Wedding on ice

Cool wedding at ice arena joins hockey fans for life.


The ice stayed intact as hearts melted at the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena at the Island’s coolest wedding of the year. Islanders Elyce Bonnell and Ben Retmier tied the knot Friday and skated off together for the first time as husband and wife.

Surrounded by family and friends, Bonnell and Retmier went all in on a hockey-themed wedding. Wearing skates, the couple were clad in specially made wedding hockey jerseys, black for the groom and his groomsmen and white for the bride and her bridesmaids. Elyce’s son Isaac, 11, wore a special jersey to match the bride and groom; when the three stood together the jersey numbers read 1/4/19, the date of the nuptials. The scoreboard was lit up with the day’s date, and the numbers one, four, and three to represent I, love, and you.

Garrison Vieira, Retmier’s best man, reflected on his best friend of 20 years getting married, but couldn’t help cracking a joke. “I’m excited for him, he made a good choice,” he said while laughing, “I don’t know if she made a good choice.”

Bonnell’s dad, Andre Bonnell, a coach for the high school’s girls hockey team, got in on the fun and received a one-day justice of the peace license so he could marry the two. Clad in his black and white referee jersey, he officiated the ceremony and gave a short speech about love, life, and hockey. “We gather here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments,” he said.

Andre Bonnell told The Times the couple chose the rink because of their lifelong connections to it. Hockey is ingrained in the duo, who both grew up playing the sport at the rink, and currently teach youth hockey there. Bonnell was on the high school’s first girls hockey team, and was coached by her dad, who has been coaching hockey for 21 years.

After the ceremony, the newly married couple skated around the rink to cheers and applause as they hugged and kissed their family and friends. The entire group then broke into a free skate before a reception later in the day.

Retmier, the Tri-Town Ambulance chief who started this week helping deliver the first Island baby of the new year before ending it with marrying the love of his life, was ecstatic after the ceremony, and kept it short and sweet when describing how he felt. “It’s the most amazing feeling,” he said of being married. “She is perfect.”

His wife shared similar sentiments. “This is the best feeling ever,” she said.


  1. Best wedding ever!! I love everything about it. Picture #9 is awesome. Best of luck to the happy couple!

  2. The wedding looked great, and a very unique setting I am sure. But I am not sure why the girls hockey team needed to be dismissed from classes to attend. I am pretty sure that the principal should have thought about letting students out for a non-academic reason, especially two weeks before mid-term exams… well maybe this is the future, letting students out for personal reasons …. But, I am sure the girls loved it, and it was a great opportunity for them to support their coach. They didn’t need those math and sciences classes anyway….

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