Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How Notre Dame Stole Our Wedding

Ben and I are both Notre Dame grads.

When we talked about where we actually wanted to get married, Notre Dame never really even came up.  As grads, we could have been married at the Notre Dame basilica and it would have basically looked like this:
Insanely beautiful and breathtaking
While a solid part of us is Notre Dame (hell, it’s where we met, dated, we’re just friends, dated again, all the while going to lots of football games and the occasional engineering class), we’re a lot of other things as well.  I’m a proud Arizonan, regardless if I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon or not.  Ben was born in California, grew up in Seattle and has the majority of his extended family in Chicago.  We didn’t want the typical cookie cutter, albeit outrageously gorgeous, overly enthusiastic Notre Dame alumni wedding at the basilica.  We wanted our wedding, unique as we are (ahhhh…).  That was a plan anyways, until Notre Dame came in and stole our wedding anyways.

We had planned it out to be innocent enough.  Our nod to our alma mater would be to play the alma mater during our presentation of flowers to the Blessed Virgin.  With two bridesmaids and two groomsmen who are also alums, I believed a Captain Planet type picture with all of our class rings was totally in order as well.  I had convinced myself that it would be an epic picture.
I was totally right.
But that would be it.  We’d have our awesome picture (check) and a sweet sentimental memory (check).  What I didn’t account for was that Ben and I were not the only Notre Dame grads at the wedding who wanted to make a nod to ND.  A fact made well known during our rehearsal dinner when the beautiful men and women of our bridal party presented us with this little gem: 

Our very own Play Like a Champion Today sign.  Only, they made it say Marry Like a Champion Today, those clever, wonderful fools.  This of course led to a photo of me slapping the sign on the way out of the bridal room in full dress and veil.  

And this photo, which I’m not quite sure of, but our best man is definitely channeling some serious Frank Underwood.

Not sure what my husband is doing though...
Then there were the push-ups during pictures with the bridal party.  The Notre Dame Victory proudly playing right dab in the middle of our post-dinner dance fest.  Even during the speeches, my maid of honor had me in tears telling me how it broke her heart when I left Arizona to go all the way to Indiana for school, but how she realized it was all part of the plan, for without Notre Dame there would not be the hunky man sitting to my right that I now get to call my husband.  (As I tear up again simply writing about that speech.  Biggest ugly cry I have ever had in my life…)

The final cherry on the cake came just a few days ago in the mail.  It was time we faced the Victory March music – Notre Dame is, and always will be, a huge part of us.

In conclusion, and in partial apology to all the wonderful, non-ND people that came to our wedding, I hope it wasn’t too gag-inducing for you.  For me?  I’m cool with the fact that Ben stole my heart and Notre Dame stole our wedding.


  1. Awwwww it wasn't SO bad. Speaking for the "cousins table," some of those moments prompted very humorous responses. Plus, the over/unders on how many times ND stuff would be mentioned in each speech saw Vegas-level action. ;-)

    1. Haha, nice. If nothing else, I'm glad someone made a little money on it!!

  2. I love your marry like a champion sign. Can you tell me where you had it made? I'd like to get one made for my cousin. My email is Thank you! Meredith.

    1. i would like to know as well. please and thank you.

    2. I've had some questions about the sign, here is what I know:

      One of my bridesmaids contacted a local sign shop and explained what they wanted. The letters are blue vinyl and it is on a wood plaque painted yellow. It looks like they coated something on top, to make sure the letters don't come up.

      I would contact a sign shop near you to see if they can mock up something. Or, if all else fails, head to!