A former Raleigh couple has gained international attention for the outside-the-box thinking they’ve applied to their upcoming wedding.
David Grzybowski, a former reporter for WNCN, and Jodi Gilbert, the former communications manager for Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines, got engaged at the Umstead Hotel in Cary in June. They each posted a photo from the engagement on their social media accounts, and Gilbert, in a Facebook post, included the hashtag #LookingForASponsor – as a joke.
A few months later, the two had relocated to Cherry Hill, N.J., and were deep into the wedding planning process when they thought: maybe sponsors aren’t such a bad idea after all.
“We were saying, how can we make this fun? It kinda just started as a joke,” Gilbert said in a phone interview Friday.
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Grzybowski said he got a logo made by a graphic artist friend and posted it on social media. That’s when things sort of took off.
“One thing led to another,” Grzybowski said. “I’m friends with a lot of media people here and we got a few phone calls, and it’s been one story after another.
“In my first interview, I said we want this to be seen by millions of people, with a plan of it going viral – and I think we did just that,” Grzybowski said. In addition to South Jersey and Philadelphia area media, they have been contacted by “Good Morning America,” ABC News, the New York Daily News and The Daily Mail in London.
They’re paying for the big stuff
Gryzbowski and Gilbert explain that they aren’t trying to get strangers to pay for their whole wedding, which takes place in Philadelphia in June. They’ve paid for the venue and the dress and they’re paying for all their guests – all the big stuff. But they think it’d be cool to have sponsors provide some extras to make the wedding more fun for the wedding party and guests.
“We’re just looking to bring in local companies to have fun,” Gibson said, “and make it kind of like an Oscars party with little goodie bags and promote local businesses in exchange for little entertaining stuff.”
And they do have sponsors who are interested.
So far they have locked down hair and makeup, and a local power-washing company wants to sponsor the best man speech.
“That’s kind of cool and funny,” Grzybowski said.
Family is on board
Gilbert, who works in public relations, and Gryzbowski, who works in video and social media, moved back to the South Jersey area in September to be closer family. They both have parents there battling cancer.
“It’s good to be closer to family during a time when our parents are recovering and going through treatment,” Gryzbowski said.
And their parents are totally on board with their off-the-wall wedding idea, Gilbert added.
“They love the idea,” she said. “They were supportive from the very beginning when I jokingly put the hashtag up. They love it and they’re getting involved with it too – and they love the coverage we’ve gotten so far.”