The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard, especially for couples who want to make their unions official.
Luckily, Honda Center in Anaheim teamed up with the Orange County government to help love birds get married and even have pandemic-style wedding ceremonies.
The home for the Anaheim Ducks launched the “Hitched at Honda Center” initiative in 2020 to be served as a wedding venue for couples looking to get married or obtain their marriage licenses.
Fast-forward to Oct. 2022, those couples were invited back to Honda Center to celebrate their two-year anniversary in a surprise party.
Their wedding officiants, Ducks television host Kent French, DJ JoJo and radio broadcaster Steve Carroll, also attended the event to mark the reunion.
“It was a dream come true,” recalls Angie Moreno, who married her husband Steve at the hockey stadium. “Due to COVID, this was the best thing that could happen to us during such a hard time.”
JoJo Maestrado, who broadcasts for the Ducks, remembers how nervous he was when stepping up to officiate some of the weddings.
“I’ve been on the mic many times maybe in front of thousands of people here at Honda Center,” says Maestrado, who is better known as DJ JoJo among Ducks fans. “But this was their biggest day. To get sworn in that day and to [the] ceremony — thank you so much for letting me be part of it.”
To comply with the coronavirus protocols, couples went through unusual steps to get married. On their wedding day, they had to wait in their cars until their appointments then approach ticket booths on foot and interact with officiants through the glass door.
While the Ducks ran the “Hitched at Honda Center” initiative for 9 months, 16,838 marriage licenses were issues, and 8,252 wedding ceremonies were performed, according to organizers.