How far would you go to save money: Would you have a “sponsored wedding”?

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Original photo by Andrew Malone, remixed by Creative Commons License.
Original photo by Andrew Malone, remixed by Creative Commons License.
So, in my crawls across the internet I came across the idea of “sponsored weddings” e.g. services that you either get discounted or free in exchange for promotions/advertisements at the wedding.

On one hand, I think it's tacky… on the other, I think it's fabulous.

What are your thoughts on all of this?


Ok, so first thing's first: watch out with the word “tacky.” We're of the opinion here that when it comes to weddings, it's ALL kind of tacky. The bigger question is what factors would make this particular budget-saving measure feel comfortable — or if it just doesn't feel comfortable no matter what you do.

We'd like to open this question up to readers: is there any way you'd feel comfortable having portions of your wedding sponsored? Or is the idea just not for you? Remember, the question is NOT “is this idea tacky?” It's ALL tacky.

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Comments on How far would you go to save money: Would you have a “sponsored wedding”?

  1. I could see looking into some sort of sponsorship if it fit with your theme. Like if you are going with dolphin themed and having a ceremony in front of Seaworld’s dolphin tank. Or if you are doing a coca-cola theme trying to get coke to spring for some of the decor (with their name on it).

    I think this would bring some questions to the Offbeat Empresses here: If a tribesmaid is pitching a sponsorship for their wedding, part of that pitch would be that the Tribe would get wedding porn (pics). The sponsor would be essentially getting advertising without paying the blog owner. Recently we have seen lots of shark themes due, I assume, to a shark week theme. How would you feel if one of the highlighted weddings had a Shark Week logo in key places in the photos and the Discovery channel was paying (or providing free stuff to) the bride and groom?

  2. When I think of a sponsored wedding, I picture one where all the vendors are giving services and items, and the end result would be that wedding imagery being used online or in print as an advertisement. The Couple would have some control but I am thinking “today show” style where the event is styled. If you just wanted a beautiful of the moment wedding it might be a great idea. I would think you would have to fit the look that the vendors are trying to achieve. It might be fun. It might be strange to see your I do moment on the side of a bus 🙂

  3. My easy answer for this is “yes”… but only if it was for the beer we’re serving. We bonded over the beer, we’re serving it instead of champagne (we’ll provide wine and non-alcoholic drinks as an alternative), and it will probably come up in some other way during the whole production. (I’d love to be able to stand under a sign that read, “Brought to you by Guinness”).

    On the other hand, I know that our style wouldn’t work for everyone. It can be tacky, and would probably not fit with most people’s ideas of “perfect day”.

    If it works for the bride & groom, I say go for it! It’s expensive enough to put together a wedding; a little bit of help could add some special details which make the day even more special.

  4. I actually wrote a sponsorship request letter to OK Cupid, which is the site my fiance and I met on. I reached out to a couple of other vendors — even Trip Advisor, since we already had several links to them on the “Guest Information” section of our wed-site. A couple of local vendors were open to providing discounted services in exchange for a logo on the programs and on our site. Unfortunately, the services they offered were not ones we needed (i.e. we were offered 50% off wedding coordination instead of the requested donated linen rental). We never heard a peep from OK Cupid — I imagine they probably get those requests all the time — but we got some serious warm’n’fuzzies from the surprising generosity of the local vendors who responded positively.

    We ended up not having anything sponsored, and that’s certainly ok, too. 🙂

  5. Unless you’re a big celebrity, vendors aren’t likely to provide their services for free or discount them just for advertising…unless you already have a relationship with them. Most would be insulted if you asked them to do so. Vendors want actual money for their work and efforts. Your wedding prrrrrrobably isn’t the social event of the season.

  6. I used to work in corporate event planning, so I know how had it can be to get companies to give you free things when you can give them them in return (radio spots, online ad space, hundreds of guaranteed attendees,) so I can only imagine the nightmare of trying to find anyone to give you anything for a wedding.

    That said, if someone wanted to give me ANYTHING from a flight to a meal to a hair clip, I would pimp them to no end on my blog. I’m having enough trouble paying for my TINY destination wedding… Depending on the “gift,” I’d be open to flyers in the gift bags, logos on the programs, the whole nine yards.

  7. I have no problem with this. My only question is how do I contact someone in Vegas to make this happen for my upcoming wedding?

  8. I say, “know your crowd.” The reason sponsoring exists is because it allows the host of any event to monetize their guests and their eyeballs. Anyone who is shrewd about advertising will understand that their presence helped benefit you in a way other than their presence alone or any gifts they gave you. That might rub some people the wrong way for one reason or another, and it’s up to the couple to decide if they’re okay accepting that some people won’t like it for that reason, which is the only reason I’d worry about. We all know that the “it’s tacky!” reason is nothing to pay any attention to, haha.

    If I were a guest at such a wedding, so long as the hosts were clearly gracious and considerate of their guests’ comfort in exchange for us being monetized, I’d expect no one would feel too put off by it – why not enjoy the fruits of the sponsorship! Chocolate favors sponsored by so-and-so local amazing patisserie that you wouldn’t have had to offer them otherwise? Why, yes please! More comfortable chairs, courtesy of Bob’s Rent-All? I’m glad to look at their logo for the sake of my butt! Hahaha.

    I’d hope that making a vendor a more obvious sponsor of an event would insure they’d do a damn good job for you, since their reputation is much more “out there” and on the line than usual. Could be yet another benefit to that approach.

  9. I’m sorry, but I would think less of a couple who did this. If you’re thanking vendors or family/friends who’ve done something for your wedding, that’s one thing. Turning your wedding into an advert because you could get something for cheap? No. Throw the wedding you can on the budget you have, and leave advertising to the mass media.

  10. I think doing this is like asking for money to have a party… so No I would not do this. All anyone really needs to do is pay for marriage license and then wear what you already have and make cake or share a cupcake… weddings do not have to be big and fancy because all you really doing is making vows to each other for a life time commitment….

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