Project: Wedding Begging

by admin on June 27, 2011

Jordan and Brian want you to know that their wedding is an experiment called “Project: Priceless“.

Project: Priceless is an experiment. The goal: to get Brian and Jordan married in the next year, as free-of-charge as possible. The method: the happy couple will borrow, trade, and accept donations of elements (stuff, services, etc) for the wedding. Everyone who contributes to the occasion gets a shout-out, and any businesses or artisans who contribute get big shout-outs. Contribute, or follow along just for fun to see how things are going.

There’s just an itty bitty problem Jordan and Brian.  This “experiment” has been done before.   The first “gimme the wedding of my dreams” web site was called something like www.giveCindyawedding.com or some such thing.  I don’t have time to research the exact URL but I wrote about Cindy’s web page at least a decade ago and she’s mentioned in one of my books.  Cindy wanted the world to fund an extravagant destination wedding which included travel for all guests, a lavish reception, limo rentals.  What tipped it for me was the jet ski rentals for the bachelor party.    Cindy had to take down her web site due to the high volume of people ridiculing her greediness.

Then there were the ebay auctions trying to solicit money for weddings.   The earliest I know was in January 2003 when seller “breezycarol” posted an auction soliciting cash donations for her wedding.   That auction ended with a grand total of $4.00 being donated.

About 8 years ago or so, a Georgia wedding vendor sent me a hand out she had received from a prospective groom who wanted to parley his vast business marketing skills into accumulating donations from wedding vendors in exchange for all kinds of promotional “shout outs” which included advertising in the invitations, at the reception, on the programs, even in the Thank You notes.   Wedding guests were going to be spammed to hell by wedding advertising whether they liked it or not.  The tawdriness of it was enough to repel this Georgia wedding vendor from having anything to do with the greedy  fiasco.   It’s documented somewhere on this site in the old archives (anyone with more time find it?).

Even Usenet wasn’t immune from pathetic beggars.   I had an entry in the Gimme category way back in 2000 (the exact story ID number was Gimme1118-00) which documented the spam post to Usenet made by a young man trying to solicit funds for his wedding.  A few years ago I received an email from him demanding I remove that entry or else I would hear from his attorney.  He claimed he had been hacked all those years ago.  The original Usenet post is still in the archives so I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

So, using the Internet to beg for a wedding beyond one’s means is nothing new or unique.  It makes your little legal disclaimer at the bottom of your page, “This project concept is the property of Brian and Jordan”, pretty laughable and obviously utterly meaningless and unenforceable.

I have a few things to say, Brian and Jordan, and anyone else tempted to follow in their footsteps…

1. No one owes you a wedding.   Claiming to deserve other people’s money and services because you are such wonderful people or you are poor/in debt or you’re such a civic servant is a false appeal that manipulatively plays on people’s pity or sense of rightness.   There are millions of  people who plan a wedding and get married without a single hand held out begging from the community to reward them for being “awesome”.  I occasionally run into couples who mistakenly believe that because they have done this or that for others, that these people “owe” them a wedding.   The difference is, I set them straight in the privacy of a meeting room because their comments have only fallen on my ears alone.  You, however, have broadcast your appeal worldwide and you get a worldwide broadcasted statement.

2.  Have a wedding within your means.  If Mommy and Daddy have given you a “pre-wedding gift” trip to Miami (in a prior incarnation of the site, photos of a trip to a Caribbean island were mentioned, too),  it appears the means have been there all along to have a respectable wedding.     The wedding blog sister site of Ehell has a post detailing a wedding for 110 guests, with buffet dinner, that cost a whooping $3,000.00 total.  For my own daughter’s wedding last October we hosted 100 guests to a buffet dinner reception with a budget of $5,000.00 for the entire wedding so when I talk about having a wedding within your means, I’ve walked the talk.   It can be done and done well.   One does not need a limo or a make up artist or a string quartet or, in the case of Brian and Jordan, a leather jacket and wedding tattoos to have a fun, lively, lovely wedding day.

3.  Dear Vendors, a whole lot of us take notice of tawdry business behavior that cheapens the solemnity of a wedding and we won’t be using your services or products as a result.  Participating with greedy brides and grooms who are willing to sign their wedding souls over to the advertising devil to turn their wedding into a commercial billboard is really bad business and marketing.   As a wedding coordinator, you have just been scratched off my list of vendors I would ever work with because you cannot be trusted to have the best interests of the bridal couple or their guests in mind and your tastes, if not your ethics,  are questionable.

4.  The mother of all Stag and Does?  What, donations not up to expectations?  Gotta invite as many people as possible to rake in more cash.   After all, their cash is so much more important than their presence at your wedding.   And the poor suckers who attend the SAD and the wedding are going to get stiffed for more money if they want a dance with either the bride or groom.  The giant piggy bank you want to collect money dance cash is a blatant, in your face statement to guests that every step of this wedding is paved with grubby bridal paws wanting more money.

5.  Yes, Brian and Jordan, I am a hater.  I hate how people like you cheapen weddings with “product placements” and “shout outs” from self serving vendors so intent on making a buck that they don’t care if they turn your wedding into one big wedding vendor commercial your guests have no choice but to see.  I hate that you promote the idea that being a failure at thriftiness and restraint with your own money should be rewarded with free money and services/products from others.   You want something beyond your current means?  Then you work hard for it, save for it and don’t expect to profit from the hard labors of others to give you what you are not willing to work to have.    Begging is not a virtue.

Someday, when you are older, you’ll have an epiphany like the aforementioned bridal beggars and you will rue that your wedding memories are forever marred with tacky commercialization, beggary, pathetic appeals for things that really don’t matter how one gets married, and an internet history that will stay in archives for decades.  Because the Internet never forgets.  Ever.

{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Daniels June 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

I got married in a city park, which cost nothing. We had a few friends and relatives, a minister, and lovely fall colors in the trees.

Then we all went out for Chinese.

I don’t know/remember how much it cost, but it had to be under five hundred bucks, and two of them were what I slipped to the minister for taking up his time on a Saturday afternoon.

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josie June 27, 2011 at 11:21 am

Let’s hope that several quality sessions of premarital counseling are included on their wish list of freebies. Marriage is intended for life….the wedding is one day/weekend.

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Joe J June 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

So, gas prices, foreclosures, and unemployment are skyrocketing, most of us are struggling to keep our finances in the black month-to-month, and these two have the cheek to beg for an extravagant wedding from us, in return for a “shout-out”? Oh, let me give THEM a shout-out. Hint: it’s two little words, and the second one is “you”.

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Wink-n-Smile June 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

When I read the first line of this post, I thought, “How charming. They are asking their friends and family to give priceless gifts, such as helping them to compile a family history to start thier new family life together. A family album that can be handed down to the next generation – now that truly is priceless! What a wonderful experiment in wedding gift-giving! It’s priceless for the recipients, and cheap/free for the givers.”

Then I read the rest of it. Ugh.

I like the name, though, and if I get married, I’ll be shameless and grab the name for my own “project priceless.” I know, you don’t mention gifts on the invitation, but you can use word of mouth to spread the word – “Please upload a family story, picture, video, or such at http://www.projectpriceless.com. Be sure to include full-name identifiers for all people involved, as with a blended family, there may very well be two Uncle Johns, or Aunt Agathas.”

That would be a wedding gift to treasure forever.

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Pers June 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

I’m embarrassed to report that these people live in my city. I can’t believe how moochy these two are. My co-workers and I are looking at their website and laughing. We can’t believe the audacity of these two. The whole tone of the site is unapologetically moochy and gimme. It’s like they feel entitled to these “donations”. Pathetic.

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Wink-n-Smile June 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

How about these people ask for help in bartering for what they need? “We’re low on cash, but young, healthy, and strong, and willing to work for what we need. We need flowers for the wedding. Are there any florists out there who would be willing to hire us to work part-time, in exchange for the flower order? Caterers, do you need dishwashers? We’re getting married next year, so we can arrange several stints washing your dishes between now and then, in exchange for the meal at the reception.”

