Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How our wedding was 'almost' famous

So some of you may be familiar with the show, Get Married.  I found my way to the blogging world through this show for they have a Blogger Brides area on their web site where brides can come and create a simple profile and blog about their weddings, questions, etc.  I eventually became a featured blogger over there and 'met' A Chocolate Lover's Confessions...she led me over to start my own personal blog.  Thanks, girl!  I love it out here in the blogosphere!

Anyway, through Get Married, back in February, 2009, I heard about a contest hosted by Jean M products.  They are an invitation company but also sell many other wedding related items and products.  Well, they were hosting a contest that they hold once a year to find a bride that will receive a bunch of prizes.  The prizes for the year that I found out about it were:

1)  A personal consultation with Jean to design your Save the Dates and invitations.  (They fly you out to their headquarters in Minnesota for this consultation)
2)  About $4,000 worth of Jean M wedding products to adorn your big day (favor boxes, ribbons, toasting flutes, favors, vases, etc)
3)  Having photos from your wedding used in the next year's catalogue.
4)  Having your wedding featured on the Get Married tv show.
5)  A one week honeymoon in your choice of either the Bahamas, Hawaii, or Mexico.

All you had to do to enter was create a short video using any cell phone camera, video camera, web cam, etc telling Jean M why they should select you to be their bride.  They wanted you to tell them about your wedding and tell them what makes you unique and personal and why you should be chosen.

Easy enough - you all know from my little surprise I showed you here that I am totally capable of creating a video like this in under 4 minutes.  So I browsed through their past year's web site entries to look at the videos that were submitted then for some inspiration.  Funny thing was, I only found about 10 videos or so...strange.

Anyway, this was what I came up with and submitted:

Now this wasn't the end of the contest...for the rules state that once the video is submitted, they post it to a web site where you then direct your friends, family, anyone you can to go 'VOTE' for your video.  The top 20 videos with the most votes would then move on to the judges round where a winner would be selected.

Well, our video (above) was the very first entry and thanks to facebook and e-mail I had like 100 votes a day coming in within the first two weeks!  We had a great head start.  And a few of the next videos submitted after ours basically copied my style and idea...so I knew we had a good shot with creativity.  And of course our venue was way unique and cool so how could that not get us some extra points, right?

Cut to about 1 1/2 months into the contest...I get a phone call from a woman at Jean M telling me they are making some 'changes' to the contest.  Apparently, they only received 7 video entries which was not much at all...they were expecting hundreds.  They also said they had been contacted by many brides saying they just didn't have the time while planning a wedding to come up with a video but really wanted to enter the contest.

So Jean M decided (as was their right per the rules) that they were going to switch the contest back to the way it had been done in previous years so that all you needed to do to enter was submit a one page application and photo of you and your groom.  They posted all the entries on their Facebook page and then when the contest ended a month or two later they had about 800 entries total.  However, instead of voting to see who the top 20 would be, Jean M chose 20 entries from the submissions themselves.

This really sucked...especially since we had received 3500 votes by the time they changed the contest over!  And all of our family and friends who had been voting every single day were pretty upset.  It seemed pretty irritating that they were willing to listen to these brides who didn't think their contest and prize was worth the effort of creating a simple short video.  Hell, some of the entries submitted were basically power point presentations with narration to them!  On the phone, they told us they absolutely loved our video and totally enjoyed watching it over and over again.  And so what was the consolation for this change after all our hard work?  They took the 7 videos who had entered and automatically placed them in the top 20 list.

Ok, I could totally live with that as I felt like we were a shoe in at this point!  I mean, how the heck could you possibly pick a one page written application and photo as being more creative than the video we submitted?  Or any of the other 6 people submitted?

I was wrong...when the day came to announce the winner, they selected a couple who wanted an 'Old Hollywood' style glamour at their wedding with classic shades of ivory and black and red...a la Frank Sinatra or Norah Jones.  Seriously?

Mr Fix It was totally pissed off...I was kind of disappointed...but looking back on it, I am *SO* glad we didn't win.  For if we had won the contest, I wouldn't be going on the dream honeymoon to Australia and Bali for 2 weeks that we have planned.  And I wouldn't have been able to incorporate the super fun and custom invitations I absolutely adore!  And I wouldn't have had all the cutesy details and favor boxes and other things that I have been planning and purchasing for the past year.  My wedding is in fact, my wedding now...not Jean M's.  And as much as I would have loved to have won the freebies and get featured on a tv show, in the end, I realized things worked out exactly as they were meant to be :)

Have you ever entered any contests or giveaways?  Did you win or get let down about anything?


Em said...

How fun! The video was great! You have a really good recording voice (I hate hearing my own voice.)

