National Women’s Hockey League players Anya Battaglino and Madison Packer shared photos of their weekend wedding on their social media accounts, and they are simply gorgeous.
You may recall the happy couple got engaged in July 2018 at the Boston Public Garden. Packer is from Detroit, but Battaglino, who is now retired from the Connecticut Whale and serves as the director of the NWHL Players association, is a native New England girl.
So it should come as no surprise that the nuptials were held at one of Newport, Rhode Island’s most sought after resorts, Gurney’s. Battaglino and Packer exchanged vows outdoors beside a lighthouse, and captioned the photo: “I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day” #HappilyEverPacker
And check out these pictures she tweeted of the brides, wedding party and the fireworks that evening to celebrate their special day.
The most perfect day ever. Professional Photos are on their way. I’m officially a Packer! #HappilyEverPacker #BestSelfieEver pic.twitter.com/kGGhEjdq7f— Anya Battaglino (@battaglinoa) August 17, 2019
For proof positive of sheer happiness, it doesn’t get much better than this photo from Packer’s Instagram account.
The league also sent its congratulations with a tweeted candid photo following the “Royal Wedding.”
Our hearts are full.— NWHL (@NWHL) August 17, 2019
Congratulations, Anya & Madison!#HappilyEverPacker pic.twitter.com/uEJVYld7DR
Battaglino and Packer’s blissful wedded life begins against a backdrop of drama involving players who have threatened not to play this fall. They include Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne-Schofield, and according to SportsProMedia, more than 200 of the world’s top female ice hockey players. Despite a one-season deal reached by the league and the union in late May, SportsProMedia reports many are still boycotting professional hockey in North America, “in a call to arms to address the current state of the sport.”
As SportsProMedia reported, most players in the five-team NWHL do not earn a living wage and must work second jobs to live. And this phenomenon isn’t limited to the U.S. or to women’s hockey, given the boycott just announced by Swedish women hockey players, and the ongoing lawsuit filed by the U.S. Women’s National Team against the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal pay.
The hockey boycott movement in the U.S. started in April, using the hashtag #ForTheGame, after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League suddenly folded. Although the boycott has the support of the NHL and NFL player unions, Battaglino issued a formal statement that her union believes the #ForTheGame movement will actually set women’s ice hockey “backward.”
For her part, Packer has committed to play in October for the Metropolitan Riveters of New Jersey, and as The Athletic reported in June, the boycott now seems to be on thin ice, with other players deciding to play as well.
But the start of the season is still several weeks away. And from this stunning photo posted to Instagram, labor troubles for the Packers seem far, far away.
We send our heartfelt congratulations! You can, too, using the hashtag #HappilyEverPacker