Here's your complete guide to scheduling a fall wedding: do not ever do it.
Fine, a little more detail. Don't have it on a Saturday in the fall.
If you must have it on a Saturday in the fall, don't live in the South, Midwest, Texas or anywhere else specifically afflicted with the college football condition. Having a fall Saturday wedding in Massachusetts is probably for the best.
But let's say you're stuck with putting on a wedding in the fall. I won't pry into why you've set yourself up like this. We're not here to judge anything other than what a bad person you are.
Now that you've made a mistake, please, please try to proceed with football in mind from this point on. Because you still have to pick a specific Saturday, and certain Saturdays are better than others. This isn't to say that picking the worst college football Saturday is acceptable. Not by any means. Your guests will grumble, huddle around phones, smuggle a TV or just straight up run away.
Last year, I made it out of a fall Saturday wedding for a lifelong friend in 23 minutes, catching up on LSU-Auburn on the way out with a local matriarch who was also leaving early. SB Nation associates were wowed when I declared, "brb wedding," and returned shortly after, but it's a required skill around these parts.
This shit is serious. But you can at least contain the damage by accounting for football.
Take SBNation.com's NFL editor Joel Thorman for example. He's also the founder and editor of Arrowhead Pride, the undisputed best Kansas City Chiefs site. So he needed to arrange his fall wedding to mitigate football losses, even if the only football taken into account was mere pro football.
"The NFL controls bye weeks, but teams can request weeks off," the crafty villain says. "The Chiefs usually request the weekend of the NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway. I planned my wedding that weekend and got lucky when the schedule came out."
The Chiefs' bye is on the third Saturday in October this year, which would make Thorman fit for frying if he tried this in the mid-South. When asked whether the fact that nearby Mizzou is also off that weekend makes him feel any less guilty, Thorman replied, "I guess a little."
(He does not appear to feel guilty whatsoever about any of this.)
But the point remains. If a fall wedding is in the cards, arrange your hand so that you miss the least amount of critical football possible. Therefore, here we have this fall's Saturdays ranked from really bad wedding dates to a couple of the worst possible wedding dates ever.
Note! This isn't a ranking of the weeks as a whole, but just the Saturdays. If you're requiring a multi-day wedding event in the fall, I cannot save you.
1. December 8
The Army-Navy Game. America shouldn't have to send you its gift registry for just a little of your attention once a year, but go ahead and have your wedding if you maybe don't like freedom.
However, FCS playoff action abounds, and your loved ones will have to figure out what that looks like by 2014 one way or another.
2. September 8
A wedding is about the joining together of two families. Have we got the perfect replacement, then: the SEC family absorbing the Missouri and Texas A&M families. With the big out-of-conference games done and most conference action still ahead, this is pretty much your only decent chance for the rest of the year.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Georgia-Missouri, Washington-LSU, Florida-Texas A&M, Penn State-Virginia, Iowa State-Iowa
3. December 1
Conference championship day, plus the second round of the FCS playoffs. But with the Pac-12 game on Friday, we can consider this a window. A really, really slim one.
4. September 29
When conservatives talk about protecting the sanctity of marriage, I assume they're talking about making sure everyone can watch Mike Leach coach against Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer take on maybe the Big Ten's best defense. Can't imagine any other political issue that would have anything to do with marriage.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Ohio State-Michigan State, Arkansas-Texas A&M, Texas-Oklahoma State, Oregon-Washington State, Wisconsin-Nebraska
5. September 15
Significant rivalry action is underway, which means it's far too late to squeeze an acceptable wedding into this season. I'm sorry, but you're now getting married outdoors in July. Linens are recommended.
(Also, I won't list this one among the best games, but can you imagine how cruel you'll feel if you prevent your family from watching Wake Forest beat FSU again?)
