How To Get Your Wedding Sponsored & Save Lots of Money

get your wedding sponsoredWe all know that weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the US is close to $30,000! Crazy, right? In order to pay for this, many couples either take on debt, save like crazy to pay for a dream wedding, or cut costs by restricting the number of guests and going DIY on the whole thing.

However, wouldn’t it be more fun to get some of those things for free without having to make 40 flower arrangements by yourself?

This Wedding Was Brought to You By…

Rather than pay for their wedding, some couples are opting to get some or the whole thing sponsored by businesses and brands. This may seem like a crazy idea, but the trend for sponsored weddings is growing. When the local junior football team can get sponsored by Hooters, why not brand your big day?

How to Get Your Wedding Sponsored

The first thing you need to do is create an image/brand for yourself. After all, this is serious business! So how do you do that? Well first, set up an account on The Knot and make it look snazzy. By snazzy I mean upload a picture of your and your fiance to one of their pre-created websites and fill in a story about your relationship. That way, whenever you e-mail a company about a sponsorship, you can show them a little bit about yourself. When thinking about sponsorships, consider that you will probably have more luck getting specific parts of the wedding sponsored by relevant businesses – say the catering, photography or flowers – than having the whole thing paid for by one company.

You might be wondering why a business would even be interested in sponsoring a wedding when they can get paid to do the same thing. And it’s true that popular businesses are probably not going to want to sponsor you because they’ve already got enough work on their own.

However, new businesses and businesses looking to break into the wedding market are a perfect target for sponsorship opportunities. They probably don’t have a big marketing budget, but are still looking for a way to gain exposure for their services. If your sponsorship opportunity is targeted enough and can provide them with greater exposure than traditional advertising, then the only cost to them is their time and materials.

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

Just like any other sponsorship arrangement, businesses that sponsor a wedding want to know that they will get a good return on their dollar. The best way to attract sponsors is to put together an advertising package. This package should outline the exposure or other benefits that the sponsor will receive, what the cost will be, and the expected benefits for them. Remember that the sponsorship arrangement needs to benefit both you and the sponsor for it to work. If you need help making an advertising package without spending a lot of money, my advice is to hit up Fiverr and find someone who will do it for $5!

The sort of exposure you might provide for the sponsor could include having their logo or business card sent out with the invitations; having their logo on the Order of Ceremony or incorporated into the table decorations, and arranging for the MC to acknowledge them during the speeches.

You’ll also have more luck getting sponsored if you can gain attention for them beyond the day itself. I recommend that you start a blog about your wedding and work on getting plenty of readers and followers before you even start approaching potential sponsors. You need to demonstrate that you are savvy with social media and online marketing and can get maximum exposure.

You should also find a way to make your wedding unique in some way. Do you have an interesting story about how you got together? What about any difficulties that you have had to overcome in your lives or relationship? Can you get married in a unique location or incorporate an interesting theme? Local newspapers love covering this sort of thing, and you can use this potential media exposure get sponsors.

Don’t Let it Get Over the Top

Just make sure that your desire for a free wedding doesn’t overshadow the point of the whole day. When every guest is forced to wear a Tom’s Plumbing baseball cap and the bridesmaids dresses are Wendy’s aprons, then you’ve probably gone too far.

Remember that you want your wedding to be memorable for the right reasons, and a giant, floating Duff Beer blimp isn’t most people’s idea of wedding chic.

 

Have you ever considered getting a wedding or party sponsored?

The above was written by Nell Casey. Nell is a freelance writer and blogger living in Australia. Nell writes about personal finance at The Million Dollar Diva.

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford aka "Cat" is a personal finance freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. To learn more about her writing services, please visit her Hire Me page or e-mail her at Cat[at]BudgetBlonde[dot]com. Follow her on Google + to get all the latest updates.

Lovely comments:

  1. I would’ve been way to shy to consider anything like this but I don’t see anything wrong with it. To each their own!

  2. What a great idea. After watching the wedding shows and seeing how they name every brand that donates I’ve always wondered if it was possible to do it independently. I already have a blog, now I just need a man ;)

  3. I have actually been thinking about this. Some vendors have already contacted me and all they want in return is to be included in a recap of my overall wedding in a blog post. Luckily these are all companies that I would have used, so it makes it super easy!

