One of my dearest friends has been planning her dream wedding since she was a little girl. Honestly, every single one of my friends (myself included) has been planning her dream wedding since we were little girls. This particular friend (McKenzie) had been planning this particular wedding (to her groom, Zeus) for the last 13 months. McKenzie and Zeus met a little over three years ago, started dating a little over two years ago, and were engaged a little over one year ago. They. Are. Perfect. Together.
McKenzie and Zeus were set to tie the knot on Nov. 3. As their wedding approached, I was starting to get the wedding fever: excited for an excuse to get dolled up with my beau, have a night out with a few cocktails, obviously celebrate this couple's unification and love for each other, and maybe even steal a few ideas for my own wedding (down the road... a pretty long road). Then she came. Sandy. She hit like a bat out of hell. She was tropical, destructive, angry, and she did not give a sh!# that McKenzie and Zeus were getting married. Sandy ravaged the East Coast, and has destroyed homes and so many lives. She has devastated our shoreline and millions of people have lost power, heat, water, gas etc. As she raged on, McKenzie and Zeus received word from their reception hall (booked 12 months ago) that they were not going to be able to provide the hall, food, cake, and decor for their wedding; i.e. they cancelled. Two days before the wedding day. (And to boot, they were not going to refund their money. But that's an issue for another post...)
So the happy couple cried. Then they put their pretty little heads together. They spoke to their priest, who spoke to the principal of a school across the street from the church where their ceremony would be taking place. They spoke to their friends and family. And they went shopping. They were getting married AND they were going to celebrate with all of their loved ones. In the school gym.
So here are the top 10 reasons why you too should get married in a school gym:
10. School gyms are almost always in very close proximity to churches/halls/judges' quarters. The 'commute' time from marriage ceremony to paaartay is minimal and no one will get lost.
9. School gymnasiums have phenomenal ambiance. The lighting is great. Ask any prom photographer. And who does not have at least one great memory spent in their school gym? If you don't have one, believe me you will make one.
8. The bathrooms. There are more bathrooms in any school than in any catering/reception hall. There were no lines for the bathrooms. And the bride had plenty of space to use the facilities. Enough said.
7. It's cheap, if not free.
6. You and your family and friends can decorate any way you like. McKenzie and Zeus continued with their fall theme, and the place looked beautiful. And you can use smaller and/or larger tables... you are not committed to the 10 or 12 only persons per table.
5. Dance floor. First of all, the dance floor was HUGE. No pushing or clawing at other party-goers to get close to the bride and groom. Everyone had plenty of room to dance and 'get down' and 'lift your hands up and shout'.
4. The DJ had to work for his money. Because alcohol is not allowed in schools (we will get to this point next), those who would dance with some libations, do not dance sans said libation. Hence the DJ had his work cut out for him. Luckily, McKenzie and Zeus had picked a good one and everyone was up on that dance floor for at least a few songs.
3. No booze. Now, I know, I know, no alcohol is a sin at most weddings. And believe me I was a bit disappointed in this as well. But this celebration was different. The music played and the people danced. There were no ugly slips on the beer-soaked dance floor. There were no ugly red wine stains on pretty white dresses. And most importantly there were no sloppy drunk cousins hitting on the young single ladies. Alcohol was not needed.
2. The food. Ohhh the food. Now, I know that food at weddings is often amazing. But I have been to a few weddings that the food was not so amazing. McKenzie and Zeus asked a favor of some of their closest friends and family: potluck please? Oh my, the spread was AMAZING. There was no chasing down a snotty waiter for 'franks in fillo' or lines at the dry carving station. This food was real. It was home cooked. And believe me it came with love. And there was a lot of it. There was enough food to feed 100+ people three very large meals. It was unbelievable.
1. And the number ONE reason you too should have your wedding in a school gym: Because it doesn't matter where you get married as long as you get married and get to spend the rest of your life with the person you LOVE.
Click through the slideshow below to see photos from the wedding.