A Boston Bruin Marries His BU Sweetheart at the Boston Public Library
A Bruins defenseman and his bride celebrate their love in a ceremony at their alma mater Boston University, followed by a historic-meets-modern affair at the BPL.
For her first date with Boston-University-Terrier-turned-Boston-Bruins-defenseman Charlie McAvoy, Kiley Sullivan wore a mermaid costume. Charlie was dressed as Average Joe from the movie Dodgeball. Yes, it was a Halloween party. The pair met through friends in their freshman dorm earlier that year, then bonded over hockey. Kiley is the daughter of Michael Sullivan, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and a former Bruin.
Charlie was recruited by the Bruins during their sophomore year while Kiley stayed on to earn a degree in health science (she recently completed a nursing degree at MGH Institute of Health Professions, too), but that didn’t dampen their romance. In the summer of 2022, prior to attending a teammate’s wedding in Lake Como, Charlie proposed with a cushion-cut diamond on a boat under Faraglioni Rocks off the coast of Capri. Bruins captain Brad Marchand suggested the romantic scenario. “Legend is that if you kiss under the rocks, you will be in love forever,” Kiley says.
Following a ceremony officiated by Kiley’s uncle in Marsh Chapel at the couple’s alma mater, 268 guests celebrated at the Boston Public Library, where they dined on seared filet mignon and lump crab cake and boogied at an ice-themed disco after-party. “I studied at the Boston Public Library during college; it’s the most beautiful place to me,” Kiley shares.
Montilio’s created a towering cake with a fluted architectural design that plays off the table bases in the library’s Bates Room; white orchids cascaded down its multiflavored layers. “Charlie is a big foodie, so we did three different flavors: Italian olive oil cake, chocolate tuxedo cake with chocolate mousse, and vanilla-bean cake with blackberry mousse filling,” Kiley says.
THE COCKTAIL HOUR
During cocktails in the courtyard, lemon trees and cacio e pepe hors d’oeuvre recalled the betrothed’s Mediterranean adventure while a decadent raw bar injected Boston flavor.
In creating the décor elements, including the band’s deep-green paneled backdrop punctuated with brass sconces, Keri Ketterer Walter took cues from interior design photos that Kiley shared. “The size and scale of the library can engulf you, so we incorporated details such as custom-built bars and the band backdrop that personalized each space,” says the event designer and planner.
THE GETAWAY CAR
Charlie learned to drive stick in order to whisk away the bride, who channeled Audrey Hepburn with a Christian Dior headscarf and Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses, in a 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster.
When the initial gown she ordered didn’t fit quite right, Kiley headed to Manhattan’s Mark Ingram Atelier, where she plucked a Carolina Herrera gown off the rack. The strapless column dress is one of the label’s last, as in 2022, the fashion house shifted its focus to ready-to-wear. Kiley slipped into a beaded gown by Retrofete for the reception. “I wanted something youthful, fun, and comfortable for dancing,” she says.
Kiley’s love for orchids and the table lamps in Bates Hall inspired the all-white palette with gold and green accents. Lush arrangements of orchids, English roses, ranunculus, and other blooms graced the long oak reading tables set with brushed gold flatware, mossy green velvet napkins, and cut-crystal candleholders. “The lamps are such a symbolic piece of this place, I wanted to highlight them,” Kiley says.
Seaport-based menswear designer Christopher Cuozzo, a go-to for Bruins players, made Charlie’s and his groomsmen’s bespoke tuxedos. The lining of the black jacket Charlie wore for the ceremony was printed with the couple’s engagement photos, including one featuring their French bulldog, Otto. Charlie changed into a formal white dinner jacket, also by Cuozzo, for the reception.
THE SEATING CHART
Hockey pucks—the décor’s lone ode to the game—embellished with a drawing of a library lamp and the popular hockey phrase “Light the lamp” served as escort cards. The pucks were displayed in an arched case that echoed the courtyard arcade and declared, “Score a seat.”
Wilson Stevens Beantown Band
Bar and Lounge
Form Creative Services
Jenny Yoo, Flair Boston
Montilio’s Baking Company
The Catered Affair
Always Yours Events
Suzanne B. Lowell
The Glamour Cosmetics Team
La Affitto and Peak Event Services
Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Bob Bassill and Rent the Classics
Willow Tree Films
First published in the print issue of Boston Weddings 2024.
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