Last Saturday, I was very happy to officiate a wedding of an attractive NYC couple, Derek and Hayley. In learning about their “story,” it quickly became clear that these two were BIG sports fans. And, like me, they had a penchant for college sports. Hayley was proud alum of the University of Michigan while Derek is a “Hokie,” having graduated from Virginia Tech. Indeed they, along with a number of friends and family members, reported that their early courtship greatly benefitted from their mutual love of college football. While Hayley is a self-described “girly girl,” she also enjoys a good tail-gaiting party and adored college ball. Meanwhile, Derek prides fancies himself a master chef, cooking the “fixins” for such festivities. As I prepared for their wedding, a thought came to me in a sleep-deprived moment: I wonder if I could get individuals from their respective football programs to send good wishes from Ann Arbor (MI) and Blacksburg (VA)? Well, ask and you shall receive! I didn’t have much time, because this idea dropped in my head a couple of days before the wedding. However, through the wonders of the internet, I was able to locate some folks who gave me a helping hand, preparing greetings that I read at the end of the ceremony. Justin Dickens is the communications officer for the football program at Ann Arbor, who wished them well, recalling the significance of alumni in supporting UM. And from Virginia Tech, Shane Beamer, an assistant football coach and son of head coach Frank Beamer sent the touching remark:
“I know how passionate Hokie fans and Wolverines are. Hopefully you two will carry that same passion over to your marriage. My wife and I are celebrating our fith anniversary next week. It’s been the greatest five years of my life. Accept my wish for much happiness and great success on behalf of me, my dad and the entire Virginia Tech football program!”
Since I am a “more is more” person, I decided at the VERY last minute…..wouldn’t it be fun to have college flags that could be waved at the appropriate moment when the greetings were read!? I should preface all of this by saying this is not my standard approach to ceremonies, however, it was a response to the very fun loving nature of the couple (and I passed this all by the best man, too). So at the end of the ceremony, to the surprise of all, I shared the greetings, pulling out neatly folded flags from my portfolio. (Can you imagine how hard it is to get these flags 36 hours before the wedding? For future reference, readers, there are online stores that have an unusually large selection of university flags. The overnight fee for delivery is quite high, however). I am happy to report, that the ceremony flourish was a huge hit! I had also made some simple, but fun, cards that the bride and groom held, thanking both Justin and Shane. While I am an Oklahoma Sooner, through and through, I was tickled pink to be connected to the Wolverines and Hokies, at least for a day. GO BLUE! GO HOKIES!