Amar and Alesha Sanghera couldn’t go home to get married, so the hockey-loving couple did the next best thing.
The Sangheras celebrated their nuptials during the day then hoofed it to T-Mobile Arena for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals between the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.
Amar and Alesha are each from Ontario but have known each other for two-and-a-half years. Amar, from Oakville, is a doctor of internal medicine at St. Francis Hospital in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Alesha moved there from Niagara Falls, Ontario to live with him before the United States-Canada border closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic March 21, 2020.
“Once they started talking about the border closure we just had to decide what we were going to do,” Alesha told NHL.com .”Once that’s closed I wouldn’t have been able to get into the states. So I packed up whatever I could, sold my house and headed over.”
“The decision that was made was literally on the spot,” Amar said.
They got engaged in February, but with no way to go home and no family able to visit the states they needed a way to celebrate. They decided to go to Las Vegas, packed their wedding attire and left Sunday. They got married at 1 p.m. PT on Monday and had enough time to smoke cigars and have drinks at Caesars Palace before getting to the arena early.
“It’s not the most ideal situation,” Alesha said. “It’s sad that we couldn’t be with our families, but it was pretty awesome.”
Sportsnet cameras captured the couple first trying to find their seats, and the clip of them in full wedding attire went viral. Many cynical viewers ribbed Amar for going ahead and not helping Alesha down the stairs as she slowly made her way down the stairs in her wedding dress.
“Alesha literally said ‘go ahead and find our seats,'” Amar said. “So I went ahead and said ‘these are our seats,’ but people don’t interpret those things.”
Amar and Alesha said the fact they were broadcast on television across Canada served as a de facto wedding reception, since many of their family and friends saw them in their full ensemble and sent messages.
“Being on TV allowed our family from home to be a part of it,” Amar said.
Amar and Alesha are huge Toronto Maple Leafs fans but were rooting for Vegas because Montreal eliminated their favorite team in seven games in the Stanley Cup First Round. They had nothing but good things to say about the 17,884 in attendance who shared in their makeshift wedding reception.
“The energy inside that building, I can’t even put it into words,” Alesha said. “Everybody was saying congratulations and buying us a couple of drinks which was very nice and unexpected.”
“We didn’t expect it to be this good,” Amar said. “Everybody was so generous. The people around us were just nice, the game was good. It was like having our own little wedding party with us while we were there.”
The couple intends to have a ceremony and celebrate with friends in Canada when the border reopens. But for now they’re focused on trying to get tickets to Game 2 in Vegas where they’ll see if the Golden Knights can take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series Wednesday.
“We really want to go,” Alesha said. “Obviously we won’t be rocking the same attire, but we would love to go.”