Five games your wedding is less important than: Alabama-Arkansas, USC-Stanford, Notre Dame-Michigan State, BYU-Utah, Florida-Tennessee
6. September 22
Brady Hoke seems like a man who'd tell you he prefers a small, traditional wedding, but by the time he's got it all set up, a flamenco band is performing in the nude for thousands from within a Golden Corral chocolate fountain. (You should entrust your wedding to Brady Hoke.)
Five games your wedding is less important than: Michigan-Notre Dame, LSU-Auburn, Clemson-Florida State, Kansas State-Oklahoma, Missouri-South Carolina
7. November 10
College football's best possible wedding crasher duo: Mike Gundy and Dana Holgorsen, yes?
Five games your wedding is less important than: Arkansas-South Carolina, West Virginia-Oklahoma State, Georgia-Auburn, Texas A&M-Alabama, Kansas State-TCU
8. October 6
I left out at least three games here that would've been instant additions to one of the weaker Saturdays, so it's safe to say we've entered the terrible vibes portion of the list. You will get gift cards to Kohl's, which only sells XL Makaveli Branded shirts and purple Clemson flip flops.
Five games your wedding is less important than: West Virginia-Texas, Georgia-South Carolina, Nebraska-Ohio State, LSU-Florida, Washington-Oregon
9. November 17
The impending marriage of Lane Kiffin and Jim Mora surpasses any entertainment you would be able to line up anyway.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Oklahoma-West Virginia, Ohio State-Wisconsin, USC-UCLA, Stanford-Oregon, Iowa-Michigan
10. October 13
Unless you're prepared to serve an entire fried reception, including fried cake and a fried first dance, you probably shouldn't try and pull people away from the Red River
Shootout Rivalry Shootout.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Oklahoma-Texas, Stanford-Notre Dame, Alabama-Missouri, USC-Washington, South Carolina-LSU
11. October 20
If you are brave enough to schedule matrimony on a Saturday that's had its own name for decades, be prepared to distribute victory cigars to any survivors.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Alabama-Tennessee, Michigan State-Michigan, LSU-Texas A&M, Penn State-Iowa, Virginia Tech-Clemson (and a rematch of the game that killed the BCS)
12. October 27
The punishment for scheduling an event of any sort during the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party should be having to attend next year's World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Florida-Georgia, Ohio State-Penn State, Michigan State-Wisconsin, Notre Dame-Oklahoma, Michigan-Nebraska
13. November 3
We'll assume you've had a major family hardship this year if you're insisting on this particular date. I'm sorry for your loss, and Grandma Junewedding will be dearly missed.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Alabama-LSU, Oregon-USC, TCU-West Virginia, Missouri-Florida, Oklahoma State-Kansas State
14. September 1
Depriving your loved ones of the finest opening day in sports is one thing, but this is going to be an especially great opening day, starting with Notre Dame-Navy in Dublin at 9 a.m. ET. West coasters have to start drinking by like 5 in the morning. Dozens of fan bases enter Sept. 1 with mathematically reasonable championship hopes.
This day is everything. I'm serious. Do not trifle with this day, unless most of your family went to Maryland.
Five games your wedding is less important than: Alabama-Michigan, Auburn-Clemson, Notre Dame-Navy, Urban Meyer's Ohio State debut, Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech, Rich Rodriguez' return, even Indiana is undefeated, Matt Barkley being wonderful, why can't you just let people besides you be happy?
15. November 24
ARE YOU TRYING TO GET SOMEBODY MAIMED
Games your wedding is less important than: ALL, ABSOLUTELY ALL, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING
After all that, you've really got to be high to think a wedding during bowl season will go unchallenged, and the BCS title game is followed by the beginning and end of the NFL year and National Signing Day, all of which leads into March Madness.
As always, May and June are the only acceptable wedding months, and if there's too much competition for those dates among your social circle next year, you're going to have to wait until 2014. This is all for your own good.
While we’re here, let’s watch some college football videos from SB Nation’s new YouTube channel together: