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.