England’s almost nonexistent part in Brazil 2014 is about as miserable as it gets for many English international sports fans. However, as Rooney et al console themselves in the Caribbean grazing on lobster, it must have come as a huge relief to many brides around the country, because there is nothing that will divide, destroy and totally nullify your big day than having to compete with a major sporting fixture. You’re going to lose and whatever happens it’s not going to be pretty.
Wimbledon’s God fearing, sensible, middle class crowd know better than to corrupt a significant family celebration with the banalities of yet another date in the sporting calendar. Golf is played at such a pedestrian pace that the odd text update here and there won’t be noticed, and Formula One is so tragically dull that most enthusiasts are simply rerunning Youtube films from the 1974 season.
But football and rugby are different. The big games are frenetic, vital and demand to be watched for the entirety of their duration and most importantly, live. Unfortunately for most brides, nearly every big game from these codes will take place on a Saturday and usually in the Spring or Summer. Somebody, somewhere is going to come unstuck.
So what to do? Well, nothing beats a bit of prior preparation and planning. Always think about what sporting competitions are going to be held around the time of your marriage, because otherwise, when there’s a clash, the first thing you’re going to know about it is the barrage of texts and emails saying ‘didn’t you realise?’. No you obviously didn’t.
If the dates for the venue you’ve set your heart on can’t be moved then it’s time to grab the situation by the horns. If you’re both diehard sports fans then make it an integral part of the day and work everything around it. Theme the tables, gifts and colours accordingly. Embrace it. Celebrate it. And enjoy it. But if you’re not then don’t leave things to unfold ‘organically’ because you will have a living nightmare on your hands.
Nothing will kill the festivities quicker than unannounced and unscheduled, everyone stopping to watch a game, or just as bad; pacing themselves throughout the day in order to make a midnight kick off on the other side of the world. I’ve seen it happen first hand and the ‘happy’ couple almost became spectators at their own wedding. It simply doesn’t mix and you’ve got to let people know that from the outset, otherwise the ushers are will be sneaking in a 42 inch plasma or people will be glued to their smartphones.
If the venue has television, which many do, make sure they’re disconnected and out of bounds. If there’s wifi available make sure that the guests know tapping into it to watch the match is not what you had in mind. It may sound Draconian, and I am a huge sports fan, but let’s face it: it’s one game and with all the effort you’ve put into things, you deserve better.
So, England’s early exit does have a silver lining for some and not just those that hail from the rest of the UK.