It’s your wedding, don’t ask me to pay for it

In the past few days, I have found myself gaping wordlessly at multiple matrimonial begging sites. When did it become acceptable to ask complete strangers to pitch in for your dream wedding? And when did living within your means become gauche?

Peter Dolanjski and Milissa Majic (both students) of Wedding On A Penny want to collect two million pennies from advertisers and other friendly folk to pay for a $20,000 nuptial bash. Perhaps someone should tell them that it is entirely possible to have a fabulous fete for much less?

Wayne and Lynn of The Hopeful Honeymooners hope others will finance the honeymoon of their dreams, which will take them first to South America and then to South Africa. I might have kicked them a couple of bucks (just because I love travel) but those Photoshopped images on their site were just too damn creepy.

And who can forget The Groom’s Gift guy? Since I first mentioned him in March, his gift has grown from $43 to $73.

The idea is not new, of course. Michael Palmer and Kristi Laurita created the now defunct www.weddingbills.com. Someone named Cynthia created www.payforcynthiaswedding.com in an effort to raise $25,000. And CyberBeg and DonateMoney2Me remain as active as ever.

Sure, it’s fun to imagine your ultimate wedding, honeymoon, or gift. But I think it’s far better to buy a book like Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style and to be fabulous in your own way on your special day. No matter how you slice it or how cutesy you attempt to make it look, panhandling (when you are able-bodied and fairly well-to-do) remains totally tacky.

UPDATE: A number of folks have mentioned that the people who have created the abovementioned sites are not panhandling but using savvy marketing tactics. That may be so, but it still does not change the fact that it is tacky. Creative? Sure. Classy? No.

17 Responses to “It’s your wedding, don’t ask me to pay for it”

  1. Twistie says:

    If i didn’t ask my father to pay for my wedding (and since I was almost thirty, I didn’t think asking daddy was very appropriate), I sure as hell wouldn’t ask complete strangers to finance my wedding! Crass beyond expression.

  2. Ninjarina says:

    That’s utterly disgusting.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t that the “American Dream”? Have Everything, Pay Nothing?

    Yeesh. People seem to forget what a wedding really is. It’s the first day of your marraige. Is begging strangers for cash really how you want to start off the rest of your life?

  4. ronikins says:

    If I had to have my portrait photoshopped with an image from Shrek, at least I would have opted for Fiona….NOT the Donkey!!!

  5. Never teh Bride says:

    You’re no doubt right, Anonymous, but the Hopeful Honeymooners aren’t even U.S.ians! So that attitude is apparently spreading.

  6. Gigolo Kitty says:

    I will be happy to donate a kidney to someone who needs it. I refuse to give a cent for someone to hire a limo and DJ for their wedding.

  7. AlwaysABride says:

    I can’t even believe how presumptious and just plain crass these people are — asking people to finance the wedding of THEIR dreams.

    I mean, couldn’t they restrict their ridiculous mooching to family and friends? What — the whole world owes them a fabulous wedding?

    And if I was silly enough to buy into the scheme and actually donate, what would I get? Would I even be invited to the wedding I helped pay for? or at least get a favor?

    They need to get their money the good old fashioned way — EARN IT (by getting some employment other than begging on websites).

  8. Ninjarina says:

    AlwaysABride: Oh, maybe they could just go the route of Star Jones and others that have corporate sponsored weddings as NtB has blogged about before. Way to sell out on your wedding. Even that is slightly less reprehensible since there is some kind of fair exchange going on.

  9. Lynn says:

    Thanks for mentioning our site (The Hopeful Honeymooners). Opinion has generally been divided on what we’re doing, but we look on it as selling adverts to help fund our honeymoon rather than begging! There’s also no way we would ever have asked people to pay for our wedding – that is going too far!

    As for the Shrek/Donkey photoshopped image, Wayne originally did mock me us as Princess Fiona, but I made him change it. Donkey’s much cooler, surely? The images change from time to time anyway, so maybe the Fiona one will appear at some point.

    Lynn x

  10. Nony Mouse says:

    Yikes!
    And to think, my finance and I have set a buget based on the amount of money we have, when we could have set a buget based on how much we could beg from other people. Yick.

  11. Chaeriste says:

    Imagine… living within your means…

  12. Trista says:

    There is a big difference between the websites you mentioned. WeddingOnAPenny is selling advertisements on thier main page, so the contributors are paying for a service – This is NOT begging.

    As far as it being $20,000, you need to set some goal, I think the average wedding price their using is reasonable considering again, that they are SELLING ADVERTISEMENTS.

    This is marketing, pure and simple!

  13. Shelly says:

    You people don’t understand marketing very well. The wedding on a penny website is viral marketing. The difference between this and regular marketing, is that they tell you what they will be using the advertising revenue for – a wedding. This is no different than if the owner of this blog site used the advertising revenue to pay for a wedding! Except, its what they are using the revenue for that is drawing people to take a look at it.

    A few dollars for an advertisement is well worth a quick audience of 6000+ people!

  14. Never teh Bride says:

    Actually, Shelly, viral marketing is no more upfront than traditional marketing. Often, it is less so, employing stealth techniques to infiltrate social networks by word of mouth. Viral marketing also employs enhanced or entertaining content or memes to promote a product or service – and I’m not seeing that here.

  15. Shelly says:

    Exactly, the meme that someone is actually succeding in raising funds through this method draws people to the site, and spreads almost like a virus. In fact, you are helping to propagate this meme right now. Viral marketing in no way needs to employ “enhanced” content as you put it, just as long as it is able to successfully spread through a word-of-mouth type of manner.

  16. this behaviour cannot be justified IMHO. Not to say it isn’t inventive. *shrug*

  17. Ugh – what really annoys me is that the English couple claim to be all about charity and that they’ll give a tiny percentage of the funds they raise over 5000 away. As if by dressing up beggign it somehoe makes it better. They should give the whole lot!