Now that sort of thing isn’t greedy, but it does allow the bride and groom to get the wedding they can’t afford, monetarily. I’d certainly support that sort of thing.

It’s the gimme attitude that gets my goat.

Here, have a goat.

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Hemi Halliwell June 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

Amen, admin. 100% agree with every single word. No one owes anyone a wedding even if you are the most awesome person alive. If you do not have the funds to get married the way you want, then you should wait until you do or bring those plans down a few notches. Having big, extravangant weddings are for show; it does not mean you love your husband/wife anymore than someone who has a more modest ceremony and reception. Expecting a wedding and/or begging via the internet under the guise of it being a project is tacky. If your wedding is a project, what is your marriage? An experiment?
I got married at the courthouse, in a dress from a dept. store. We had photos taken a local photography studio and have been happily married for 13 years. We did not want or need a huge wedding to make our marriage awesome. It’s awesome because we *love* each other.

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--Lia June 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I wonder what these people are like after the wedding, wonder if they ever make the distinction between friends and customers. Do they ever just invite people for dinner or to watch a ballgame without thinking of what they can get in return? Do they ask themselves if it’s worth making love if they can’t sell the video?

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A June 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Egads! I agree with you, Admin, all the way. I found out an old friend of mine (I haven’t seen her socially in years) tried hosting some sort of raffle/fundraiser at a bar to raise money for her wedding. Oy! That wedding didn’t take place so maybe enough people had the same reaction as I did.

My fiance and I will be having a small wedding that we can afford since, silly us, we think the wedding is about being in love and getting married….not all the bells and whistles.

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FLS June 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

These two are just… revolting. I won’t even take the free tasters at the grocery store because it makes me feel like a gimme pig. I can’t even imagine the audacity. And the tackyness… oy vey.

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Jilly June 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

@Wink-n-Smile – that is brilliant! I’ve never even thought of something like that – but… I’m definitely going to keep that idea in my back pocket. :)

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Pixie June 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I can’t believe people are actually giving them things. And their FAQ is just so mean sounding. I wonder if they even truly appreciate what these people are doing for them.

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gramma dishes June 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

One of the most charming weddings I’ve ever been invited to attend was held in the home of the bride’s parents. The guest list was small … primarily family and a very tiny number of truly close friends.

The bride wore a dress from a department store, the groom wore the same suit he had left over from his high school graduation. (Yes, it still fit.) Flowers were from a neighbor’s garden. Appetizer type buffet was from the deli department of a grocery store. (By the way, the stuff was plentiful and delicious!) Photographs were taken by an amateur photographer who was a friend of the family. (And they were excellent.)

I don’t know how much they paid the pastor, but the entire wedding apparently came in at something around $300 including the bride’s dress. Somehow, this particular wedding made me feel very special to have been among the very few invited.

When I read this post, the first thought that came to my mind was “Star Jones”.

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Jillybean June 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Pers – no need to be embarrassed – there are greedy, tacky people everywhere. :-)

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Andi June 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I always thought that when older people talk about their weddings being humble affairs and how they made do with so little, that these weddings sounded far more romantic.

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Jillybean June 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm

OH MY! Actually reading the website now, and just came across this gem: “The concept of this project is not that no one can spend money, but rather, that Brian and I can`t spend our own.”

So, you know…other people can spend money to throw them a wedding, but they CAN’T spend their own. Seriously?! This has to be a joke, right? The experiment is actually to see what the responses of people would be, right?

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Chocobo June 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Oh man, this is awful. Inexcusable. Is there anything else to say about this greedy couple than that?

My parents and parents-in-law were so kind to provide my husband and I with a lovely — and large, due to the size of our families — wedding. That said, it irks me a bit when others get a superiority complex over having small weddings. I have dealt with this over and over (and over) again from my cousins and other relatives who insinuate repeatedly that they are the better couple and the better wedding for having a small (less than 50, daytime, outdoors, cookout) than my husband and I (130+, evening, indoors, seated dinner). I loved their wedding, it was a lot of fun. I complimented them on it many times. But my parents, my husband, and I decided on something different, within their budget, but larger and still tasteful that was focused on pleasing our guests, rather than ourselves.