It's probably better that you didn't win. Whenever I watch wedding shows I always feel sort of bad for the couple. It seems like they spend half of their day doing interviews with the producers. No thanks, I'd rather be with my guests. A free honeymoon would be nice, though!

SG said...

I keep joking with my fiance that I want to go on Bridezillas! HAHA. That show is nuts and even if those women do "play it up" for the cameras why would you want people thinking you are really crazy like that?

Nicole-Lynn said...

You have a great positive attitude about it! I know you were both bummed but it all worked out for the best :)

buhdoop said...

Girl, your video is great. You have a really nice voice to listen to too. I love the Ramen noodle scene at the end, so true!

Too bad with the rule changes, but it's great that your happy you didn't win.

Bicoastal Bride said...

I hate it when people “change” the rules later in the game, and think it’s very unprofessional for a company hosting a contest. But I also know exactly what you mean when you say that sometimes not winning can be a blessing in disguise. I’m glad you got to create your wedding, your way. Just for fun, we applied to be on Get Married, but I doubt there’s even enough time left before our wedding day at this point.

PartyPlannerGal said...

I love your video you submitted, but I have to say that I love the unique elements of your wedding more! Bummer that they changed the rules - that's really annoying. But you're right, it definitely was a blessing in disguise.

Cupcake Wedding said...

That seems incredibly unfair. Sorry.

Ghenet said...

Ugh, not cool! But your video was awesome and I agree-you're wedding is definitely more *you* now!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Amazing video dear!

Boo to Jean M, the last minute changes were simply ridiculous - they should have thought of that in the beginning.

Your wedding will still be amazing of course so glad things still worked out!

Chocolate Lover said...

Your video looks great! And your attitude about this is even greater :) Its annoying that they changed it all like that, but I love how your wedding is turning out! Its so you I think! And I am super glad you are on blogger :D

very married said...

haha - i entered us into practically EVERY wedding contest available. turns out we're pretty normal and every winner seemed to be someone who met at the hospital while he was donating a kidney to her or she rescued him from a burning house and went back in to save his cat too.

oh well!

DOM said...

I find it truly amazing that you look at a crappy situation and turn it into a positive! In all honesty, I would have felt the same way.. i wouldn't have liked someone deciding all the little details for me. we're details kind of people, that would just suck the fun out of everything!

We won a trip for 4 to Cuba back in November through a Facebook contest!! It was an insane and stressful 2 weeks, but the out come sure was worth it!! : )

Gaynor said...

You are totally right in that it prob all worked out as it was meant too and you have the wedding you want - they say everything happens for a reason (thats what im thinking about being made redundant - was obviously meant to happen at this time!?!)

Rubbish they changed the rules once you had entered though!

Salt said...

I love your video! But I think your wedding will end up being more amazing because you did it on your own. I can't believe how close it's getting!!!

Gracie said...

That's a really great video! I love the way you presented your story and incorporated the products. It's such a shame that changed the rules but I guess maybe it's alright because as you mentioned, now you can have 'your' wedding.

Still you put so much effort into it!

Mrs T said...

You would have totally won! That video was SO cool. And you are SO cute. Loved hearing your voice and seeing you in real life! The end was funny too.

But you're right - everything happens for a reason.

Your wedding is going to be awesome!

elena said...

You video is great and great story!!! The most important you documented it and it will last forever. All these stories are so great! You guys all should have it documented on your website or it all will be forgotten... all the details like a journal like Stacey did. The best rated Free Wedding Website is at www.LobsterWedding.com Go to watch Demo and then Custom Templates - they have special promotion now and first 500 users will get free custom template. Just read testimonials. It is perfect for those with great stories to be shared and no need to spend a penny! What a great resource!

Recession Bride said...

Wow, that is *really* lame that they changed the contest.

The only bridal-related contest I've entered (and won!) was submitting a funny story about your wedding/engagement and you could win a MissNowMrs gift card. I'm veerrry excited.

But I completely agree in general -- it's like those TODAY weddings where America votes. You can see sometimes those brides absolutely hate the dress "America" is forcing them to wear because they loved a different one, or everyone votes for these bridesmaid dresses that don't match the wedding at all, etc. It is very much "Be careful what you wish for!"

Vera D. said...

Actually, I've won a lot of contests -- Davina + Daniel's dream photography contest (they chose the winner by reading all the entries), the iDIY letterpress machine (out of 1600 entries!) and 100 postcards from @QueButtons. I won Soiree Designs cigar box, but it ended up the company she ran the contest for was bogus so we never got our prize.

I feel pretty lucky but after reading your story I would be very disappointed and frustrated to be so close!

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