Obsessive hockey fans get married

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To love and honour ... the Leafs

ACC employees, hockey fans have dream wedding

Everything was blue and white, even the ring

Sep. 4, 2006. 01:00 AM



Years before she met her husband, Sandi Joseph knew her wedding would be blue and white. Blue and white for the Toronto Maple Leafs, that is.

Yesterday at centre ice (without the ice, although Joseph would have preferred it to be there), her dream came true. She married Kevin Kandaharian at the Air Canada Centre, where the couple met five years ago and still work part-time.

"I worked as an usher of a section and he worked the ice-cream stand outside my section," Joseph, 31, said.

"We are both diehard Maple Leaf fans, so we hit it off right away."

One year later, Kandaharian went on a hockey road trip through western Canada, following the Maple Leafs from Calgary to Edmonton, and on to Vancouver.

"Sandi was the only one crazy enough to do it with me," Kandaharian, 25, said.

"We went as friends and came back as more."

The wedding ceremony was simple: Blue-and-white bows adorned the fold-out chairs, and a blue carpet stood in for the church aisle.

The priest, Kandaharian's grandfather, married the happy couple as they stood on a large carpet bearing the Maple Leafs logo, flanked by a wedding party decked out in blue and white.

"There has never been a wedding of this magnitude held at the ACC before," Joseph said of the 250 people in attendance.

Poetic vows were exchanged in English and a prayer read in Armenian, Kandaharian's first language.

Family members ? some wearing Leaf jerseys, others in blue-and-white evening gowns and ties ? held hands and wiped tear-filled eyes.

"The groom may kiss the bride," the priest announced at the end of the ceremony, and the crowd erupted into applause.

More than half the guests raised Maple Leaf flags and towels into the air and waved them, as though they were at a hockey game. A lone voice yelled "Go Leafs Go!" as a young boy loudly sounded a horn.

As the grinning couple walked down the aisle, the blue-and-white crystals in Joseph's dress shimmered, as did the blue-and-white wedding ring on her hand.

"I told Kevin I had to have sapphires," she said, laughing. "The sapphires were more important to me than the diamonds."

Kandaharian proposed to Joseph at the Hockey Hall of Fame last year and surprised her with a ring tucked in one of the display cases among hockey memorabilia.

"I saw the ring.... It didn't click, so I walked away. Only when he dropped onto one knee did I clue in ? that was my ring."

The newly married couple's blue-and-white wedding reception included a Maple Leaf-shaped cake topped with a bride and groom wearing Leaf jerseys, and blue-and-white centrepieces and place cards.

"By getting married at the ACC," the bride said, "hopefully we brought the team some luck this year."


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