On July 8, 2000, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi married professional hockey player Bret Hedican. The couple first met at the opening ceremony of the 1992 winter Olympics in Albertville, France. Neither was looking for a serious relationship at the time as they were both very wrapped up in their careers as professional, world class athletes. At the time they met, Bret was a rookie player on the U.S. ice hockey team, and Kristi was just a few days away from skating her way to a gold medal.
On her wedding day eight years later, Kristi was announced as she arrived on the grounds of Hawaii’s Mauna Lani Hotel by the long, ringing blast of a conch shell. Bret and Kristi held their wedding nuptials in the chapel at the resort hotel with 300 friends and family members looking on. The Ms. Yamaguchi’s wedding was scheduled for the Hawaiian evening, just as the sun came down and a cool ocean breeze came over the tiny island.
Kristi wore a beautiful, tradition style Vera Wang wedding gown. She chose to walk down the aisle towards her waiting groom to the tune of “Hawaiian Love Song”, a very appropriate choice considering both the location and the occasion. The groom, Bret Hedican, stood waiting for his bride beneath a pergola covered with large, fragrant, beautiful flowers native to Hawaii and other exotic parts of the world. Bret watched his love float down the aisle as the diamonds on her Fred Leighton tiara sparkled. Like the wispy clouds floating threw the evening sky, Kristi’s floor length veil was light and gauzy and danced whimsically as she took her final steps towards the alter.
Happy guests and six bridesmaids decked out in periwinkle blue dresses from Shelli Segal’s Laundry collection showered the newlyweds with handfuls of fragrant orchid and rose petals as they took their first steps together as husband and wife. The couple headed into the resort ballroom followed by their many friends and family, to include Olympians Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Peggy Fleming.
The ecstatic couple and their loving guests began the post-wedding festivities by dining on seared tuna and shrimp followed by filet mignon and fresh, local Hawaiian snapper. All of the food was fresh and artfully cooked by professional chef’s at the island resort. As the newlyweds took to the dance floor, the contemporary classic “I Could Not Ask For More” strummed up. After the first dance, family and friends joined the couple on the large open dance floor to laugh and dance the night away among good food, good music and great company as the night wore on and the starts sparkled over a tiny island floating peacefully in the middle of the ocean.