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?

-emiko

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. Ok… so this is how I did it at my wedding –
    I was very interested in whether vendors would be willing to negotiate on price (or services) if I offered to allow for promotional materials at my wedding. I figured if I opened up the conversation I’d see where it would go. Surprisingly people were willing to talk about it. Sometimes negatively and sometimes positively – but at least I wouldn’t be worried about a missed savings opportunity (my cheapness knows no bounds).
    This is how it panned out. Photographers won’t do it unless they’re just starting out. They’ll get all the exposure they need when you share their product on facebook or any other medium. The caterer wouldn’t even talk about it lol. I was able to get 10% off and free delivery of my cake by allowing the bakery to put business cards right next to the cake and on our signing table. But the best deal came from our event decorator. He provided us with a great overall price, he didn’t charge us for the labor of set up and take down, and gifted us two extra flower arrangements. He was eager to gain exposure from a wider audience because he typically only styled Indian weddings. We wouldn’t have know that unless we started the conversation about promotional materials for services. We made sure his company info was available in multiple locations.
    Basically what it came down to was companies don’t like to give stuff away for free, but it never hurts to ask. They have no real assurances that they’re getting the marketing you promised. It doesn’t hurt to ask about deals – but I still budget things at full price.

  2. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with a couple leaving out business cards from some of their vendors. If I were planning my wedding and really loved their photographer or cake, it would make it much easier for me to have all their contact info already in my hands without having to bother the bride and groom. I think, as long as the cards aren’t stuck on a guest’s plate, they are discreet enough to still be classy AND save the couple money.

    What I take issue with are couples treating their wedding day like a freakin’ charity function. Unfortunately, there are many couples who think that just because they are getting married, they are entitled to a big, fluffy wedding. No, sorry, you aren’t entitled to anything except the RIGHT to get married (to another consenting adult, of course). At the end of the day, as long as you have a valid marriage certificate that says ‘these people be together legally now, yo,’ then your wedding was a success. Everything else (while certainly lovely!) is gravy. So I believe that couples should throw the wedding they can afford, whether that’s making sure they host their guests properly with food and drink at a reception or eloping privately- whatever method they choose, they are the ones deciding how much the event will cost. No one is forcing them to have an expensive wedding. I’ve heard of a bride who actually rented out ad space ON HER VEIL to the highest bidder. What if the company stood for values she and her spouse did not? That, in my opinion, is rather crass and money-hungry.

  3. I agree with everyone who said, “It depends.” What kind of benefit and what kind of advertising? Are we talking regular announcements over the DJ’s sound system in exchange for a free bouquet? Are we talking business cards next to the cake (as someone mentioned) in exchange for 10% off?

    If I was going to do this, I would want to make it my theme. Like, big banners over the catering table, balloons with the name of the florist, “Smith Jones Photography” in place of the “Just married” sign on the car, “Vistaprint is proud to announce the upcoming wedding of…” on the invites. Go big or go home.

    In general, if you can get something for less money while supporting a vendor you love without sacrificing too much, I say go for it.

    Edited to add: I so should have tried to get OBB to sponsor my wedding. Can y’all imagine Ariel writing wedding programs?

  4. This is an idea that I actually considered, but we just didn’t have enough time (4 month engagement) to follow through with. I also wasn’t sure how to do it. But I think it’s awesome. And if the situation works out for both the sponsor and the couple being sponsored, I think it’s a total win!

  5. Are you kidding? Is this really a thing?? Holy shit, this is AWESOME.

    It’s really the same as any other compromise a couple might make while planning their wedding. How is it different from accepting money from your Great Aunt Helen for the gold-leaf disco carousel that is SO YOU, knowing that you have to have the ceremony in her local church, even though you and your partner aren’t religious? People who are completely opposed to getting married in a church are going to turn that offer down. People who are indifferent about the ceremony are going to say SIGN ME UP ZOMG DID YOU SEE THE RHINESTONE HARNESSES?!?

    Added bonus : the people who look down their noses at sponsorship can do so wholeheartedly because sometimes as a guest you don’t always know if Great Aunt Helen pitched in money or not. Likewise people who enjoy wedding competitions will relish marking yet another notch on their wedding belt, because Carousels-R-Us is sooo 2012, people. You want to get the good shit from Mr Peebles’ Fun Factory.

    It’s WIN-WIN!

  6. I would totally do this! I may totally do this. I think if you are willing to do the work to find sponsors you deserve what you can get. And I wouldn’t care one bit if anyone thought less of me. Weddings are expensive. Anything to make it easier is good. If it bothers you that I have “insert brand here” on my buffet don’t come to my wedding. Period.

  7. I would agree with the “it depends” votes. But here’s an interesting perspective. My boyfriend is allergic to peanuts and therefore has to be very careful about any baked goods he eats. We went to a wedding of some friends and they had an absolutely amazing looking cake. I normally don’t eat the things he can’t (partly out of solidarity and partly because there’s a chance of cross-contamination if I kiss him later), but one friend was raving about the cake so he told me I should have a piece. She was right, it was amazing. When we talked to the bride and groom after they got back from their honeymoon 2 weeks later, we found out that they’d gotten their cake from a small local bakery who is very careful about cross-contamination. If we’d known – even from a small sign on the cake table – where the cake had come from, he would have been able to enjoy a piece too!

  8. Awesome Idea, But we don’t have this is South Africa or companies who can sponsor the wedding 🙁

  9. I personally think it’s a fantastic idea. I’m all for saving a buck or a thousand even if it means having “sponsored by…” in a few places. I wonder if any place in Alberta Canada has this. I’ll have to look into it and find out. If anyone knows please let me know :).

  10. I think if it were done in a tactful way I would jump all over that. My fiance and I ordered koozies as wedding favors and I saved $30.00 by opting to have the kustomkoozie website printed in a small spot on the koozie. They showed me the art proof and it was tactful and discrete, i didnt mind it at all. I think everyone wants to have a nice wedding, why not save where you can and have more room in your budget for those must have things.

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