Here Comes the…Quarterback

Don’t make your loved ones choose between you and football.

By Luke Robinson


A wedding can be such a joyous thing. A true time honored tradition representing a sacred union of two caring souls. Yin agreeing with Yang to file taxes jointly forevermore.

If Al Gore’s Internet is correct—and it always is—this beautiful ceremony dates back hundreds of years to when Liz Taylor married some guy that looked a lot like (but wasn’t actually) Moses. No matter its origin, I think we can all agree that a wedding can be a deeply meaningful event to be cherished. So why in the name of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s garter belt would anyone want to have a wedding on a fall Saturday in the South?

I realize that this next statement is redundant for most of you, but September through November weekends are for football. Really, it’s more like August through National Signing Day in early February, but I am willing to negotiate.

When you plan a wedding on any of those available Saturdays, you are essentially making the guests choose between you and something they wait for the other nine months of the year. If the people are in your nuclear family, they have little choice but to go to your wedding. If they aren’t, you may not like the results of the attendance. But you can’t blame them for missing your wedding…It’s really not their fault. People miss their own birthdays, christenings, graduations, kids’ dance recitals, surgeries, and Nobel Prize receptions to see Auburn play North Dakota State. You think they bat an eye at missing a wedding they aren’t in?

I don’t mean to burst bubbles here, but the old saying that the wedding is all about the bride is as erroneous as “for richer or poorer.” The wedding is about the guests! You have the wedding so people can talk about the wedding. That champagne tower isn’t going to drink itself; it needs to be appreciated and absorbed by those lushes you call sorority sisters.

Let me put it this way: Try to remember the last marriage ceremony you went to. What do you recall? Probably the groomsman who passed out in the flowerbed outside of the country club. Maybe the two hot bridesmaids. Perhaps losing your wallet at that bar afterward only to find out you didn’t lose it, but had left it on top of golf cart that transported people to and from their cars. Do you kind of, remotely or even vaguely, remember the bride? (Fathers of the bride, you are excluded from this exercise.) That woman could have worn a dress as white as the sands of Destin with flaming shoulder pads. She could have laced a bustier that made it look like she could breastfeed a Brontosaurus. She could have sported K.I.S.S. boots with goldfish in the soles. But there is no chance you would remember that because the wedding is about the fun after the wedding.

Now, another game of memory for you: Can you recall the last fall Saturday wedding you attended? I bet dowries to donuts you know exactly whom Alabama or Auburn was playing, don’t you? You probably have a great story about how you and 15 others crammed into a coat closet because some guy named Richard (or Rocky or Roman—you can’t remember) from Alabaster had the “Watch ESPN” app.

I still remember Oct. 12, 1996. A great friend was getting married on the beach. The air was crisp. There was not a cloud in the sky. A flock of doves formed a heart and hovered above the reception (OK, I made that up.) One problem: Alabama was playing N.C. State.

Post-ceremony, the bride, having noticed a group of us huddled around some boxy bar TV to catch the final minutes, asked us to “mingle” and defiantly boasted that football would not stop her special day. We waited until she was out of sight and then we started watching again. Once we got resettled, someone mumbled, “She better be glad we weren’t playing Tennessee.”

See what I mean? All of a sudden, this “special” moment is forever remembered for being a burden rather than a wedding. As a footnote, that couple later divorced. Perhaps there is a moral in there somewhere….

I know some of you may think you outsmarted the system and plan on a Friday or Sunday fall wedding. Really, those are just as bad. Fridays are for parking RVs, Boston-ing butts, or watching high school games. Sundays are for fantasy football and nursing hangovers. Mondays are out, too, because you need to recover by falling asleep to Monday Night Football. Tuesdays and Thursdays are no good due to ESPN’s using those nights for mediocre college games so you can make up ground with your bookie.

Here’s my advice: Just wait until the spring. There’s flowers blooming and baby animals being born and all that other sentimental junk. But if you must get hitched in the fall, do it on a Wednesday.

Leave a Reply