Written by McKenzie Gritton // Photography by Piner Photography
Katie Hodges and Matt Langford met in August 2007 in their Northern Virginian hometown, where they were both playing in an adult ice hockey league with their fathers. Needless to say, there wasn’t too much crosschecking out on the ice because they’ve been together ever since.
After dating for almost seven and a half years, some of which included living in different towns and going to different schools, they were together on Christmas Day. In the tree, supported by two strong green branches, was a little frog box. “Frogs are my favorite animals,” says Katie. “It was a little box, so cute.” When she opened the perfect little frog, she found a ring inside. Matt proposed, and Katie said yes.
Soon after, Brittany Adams (BAO events) began helping the two plan their wedding at the beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center. Together, they chose a color scheme of blue, silver, and white.
On November 6, a gorgeous autumn day, relatives came from Florida, Colorado, Virginia, New York, and other points around the country to see these two hockey players “skate” to the end of the aisle and say I do. The bride looked absolutely radiant in a Justin Alexander-designed, off-white traditional gown with a satin sash that Katie found at The Wedding Dress Shop in Wilmington. She complimented her dress with dark blue shoes. The bridesmaids wore horizon-dark-blue, floor-length dresses that matched their bouquets, designed by Wilmington florist, Eco Chic. The groom wore a dark blue suit, and the groomsman wore light gray.
The ceremony took place inside the Brooklyn Art Center. During the ceremony, violinist Maura Kropke set the tone. The bride walked down the aisle with her father to Christina Perry’s “1000 Years.” Matt’s Cousin, Josh, a pastor, married the couple and filled the ceremony with warmth and light. “During the part where Matt was putting the ring on my finger,” Katie says, “Matt was supposed to repeat what Josh was saying. But Josh repeated himself a couple times, saying, “Katie take this ring,” so I thought I was supposed to take the ring. But really, Matt was supposed to repeat him, so that was kind of funny—and great. All the pictures of the two of us up there are of us laughing—very upbeat, so light-hearted, very much like us.”
After the ceremony, cocktail hour was held in the Brooklyn Arts Center courtyard, where Katie’s cousin and her boyfriend sang and played piano for the guests.
Once the guests were back inside the church, the newlyweds shared their first dance—which they choreographed with coaching assistance from Babs McDance—to a mix of four different songs. They began with Eric Church’s “I Love Your Love the Most,” continued with Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance,” went on with Michael Franti’s “Say Hey I Love You,” shook it up to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night,” and then finished with a flourish to a reprise of Eric Church”s “I Love Your Love the Most.” “It was cool because we did ballroom dancing, and then we were able to do fun stuff,” says Katie, “then we went back to close the dance the same way we opened. It was so different and fun.”
The reception continued with heartfelt toasts, delicious food from Milner’s Cafe and Catering, and a sweet dessert buffet showcasing a two-tiered pumpkin spice cake (Katie’s favorite) by Sugar Island Bakery that featured two little ice hockey players on the top tier. Guests danced the night away to tunes by Active DJ. The garter and bouquet tosses resulted in a wonderful coincidence. “The girl who caught the bouquet and the guy who caught the garter are friends of mine from high school,” says Katie, “and they actually just got in engaged.”
The newlyweds left the venue to a glow stick exit, climbed into the waiting limo, and were off to enjoy their honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They stayed at all-inclusive resort Secrets. “We got to hang out on the beach for a week, which is a rare thing for us,” says Katie, “to be able to not work for a week. It was awesome.”
Currently, Matt and Katie reside in Wilmington and are saving up to buy their first home. Matt is a commercial sales manager at AutoZone, and Katie is a store manager at Unleashed. Their dogs and cat need more space, Katie jokes. The beautiful couple’s pictures are up at wedding photographer Derrick and Christy’s website, pinerphotography.com.