Just when I think I’ve got the timeline all sorted out, those sneaky jerks at How I Met Your Mother throw me a curve ball. I know that right now you’re thinking, Corina, we already know this! In the season 8 episode “Band or DJ?”, Ted told us the wedding was on May 25th, 2013.
You’re right, he did say that. It was a definitive date and it made for exciting news in the world of HIMYM. Finally, we knew when Ted was to meet The Mother! This wasn’t an issue at all until season 9 popped up and suddenly that date did not make sense.
Season 9 opens on Friday at 10 am, with 56 hours to go before the wedding. That means the wedding is scheduled for Sunday, May 26th, at 6 pm. How can this be, when Ted specifically told us that the wedding is on May 25th?!
After rewatching “Band or DJ?”, I’m thinking this isn’t quite as big of a deal as it seemed. I originally thought it was Future Ted that told us about the May 25th, 2013 wedding date. In a way it was (in a way the whole show is Future Ted telling us stuff, right?) but it came from present Ted’s mouth. Ted says that the wedding is planned for that date when he tells Lily about the church, the reception, etc. This isn’t the same as Future Ted clearly remembering the night that he met his soul mate.
So, at this point it is simply that the wedding was scheduled for the 25th, and at some point between 4 months and 1 week prior, it changes to the scheduled date of the 26th. I hope they address this change in the show this season, but they might skip over it. Thoughts, anyone?
Theory 1: The show made a mistake. Future Ted should have said May 26th, or else they got confused when they created season 9, and accidentally scheduled the wedding for a day later than they originally planned.
This is what I thought at first, but after some consideration I don’t buy it. The show is too careful for this big of a mistake. Yes, there have been plenty of discrepancies. But those are about little things, like whether Marshall had ever been in a fight or whether Lily and Marshall actually shared a toothbrush. These aren’t big discrepancies about such an important moment. Plus, this entire season is based on this one weekend. It’s not like they would have just screwed up one episode with this mistake. It would literally screw up the timing of the entire season. I just can’t see that level of ineptitude at work here.
Theory 2: Future Ted screwed up the date in his telling of the story. I suppose this could be resolved by him telling the kids, whoops, it was actually the 26th! Or maybe The Mother comes in and corrects him. Here’s the rub with this theory – do we really think that Ted, of all people, would forget the date that he met his one true love? This is Ted Mosby we’re talking about! Ted probably celebrates this date every single year and gives The Mother a lilac. They might go to the same Farhampton Inn every year and not just in 2014. Ted is just not the type to mess up that type of romantic detail.
Theory 3: The wedding is scheduled for Sunday, May 26th, but it actually happens on Saturday, May 25th. I know it’s weird for a wedding to happen a day early. A day late, sure, that’s easy to believe. But a day early is pretty odd. That being said, this isn’t the real world. Even if it were, I’m sure there are real world instances of weddings happening a day earlier than planned. Also, we know (per Ted, so take it with a grain of salt at this point) that this wedding goes horribly wrong. So it is possible that, in the course of going horribly wrong, the wedding has to be moved up a day.
Possible reasons for a changed wedding date:
- Preacher shows up a day early and isn’t available the next day
- Another wedding ending up being scheduled for Sunday (hotel error)
- Barney & Robin realize the 26th is associated with something bad, or the 25th with something good, which makes them reconsider when they want their anniversary to be
- They have weddings on both days, so everyone can be involved (think a Marshall and Lily scenario of having the wedding they actually wanted and then the big wedding they had planned)
- Someone is about to die?
- Someone important has to leave early
These actually make plenty of sense. The most logical idea is that Ted has to leave Saturday night instead of Sunday. His interview is scheduled in Chicago, but Monday the 27th is/was Memorial Day, so perhaps that holiday screws with the timing. Maybe Ted got a ticket for the wrong day and couldn’t exchange it. Maybe it doesn’t have to do with Ted at all, who knows.
The other benefit of this date change would be a wedding that is more mid-season than end of season. All of season 9 is set within this one weekend, so a wedding one day early would likely mean a wedding several episodes early. I like this idea, because it gives us more time to see everyone in the aftermath of all the big changes.
There are complications with these ideas, though. Having the wedding a day early gives Marshall 24 fewer hours of travel time to get there. It would make more sense to have it delayed a day because Marshall couldn’t make it. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Also, this depends on all of the guests, members of the wedding party, etc all being there and available a day earlier. It does seem like Barney and Robin have invited everyone to join them for the entire wedding weekend, though, so this might not be a problem.
Since Ted meets The Mother at the Farhampton train station, after the wedding, it seems that Ted’s train ticket was for the 25th. But why? Here’s where it gets really interesting for me: I think Ted thought he got a ticket for the 26th, but he got it for the 25th because deep inside he doesn’t want to be there on that day. Ted is doing everything he can, consciously and subconsciously, to avoid everything about Barney and Robin being married.
It’s just like when he checked “no date” on the RSVP card for Stuart and Claudia’s wedding. If you think back to that episode, who is the one that called Ted on that mistake and said it was because inside, deep down, he wanted to be single? Barney. It all comes together!
Now that your mind is blown, here is a lovely wedding picture of Barney and Robin to make you smile. The Examiner.com site credits this photo to Warner Bros for CBS: