Hempfield couple plans Pittsburgh Penguins-themed wedding
They’ve been fans of Pittsburgh sports teams all their lives.
One of their first dates was at a Pittsburgh Penguins game.
He proposed to her on the day the Pens won the 2017 Stanley Cup.
So it was just natural that Brittany Dahlmann and Donald Dopkowski would choose a hockey theme for their Oct. 20 wedding.
“I always wanted to do a black and gold wedding, ever since I was little,” Dahlmann says.
“When we started throwing out ideas for the wedding, we both said at the same time, ‘Why don’t we do a Penguins theme?’” she says. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
A complete surprise
The Hempfield couple met in January 2016 through a mutual friend “who thought we’d make a good match,” Dahlmann says.
She is the manager of the downtown Greensburg branch of First Commonwealth Bank. He works in the packaging and shipping department of Powerex in Youngwood.
The proposal came as a complete surprise.
“He had me believing it would not be happening for a while,” Dahlmann says. “He kept saying he had no money for a ring.”
It happened on a trip to Niagara Falls.
“We were walking toward the falls, and I was fumbling with my camera, trying to get pictures,” she says. “He says, ‘Hey, Brittany,’ and I turn around, and there he is down on one knee.”
They stopped a passerby to take some photos of the moment for them.
Then it was time to get down to planning for the ceremony that will take place in the First Reformed United Church of Christ in Greensburg, followed by a reception in the Youngwood Fire Hall.
Those locations have hosted family weddings, Dahlmann says, from her grandparents and parents to her sister and some cousins.
The couple has sent out 257 invitations. The bridal party will include five attendants each for bride and groom.
Dahlmann will wear an ivory gown because, she says, “I’m a redhead and pale, so white washed me out too much.”
Her attendants will wear black dresses and carry bouquets of gold lilies with burnt orange gerbera daisies.
The gents will be in black tuxedos. The groom will have a black vest and gold tie, while the groomsmen have gold vests and black ties. All will have yellow pocket squares and boutonnieres of gold lilies.
As far as the vows are concerned, they won’t promise to follow the Pens for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health — they’ll reserve those promises for each other by speaking the traditional vows.
But when it’s time for the reception, it will be “Go, Pens!” all the way.
Great night for a wedding
“You know how the Pens’ theme is ‘It’s a great night for hockey’? Ours is going to be ‘It’s a great night for a wedding,’” Dahlmann says.
Instead of a guest registry, there will be a Pens jersey with the name Dopkowski and the number 18 (for 2018) waiting for guests to sign. The jersey will later be framed.
Little jersey-shaped table markers will lead guests to their seats — “Like, you’ll be at the Crosby table, or you’ll be at the Malkin table,” Dahlmann says.
Those tables will have fall flower centerpieces with black accents and gold throughout. Tea lights also will be done in black and gold.
The wedding favors will be chocolate hockey sticks and pucks, which the bride, her mother and sister and some friends will make themselves, starting in early October.
The three-tiered cake will have white whipped icing decorated with black and gold flowers and ribbons, with a topper that features crossed hockey sticks and a puck.
They didn’t forget the cookie table, either. Dahlmann’s nephew’s girlfriend Hannah Porter bakes professionally under the business name Cookies by Hannah. She’ll contribute cookies shaped and iced to look like the Penguins emblem.
‘Don’t steal my thunder’
Dahlmann says she and Dopkowski checked the Penguins’ schedule and know they’re not playing on Oct. 20, but that doesn’t mean any of those 257 invites went to the team.
“I thought about letting the Penguins know,” she says. “Then I said, no, I don’t want my thunder stolen.”
Which is a bride’s prerogative.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.