The wedding and The Game
March 28, 2005 6:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting married on Saturday. In Michigan. And, well, there's this baskeball game on....

Michigan State in the final four. I don't really care about the game, but surely some of our guests will - a good number of them went there, after all. It's a big formal wedding. The reception starts at 7, the game starts at 8:45. There aren't TVs at the site, but I'm not opposed to bringing one and setting it up somewhere. Should I be? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Am I asking for trouble?
posted by dpx.mfx to Human Relations (24 answers total)
Bring the TV and put it somewhere inconspicuous. Your MSU fan guests will love you. Some might spend all too much time at the TV but most will just be happy to be able to check in and find out what is going on. (Go Green)
posted by caddis at 6:35 PM on March 28, 2005

I think it would be a very gracious thing to do! I'd like to think that people could go without watching the game for a big event like a wedding--and most of your guests probably can--but there will always be a few die-hards who will grumble and groan about it (which will make dates plus others at the table miserable!). You're not obligated to, but you're definitely looking out for your guests' happiness if you make a TV available in an inconspicuous spot. The checking-in thing is key: likely most won't park themselves in front of it for the entire game. And without a TV, likely some will duck out to the car to listen to the radio for a bit anyway.
posted by handful of rain at 6:49 PM on March 28, 2005

Seconded. Make a joke about it at the reception, if you like.

Personal anecdote: a friend of mine was married on the day of the Germany-England World Cup Qualifier in 2001. His bride-to-be had made it very clear that she considered it impolite to sneak out and watch the match, so we all took turns to nip into the hotel bar and watch five minutes or so. I got to see Gerrard's goal at the end of the first half, but missed most of the second, only to find out when I sneaked back that both the bride and groom's fathers had been there the entire time.

Basketball's a bit different: you can't predict when the halfs will end, and I suspect most people will be polite enough to skip the first half, but catch the last five minutes on the game clock. So expect a mass exodus from the MSU fans then -- perhaps around 10.30pm. Lastly, stick the TV at a decent distance from the main reception hall: if you've designated a side-bar or smoking area, that's the place to put it..
posted by holgate at 7:02 PM on March 28, 2005

I wouldn't leave a bunch of chairs free for the taking right in front of the TV- if people *really* need to sit down and watch for a long time, at least make them feel bad for moving stuff around. :-)
posted by michaelkuznet at 7:05 PM on March 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

It'd be thoughtful and you'd be remembered very fondly for it. A small TV in the corner somewhere will be both unobtrusive and well apprecated. Making the Final Four is a HUGE deal to anyone who isn't Duke. Even to people who arn't *die hards*, it's probably a pretty big deal. (Last time Memphis made it to the final four, the entire city went crazy - fans and bandwagoneers alike.) Almost 2 hours into the reception, I don't think it'll be a huge issue anyway, but rest assured, the TV will actually generate socialization and discussion.
posted by absalom at 7:14 PM on March 28, 2005

I echo michaelkuznet, in that if you do this, make seating scarce near the TV
posted by edgeways at 7:23 PM on March 28, 2005

Just a point - MSU has been to more Final Fours in the last decade than Duke. Or anyone else, for that matter. Bring a TV; the wedding's for you, the reception is for everyone. (At least that's my feeling. I've never been married.)
posted by sachinag at 7:23 PM on March 28, 2005

I was at a music conservatory, and for my senior recital (me singing for an hour in a concert hall), all these family friends came, but the final four was that night, and several of them left the reception early to go hang out in the hotel. Honestly, this was a huge event for me, and I felt very pouty that they all left. I am not a sportsfan and basically don't get it.

So I say, provide a set so they don't have to leave, then your guests can check in with the game, or watch it, but at least they will be there. I think that's the best option. Face reality, that sportsfans need their sports. And just go with it!
posted by abbyladybug at 7:45 PM on March 28, 2005

If I was the bride, and you were the groom, esp. considering that this is a big formal wedding, I would kill you. If you are the bride, and your groom is among the MSU fans, he should thank his lucky stars he is marrying such a considerate person.

I think at a big formal wedding this would be out of place to the extreme. But hey, I'm the only one to say that so far...
posted by Raspberry at 7:54 PM on March 28, 2005

Bring one and set it up. You likely won't notice they're gone -- we married on a football Saturday and still had more than enough people to schmooze with at the reception [fortunately the hotel lounge had a TV for the sports fans].
posted by britain at 8:04 PM on March 28, 2005

I have to agree with Raspberry. This isn't, to my mind, something that belongs at a big formal wedding. If necessary, have someone who isn't there give you a call when the game is over, so you can let everyone know the score.

