Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Posted by LeAnn Stephenson
Ever been invited to a "surprise wedding?" Well, if your name had graced the guest list of a celebration for Pingg CEO Lorien Gabel and artist Jessica Licthenstein, you would have recieved not only an invitation via Pingg; but a video, as well. In spite of the couple's aversion to . . . uhmmm . . . well . . . "commitment" in general, they were married recently in quite a unique ceremony. They were perfectly happy to remain a "commitment-phobic" couple . . . completely in love, while simultaneously in denial; that is, until "THE IDEA" hit 'em. Jessica's pat response to friends who asked the “when are you going to get married” question, was, “The only way you could get me to show up at my own wedding is if I didn’t know it was a wedding!” And there it was, the "AH HA! MOMENT." They would elope, throw a party afterward, and send invitations to everyone they knew, but their guests would be kept in the dark about their nuptials. They started from scratch and boiled down the party to its essentials and decided what they really wanted for their wedding. They knew they wanted their friends to see a part of their ceremony, but not necessarily have to sit through it in real-time. They knew they wanted to celebrate with people, but didn’t want the traditional first dances, toasts, and cutting and smearing of cakes to be part of the plan.
The final idea boiled down to this: a ceremony in Vegas in the middle of a desert, surrounded by sand, wind, rusted cans, and just 3 guests, namely some of their best friends, who just happened to be a director, a camera operator, and an editor, known as The Sibs. The couple invited everyone to their combined 30th/40th birthday parties using Pingg, they created what they thought was a unique invitation that symbolized their relationship. At the party they showed their friends the "David-Lynch-meets-Oliver-Stone" type movie of their private wedding ceremony and the place literally erupted. Lorien and Jessica were brought to tears by their friends' reactions while the video looped in the background at the celebration.
The groom, Lorien and his brother started Pingg with the idea that people want to incorporate their own personal style into all aspects of their lives, including their invitations. "Pingg gives people a voice— a canvas to write whatever they want, send it however they’d like, and provides users with a web page to express themselves in words and pictures. It was this idea, taking something so firmly entrenched in tradition—a wedding invitation, or any invitation for that matter—and twisting it a bit, adding a bit of our own flavor and style, that allowed us to have the wedding invitation, wedding video, and ultimately, the wedding party we had always wanted, yet never could imagine." said Lorien.
I remember feeling like a rock star on my own wedding day, but these two are the real deal! And with that, I give you their invitation and their innovative “Surprise we already got married!” video.
If you would like to share your wedding with us, or are an event planner or photographer that was an integral part of a creative wedding celebration, please send lots of great photos, videos and the details to me, The Vintage Laundress, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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