When Adam Prybylinski and Melissa Hightower picked their wedding date and time nine months ago, they had no idea it would be smack dab in the middle of Gonzaga University’s Final Four game.
Hightower, a Gonzaga alum and big basketball fan, said she got a sinking feeling when she realized their ceremony would overlap with the Gonzaga/South Carolina match. And there was no way to move the time of the wedding.
“We’re stuck,” she said shortly before her ceremony began. “Everyone is coming from out of town. The time was set in concrete.”
They knew Gonzaga usually participates in March Madness, but an April date seemed safe. “When was the last time Gonzaga was in the Final Four?” Prybylinski said. “Honestly, with the track record from previous years, you wouldn’t think that would happen.”
Even Hightower wavered in her expectations. “In my bracket, I didn’t have them going very far,” she said.
The couple have been enthusiastically watching games all season. “I’m glad they’re doing well,” Prybylinski said. “I hope they can do it.”
“I think they should be proud of themselves,” Hightower said. “They’ve come so far.”
She became a fan before she got her master’s degree in teaching from Gonzaga. She was able to attend a men’s basketball game several years ago and found herself drawn to the enthusiastic student section.
“I just wanted to run across the court and join that energy,” she said.
Come Saturday afternoon, it was business as usual. The bride and groom got ready before their 4:30 p.m. vows at the Chateau Rive in the Flour Mill. Pictures were taken. Here and there people sat, staring at their phones as they watched the game.
But the crowd of 85 was somewhat smaller than expected.
“I’ve had coworkers say they can’t come because of the game,” she said.
The couple knew that some of their guests would still be watching the game on their phones during the wedding, and they were fine with that.
“I’m going to be like ‘What’s the score? Where are we at?’ ” Hightower said.
And with the Zags winning and playing again on Monday? The honeymoon won’t get in the way. The Prybylinski’s will find a spot to cheer on their favorite team.