That said... it's your wedding. Just make sure you discuss it with your spouse-to-be, and expect a resounding 'no.'
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:06 PM on March 28, 2005

At best, tacky, very tacky. At worst: the mere suggestion to the bride will result in a canceled wedding.

Big 'formal'? Oh, wait, its Michigan. You're wearing your best bowling shirts? Never mind /snark (I'm Michigan native)
posted by Goofyy at 8:36 PM on March 28, 2005

You better listen to raspberry dude. Addicts can dip out to listen to the game in the car - it's her day & you better treat her like it or she has ways of making you pay.......
posted by Pressed Rat at 8:47 PM on March 28, 2005

Response by poster: Hey hey, I'm the bride. This is totally my idea.

I just asked the groom, and he doesn't care one way or another. My brother suggested having the DJ give periodic updates, but I think maybe that's more invasive than a small tv, maybe in a different room. I hadn't thought of the car as a way for people to get thier fix.... they have to go outside to smoke anyway.

I guess the bottom line is there is no way to make everyone happy - if we do it, some people will appreciate it and some people with find it horribly tacky. If we don't, some people will be exasperated, but probably find a way to check the score anyway. *ponders*
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:58 PM on March 28, 2005

Lots of good advice above. I think it's all pretty much on and the question is, when you ask if it's going to be trouble, whom are you asking for? That is, is your mate-to-be OK with this? If she/he is not and you try to use the voice of metafilter to convince them, against their will to have a basketball game on tv at the reception, oh man are you in for it. If, however, the other party is OK with it, and you're asking if you think it'll offend any of the guests or look gauche or something, I would not be too concerned about it.

Sorry for all the he/she-ing above. If this is a "one of us wants the game on and the other doesn't" I'm kind of assuming you're the guy. If this is the "we want to have the game at least available to our guests" then it could go either way. Maybe just my predjudices? Disclosure: I hate sports. But if there was a situation like this I'd allow the TV to be in the kitchen or the bar or something.

As the groom I was way too damn busy at the reception, greeting everyone and trying to cram in some time with people I hardly ever get to see, not to mention my blushing bride, that I could not give a damn what anyone else was doing. I spend countless hours ahead of time making sure the food was good, the cake was good, there was enough booze, etc, so that I could relax at my reception.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:05 PM on March 28, 2005

True story: I got married a year ago, during the Final Four. I don't care about basketball myself. My sister came down for the wedding with her husband. There was a F4 game in San Antonio (90 miles away) during my wedding. My brother-in-law (and their 9yo son) went to the game. My sister showed up with some guy she met on the street.

My own feeling is that a TV would be out of place. If you bring one, put it somewhere out of the way. Also remember that unless you perform surgery on the set, the guests can turn up the volume if they decide to.
posted by adamrice at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2005

Put the TV in the men's bathroom on mute.
posted by davey_darling at 9:12 PM on March 28, 2005

you know, in this day of very small portable tvs, the odds are that at least one guest is going to sneak one in ... if you see several groups of people huddling, that's why ...

you may as well set up a small tv ... some are going to be watching whether you do or not
posted by pyramid termite at 9:18 PM on March 28, 2005

Well, damn, if both of you are OK with it then do it. People who think it's tacky have to watch the game.
posted by schroedinger at 9:47 PM on March 28, 2005

*people who think it's tacky don't have to watch the game
posted by schroedinger at 9:47 PM on March 28, 2005

one very important thing that I'm not sure has been made clear enough:

if you decide to put a tv somewhere, put it COMPLETELY OUT OF EARSHOT. Whether you can hear the game or not, you would be far more likely to hear people yelling and screaming at the game. Even if none of the people who'd watch seem like they'd do that, there's a different animal that comes out when people watch competitive events in a group on the same tv. Then they all cheer one another on and do the wave and shit. Avoid hearing it if you can.
posted by shmegegge at 12:31 AM on March 29, 2005

you could tape or TiVo the game and then make an early announcement about how no one is to spoil the results, and then have the TV going with the tape-delayed game at the end of (or in a designated area of) the reception.
posted by norm at 7:57 AM on March 29, 2005

Ask the person you are about to marry. Whatever his or her answer is is the correct one.
posted by terrapin at 8:44 AM on March 29, 2005

I always think real life events are more important than TV. Your wedding reception is a party where your closest friends and family celebrate with you. If you want TV to be part of that, that's up to you. I know taped sports events are not as wonderful as live, but you could ask a couple of friends to tape/tivo it and make it available to the sports fans after the reception.
posted by theora55 at 9:29 AM on March 29, 2005

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