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7.30.2005

Wedding odds 

Sitting in front of my laptop Saturday night of a conference, I am so thoroughly bored that I'm flipping through the Sports Guy's archives.

I stumble upon this old mailbag entry:



Q: What types of non-sporting events do you bet on? We recently attended a wedding in Atlantic City, and had the following lines in play:

Number of bridesmaids: +/- 6

Number of ice sculptures: +/- 3

Length of church service: +/- 45 minutes

Time when first drunk guest makes a fool out of themselves: +/- 9.30 p.m.

Any ideas for other events? -- Mike K., Philadelphia

SG: You came to the right place. I've attended so many weddings over the past 10 years, they've all merged together into some sort of drunken haze. And let's face it: Every wedding is pretty much the same. By the time you hit your late-'20s, you could care less about who's getting married; you only want a fast ceremony, an open bar, and a cool balcony or deck outside where everyone can smoke butts.

So sprucing the festivities up with gambling. ... I mean, that's inspired genius. Let's assume that we're working with a 5 p.m. wedding ceremony, just for the sake of accuracy. Here are some other things you could gamble on:

1. Quality of the best man's toast vs. quality of the cake (even odds): This one could be especially fun if you wagered heavily on the best man, then he choked in his speech, and you wanted to kill him afterward. And yes, few things in life are more enjoyable than someone screwing up a best man's speech. I can't believe somebody hasn't turned "Worst Best Man Speeches" into its own TV show yet.

2. Girl who catches the bouquet hooks up with the guy who catches the garter (10-1 odds): I've only been to one wedding where this ever happened, so the 10-1 odds seem generous here.

3. Groom's horny friend starts grinding on the dance floor with somebody's attractive cousin who isn't 21 yet (even odds): And somebody's mother is always horrified. You can usually see this one coming. As an aside, I was delighted when this exact scenario happened at my wedding. It was a dream come true.

4. Band plays "I Will Survive" (+/- 8:45pm): I hate this song. There's always that one girl on the dance floor who just broke up with someone and gets a little too into the lyrics. Calm down, honey.

5. Token slutty bridesmaid goes after a waiter, band member, or any friend of the groom attending the wedding without his girlfriend (wager $400 to win $100): Easy money. When you mix the emotions of "I'm sad because my friend's getting married and I'm still single" with "I'm horny and drunk" and "Everyone looks good because we're all dressed up," just about anything's possible. They probably can't make these odds high enough.

6. Groom cries or faints during the wedding ceremony (3-1 odds): And here's the worst thing: You can't really make fun of them afterward. It was too big of a moment. So you might as well wager on it.

7. Puking or fisticuffs during the reception (10-1 odds): Although these odds drop to 3-1 in the general Boston area.

8. The Mother-Groom dance is "You Look Wonderful Tonight" (20-1 odds): We needed a long-shot wager on here. Imagine the excitement if you had 20-1 on Clapton and those first few seconds of the song started playing.

9. Fat guys dancing without their jackets and sweatstains under their arms (+/- 2.5): Another great part about weddings. Huge, sweeping sweatstains are always funny.

10. The token "couple who's been dating for three years and either need to get engaged or break up" have a huge blowout during the wedding reception (even odds): Not good times. Uh-oh ... I'm having flashbacks ...

And the ultimate long-shot bet...

11. Wedding called off at last minute (50-1 odds): It's dark, it's evil ... but a $10 bet wins you $500. More than enough to pay for your tux.


No wedding I have ever been to has ever had the prospect of any of these items happening. I think I need to find new friends.

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