I’m glad that people do not stretch themselves just to have what current conventions demand, rather than what they want and can afford. As others have said — people who have big weddings are just as married, and no more in love than others. So it follows: having a small wedding does not mean you love each other (or your guests) more, either.

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Abby June 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I can’t get over the list of private individuals and businesses who have actually contributed to this sham.

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Louise June 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

If it truly were a social experiment, they would just “shout out” for people/businesses to contribute whatever they could to their wedding — new/used items, services, anything — and cobble together something from the results, which would be the wedding society thinks they should have. Or, as Wink-n-Smile said, go out and barter, which I think is a rather interesting approach.

Check out this quote from their blog: “We do not plan to justify every penny of our daily spending over the next year. Because this is not a charity project, but rather a social experiment that happens to also (thank god) be cost-saving, it is not of dire concern if we spend ten extra dollars this week on a pizza.” So if I donate $10, they won’t even match it for their own wedding? They’ll say, “Sweet, pizza money,” and still expect donations to roll in? Unbelievable.

But this bit reeeeeally takes the (donated) cake. Their response to the notion that a wedding is a privilege, not a right is “We think the recent major constitutional advances in the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and two spirit community show that marriage is indeed a right, not a privilege. The recent years of debate on the topic has shown that not just the legal union (courthouse), but the spiritual celebration (spiritual), is considered by many to be a right for everyone.” They have completely confused the notion of marriage (institution) and a wedding (single event); and dare to equate their inability to throw a fancy party to the struggles of people considered unequal under U.S. law. It’s really twisted logic when you go from “Gay people deserve to get married, therefore I deserve to have a 200-person party, dress, cake and wedding tattoos!”

I find it infuriating these people have deluded themselves into thinking their greed really is some sort of new-age experiment about media, community building and human kindness. Barf.

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andi June 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm

amen admin.

hubby and i got married for under $5000 as well – paid for entirely by us (the way we wanted it). It took planning. It took time. It took energy – from US the bridal couple to do the work, price shop, and DO things.

It can be done. you don’t need to beg for a wedding. just poor taste

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Xtina June 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Those people are ridiculous. I paged through and read a little of their site, and no matter how they try to frame it—and yes, it may truly be an experiment indeed—but really, how crass. I don’t have any issues with the parts that they would strictly barter or trade services for, and if the whole wedding was built on them trading the sweat of their brow in exchange for wedding services and products, then this would be a good-hearted experiment. But it’s not. It’s a cleverly disguised gimmee-a-free-wedding-I-can’t-afford fiasco. In their own blog post answering questions from “haters”, they freely admit that they’re broke and have had other things to spend their money on, and yes, they *could* save for a wedding in their back yard with 20 close friends, but hey, that isn’t what it’s all about and isn’t it more *fun* in the end if they do it the way they envision? Oh yeah—fun for who? And the sad part—if you look at their items & services received page, a whole lot of people are falling for this codswallop.

Bottom line—rude, rude, rude, to expect others to pay for your lifestyle choices. Have some class and save experimentation for things that don’t affect others’ pocketbooks and trust.

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Jen June 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

This reminds me of a story. One of my mother-in-law’s coworkers and I were discussing weddings and how outrageously expensive they were. Through sharing our stories I told her that my family had paid everything I wanted. She inquired my budget; which was 30K, but I had the wedding of my dreams for 5K. The woman commented, “Must be nice to get a bonus 25K to start your life.” I inquired why she thinks my family gave me $25K. I still remember her greedy comment “You mean you didn’t take the extra money and keep it?”

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Lola June 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Ha, I’m currently having a struggle with one of my bridesmaids who insists upon having a white stretch limo and buying me a “real” wedding dress for “My Day” (yep), even if that means having a cash bar and/or expecting cash gifts. Most of our family and friends are outspoken, fair-minded, and while they love me and my fiance dearly, I have no doubt that I’d never be allowed to forget such a thing — if there was a remote chance of me getting talked into it. And that’s not even going into openly soliciting monetary donations — on a website, no less!

Where are this couple’s family and friends and how are they letting this couple descend into such infamy???

