What to Do When Your Wedding Falls on Game Day

A few thoughts on unexpectedly sharing your nuptials with a big sporting event.

What to Do When Your Wedding Falls on Game Day

Photo: Karlisch Photography

Sports fans, listen up! 

Weddings are such happy, romantic affairs – but, as any wedding professional will tell you, the preparation that goes into the planning process is often very extensive. In the modern age, many couples select to plan for about a year due to the sheer volume of decisions that need to be made, not least of which is the venue and the date. Because most pairs need to pick a day that falls many months or years away, it’s next to impossible to take important events around the date into consideration: namely, “the big game.” If you and your partner are big fans of a particular sport, it probably goes without saying that you should aim to book your nuptials during the off-season as not to risk planning to tie the knot on an important game day. However, just because you’ve avoided selecting a date that might conflict with your favorite sport does not necessarily mean that day will be sports free. If you’re walking down the aisle in your hometown and their basketball team happens to make the playoffs for the first time in years – well, that’s not something you can plan for.

If your vow exchange is drawing nearer and it’s becoming apparent that your dream date is also playing host to a pertinent match, you have some last-minute details to consider. First off, resist the urge to panic. Most of the time, the biggest key to successful wedding planning is remaining calm, even when faced with extreme obstacles. If the sport and/or game itself is particularly important to your wedding’s region – and, more specifically, to a majority of your guests – don’t think the worst and expect last-minute declines. Have faith in the friends and family who RSVP’d “yes.” You may get a no-show or two, but those can occur with or without the presence of a sporting event. 

Guests may reach out to you raise concerns about the conflicting events – realize that this query is fairly rude, especially if they’re insisting you try to accommodate. Snapping will only serve to exacerbate the problem, so a short and direct, “Thank you, but we’re already aware” should convey your feelings. 

In this situation, it is important to keep in mind what the aspects of a wedding truly mean. It is not unreasonable for you to want your guests to be present during your ceremony, as the vow exchange is for the couple, but the same cannot be said for the wedding reception, as that is to thank your guests for sharing in this day with you. Some revelers may take the time to watch or listen to the game from their phones, and some will go as far as to search for a nearby television with cable. Depending on the number of attendees, you may not even notice this happening, but if it’s becomes apparent, focusing on the big picture is the most effective coping tool. As there is nothing you can do to stop the game, you can either lean into idea of the game and embrace the excitement or you can choose to ignore it. Trust in your vendors: they’ve worked hard to create a day that’s full of love, entertainment, and culinary delights that are sure to keep revelers engaged. Most likely, dedicated sports fans can recognize the importance of this day and enjoy themselves – while perhaps occasionally checking to see the current score. 

Find out what not to expect from your wedding planner and discover what you should do after you get married.

Opening photo by Karlisch Photography