The recession has forced almost everyone to make a change in one way or another. For one Atlanta couple, their wedding has turned into more than they had anticipated.
Vanessa Caldwell and Cole Parker are getting married on November 11, and needed a way to cover their expenses. They decided to turn to their friends and family for help.
Caldwell started a website, soliciting donations to help pay for the event. The couple’s wedding announcement even has a Paypal link to allow guests to donate directly. So far, the couple has received enough donations to cover $750 of their $2,000 budget.
The couple also has deals with the florist and the photographer, allowing them to advertise at the wedding, in exchange for no charge for the pictures and flowers.
The idea was born out of necessity. As business owners, the couple puts every spare penny they have into growing their small business, leaving them without much in the way of spending money. The recession forced them to cut back, and they needed help paying for everything.
Some who visit the couple’s website or are aware of their plan aren’t sure how to react. Some view the request for donations as an ‘admission’ price charged to guests, or as just plain tacky. Others see no problem with lending a helping hand.
Part of me sees this as an interesting idea, but I would feel obligated to pay if I was planning on attending. I wouldn’t want to show up and eat the food and listen to the music if they’d asked for help and I hadn’t paid. I understand wanting to give some ‘direction’ to those who might give you a gift, but isn’t that what a wedding registry is for?
Is asking guests for financial help a one-time thing, or will we see more of this in the future? How would you feel if a friend or family asked for a donation instead of a gift?
Updated January 26, 2011 and originally published September 10, 2009.