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Ashley June 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

3. If we do not use all the money for the wedding, we will redirect it to the honeymoon…another giant fish to fry! <——– I read pretty much the entire website and this line seemed to stick out the most. Also, I am annoyed with the fact that they keep trying to pass it off as an “experiment”. No, it’s not an experiment, you just don’t want to have to pay for anything.

I am keeping my post short today because this particular topic is very likely to lead to ranting if I keep going. I just need to say that this particular wedding related issue is the one that annoys me the most. If you can’t afford to pay for your wedding without soliciting donations, then you should either scale back your plans or push back the wedding till you can afford what you want. Period.

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Library Diva June 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

It would have been a neat idea if they’d asked for strictly non-monetary gifts, loans or things they could barter for, maybe in the name of doing an eco-friendly wedding (if thye don’t feel the need to preserve their single-use cake cutter forever, for example). It would have made an interesting blog if they offered to barter for everything, and wrote about what it was like to work part-time in all aspects of the wedding industry, taking orders at the bakery, helping with floral production, serving as a videographer’s and photographer’s assistant, etc. This is just pure, unadulterated greed though.

I agree that some of the loveliest, most romantic weddings I’ve been to, also appeared to be lower-cost. The spectacles don’t tend to stay with us audience members the same way that ones where you feel like your presence (not presents) was valued.

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Wink-n-Smile June 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thanks, Jilly! I know I have enough stuff, and would much rather have the memories, or at least stories of others’ memories. I mean, their experiences shaped them, and they shaped me, so those stories truly are priceless!

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cheyne June 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Wait a minute! They live in Ottawa and had a “pre-wedding” vacation in Miami funded by the bride’s parents? That had to have been a couple of thousand dollars. Why wasn’t that money used to fund the wedding?

Are they going to have a “help us to get ready for the baby” experiment when that time comes? I suppose so with everything from diapers to college education asked for.

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AMC June 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Wow. I just took a look at their site and it turns my stomach. To think of all the hard work I put into my own wedding just a year ago. I hunted down sales and coupons, shopped at thrift stores, paid for the reception hall in installments, made bouquets, invitations, menus, programs, favors, and centerpieces with the help of my dear bridesmaids, opted for a small guestlist, and borrowed jewelery from my best friend who also did the final alterations on my dress. While many people did generously *offer* to contribute out of the goodness of their hearts (my parents paid for part of the dinner, my aunt made a beautiful cake, and my bridesmaids gave me leftover decorations from their own weddings) never once did I ever beg for money or feel that I was a special snowflake entitled to a fancy-schmancy party. My wedding was not big or extravagant, but it was still the wedding of my dreams, made all the more special by the fact that I got marry the most wonderful man in the world.
I just can’t wrap my head around it. What makes people think this type of behavior is okay?? What makes them think they are so special that they shouldn’t have to work for what they want like everyone else?

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DGS June 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Re: greedy couple – inexcusable. Repulsive. Ridiculous.

Thanks, Chocobo, for your comment! I agree; I am tired of the small wedding superiority complex. My DH and I had a large, expensive wedding with all the bells and whistles. We could afford it, and nobody’s financial past, present and future were compromised in the making of said wedding. The people who contributed to it (DH and myself, as well as our respective parents who had graciously offered a certain amount of money each towards the wedding, split the costs) could afford and had budgeted for what they spent. We had also stayed under the budget, albeit a large budget.

Years later, we are still happily married and very much in love. So, no, not everyone who has a large wedding is divorced and miserable five years later, and no one is a better/holier/more righteous individual for having a small wedding. If the couple is happy and in love, and if their family and friends are excited to support them with the presence and love on their big day, the wedding is a beautiful and elegant affair regardless of its size and price.

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Just Laura June 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

From Cheyne: </b< Are they going to have a “help us to get ready for the baby” experiment when that time comes?

Is there a way I can fund this couple to not procreate?

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lkb June 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

@Steve: Sorry, I winced at this at first:
“I don’t know/remember how much it cost, but it had to be under five hundred bucks, and two of them were what I slipped to the minister for taking up his time on a Saturday afternoon.”

