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 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 }

AS June 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Ok… I found a quote that makes me want to make a spit BBQ for them…

“The concept of this project is not that no one can spend money, but rather, that Brian and I can`t spend our own. (Most specifically, because we have so little…more generally, because the experiment is to see how far kindness and community giving can take us.)”

How shamelessly can they masquerade their true greed by calling it an “experiment”? If it was really an experiment, they should be prepared to return all the money the donors gave them; but given that they are buying stuffs, this is probably not happening… or are they actually doing an experiment where they are actually not using the money and plan on returning?


sweet firefly June 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I do tend to notice that some brides and grooms with smaller budgets gloat about how their wedding was more meaningful since they spent less money. It’s almost like bragging rights. I can see their point of view. A lot of people would rather use that money in a different way (down payment on a house, dream honeymoon, bills, etc.). That’s all fine and dandy by me. I saved up for my wedding and didn’t go into debt, but I still got some of the things that were important to me (such as professional photography). But I do feel like sometimes I’m judged for spending all that money on “one day”.

I do think this “idea” is very insincere. It’s apparent from the website that the bride and groom just want other people to provide for a wedding of their choosing. Especially since they have veto power over items they don’t deem good enough.


sweet firefly June 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Not that I want to give these people any more attention, but I just discovered that they have a twitter account set up as well. Really?

For anyone remotely interested: @prjectpriceless


Riva June 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

A couple who is shameless enough to boast to the World that their parents sent them on the honeymoon before the wedding, is shameless enough, and badly raised enough, for anything.


--E June 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm

You could start your own swine farm with all the gimme-pigs you’ve collected.

Where do these people come from? Do they not think, “If one of my friends did this, I’d be a little ooked out,” or would they not actually feel funny if their friends did this?


Lizza June 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

You know, I sort of like their idea of, “If you have something wedding related that you no longer use (vases from centerpieces or whatnot), let us use them,” since that would help cut down on waste and I like the thought of reusing stuff. But then I read the, “We can’t spend our money, just yours!” and that left a bad taste in my mouth. This all comes off as so selfish.


Hemi Halliwell June 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm

To @DGS & @ Chocobo- not hating on people who have large weddings. I’m sure that you and your spouses are just as much in love as those who have small weddings. It’s wonderful that you were able to share your day with a large group of family and friends. :) My comment was specifically directed to the couple in the post.
If they were doing just because they were in love and wanted to spend their lives together, why not a simpler wedding they could possibly afford vs. begging for money and donations of services/goods so they can have a larger wedding?It seems they just do not want to spend their own money or can’t afford the wedding they *think* they deserve.
As for comparing it to the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry, shame on them! Just another example of them trying to justify their gimme ways.


ladycrim June 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

“We turned virtually no one away.” Well, why would you? They’re giving you stuff for free!

These two are mind-boggling. They make it sound like they’re the ones doing a favor for other people.

Here’s a money-saving project: see how many things for the wedding you can make yourselves, as opposed to paying marked-up prices. Last weekend, I went to a wedding where virtually everything was either handmade or picked up from antique shops, secondhand stores, etc. The bride’s sister and BIL barbecued food for everyone. The bridesmaids carried giant paper flowers (which were much prettier than my description). The outdoor reception area was decorated with those little LED tealights in jars. It gave the feel of a turn-of-the-century garden party. It was absolutely charming, it fit the Happy Couple perfectly, and nobody I know of complained about the loss of little favors or fancy canapes. That is how to hold a wedding on a budget. These two are so far over the top they’ve gone downhill.


Suzy June 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I’ve just had a quick look at the website – is there a “gag me” emoticon?


Cashie June 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I couldn’t believe the “haters” section of that blog. Wow. Talk about insulting everyone right down to the people who might even contribute.

The most interesting–and unconventional– wedding I’ve ever attended, was held at my church, sported a Taiko drummer and Apache flute player (the bride and groom’s relatives) who played before the ceremony and when the bride walked down the aisle. The reception was potluck, where the attendees gathered up their drums and formed a drum circle for everyone to dance or listen to. I know that the bride and groom were on a very tight budget as they were both caring for elderly parents and young children. But, I had more fun at that wedding than any other I’ve ever gone to.


