So you have decided that you want to get married in the fall, but you have a college football-obsessed family. While this may take some strategic planning, you can have a great fall wedding while also keeping at least most of your football-obsessed guests happy.
Plan a Midweek Wedding
If you want to avoid a scheduling conflict with a college football game, your best bet, especially if you need to work around several teams’ schedules, is likely having a midweek wedding. Saturday is the big day for college football games, although there are also generally a few games on Thursdays and Fridays. You can usually avoid a major football conflict by planning your wedding in the middle of the week. Before picking a day, you may still want to check the FBS football schedule to be sure there isn’t a potential middle of the week football conflict since there are a few Tuesday and Wednesday college football games starting in October.
Look for a Bye Week
If most of your guests are fans of the same team, go for a week that the team isn’t playing. This allows you to have a Friday or Saturday ceremony, and no one will have to worry about missing the game. You may even be able to work this if are planning around two or three teams. Maybe one of them has a bye week and the other team or teams play a Thursday game. Plan your wedding for that Saturday, and everyone will be happy.
Avoid Rivalry Game Days
Even if you can’t completely avoid a scheduling conflict with your family’s favorite college football teams, avoid planning your wedding on a rivalry game day. Even serious football fans realize that a family member’s or close friend’s wedding is important, and they might be willing to miss one football game (especially if they can record it and watch it later) to attend your wedding. They are less likely, though, to want to attend your wedding if it means missing a rivalry game. Plus, if it’s an in-state rivalry, you will likely have guests on both sides of the rivalry, increasing your chances of having fewer people show up to celebrate with you. At the very least, you might hear a lot of grumbling about how they had to miss the game for your wedding.
If the rivalry game is in the town where you are getting married or in a nearby town, you may encounter even more wedding day scheduling conflicts. This may include increased traffic, which may make it harder to get to your destination on time. Hotels might be booked, making it harder for out-of-town guests to find a place to stay.
Realize That You Can’t Always Win
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to work around football schedules, you may not be able to satisfy everyone. When that happens, just go for it. Plan your wedding when you want. After all, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle planned their wedding for the same day as the FA Cup Finals. Just don’t be offended if some guests pick the game over your wedding.
If you are a football fan yourself, add a football theme to your wedding to show others that you know they are sacrificing to come to your wedding. Football-themed invites and decorations can add to the fun. You might even want the DJ or someone else to update guests regularly on the score of some of the games they are missing.
If you are a diehard football fan, you may even want to have a large-screen television or several televisions set-up in a nearby room during the reception, which will allow guests to enjoy the game or games while also attending your reception. Having the game playing during your reception, though, may pull guests away from the reception during important moments, such as when you are cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, or enjoying your first dance as a couple.
One important thing to remember is that this is your special day. If you want to get married on a specific day, go for it, and enjoy your wedding day, no matter how many people decide to celebrate the day with you.