Get to know Kenny Pickett’s wife.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback tied the knot with Amy Paternoster in an “adventure party” in New Jersey on June 24, 2023.
“She makes me a better person,” Pickett — who proposed to his bride back in January 2022 before the Steelers drafted him in April — told PEOPLE exclusively.
Although the couple only started dating in 2021, they have known each other for several years. In fact, it was sports that brought the NFL player and his now-wife together in the first place, as Paternoster is an athlete in his own right.
“I knew when I first started dating Amy that I wanted to marry her,” Pickett added. “Now that the day is here, it’s really special to get to spend the rest of your life with the person who means the world to you.”
Love filled the air at the wedding ceremony—not just from Pickett and Paternoster, but from the 275 guests in attendance. “We are super close with our friends who have been with us our whole lives, so we definitely wanted everyone there to celebrate,” Paternoster told PEOPLE.
In addition to the love and support of family and friends, there was another element sprinkled throughout the reception that meant a lot to the couple: all things Steelers. Between the wedding officiant and a Steelers ice sculpture, team spirit also filled the air.
Read on to know all about Pickett’s wife, Amy Paternoster.
She has known Kenny since childhood
Pickett and Paternoster go way back, despite only dating since 2021. The Steelers quarterback and his wife grew up in the same town near the Jersey Shore, so crossing paths was not uncommon, especially when two athletes visited same gym.
“We trained at the same place growing up because Amy played soccer and I played soccer,” Pickett told PEOPLE. “We started training at this place when I was about 12 years old and Amy was maybe 10, so I knew her growing up. from there.”
Their shared love of sports not only brought the two together, but also introduced them to an extended group of friends. “Since we’ve both grown up in the sports world, especially with Kenny more with Pittsburgh and football, he’s made great friendships along the way, just like I have,” Paternoster added.
She played soccer at Princeton University
While Pickett and Paternoster were very young when they first met, they reunited two years later — but only after they split up for college, where they were both Division I athletes.
“We never spoke and then she went to Princeton and I went to Pitt. We came home on a college break and saw each other at a party and hit it off,” Pickett told PEOPLE.
The NFL star played football at the University of Pittsburg, where he was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a senior and was later selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Paternoster played soccer at Princeton University, where she was named Academic All-Ivy in 2021.
Before college, so Paternoster more football successes. She was named Gatorade’s New Jersey Girls Soccer Player of the Year, on first person in her town to receive the honor. In addition, she was an All-American selection by the United Soccer Coaches and was selected to the All-State First Team twice.
She is educated in economics and finance
Paternoster graduated with honors from Princeton University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a certificate in finance. A full-time college athlete, she balanced sports with her studies after also holding prestigious internships at the same time.
Before graduating, she worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Fund of Funds Private Equity at Ardian. Now, Paternoster works full-time as a capital fund at PNC Riverarch Capital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She and Kenny got married in front of an NFL minister
In addition to family and friends, Paternoster married Pickett in front of another special person in their lives: Steelers chaplain Kent Chevalier. The NFL chaplain has served in Pittsburgh since 1999 and officiated the couple’s wedding.
After serving 22 years as pastor of the local church, Chevalier — a Pittsburgh native who goes by Reverend Kent (PK) — was invited by the Steelers head coachMike Tomlin, in 2019 to become an NFL chaplain through the ministry of Athletes in action.
She is very supportive of Kenny as he is towards her
Since the couple started dating in 2021, they’ve had each other’s backs. Apart from showing up for each other in person amidst their respective busy schedules, they have also shared their support for each other on social media.
“ACC Coastal Championship, Senior Day, and my first time seeing @kennypickett02 play in person! I love celebrating you, always so proud 🥺💙” Paternoster wrote Instagram in 2021. The heartfelt caption accompanied a sweet photo of the former football player hugging Pickett on the football field.
Paternoster was also by her then-girlfriend’s side when his name was first called by the Steelers on Draft Day in 2022. She wrote a sweet tribute to Pickett, paired with photos from the moment they found out, after the big announcement.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of you or how happy I am to see all your dreams come true. There is no one more deserving of this! I can’t wait to see all the amazing things , you have yet to achieve . Let’s go home!!! 💛🖤 #steelernation #herewego” she wrote.
Pickett is also never shy about publicizing his love and admiration for Paternoster on his social media.
“Happy birthday to my favorite person in the world!! Extremely grateful for you everyday and spending the rest of my life with you will be the greatest honor I could ask for…I love you!!❤️” he wrote on Instagram in celebration of his then fiancee’s special day in February 2023.
In January, he reflected on the one-year anniversary of their engagement. “Asked you to marry me a year ago today and every day has been better since!! A lifetime to go with my go to ❤️” Pickett sweetly written to his now-wife.