Timpani June 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

My wedding was beautiful and special, more so because of so many people who asked if they could give their services as my wedding presents. I was overwhelmed! It would never have occurred to me to ask for a free seamstress (my bf mom), a free photographer (an old friend of the family), a free DJ (friend of dh’s), a free wedding decorator (my mother in law!), and so many more I have probably forgotten. If we could not have afforded all of the listed above, and so many wonderful people had not volunteered, we just would not have had those things. End of story!


Louise June 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Do you think they are going to handwrite thank-you notes to every Tom, Dick and Harry who contributed? Or do they think the “shout-out” will suffice?


Yarnspinner June 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Ooooh! My blog goes up next!

“Lily Loves Luxury”, the website, will allow you, the participant to help ME pay off my current mortgage AND help me upgrade to something a whole heck of a lot better. I will give a shout out to any painters, plumbers, floorers and carpenters willing to give their expertise and materials so that I can make my place look wonderful so some sucker will buy it. If you have any extra monies just lying around and you aren’t using them, by all means, send them to me so I can pay down the mortgage. And, hey, if you have a nice berber rug or a pretty sleeper couch–brand new–andwould like to donate it, I will be delighted to keep you in my evening prayers.

This isn’t about you spending your own money, folks…it’s about me trying not to be responsible for what I have.


Daisy June 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Holy Cow! There are so many good comments on this site, anything I can add would be superfluous. People are entitled to the wedding they want AND CAN PAY FOR! My sweet Silver Fox and I used most of our savings to pay off student loans. I made my own silk bouquets, my dress came from the Sears prom section, and we catered the appetizer buffet ourselves. We made our own wedding punch and our own cake. My mother-in-law made a huge pot of chili and paid for a small open bar; we had our reception at her home. We had a two day honeymoon in the middle of an ice storm. That was 34 years ago, and my heart still leaps up when he comes in the house. It’s not the wedding that matters; it’s the marriage.


Alexis June 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’ll start out by saying that I love weddings- big, small, fancy, informal, I love them all! Until I saw this. Ugh! So many things are wrong with this idea that I could rant for hours. But I will point out a few things that bother me the most:
1) Saying ‘This is not charity!’ over and over, does not change the fact that you are, indeed, asking for charity. I donate to people who are in need, not to people who think they are above living within their own means.
2) I volunteer too. Since I’m already married, do I get to ask for donations for the parties and trips of my dreams? I’ll be happy to ‘give a shout out’ to anyone who will trade or donate a Hawaaiian vacation and a catered meal for 200 people on my next birthday. It would be such a great social media experiment!
3) ‘Because we understand that a wedding is way more meaningful than just a marriage license’ has got to be one of the most naive, arrogant statements about marriage that I’ve ever heard. People who do not understand the difference between a ‘wedding’ and a ‘marriage’ lack the maturity to be married. Where did they ever find the nerve to self-righteously lecture other people for being ‘haters’, while simultaneously insulting people who get married at the courthouse?
……..I give them a year or two, tops, before they’ve built a website soliciting contributions for divorce attorneys.


kingshearte June 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I am just as appalled by the whole thing as everyone else, but what perhaps irked me the most was simply the assertion that a courthouse wedding isn’t really a wedding. Excuse me? Even with their little “for us” caveat, that’s still just… A courthouse wedding wasn’t what I wanted either, so I didn’t go that route, but to tell those who have that they didn’t have a real wedding? What absolute gall.

I too am a little embarrassed to live in the same city as these people, while also relieved that I don’t know them.


Bec June 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

@Louise – no, they’ll see if they can solicit a donation of someone’s time and resources to write thank-you notes for them!


Carol June 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Our wedding was well within our means, and lovely, if I do say so myself. We did have something in common with this couple’s “project,” in that we had some of our vendor’s services donated for free or at cost. However, I didn’t have to resort to begging the public. It was because my father is a church organist, and my mother is a pianist, soloist, and some-time wedding coordinator, and they had either sent a lot of business to those vendors, or because they had done those vendor’s or their relative’s wedding for free as a professional curtesy, and they wanted to return the favor. Not because I told them I deserved it or we promised them ad space. Nothing in this world comes free.