It took me a few readings to realize (I hope) you were saying you slipped the minister $200 rather than $2 (i.e. “two hundred bucks” to “two bucks”) to join you and your beloved in Holy Matrimony in the sight of God.

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grumpy_otter June 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I can’t believe all you angry people! This is a beautiful expression of their love and they should be able to do their wedding how they wish to! I am going to contribute $250 to show my support for them just because I think they deserve it. They seem like wonderful, special people, and they certainly deserve a wonderful wedding. I am stunned that you all seem to think it is a cash-grab! They are trying a wonderful social experiment. . .

CHOKE!

ROFL. I can’t go on.

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spartiechic June 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I can’t believe the nerve of this couple. I have a large student loan debt and a low paying job, too, but I would never beg other people to pay for my wedding. When I decide to get married, I plan to look at what I can afford and then plan accordingly. No one says you have to go all out for a wedding. It should be tasteful, fun, and celebrate the life you are beginning with your significant other. You can do all of that on a budget.

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aka Cat June 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Just a quibble:

If Mommy and Daddy have given you a “pre-wedding gift” trip to Miami (in a prior incarnation of the site, photos of a trip to a Caribbean island were mentioned, too), it appears the means have been there all along to have a respectable wedding.

Prior to the wedding my (now ex) father-in-law gifted my fiance and I with a significant sum of money. However, it came with the condition that we could spend it only on the honeymoon and we didn’t receive (or ask for) monetary support from anyone else. As recent college graduates finances were a little tight. We certainly had a respectable wedding, but we couldn’t afford anything as extravagant as a buffet; the reception was strictly cake and punch.

It’s entirely possible that isn’t the case with Jordan and Brian, but please don’t assume the honeymoon budget has any bearing on the wedding budget for every couple.

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LonelyHound June 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I do not get two things:
1. The “a civil service is not a wedding a gathering of friends and family is a wedding” idea. I had friends who, because they refused to plan a wedding, had a civil service. It was about thirty or more of us crowded in the City Hall while they signed the marriage license and then the happy couple treated all of us to a local restaraunt. It was fun because both families were so happy for the couple they were kissing cheeks of passers-by!! :)
2. I know people (myself included) who have planned weddings big and small within our means, on our own dime complete with overcoming health, monetry and family issues. My best friend is Indian and married a wonderful white man (this really is relevent). Due to faith considerations they had a dual ceremony wedding. If you know anything about Indian tradition an Indian wedding has seven days of ceremonies preceding the wedding including different outfits, food and vendors needed. It was a point of pride with her family that they were able to put on a grand wedding on their budget (about 150 guests, so I am not discriminating against large weddings :)).

I had a friend get married in a civil service while they saved up for their dream wedding. They just had their dream wedding June 4th. What makes me upset is that, at a time when people need jobs to pay bills, get food or keep their houses, they have proven they lack any sort of imagination or initiative. They got a “pre-wedding” present of a trip to Miami. Why not scope local resorts for an elopement package? Usually these are almost all inclusive (cake, flowers, officiant, rooms for one night and a photographer). Here in CO you can get an elopement package (circa 2009) for 30 guests for $1500 (the room rentals are half priced but otherwise not included) in Estes Park (an expensive mountain town)! It would have been for less than 50 guests (not the 200 they want) but I am sure it would have been just as nice. Isn’t getting married more about the commitment you are making to each other than the decorations?

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Tracey June 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I do believe that Kathy Griffin had her whole wedding subsidised by companies that she would mention on her reality show (back in the day). Too bad her “then” husband robbed her of $40,000. Don’t get me wrong….I love her and think she is very funny. But, you get what you pay for.

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Wink-n-Smile June 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Big wedding or small wedding doesn’t matter so much as the etiquette behind who is paying for it. If your parents offer to pay, yay! If you pay yourself, yay! If a friend offers to pay – yowza, do you have a great friend! Yay!

However, soliciting donations, from family and friends, much less strangers on the internet, is just very rude.

