On July 8, 2000, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi married professional ice hockey player Bret Hedican. The couple first met at the 1992 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Albertville, France. Neither of them was looking for a serious relationship at the time as they were both very much involved in their careers as world class professional athletes. By the time they met, Bret was a rookie player on the U.S. ice hockey team, and Kristi was just days away from making her way to the gold medal.
On her wedding anniversary eight years later, Kristi was announced when she arrived on the grounds of Hawaii’s Mauna Lani Hotel by the long, sounding explosion of a clam shell. Bret and Kristi held their wedding in the chapel of the resort hotel with 300 friends and family members. Ms. Yamaguchi’s wedding was scheduled for Hawaiian evening when the sun was setting and a cool sea breeze came over the tiny island.
Kristi wore a beautiful Vera Wang wedding dress in traditional style. She decided to walk down the aisle to her waiting groom to hear “Hawaiian Love Song,” a very appropriate choice given both the location and the occasion. The groom Bret Hedican was waiting for his bride under a pergola with large, fragrant, beautiful flowers from Hawaii and other exotic parts of the world. Bret watched his love float down the aisle as the diamonds sparkled on her Fred Leighton tiara. Like the floating clouds that moved the evening sky, Kristi’s floor-length veil was light and wafer-thin and danced in a bizarre way as she took her last steps towards old age.
Happy guests and six bridesmaids in evergreen blue dresses from Shelli Segal’s lingerie collection showered the bridal couple with a handful of fragrant orchid and rose petals as they took their first steps together as husband and wife. The couple entered the resort ballroom, followed by their many friends and family, including Olympians Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Peggy Fleming.
The ecstatic couple and their loving guests began the post-wedding celebrations with a dinner of fried tuna and prawns, followed by filet mignon and fresh Hawaiian snapper. The food was fresh and artfully prepared by professional chefs at the island resort. When the bride and groom went on the dance floor, the contemporary classic “I couldn’t ask for more” rang out. After the first dance, family and friends joined the couple on the large open dance floor to laugh and dance the night away between good food, good music and good company throughout the night, and the starts sparkled over a tiny island that was peaceful floated in the water in the middle of the ocean.