Jillybean June 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Oh my – some gems from the list of “offers” they have received: Wishing well (I’m sure they won’t pass on that!), Couples Massage during the month of wedding (well, of course, as they’ll need to unwind from all the stress of NOT planning their wedding), décor Consultation (for what? A house they’ll have other people furnish?), Teeth Whitening and polish, Marty – Bikers Church Ottawa – Pre-marital counselling (Um, me thinks it’s too late to help these fools), boudoir Photo Shoot, City Buzz – Live Streaming (ok – I hope they don’t think people want to watch this debacle!), speech coaching (seriously?! Just…seriously?!), fundraising party (so they can beg some more)… and… pole dancing party (classy!).


Amanda Kate June 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

If they really want to test the generosity of people on the internet, they should try to get donations for a worthy charity, because most people would be more likely to donate money to say, starving children, than the wedding of two strangers on the internet.


Amber June 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Okay. Okay.

…Okay, I have read their site, and what boggles my mind are those actually contributing to this wedding. All I can think is that since they received some serious media attention, businesses figure it’s a good way to get some cheap advertising in.

But the whole thing is just really icky. And what turns me off the most is how smugly entitled they seem to be. “We reserve the right to turn you away?” “You can spend money, but we won’t?” Please.

And when they said they’d accept cash, even though they felt morally unsure of doing so, I thought maybe they’d donate it to charity. Nope, just adding monies to the honeymoon fund. So very classy.

I think the worst part of things like this is that the gimme pigs are likely to never know how manipulative they were. Ever.


Amber June 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Oh, also, @ Sharon, don’t knock Minnie the Moocher! That poor gal was stuck with a druggie for a boyfriend that spent all her money, and she simply dreamed of better things…


PrincessSimmi June 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

The mind. It boggles.

Saddle up them gimme-pigs, I’ll ride ’em home!


anonymous June 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I totally agree that one can throw a great wedding for $5,000 even for a hundred people, so I’m not disputing that it can’t be done. It certainly can.


I am disputing that the things that bring the budget from $5,000 to $30,000 are string quartets, makeup artists and limos.

The things that drive up the cost are generally 1.) alcohol (which you don’t need to serve, but if you do, whatever you offer has to be free to guests) 2.) catering / food fees and 3.) venue costs. Those were our big 3. All the other stuff, well, we didn’t do it (no string quartet, no makeup artists, my dress cost very little compared to what many wedding dresses go for, no limos and our reception was not that lavish) – food, venue and alcohol were the base costs. That is where budgets run into problems, because that’s where it gets hard to cut and that’s what generally comes with the biggest price tag.

I dont’ feel bad about spending a lot on our venue – we didn’t have much choice for a party of our size (parks either weren’t suitable for elderly relatives due to seating, shelter, walking and bathroom issues, didn’t allow weddings or allowed them but charged what a normal venue would charge; unusual venues either charged more or didn’t do weddings; my parents’ house and yard couldn’t have held that many people and only has one working bathroom; restaurants generally didn’t have enough seating, charged prices similar to other venues, had ridiculous upcharges or didn’t serve food we liked, or were known for skimping on wedding reception food while still charging full price; cheaper venues required rentals of EVERYTHING which shot the price back up to the cost of a more expensive venue; and to be honest the firemen’s halls etc. were all in pretty poor condition and looked more like meeting or conference venues, and I do have some baseline for aesthetics).

I do think we could have spent less on food. If I could go back I would have changed how we handled food but hey, what’s done is done. I would have had restaurant catering or pick-up and semi-DIY catering or something rather than actually paying a caterer, which was the most expensive part of the entire wedding.

We did an awesome job on alcohol though, as we had a venue/caterer that allowed us to provide our own hard and soft drinks, so we cobbled together a respectable bar from the discount beer shop, the discount liquor store and BJ’s and the caterer sourced an affordable bartender for us. So we get a WIN in at least one category.

