18 August 2009

Selling the idea of "The Wedding"

Over the past few weeks, I've gained a new skill. Marketing reps should be quite proud of me; I now have plenty experience with cold calling friends, family, and strangers about our wedding.

Our invites were sent out a few weeks ago, and the RSVP date was this past weekend (I promise I'll share the details on our invites soon!). Out of the 175 people we invited, only 25 have actually RSVP'd, be it yes or no. The calling game has begun, and it's not fun.

At first it wasn't so bad - I called a few of our family and friends I was pretty sure were planning on coming. As suspected, they were just a little late with their "yes" RSVP. It's been wonderful hearing people say things like "I wouldn't miss your wedding for the world!", "Of course we're coming!", and "Viking-ninjas couldn't stop me!". Now we've gotten to the doldrums of the delinquency list. Now we're calling the maybes, and the most-likely-nos. And it's no fun.

The worst part is the "maybes" who are worried about coming to our wedding because it's at a campgrounds. The first thing I've heard from a lot of people is "we'll be staying at a motel in the neighboring city", and then "I have to catch a plane at 7am the day after the wedding", and after that the always popular "do we really have to bring sleeping bags?".


Yes. You really need to bring a sleeping bag. Don't worry, you'll be fine. The cabins are a little rustic, but they are heated. I understand that all the airlines smoked some crack a few years ago and decided to charge for checked luggage, but if you really don't want to pay $25 for an extra bag, we can arrange for you to rent a sleeping bag when you get to town (hopefully I can fit this into my already ballooning list of errands to run during my ONLY WEEK IN THE STATES).

It's really not advisable to stay at a motel in a neighboring city. While you mean well, it will only cause you more strife. Remember, our venue isn't exactly NORMAL. It's surrounded entirely by Nature Conservancy land, and the main access is via once-daily ferry. It is physically possible to drive to the camp, but only a handful of cars are allowed at the camp grounds. Since it's in a forest, the idea is to preserve it, not pollute it. READ: there's a reason we're recommending everyone sleep at the camp. It's easy. Driving to a "neighboring" motel is most definitely not.

Unfortunately, even those who are definitely coming to our wedding are having issues dealing with the uniqueness of our venue. Almost every phone call I make to our family and friends includes me selling the idea of our wedding. Here I am, living in another country, finalizing the plans for my wedding, and I'm left reassuring our guests that yes there are bathrooms (communal), and yes the food will be healthy, and no you probably shouldn't try to get a hotel in the neighboring town. Oh, and by the way, YES it will be a wonderfully fun and amazing weekend! I find myself telling our guests not to worry about the circumstances of our wedding so much, and it's really getting me down.

Why should I have to sell the idea of our wedding so much? At this point, I really feel like the best wedding gift anyone could give us is REALLY just their presence. I know that's what a lot of people say - "your presence at our wedding is the only gift we need!" - but seriously. It would be such a wonderful gift for our guests to chill out & go with the flow.

I understand that a lot of people think the idea of a wedding is to include as many family members as possible. By that notion, I should have planned my wedding to be at a country club or some other place that's easily accessible. That may be suitable for some people, but it just isn't for Mr. Bear Cub and myself. It's just not us. We wouldn't feel comfortable - it wouldn't feel as sacred or special unless we had done it our way. And our way is how we always feel comfortable - in nature, playing fun games (like frisbee!), and camping, singing, laughing, hugging. I know this means that not everyone can make it to our wedding - we understood that when we signed the contract at our venue. A wedding means something different to everyone, but I believe that above all else, it should be a community effort. For a short while, everyone puts aside their issues and worries, and works to make the wedding a success. Everyone together, and everyone with a positive attitude.

I have a pretty freakin positive attitude when it comes to our wedding, but recently it feels like it's being stretched too thin.

Have you had to sell the idea of your wedding to your guests? If you've had a few guests that have been nervous about attending your wedding for whatever reason, how have you eased their nerves? And how have you kept a positive attitude, while being beaten down by the nay-sayers?


  1. Oh gosh. Maybe you need a bulletin with all your selling points:).

  2. bulletin:
    1. It's awesome
    2. deal with it. It's awesome.