Prior to my wedding nearly 17 years ago, my future father-in-law offered this bit of sage wisdom: “It’s hard to screw up a wedding.”
We didn’t – which proves his point dramatically.
But still much ado is made of planning a wedding. There are actual magazines devoted solely to planning weddings. You may have seen these “bridal” magazines. They are as thick as the Atlanta phone book, and entirely focused on the bride’s perspective.
As an equal-opportunity advisor, I am here to give the prospective groom, or his family, some helpful advice on planning a wedding.
While the bride is concerned with a thousand bits of minutiae involving the wedding, the beauty of this man’s guide to planning a wedding is that it consists of one, and only one, detail: The Wedding Date.
That’s it. That’s your sole responsibility. Everything after that is unimportant as far as you know.
Obviously, both the bride and groom want everyone who is special in their lives to be able to attend this occasion, so picking a date that is conducive to the best attendance is crucial.
The date of the wedding is not something to be trifled with – meaning, letting the bride handle it. That’s a recipe for disaster, low attendance, probably fisticuffs, and bad attitudes all around. Whatever you do, grooms, follow these guidelines in setting your date. Let her have her way with everything else.
That now embedded in your brain, you are not to plan a wedding:
• During football season.
Period. Anything from mid-August to the Super Bowl (late January/early February) is off limits. You may think it’s safe to plan your gala during one of the Georgia Bulldogs’ off weekends – it’s not. First, rehearsal dinners could interfere with high school football. Secondly, what if members of your bride’s family are (shudder) Florida or Auburn fans?
Just stay away from it.
• During the NCAA basketball tournament.
I know this from personal experience. Thinking Georgia wouldn’t make it far in the tourney (why would I?), I planned my wedding for late March. Tubby Smith’s Dawgs made a run that year. A loss in the final 16 saved my wedding.
• During the first or last week of hunting season.
You may want to try avoiding hunting season altogether.
• During the World Series.
You never know when the Braves are going to be in it, so detour the dates of the series if at all possible.
• On March 17.
If this date falls on a Friday or Saturday, you probably won’t get anybody from the Savannah area to attend your wedding. And if they do come, they won’t be sober.
Basically, you’re safe with a date from February through mid-March, then after the NCAA tournament until about mid-August. There are a couple of dates in December that could be squeezed in as well.
A word of caution: The bride probably won’t understand this logic. Insist on it. No offense, but your wedding may be the most important thing in the world to you and yours, but it’s not to everyone else. They’ll skip it if it means missing the seventh game of the World Series, or Bowling Green playing Western Kentucky in a meaningless college football game.
Yes, it is very hard to screw up a wedding, but it can be done from the very get-go without the proper planning. And to you, that means what? The date, right. Glad you’re paying attention.
No need to thank me for this valuable bit of intelligence. Your gratitude will be shown when you follow it, and I don’t get an invite to a wedding during football season.
© Len Robbins 2013