Anyway. My point. Don’t kid yourself. If your wedding is more than you can afford, yeah, cut the string quartet and limos, but if you’re still stuck for options for food, venue and you want to serve alcohol, really those smaller cuts aren’t where the big budget busters are. It’s a myth that if you just do the basics that it’ll be a lot less expensive – the basics are what cost the most.


GroceryGirl June 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm

A gimme bride is bad enough. Hell, a gimme ANYONE is bad enough. But someone who masquerades their greed as a social experiment is just shameful. The “Haters” section was particularly insulting. The idea that they are judging ME because I don’t want to give them what so many have worked so hard for?

In response to “Why not have a city hall wedding?” they said that “for us, it’s not a real wedding”. BFD! So many people in this world are suffering, they have no right to lay claim to anything. A better social experiment would be to raise money for Heifer or the Red Cross in lieu of any wedding help and see how many people contribute! I’m all for philanthropy but giving them their dream wedding is NOT my idea of societal improvement!


Toni June 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

My wedding was planned in a week and very simple. I made my dress and my bridesmaid’s dress, borrowed clothes for the groom and best man, had it in a park in Boulder, CO., and set up a modest buffet for the reception (probably 20 people) back at our apartment. The ceremony (done by one of my best friends who is also a minister) was beautiful, the reception was crowded but fun, and much to my surprise both mothers showed up with a TON of home made food to contribute. I would never have dreamed of asking anyone to contribute anything. As it was I was very greatful and it was a wonderful day. In all it may have cost us in the neighborhood of $200 and was just as meaningful as any of the 20,000 plus weddings I have attended. I have no idea what these people are thinking.


GroceryGirl June 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Also: people like this are the reason for the debt crisis sweeping the global economy. Live within your means! Sure, everyone wants a crystal bathtub but if you can’t afford it…don’t buy it!


kelly June 28, 2011 at 4:03 am

It is not a free wedding though, someone has paid for it, just not the couple. It is really annoying when people boast about their cheap wedding, and then it turns out that they got everything for free. I have no problem with people giving gifts of wedding items, if they choose to do so, but begging is not on. I also have no problem with the community all chipping in when one of the couple is ill or something, and everyone wants to give them a dream wedding. I have heard of a few really tragic cases where young couples get married right before one of them dies from a terminal illness, and so if their friends and family ask people to donate to give them a dream day, then good for them. But just plain greed is wrong.
I think we should go on the site, and tell people to make a donation to charity in the name of the lovely couple, and see their response.


David June 28, 2011 at 4:10 am

My wife and I made an appointment at a local wedding venue, then went out and bought some new clothes and a disposable camera. The whole thing cost maybe $250, which was an awesome deal for the best and most wonderful day of my life.

This couple are greedy, self-centered and reek of entitlement. I’m sure the website for them taking care of their kids will be an eye-opener as well. “Hello, we are doing a social experiment. Give us free clothing, food and childcare.”


karma June 28, 2011 at 5:38 am

I get so sick of the term “dream wedding”. Damn, unless your name has “Princess” in front of it, and you are a Disney character—how about just living in the real world? I wonder if any of their friends have looked them square in the eye and courageously said, “You’ve got to be kidding. This is both tacky and wrong on so many levels.”


ferretrick June 28, 2011 at 5:46 am

This gimme pig went to get married
This gimme pig whined.
This gimme pig set up a website,
Hopefully everyone on the Internet stays home.


karma June 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

@Chocobo and DGS: it’s not a superiority complex to elaborate on the success of a small wedding. Most likely the event was simply the best that could be done by or for those folks. The point being made is that with few resources, they had a wonderful day and are just as married (or just as in love) as those who blew it out of the water. It’s more a statement of contentment of the part of those who avoided it than it is a statement against those who went for the big event. It’s just like that participant who took issue last week about students who pay for college versus parents paying for college. She automatically assumed that those who said, “I worked/took loans” were belittling those whose parents paid. Nope. It’s just another perspective that is a reality for many.


