Ice Network

Brought together by skating, Hollanders get married

Comedic skater, bride incorporate humor into Michigan wedding ceremony
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Emily and Dan Hollander shared a heartfelt wedding day with family and friends. -David Lamarand

Dan Hollander said he doesn't usually stay until the end of weddings he attends, but he made an exception for one he went to a couple weeks ago -- his own.

"You see it, you sit for a while and then you leave. I was a little concerned about that," said the two-time U.S. bronze medalist, who married fellow skating coach Emily Chase on Oct. 17 at the Wabeek Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. "I thoroughly enjoyed our wedding. We stayed to the very end.

"There was never a time where we weren't either dancing or talking with people and having a nice time," he added.

Chase, 35, and Hollander, 43, didn't use a wedding planner and did much of the work themselves. Hollander even built the chuppah (a traditional Jewish wedding canopy) himself.

The ceremony combined Jewish and Christian traditions. The couple didn't write their own vows, preferring to use selections they found on the Internet, but they did pick a memorable officiant: Nancy Viveiros, an ice dance coach that Hollander met when they judged Audrey Weisiger's Young Artists Showcase comedy challenge a few years ago.

Vivieros is also a stand-up comic, and she put her own unique twist on the wedding ceremony.

"She asked us a few questions and we gave her an overview of how we started dating and our relationship," said Chase, who is changing her name to Hollander.

Viveiros presented the couple's story in a poignant yet funny way. They didn't want to hear it before their big day, instead choosing to enjoy the presentation for the first time along with the audience.

Chase and Hollander met while coaching at the Birmingham Ice Arena and began dating in 2013 after he convinced her to go for a ride on his Harley. He crafted a surprise romantic proposal in May of this year at Skate for Hope that involved a flash mob including Jeremy Abbott, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue. It took them only five months to pull together a wedding for 162 guests.

"We always have goal planning and stuff throughout our skating and coaching careers, so it was easy. You list it out, then you just tick them off," Hollander said.

"I didn't even feel I was under a lot of stress," Chase said.

"It helps that we both have the same minimalist taste," Hollander added.

The bride bought her David Tutera dress at a small boutique in Wyandotte, Michigan. Her maid of honor, Stephanie Dziad, is a longtime friend whose daughter was Chase's first student. The two bridesmaids were longtime friends and teammates on a synchronized skating team.

Hollander's best man was Glen Doyle, whom he met years ago at a kung fu seminar. Over the years, Hollander has studied the Chinese martial art as well as Irish stick fighting with Doyle.

"The best man's speech was awesome," Chase said.

Chase skates on the Crystallettes senior and adult synchronized skating teams at the Dearborn Figure Skating Club, and coaches the junior and pre-juvenile teams.

Being part of a team has helped prepare Chase for married life.

"I'm definitely used to compromise," she said. "It's very easy for me."

Their first dance was to the song "Darling, I Do" from Shrek Forever After. They took ballroom dance lessons to prepare but preferred not to have a set choreographed routine.

Hollander, who found his niche as a comedic skater on the Champions on Ice tour, still performs several times a year. He coaches at the Royal Oak Ice Arena. One of his young students recently landed her axel just three months after finishing Basic Skills.

The newlyweds, who are expecting their first child in May, have postponed their honeymoon until the spring.