‘N-ice’ day for a wedding – Ice hockey fans tie the knot with Sheffield Steelers themed wedding

An ice hockey mad couple celebrated their big day in the only way they could – with a Sheffield Steelers-themed wedding.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 3:20 pm

Craig and Ria Barber, both aged 28, are both regulars at the Fly DSA Arena so when it came to choosing a theme for tying the knot, there was only one option.

The couple, who met almost six years ago, had a Steelers-themed cake, tables were named after current and former players and they also had orange ribbons on their transport to Ringwood Hall, in Chesterfield.

Craig said: “I have been going to the Steelers for about 20 years, since the 1999-2000 season and I’ve been with Ria for nearly six years and I decided to take her to the ice hockey one night and she fell in love with it as quick as I did.

Craig and Ria Barber had a Sheffield Steelers themed wedding. Picture: Heart to Heart

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It’s something we both love and I said why don’t we have a Steelers theme and that was it.”

The couple, of Shirebrook, Derbyshire, tied the knot in front of friends and family from as far away as China and Australia on Saturday and plan to honeymoon in Lanzarote next month before a trip to New York in December.

Craig said: “It was a fantastic day and the weather was amazing.

Craig and Ria Barber had a Sheffield Steelers themed wedding.

“It was great to have all of our friends and family there and everyone got on board with the Steelers theme.”

Players who featured on the tables’ names included former forward Jeff Legue, enforcer Zac Fitzgerald, current captain Jonathan Phillips, Levi Nelson, who scored Steelers winning goal in the 2017 Elite League Playoff Grand Final, John Armstrong, Guillaume Desbiens and former netminder Frank Doyle.

The couple also plan to spend their first weekend of marriage in the only way they could – by taking in both games of the Steelers’ opening weekend of the season when they take on the Nottingham Panthers home and away.

Craig and Ria Barber had a Sheffield Steelers themed wedding. Pictured are shirts Craig ordered for the big day.

Craig added: “I first went to a game through a friend of my dad and I just got hooked on it. I am an avid football football and I like my rugby but I love the pace and action of ice hockey.

“In football it can take 10 minutes to get the ball into the opposition’s half but in ice hockey it’s end-to-end.”

The wedding came on the same day as the Steelers’ last pre-season friendly – a 5-4 win over MAC Budapest.

Craig said: “I had been joking with my mother-in-law that we could get married, have the meal and then go to the game and get back to the venue for about 10pm.”