Jojo June 28, 2011 at 7:37 am

I’ve been to two beautiful weddings this year. In my estimate, one cost around 20,000 GBP for 150 guests in a marquee in the grounds of the family’s house. The other, a week later, cost around 2000 GBP for 25 guests and involved a registry office ceremony ( the UK equivalent of City Hall ) followed by a lovely walk through the park to the reception venue – a pub.
In both cases people generously gave their time, resources and skills to help the couples have wonderful wedding days because the couples were kind, generous people. The week before their own wedding couple two were in the marquee of couple one’s wedding laying tables, putting up decorations and sorting out place cards. On our arrival at couple one’s wedding we discovered that our place cards/wedding favours were handwritten notes by the couple thanking each person individually for being part of their special day. While Jordan and Brian have the ‘community’ aspect of a wedding right, they have singularly failed to appreciate that ‘community’ is the people you share your life with on a daily basis, who will give freely and generously because they love and care for you. A wedding day is a time to bring friends and family together, often for the first time- NOT to corral complete strangers into forking out their hard earned cash for some selfish whimsy. Their assertion that they could manage a small back yard wedding with 25 people on their current but want far more says it all. I would certainly rather have 25 close friends around me on my wedding day rather than 1000 cash rich strangers.


The Elf June 28, 2011 at 8:16 am

I wonder if Etiquette Hell will make the media page?


Jillybean June 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

You know what I find most interesting, is I feel like it COULD have been a great social experiment, if they had framed it differently. And there are certainly points in their blog where I almost feel like a part of them was trying to do something interesting, and not just grabby, but I think their approach was all wrong. As someone else mentioned, if they were bartering the whole thing and blogging it, that might have been interesting experiment to see in action. Additionally, someone in the comments of the “haters” post made a reference to “paying it forward”. I could see the following as a nice approach – we’ve observed so much waste in the wedding industry and rather than wanting to contribute this, we are doing something a little different. We’re shouting out to the world. Pass on your leftover wedding stuff if you are so inclined. At the end of our wedding, we’ll pass things on to the next couple. It actually would be great to have some of these expenses shared within a community, just because of the absurdity of the costs for things most people use once. What really irritates me is the “advertising” aspect that is involved. Just seems to cheapen the whole feel of the wedding.


GoTwins June 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

Maybe Admin can send them a free copy of her book. :)


Enna June 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

Wow. Some people are just greedy. It’s one thing trying to save money and be pratical so money is not wasted and can be put to better use e.g. house, furntiure, baby stuff if a surprise baby is on the way. Pooling resources is pratical – so long as it’s not too demarding e.g. if firend A is good with make-up request if she/he is okay doing it.


behindbj June 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

I haven’t seen the “my wedding was small, so therefore superior to larger ones” thing in this thread – I’ve seen it elsewhere, of course, but not in this thread. I don’t think folks are decrying large weddings (I’ve been in several, and attended several) of both kinds, and they’ve all been awesome. What folks are saying is that you can have a nice wedding when you don’t have the means for a huge one – I’m going to bet that the folks who have had large weddings mentioned in this thread did not beg others for them. Rather they found themselves in the circumstance that they could have them, and they chose to – no issues at all with that.

As for these two – criminy! Seriously? I bake and sew and have helped out with many weddings over the years for friends – because I love them and they have asked (or I have offered). Friend of mine whom I love and would do anything for needs 1000 cookies for a winter wedding? No sweat – 1000 sugar cookies with royal icing and snowflake designs coming up (the bride even offered to help – that was a “NO!” from me, but others did – unasked. They offered.). I threw in the snowflake design – because they were indeed awesome people.

Obnoxious cousin of friend who kinda knew me and demanded the same for her summer wedding (no snowflakes, but flowers)? NO. Just NO. Complain all you want, cupcake. No cookies for you – unless you pay for them.

Guest from groom’s side who wanted to know if I would barter time and effort for cupcakes for her daughter’s wedding? Sure! The kid was really nice, a really hard worker (she helped out with stuff for someone else’s wedding I was helping out with) and more than earned her cupcakes. And – this was interesting – they paid for the ingredients. I thought the bartered time took care of that, but they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer for payment for ingredients. Awesome people – and I made some new friends.

So, to sum up: Expecting people to give you stuff because you want it and are totally awesome – no. Accepting stuff people offer you because they think you’re awesome and love you (and want to make your day awesome) – yup. Asking folks if you can barter or do something to get something – yup (but if you’re awesome like that and a friend, I’ll probably do it for free, anyway).

