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The Mighty Ducks Didn't Win the Stanley Cup, but He Still Said, 'I Do'

Steve De Sena, who proposed after hockey championship, gives his girlfriend a title.

September 28, 2003|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

Anaheim Mighty Ducks hockey fan Steve De Sena said he couldn't top the engagement, a wedding proposal that aired on national television during the Stanley Cup finals.

But on Saturday, he did.

At a wedding ceremony in Escondido, he said "I do" and gave his longtime girlfriend, Christina SerVoss, the title she dreamed of: Mrs. De Sena.

"I can't believe this day finally came," she said. "The wait was well worth it."

For the Mission Viejo couple, it was an appropriate end to an engagement that played out like a Disney fairy tale.

It started with a silly bet long before the Mighty Ducks were contenders for the Stanley Cup. And it came five years into their relationship, about the same time SerVoss, 30, was angling for a marriage proposal.

De Sena, 32, was pretty sure he was in the clear when he said to SerVoss, "I'll marry you if the Ducks win the Stanley Cup."

Then, a funny thing happened.

The Ducks kept winning. They made it to the playoffs. They upset the reigning Detroit Red Wings in the first round, then beat the Minnesota Wild. Before long, they were just one win away from a victory over the New Jersey Devils in the finals.

Although the games were exciting, De Sena and SerVoss added an extra twist, transforming the Stanley Cup finals into their own little reality show.

Inquiring minds wanted to know: Would De Sena really propose? What if they lost? And, to SerVoss: Was that really any way to secure a marriage proposal?

The Ducks lost, letting De Sena off the marriage hook. But at the end of Game 7 in New Jersey, with television cameras there to document the occasion and microphones shoved in their faces, De Sena proposed anyway.

SerVoss, of course, said yes.

On Saturday, De Sena said he wouldn't have changed a thing, nor does he regret waiting so long to marry.

"[I'm glad] I did it right here today, and right now," De Sena said. "I'm happy. I'm excited. No reservations."

That should have been the end of the story, or at least the end of their 15 minutes of fame. But their romance captured the attention of Diane Sawyer and ABC News, who have been shadowing the couple for the last few months, documenting their wedding planning for a show called "Vows," which airs in November. The show chronicles couples as they plan their weddings.

Crews have been there to see the anxiety and the nerves, the day SerVoss, overwhelmed by stress, burst into tears during a meeting with caterers.

"I think both of us, our nerves are shot," SerVoss said before the wedding. "We've had our moments and our challenges ... but I have no fear. I am going to be with this man for the rest of my life."

On Saturday, they were married in De Sena's sister's backyard, surrounded by about 75 close friends and family and more than a few news photographers. Wild Wing, the Ducks' mascot, was not there. The bridesmaids did not wear purple and green.

The couple did manage to work in a few hockey elements. Their wedding favors, for example, were a DVD that they titled "A Hockey Love Story," a compilation of their television appearances and highlights from the Ducks' season. And minutes after they were married, as a wedding gift to SerVoss, De Sena presented her with tickets to a Mighty Ducks hockey game.

De Sena says SerVoss insisted on a brief engagement because she had waited so many years for the marriage proposal. But SerVoss offered another explanation.

With their wedding date so close to the start of hockey season, he has no excuse for forgetting their anniversary.

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