Courtesy of Matt Ziance
When golf lovers Matt and Kate Ziance tied the knot on July 3, they demonstrated perhaps the single greatest commitment of their lives.
We speak not of their devotion to each other, but to that of golf — and, more specifically, to what is for many fans the game’s crown jewel of major championships: the Masters.
The Ziance nuptials may have been the most impressive homage to the Masters outside of the first Sunday in April.
The couple’s wedding, which was held at First Presbyterian Church and Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan, Conn., was exceptional in its dedication to showcasing numerous “Masters”-full details:
- A personalized neon sign in the shape of the iconic Masters logo featuring the names of the bride and groom.
- A personalized Masters flag replica at the welcome table.
- As the groom, his parents and the rest of the bridal party walked down the aisle, the couple’s church music director, Terry Flanagan, played the Masters theme song, “Augusta.”
- The bride and groom’s nephews served as “ring caddies,” complete with personalized, adorable white jumpsuits and golf ball ring boxes.
- The flower girl carried a range bucket with balls, custom golf tees and rose petals.
- The couple’s pastor, also an avid golfer, delivered his take on the powerful marriage lessons that can be gleaned from golf during the couple’s vows.
- The reception, billed as the evening’s “Par-Tee,” began with a taped video message from Jim Nantz, who personally congratulated the newlyweds and greeted guests with his iconic, “Hello, friends.”
- The bride and groom’s grand entrance featured an attempt to make a lengthy putt across the floor — and the groom donning a custom green jacket of his own.
- The reception featured over 5,000 cookies baked by the groom’s mom, many of which were golf-themed.
- A Masters-themed cake featured a take on the famous logo and green jacket.
- Guests received custom “Hello, friends” dinner menus, and found their tables via a “Green Jacket” seating chart. The tables were outfitted with flags and labeled “Hole 1,” etc.
- The groom wore custom socks, a golf-themed tie, custom Nike gear for the after-party.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to make this 100 percent us than incorporating golf at every turn,” Matt said in an email. “We knew our favorite sport had to play a main part and that’s where the creative juices really started flowing.”
Though neither Matt nor Kate have ever been to the Masters, Matt says it’s a dream they hope they’ll one day realize, but they haven’t hit the ticket lottery yet.
Still, golf has formed the bedrock of their relationship. Matt, who carries a 12 handicap, has been playing since his childhood, but started getting more serious over the last five years.
When Matt and Kate started dating in 2020, Kate took up the game too, making her first hole-in-one in only her sixth full round ever. Matt estimates that the couple logged more than 60 rounds together in 2021.
As for the Masters mania — and Jim Nantz cameo! — you can chalk that up to Matt, a former member of the marketing team for NBC Sports, Golf Channel and the Olympics, and his networking savvy. In addition to receiving the greeting from Nantz, Matt also managed to get country artist Spencer Crandall to perform a song in-person for his August 2021 proposal to Kate in Nashville.
So, what does Matt think of his wedding now, looking back nearly three months later?
“It was a day unlike any other.”