits were custom-made by a company that was founded by a college friend. The venue was also hugely personal to the bride. Alyssa’s childhood home hosted the ceremony, and the reception was held at the nearby yacht club where she spent her summers growing up. As part of the celebration, the party observed “colors” while at the club, which is a moment of silence when a cannon goes off and the flag is taken down. “My family has been sailors for as long as I can remember – my grandfather even won the America’s Cup in the 1970s so it was important to honor the yacht club’s traditions,” explains the bride.
Flowers for both the ceremony and reception featured a delightful mix of cream, blush, azure, violet, and canary blossoms with accents of greenery. Guests sat at round tables with ivory linens as well as long tables with grass green runners. Watercolor and floral-inspired table numbers were held upright by old wine corks that the bride and groom – self-professed “wine geeks” – had around their home. “The menu was selected carefully by us because both being athletes and healthy eaters we wanted the menu to feel fresh with lots of big salads, local fish, and grains,” Alyssa shares. To both represent Brian’s career and complement the wooden dance floor, the father of the bride made a stand out of wooden hockey sticks to display the place cards.
Though the couple had a dream wedding day, Alyssa admits that if she could go back, she would have hired a wedding planner from the beginning instead of only using a day-of coordinator. However, she is thankful that she hired a videographer. “The video captures something so much different than photos can and it is something you can continue to watch for the rest of your lives,” the bride muses. As memorable as Brian’s emotional reaction to seeing Alyssa walk down the aisle was for both of them, being able to see his face in that moment whenever they wish is something these newlyweds will treasure forever.