Well folks, summer is officially upon us! School is out, camps are gearing up, summer workouts have been distributed and coaches and players are scattered all over the country. One of the other ways I can tell it’s summertime is the amount of wedding invitations covering my refrigerator! 2 short years ago, mine was one of them. I’m going to go out on a limb and say mine was probably pretty easy for people to spot too! I never imagined myself as a non traditional wedding person. I always imagined my wedding in a church or outside with chairs lining the aisles, flowers down the walkway and either cute pew bows or mason jars with tealights adorning the way to meet my nervous, handsome almost-husband. Then I got engaged to a coach! Now, don’t get me wrong, our wedding day was the most magical, most amazing day of my life. I wouldn’t change one single thing about it. Well, maybe one. We didn’t do reveal pictures, where he sees me for the first time. But that’s okay, I can live without those considering how amazing the rest of our day went.
Let me back up. Coach and I were engaged in February of 2011 and didn’t get married until June of 2012. Lots of time to plan, right? Not when you lose 4 months to football!! And it did NOT help that everywhere I thought would be perfect was out of this world expensive. Seriously, how does anyone afford these places?! Just as I was getting good and discouraged, my hubby came up with a solution….get married on the football field! My reaction? Um, no. Who does that? Who thinks that’s even KIND of cool? Nope. Not happening. So we went back to doing it my way and the clock kept ticking. We had an engagement party, set a date, sent save the dates…no venue. I didn’t want to decide on dresses or suits for the wedding party until we found a venue and forget about flowers or anything else. I was getting desperate. Finally one day I decided to see if there was ANY way I could make a wedding work on a football field work, just so I could shut my fiance up about it. Turns out, it’s not such a crazy idea! I didn’t find as much as I would have if I was getting married on a beach or in a “normal” location, but then I started to get excited….if we had a unique location….I could do unique things! I begrudgingly admitted to my then-fiance that he was right, it wouldn’t be so bad and instantly became “the coolest wife ever!”
After I stopped being stubborn and started thinking outside the box, planning got SO much easier. I found my dress almost immediately (PRO TIP FOR BRIDES TO BE: Don’t be afraid to get creative here! I got a bridesmaids dress, ordered it in white and ordered the sash that came with it in one of our wedding colors. Total cost with alterations: $220!!), coordinated the wedding party and started on the detail ends. We ended up having a friend who is crafty make our invites. They looked like game tickets, complete with a perforated edge. Then, we made up a “season ticket” type letter that outlined the wedding day schedule and read like the type of letter you get with season tickets. Those were HUGELY popular among our friends. The most-heard reaction to them? “Yep, this is SO you guys!” And honestly, your wedding is supposed to be about YOU as a couple so that was the greatest compliment we could have gotten! We mixed in other details as well; the ring bearer carried a football (because I forgot to buy a pillow), we got married smack on the 50 yard line with chairs and, yes, benches serving as guest seating and we even got ready inside the locker room. Our photographer took my cue and most of our pictures tie in with our theme; from the guys down in a 3 pt stance to us ladies holding “Team Bride” signs and megaphones.
We carried the theme into our reception where an amazing baker friend of mine made us a 3 tier cake with a scoreboard, football field and a baseball on top (coach used to be a baseball coach) and it all looked like it was floating on a bat. All of which was edible. Don’t ask me how it tasted, I forgot to eat any!! Our centerpieces were whiteboards with football plays drawn up on them and we ran through a paper banner that my bridesmaids surprised us with the day of the wedding. SO many little details that made our day amazing, and I’m sure I’m missing a TON. The best part was we asked so many of our friends to be a part of our day. My friend the baker, one of my husbands oldest friends (and fellow coach!) married us, his former quarter back was our DJ, another friend catered, my friend drove 12 hours to be our photographer….the list goes on.
So for any of you brides (or grooms) to be who are serious sports fans but who are worried about bucking traditions, my advice to you is to BUCK. My wedding day was NOTHING like I had imagined it was going to be growing up. And I am SO glad it wasn’t. It was by far the best day of our lives together and to this day 2 years later, our friends still compliment us and talk about it. Sports themed or traditional, that day is YOUR day. Make it the most magical day of your lives!!