If someone were so broke that they couldn’t afford the marriage license and a trip to the courthouse, and the asked for help because they really wanted to *be married,* then I would help them, as I believe in the institution of marriage. However, asking for *a wedding* is a whole other kettle of fish.

I may agree that everyone has a right to marry. I do not agree that everyone has a right to a wedding. The two things are quite separate and distinct.

I’ve seen lovely weddings and I’ve seen lousy weddings. Neither one had any bearing on the state of the marriage. Character determines the success of the marriage.

I read about how they volunteered and want to reduce/reuse/recycle. Good for them. Please choose another avenue for your experiment, rather than a wedding.

This whole thing would be much less icky if they were hosting it for someone else. It’s like a bridal shower – it should be hosted by friends, who are moved to do so by their love for the bride. The bride (and by extension, her family) doesnt host it, herself, as that screams “GIMME!”

If they had approached it as an eco-friendly community wedding event, and maybe hooked up several other couples to share, making it a mass community wedding, and asked for pot-luck decor, dishes, food, etc., then I would applaud it as an interesting experiment in community-bonding and eco-responsibility. But it’s not. It’s “OUR SPECIAL DAY,” to which they have “a right.” Ummmm, no.

And by pot-luck, I mean just that. Encourage people to bring what they can, at 10:00. Sort it out and set it up as best you can with what you got. Wedding ceremony commences at noon. Everybody eats pot-luck style, and enjoys whatever potluck decorations you have, with whatever potluck entertainment is available, and bonds. Great. You might even be able to find an officiant who would volunteer for such an activity, in order to encourage marriage in the community. This doesn’t seem so greedy, and it’s with the understanding that as long as all the couples actually get married, that’s all that truly matters.

Lovely weddings are wonderful, and if you can afford them, more power to you. If you can’t afford it, suck it up, adjust your dreams accordingly, and save up for a vow-renewal on your silver anniversary. It’s much more important to BE married, after all.

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Leslie Holman-Anderson June 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I had a crappy little wedding; we wanted to get married and it was what we could afford. The venue was shabby, the food was potluck, the lovingly home-made cake a friend made as our gift got put too close to the radiator and started to melt, some of the decorations fell down, a half-gallon bottle of the wine I’d made exploded, and most of the people I’d invited went to a funeral that — unpredictably, of course — conflicted. And you know what? I didn’t even notice. I was on cloud nine. I look back at the 20-year-old photos now and cringe, but we’re no less married for having had a disaster of a wedding. Nor, in a ‘shout out’ to those of you who could afford fancy weddings, any more so. It’s not the wedding that defines the marriage, it’s the commitment.

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livvy June 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I wonder how many people get married because they want to have “a wedding,” rather than get married?

I also think it’s really kind of weird to go to a giant, expensive festival wedding when I know the bride and groom (or their parents) don’t have the kind of money where such a thing wouldn’t be a giant impact on their finances. Honestly, when it’s seriously out-of-line with their normal standard of living, it seems ridiculously wasteful. When they go into dept to do so, it seems psychotic. It’s like seeing someone wearing diamonds and couture to a barn dance – I’d wonder who they are trying to impress, and how they could fail to realize that in their excess, they only served to make themselves look ridiculous.

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June June 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I don’t even want to look at their website.

I’m getting married next year and when we got engaged I immediately checked out some “budget wedding” books from the library. It’s funny how one recommended getting other people to pay for things (like registering for an iPod as a bridal shower gift, then someone else can pay for your reception music) but Miss Manners emphasized living within your means. The first book also recommended registering at stores that will give you cash for your returned gifts, instead of just exchanging them. The author said it was a good way to have money left over from your wedding. Ugh. I’d rather take Miss Manners’ advice and not spend all our money on the wedding.

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Xtina June 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Agree with Library Diva–a project/blog of an entire wedding “funded” entirely from bartered/traded services would have been VERY interesting to read. That is a blog that could be inspiring and trend-setting.

Some of the stuff I’ve read has just solidified my original thoughts on this couple’s idea: their own comments about entitlements, apparent confusion between the concepts of a wedding vs. a marriage, their admission of not caring to alter their financial lives in order to provide a single thing out of their own pocket to fund their own wedding–it’s sickening.