If you have to tell people you’re awesome, you are most certainly not.


Louise June 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

“Dear Brian and Jordan.

I would love to somehow be a part of your wedding, so I am letting you borrow my cat. I thought he would make a good ring bearer (we often balance stuff on his back and he doesn’t seem to mind one bit).

The cat is litterbox trained, so perhaps he could be trained in other ways, like to walk down an aisle? If you could use your donated video service to film your training attempts, I would love to see my baby in action. Oh, also, he’s 16 and needs four pills a day. Maybe you could hide them in bits of chicken from your donated catering? Thanks!

The cat vomits at random intervals, so you might want to let him walk behind the bride, not in front. Unless her dress has a train. Just a suggestion.

Looking forward to my shout-out!



Katy June 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

So are these people going to trademark their idea and then sell it to make more money? If they are such wonderful and amazing people why at the bottom of their site do they ask people not to poach their idea? If the “experiment” works wouldn’t you think they would want to pass on their “original” idea and encourage more people to try it out. The “No Poaching” statement is what hands down bugs me the most about this couple. I can forgive the rest.


Wink-n-Smile June 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

This from their Wish Lists:

-Programs and menu-style table cards: printing needed…graphic design work may be donated (Martin Gouda, I’m looking at you!)
-Promo boards for donors
-Little chiming bells for ceremony: tiny bells for people to toll; as many as possible!
-Ceremony fixin’s (not sure what we need, aside from handfasting rope…Kim S, I’m looking at you!)

In four bullet points, they have gone WAY over the top. Twice, they assign the gift (“Martin/Kim, I’m looking at you!”). They spam the guests with promo boards. They demand menu-style table cards, which are completely unneccesary, and graphic design. A simple program, typed on and Xeroxed, would do just fine, and give all the guests they information they need.

The last one, “Ceremony fixin’s (not sure what we need,) really boggles my mind. “Give us random stuff! We don’t have enough random STUFF! We’re not sure what we need or want, or what we’ll do with what you offer, but give it to us! KIM! I’m looking at you! Give us your random STUFF, Kim!”


And now they’re offering to give autographs to anyone who brings their pictures from a magazine spread. Because they’re big name celebrities now?

Is this how Rome fell?


Bint June 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

“Dear Brian and Jordan,

I am donating thirty-five rowdy schoolchildren. Because you have no class of your own.”


The Elf June 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

Re: Anti Large Wedding Hate

I’m not fond of large weddings. I’ll say it. Some of it is wondering about the cost, some of it is simply that I feel uncomfortable in large groups (introvert), some of it is that those tend to be really fancy (jeans kinda girl), and some of it is that I feel I don’t get a lot of time with the bride and groom. But that’s me. I totally get the desire to throw a huge all bells and whistles wedding and I am sure there are people out there who genuinely love them.

Ultimately, it’s your wedding and you show throw the wedding that you want as long as you can afford it. If you can afford the all bells and whistles, go for it! Inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean small (though it usually does), and Admin points to a case of a huge wedding for a reasonable cost. It is only that huge wedding frequently means huge cost and not many people have $30k just lying around. If you do, and you want to spend it on the wedding, go for it! Just don’t go into debt for it. A wedding isn’t worth debt.


Hemi Halliwell June 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

I so love this site and all the comments. You are all awesome people.


The Elf June 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

I agree, Jillybean. Doing a wedding from donated items, thrift stores, freecycles, family heirlooms, favors from friends etc would actually be kinda cool provided those things were volunteered not solicited or pressured. But where they lose me is when they say that they’ll accept cash and they’ll accept people buying them stuff. That’s not the same kind of thing, people! That’s just pure gimmie pig.


Wink-n-Smile June 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

Jillybean – I like the “Pass it on” wedding idea. If you collect a bunch of decorations, table cloths, dishes

Oh – they are trying to be so eco-friendly and responsible, but are requesting DISPOSABLE dishes, cups, flatware, etc.? Why not wash those things, so they can be passed on? Huh?

Sorry – tangent over.

