ATLANTA -– The Atlanta Hawks have announced that ‘Swipe Right Night’ couple Ben McCleskey and Avery Armstrong will say their vows and get married center court of Philips Arena on Saturday, March 3. Nearly two years ago, Hawks Chief Executive Officer, Steve Koonin offered to host and pay for the couple’s wedding should they ever decide to get married. The ceremony will take place on the hardwood at Philips Arena and will be followed by a reception for more than 200 guests in the arena’s newly-opened, exclusive Courtside Club.
“Everyone at the Hawks couldn’t be more delighted for Ben and Avery to tie the knot on our home court,” Koonin said. “What perfect example of our team’s mission coming to life – uniting the city through basketball. We are honored to host the happy couple, along with their friends and family on their special night.”
In 2015, McCleskey and Armstrong, both Shorter University students at the time, began their relationship at the Atlanta Hawks’ first ever ‘Swipe Right Night’-themed game where fans had the opportunity to meet up with matches from the popular Tinder app in real time. In 2016, the couple returned to Philips Arena as guests of the team for ‘Swipe Right Night 2.0’. It was then the offer of Philips Arena was extended as the future wedding location for the pair. After several Hawks games, two years of dating and a newborn baby, the couple took the team up on its proposition.
David’s Bridal has partnered with the Hawks to provide the soon-to-be bride with dresses for the wedding day. In January, David’s Bridal invited Armstrong to its Kennesaw location for a visit with an in-store styling team to guide her through the selection of her wedding gown, along with dresses for her flower girl, mother and 11 bridesmaids. Get a behind the scenes look here.
“David’s Bridal is thrilled to partner with the Atlanta Hawks to help bring Avery and Ben the wedding of their dreams,” said Elizabeth Crystal, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP at David’s Bridal. “Our Kennesaw store had a wonderful time styling Avery and her bridesmaids, and we can’t wait to see the happy couple make it official.”
Following the ceremony, the couple will treat their guests to an early evening reception in the arena’s exclusive Courtside Club for a night of dining and dancing. Located just behind the basket, the club recently opened as part of the first phase of the arena’s $192.5MM transformation project. The space is the most exclusive club in the arena, usually reserved for floor seat ticket holders and features the signature Hawk Bar, the only on-the-floor bar in the NBA.
“Ben and I are beyond thankful for everything that the Atlanta Hawks have done for us,” Armstrong said. “Philips Arena is where it all began and it just seems fitting that the next big milestone in our lives together happens there. The stylists at David’s Bridal helped me find the dress of my dreams! It made this entire experience even better.”