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Snowy June 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

While I totally love the wedding tattoos they chose (because I am a HUGE Battlestar Galactica fan), it doesn’t lessen at all my feelings of, “Good god, ‘gimmie’ much?” If the only gifts you want are a jacket and tatts, fine, register at the store that sells the jacket and the tattoo parlor, but trying to make your friends, guests and total strangers pay for your hipster dream wedding is just lame. And uncreative.

If they were hitting up on me, I’d be tempted to give money to charity in their name, because that’s what giving *should* be.

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Isabelle June 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Now the funny thing is that they just posted at how amazed they are at the number of hits for their website… ahem…

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LizaLynn June 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

@Pers – That was my reaction when I read this. I was also very relieved, when I did look at the website, that I don’t know either of them.
I’ve only flipped through the website, but I’m at a loss for words. Those words will certainly start flowing when I show it to some friends! ;)

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Bint June 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Yuck! Yuck! And treble yuck!!!

As to the question of ‘what do they afterwards’, they probably will do what the other greedy couples I’ve seen do – they go on FB and whine about how blue they are now their wedding is over. Or put up a ‘thanks guys!!’ post and think that’s all they have to do. Because gratitude isn’t important to them and the marriage means very little once the attention-grabbing wedding is over.

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Calliope June 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

It really bugs me that they refer to themselves as an “awesome couple,” and believe that because they are so “awesome,” total strangers should want to chip in to pay for their wedding. Nothing about their website indicates to me that they are anything other than greedy, spoiled, and immature.

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CZ June 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

So…they’ll give us a shout-out even if they don’t use our goods or services? Does this mean I’ll still get a shout-out when they don’t use the bag of old socks that my brother left behind when he went to college, which I am seriously considering mailing to them?

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Sharon June 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm

For some reason, I am suddenly thinking of Cab Calloway’s old song, “Minnie, the Moocher”.

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AS June 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Jeez… such greedy couple!

I was looking at their “About me” section where they have a blog saying “Hate on me, hater…”. I wanted to quote some quotes here, but it was so full of shamelessness and entitlement that I could not find one thing to mention! Basically, they are shamelessly begging for money, then justifying their actions saying that it is an “experiment in social media, in community kindness, and in product placement”, and confused between “wedding” and “marriage” (based on their reply to the comment that “wedding is a privilege and not a right” where they talk about gay marriages). To make things worse, there are people who are actually donating! And this couple is getting media attention. Apparently, the newspaper which carried their news had to delete the “hate comments” (their phrase!).

Just reading their “wish list” is disgusting.

In all seriousness, admin, isn’t there anything that we can do about this greedy couple? I am afraid that the media coverage will encourage more people to use this tactic. Not everyone reads this website after all!

And to think that lot of us have been putting off our weddings because we cannot afford even a basic one yet. I blame it all on my upbringing and this website that I my conscience wouldn’t let me adopt this method to have my dream wedding ;) .

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Insomniac June 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm

You know, I just glanced through this couple’s web site. Wedding TATOOS??? A pre-wedding VACATION????

When my husband and I married in December of 2009 (second marriage for both of us), we didn’t have anything – not even a place to live. We took a taxi (no car) to the court house, said our vows in blue jeans and sweaters, and adjourned to the nearest Days Inn. Nobody but us and the judge, yet we were both moved to tears at saying our vows.

Times are not much better for us now, except we no longer live with my parents and hubby has a job again. And wedding rings? Engagement ring? Nope. Neither ones. We have promised to wait for better times to indulge in the more external trappings of marriage.

So why did we marry this way? He was unemployed and essentially homeless – possessing nothing but what he could carry in a suitcase and a bank account with a couple thousand dollars in it. I was (still am) disabled by a spinal injury, living with my parents, and not even a bank account to my name due to a nasty divorce. My most treasured possession was a 16 year old grumpy Sheltie. Fortunately, my parents have been happily married for over 50 years and I am a treasured only child. It is only through their kindness that we were able to make it through that first year. My mom and dad realized what hubby means to me and my life, and have helped us more than we can ever repay.

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