Love on the gridiron

Sonja Stoykovich and Logan Pachesny took their vows on Saturday on the 50-yard line at Manistee High School. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Sonja Stoykovich and Logan Pachesny took their vows on Saturday on the 50-yard line at Manistee High School. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Local couple ties the knot on 50-yard line

MANISTEE — The only thing Sonja Stoykovich and Logan Pachesny might love more than each other is football.

“Fellow teammates, we are gathered here today to kick off game day,” said William Schoedel an ordained minister who officiated the couple’s wedding on Saturday. He was decked out in a referee’s shirt, while standing on the 50-yard line of the football field at Manistee High School.

Before the ceremony began, the bridal party rode on up 12th Street on the back of a semi truck decked out in Packers colors for the football-themed wedding. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Before the ceremony began, the bridal party rode on up 12th Street on the back of a semi truck decked out in Packers colors for the football-themed wedding. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

The couple took their vows on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd seated in the bleachers on the home team’s side, while the scoreboard read 09:09 for the time and 20-17 for the score.

Holding was “allowed and encouraged,” and Stoykovich and Pachesny vowed “never to apply for free agency and never to ask to be traded.”

Both agreed “to have and to hold, in good games and bad games, through illness and injury.”

Not only was the theme football, but the bride’s side was decked out in Green Bay Packers colors because Stoykovich has always been a big fan, while the groom’s side wore Lions colors to represent his team.

“When we decided to get married we thought it would be really cool to do a football wedding with both teams,” said Stoykovich. “With that being said, if you’re going to do a theme wedding, you should go all out.”

Before the ceremony started, the bridal party travelled up 12th Street behind the football field — in their Packers green dresses — aboard the back of a Lutke semi truck that is yellow and green.

“We’re both crazy football fans,” said the bride. “We talked to the school and the school said nobody’s ever asked us to rent the football field before, but I’m sure we could work something out.”

The scoreboard at the football field at Manistee High School had a special message on Saturday. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

The scoreboard at the football field at Manistee High School had a special message on Saturday. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

While the wedding party wore dresses and tuxes, that’s pretty much where tradition stopped.

“We are not doing traditional vows, the vows have been written in football terms. Our music is non-traditional; we’re using Jock Jams for our music,” said Stoykovich, who walked down the “aisle” to “The Final Countdown” by Europe.

No football themed wedding would be complete without a tailgate party for a reception.

The wedding party donned team jerseys over their formal attire for the party and guests were encouraged to wear their favorite team apparel.

“We’re coming into the reception as football players would coming onto the field,” said Stoykovich.

Pachesny said everything at the reception looks like a football field.

“The tables are made to look like the field, we have a bunch of Green Bay Packers and Lions balloons,” he said.

Stoykovich said that everything about the wedding has been football themed from the beginning, even the bridal shower.

“(Our family was) all on board right from the get-go. They all thought it was pretty cool,” she said. “Once we told everybody what my vision was for the whole thing, they took off running with it.”

The couple met about four years ago and reconnected a few years later while playing co-ed softball.

Pachesny proposed while the pair were building a snack stadium for football season at his parent’s house.

“Now we’re using the snack stadium as part of the wedding,” he said.

Pachesny, who played soccer for 17 years, said he never thought he’d get married on the football field of the high school from which he graduated.

“That was her dream — of having a football themed wedding — and I went with it,” he said.

Mr. and Mrs. Logan Pachesny promised to "have and to hold, during good games and bad games" during their football-themed wedding ceremony on Saturday. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Mr. and Mrs. Logan Pachesny promised to “have and to hold, during good games and bad games” during their football-themed wedding ceremony on Saturday. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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