TESTIMONIAL: How a viral tweet became the defining feature of my wedding day

How one writer wore a Sacramento Kings jersey to his wedding


Photo courtesy of Felipe Silva

State Hornet sports features writer Richard Ivanowski and his wife Kate walk down the aisle at their wedding on Saturday, June 15 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Getting married is serious business. It involves months of intense planning and staggering amounts of money. It means pledging your life to another person, often with spoken vows that include words like “obey,” “serve,” “sickness” and “death.”

I’m not very good with serious things. They stress me out. So as my wedding day approached this past summer, I tried to find a way to lighten the tension that I was feeling with a joke. And in order to maximize that relief, I chose a very public platform to broadcast that joke.

My then-fiancée Kate and I were out shopping for my wedding attire. Kate asked me what I wanted to wear and I didn’t have an answer. I was having trouble deciding because every option felt overly formal and alien to me.

This was until we passed by a sports apparel shop on the way into a department store. 

“A Kings jersey,” I finally responded to my suddenly horrified fiancée. “I want to wear a Harry Giles jersey to our wedding.”

She balked at the idea, as any sane woman would. She looked like she wanted to shove me into one of the jewelry display cases that we were now meandering through on the way to the menswear section. 

Not to be deterred, I began the negotiation process and looked to my fellow Kings fans on Twitter for help.

“How many retweets for you to let me do it?”

Kate set the bar at 10,000 retweets. With my connections to the Sacramento Kings community, it actually felt like an achievable number. And even if I came up short, it would at least provide a nice distraction to my overactive and worry-prone mind.

I quickly got the deal in writing and fired off a tweet. My phone started exploding with notifications almost instantly. Within an hour, Sacramento Kings power forward Harry Giles himself had seen the tweet and told his followers to help me out. 

Story continues below tweet.

By that point, we were in the dressing room trying out some options. I shifted my focus to a black suit with a purple lining, in order to match the jersey that I now felt was likely to be part of the ensemble. I received a message from someone inside the public relations department for the Sacramento Kings asking me if I wanted him to really blow it out. 

“Absolutely,” I said, as I picked out a purple pocket square.

The official twitter account for the Kings retweeted my request, followed by NBA players Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein and Jayson Tatum. 

I was nearly halfway to my goal by the time we checked out and started heading home. I knew that my once lighthearted joke was fast becoming a reality. Kate knew it too and was now exacting her revenge. 

I made a series of concessions in order to keep Kate happy. She got full control of basically every other aspect of our wedding. I accepted her suggestion to carry out a lot more chores around our apartment in the foreseeable future. I may have also surrendered some naming rights for the children we hope to have one day.  

Kate ended up enjoying it all herself. She enjoyed all the kind wishes sent our way. She enjoyed all the diehard sports fans that tagged their fiancés in response to my post with pleas that their partners be as benevolent as Kate when it comes to their big day. And she definitely enjoyed buying a new outfit for our live interview in the CW31 studio for Good Day Sacramento.

That television appearance was the final push we needed to cross the threshold. I reached my goal in less than 72 hours. We went out and bought his and hers jerseys the next morning. 

Harry Giles celebrated the success as well, sending out a tweet congratulating us, offering a blessing on our marriage and thanking us for choosing him.

Story continues below post.


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A few weeks ago two Amazing things happened. A man by the name of Richard Ivanowski married the love of his life, now Mrs. Ivanowski. The second amazing thing is he did it while wearing my jersey! There was a goal to reach before he could do it lol (slide to see) but It’s Something that doesn’t happen often, if at all and something I would’ve never thought could happen with me. To think that someone thinks so highly of me and supports me to that point is the reason I will continue to stay me. But it isn’t about me it’s about this family. Thank You for making history and having me apart of memories you will share forever. I pray you guys love last forever and it’s everything you want it to be. One of the many reasons I go hard for Sacramento. 💜💜

A post shared by Harry Giles III (@hgiiizzle) on

Picking Giles’s jersey was no random choice either. When I started out into the field of sports journalism, Giles was the first NBA player that I interviewed in a postgame press conference. 

After all, it was Kate who encouraged me to follow my dream of being a sports writer. So it was only fitting that I chose a player who represented a meaningful milestone for me on that path.

There were a few moments where I thought the whole situation would turn on me, but it didn’t. Kate was surprisingly accommodating, Kings fans and players alike were enthusiastic and my suit-and-jersey combination looked surprisingly sharp. It all came together in a beautiful moment that I can accurately describe as the best day of my life.

When I ask Kate about it now, she tells me that it was actually one of her favorite parts of the wedding. While certainly nontraditional, it injected the whole affair with some of my personality. She loves me, she says, so how could she not love this crazy idea of mine? But I suspect that the thing she loves the most is how much ammunition she now has on me.

“Remember when I let you wear a jersey to our wedding?”

It’s a question I hear several times a week. And it’s a real lesson in one of the most important aspects of marriage. Relationships are about give and take, and my wife played her cards perfectly to get whatever she wants in the future. I owe her a lot. Namely, the rest of my life, and then some.