If you collect a bunch of decorations, table cloths, dishes, canopies or tents, and the like, all the physical objects you need to set up a lovely and fancy wedding, and that usually are used once and stored or sold, or just rented in the first place, why not pass it on? You could have a “Wedding in a Box.” Well, probably a whole lot of boxes. But wouldn’t it be neat to have some sort of a website, where you can log in, give your location and the date of your wedding, and sign up for delivery of the Wedding in a Box? Say, you take delivery 3 days before your wedding date, set it up, have the wedding, take it down, clean it up, and then send it to the next person in line. For the cost of shipping (to you), you have all those high-quality re-usable items that are so often not used again. The group that sets it up and makes all the arrangements may solicit donations from vendors to replace lost/broken/stained items, and put up discreet links in their website (Our Suppliers page). This way, people know just what quality goods they’ll be getting, the companies get good PR, and everyone helps cut down on waste and pollution.

Now *that* would be a good social experiment, ecologically responsible, economically feasible, and help a lot of people who otherwise couldn’t afford a fancy wedding to have one. When they’re done, they pass it on, and maybe spread the word with their local vendors that this is an endeavor worth supporting.

In a few years, you might even have a national network of local vendors who would be willing to donate (a limited amount per year) free access to venues, goods, or services.

Those who get to use the Wedding In a Box would be chosen, based on need. Anyone may contribute, though, so those couples who could afford a fancy wedding, and now have all this left over stuff, would have a worthwhile place to donate it, and help make someone else’s wedding special.

That is an exciting idea for a social experiment. I’d love to see that done, and would donate to such a cause.


Margaret June 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

I am amazed at how many businesses have signed up. I wonder how many of them are owned by people who would have been invited and would have given a gift anyway, and this is just a way to make their wedding gift tax deductible? I frequent a cake decorating forum, and the sponsored wedding cake issue comes up fairly regularly. Everyone thinks it is ridiculous. The baker will get just as much advertisement if the couple pays for the cake, so why do it for free? Plus, why would you want to advertise that you are willing to give away free cakes?

Maybe it’s time to hit up some of those businesses for myself — “I see from the [website] that you do sponsorships. Would you please sponsor my . . . ” Might make them think twice about playing into this nonsense.

PS I have also failed to manage my money properly, and now I am unable to pay for the family trip to Disneyland that my awesome kids deserve. This would be the trip of a lifetime for us. Please send me your money, and I’ll be sure to say “Thanks”! If the money received exceeds the cost of the trip, we will totally put the excess funds towards something else self indulgent.


SHOEGAL June 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

A couple of comments on this –

Calling it an “experiment” doesn’t make it something better than what it actually is. “We wanted to see if everyone would pay for our wedding” experiment? What exactly did you prove?? I agree with the poster that said this could have been a worthy experiment by paying it forward – where they set up a site that donated all of the donated wedding items to other couples – with the idea that they do the same thing. I do have a billion little votive cups left over from my wedding – I’d gladly give those away to help out – that is actually benefiting the entire community. Somebody donates left over centerpieces, left over archway, etc. The items would be used more than just once, I’d feel good they were being used and the couple who borrowed them wouldn’t have to put out the money.

The Haters section was particularly bad – the sweet bride to be went on to outline all the reasons why they were entitled to hand outs – she didn’t want to mention that they were “entitled” to this because of her disability – but then went on to do just that!!?!?

Just from what I read I didn’t just love them – I wasn’t motivated to help – I was just disgusted. They didn’t want to be married at city hall – what??!?! are you less married there? Not special enough for you?? I was at City Hall and noticed a great couple all dressed up with flowers and family members around waiting to marry. They looked wonderful and happy – and I thought – they are doing it right – they are making it a special day – they got dressed up – and are probably going out afterward. What more do you need??? They gave themselves what they could afford. Simple – but still meaningful.

Jordan and Brian – you guys just don’t get it.


Wink-n-Smile June 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

Bint – you made me spew all over my monitor! Now I have to clean it up. I should charge you a cleaning fee!


Leslie Holman-Anderson June 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

Snowy, I LOVE your idea! But I do not believe they would understand. I mean — how dare you give away ‘their’ money!


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