    • Hey Michelle, it’s great that business are already approaching you. The hardest part would be finding businesses that understand the benefits that sponsorship can bring. And if they are business you would use anyway and it fits in with your wedding then you should go for it.

  4. This is an interesting idea. If and when I get married, I don’t think I would consider it only because I plan to have a very small wedding. I’m talking less than 50 guests, as I don’t want it to be too chaotic. I’m sure vendors would want a bigger turnout, but it’s a neat way to lower wedding expenses while still having the things you want.

    • Hi E.M. I wouldn’t discount the idea of sponsorship just because you are having a small wedding. If you can get exposure beyond the immediate wedding guests (ie, through a blog or media exposure) then that could be just as valuable to a sponsor.

  5. I’ve heard of people doing this although I haven’t attended any wedding with sponsors yet. I think as long as it is tastefully done and doesn’t overshadow your actual wedding, than why not give it a try. I would definitely have a blog where they can even do featured articles – showing how to arrange flowers, etc.

    • Hi Shannon. That’s a great idea for the blog. You could really get sponsors on board if they were providing content. Great idea! Hmm, now I’m thinking about blog ideas for my (non-existent) wedding blog – perhaps The Million Dollar Wedding…? ;)

  6. I suppose it makes sense. All of the things have to come from somewhere and companies put their brand names on things anyway. Makes sense to not give away free advertising in that regard…

  7. I love, love, love this idea. It’s a really ingenious way to tap the value of your wedding without having to rely on your existing income or gifts of funds from family.

  8. Great idea! A bit of subtle advertising could really help with the costs of a wedding. Wish I had thought to look into this for my wedding!

  9. I’ve heard about sponsored weddings but I’m not sure if it’s something I would even consider. Although it may work for others. Do you know anyone personally who had a sponsored wedding?

    • Hi Marisa, I don’t know anyone personally that has had sponsorship at their wedding, but I’ve definitely seen that it’s gaining more prominence. I think the trend actually started in the UK, and then has become popular in the US. I actually think that it could be a great way to offset the cost of the wedding if you do it in a classy, and not intrusive, way.

  10. This is a great idea! I saw a website a couple of months ago by a couple who is trying to get their whole wedding sponsored. Not sure if I could have the whole wedding sponsored, but I wouldn’t mind having some elements sponsored at my own wedding.

    • I agree Lisa that it’s probably easier to have elements of the wedding sponsored, rather than the whole thing. But there have certainly been couples that have managed to have the whole thing sponsored. One couple in the UK had a Pounds 20k wedding sponsored in full!

  11. “When every guest is forced to wear a Tom’s Plumbing baseball cap and the bridesmaids dresses are Wendy’s aprons, then you’ve probably gone too far.” HIlarious! My wife and I did not go this route when we got married two years ago, but I definitely was aware that the option was out there.

  12. I do think that, if you cannot afford a wedding, you shouldn’t have one (or at least keep it very small). In my country weddings have 2 parts (one is mandatory, one not):

    1. go to get the paperwork done (the townhall or something similar). This is the mandatory part, since you have an official give you the OK and you also get the wedding certificate from there. You need two witnesses and you can cal friends and family. The entire process is 5-10 minutes and you are officially married after this.

    2. the white wedding, church and the big party. Some couples (us included), decide NOT to go this route. We’re not usually going to church ourselves and honestly we have better things to do with the money (especially since we’re expecting our child and there’s always money to be saved. So we skipped this part.

    We went just for the ‘civilian’ part, dressed nice (not in a wedding dress, just some nice clothing), had around 40 people with us (close friends/family) and almost 30 came with us at a nearby restaurant, where we served them lunch and chatted. It all lasted about 4 hours, it cost us little (around 600 bucks) and we had a GREAT TIME.

    I don’t feel ‘robbed’ of my big day, it was amazing to just say ‘yes’ and have the people who mean the most in our lives share the moment. We didn’t break the bank and can get ready for when our child comes. As a mother to be I consider that my wedding day will not be the best in my life (we’ve been actually together for 11 years), probably when our daughter will arrive that will be our best day. Or.. who knows what the future will bring us.

    Anyway … sponsoring a wedding can be a good idea. If you still consider the entire process to be mandatory and cannot live without, instead of getting into serious debt or messing up your savings just for a day (no matter how special), this might actually work nicely. I would accept this ‘compromise’ to be honest, if it meant us starting our life together in a better financial position and still getting ‘our big day’.

  13. I would definitely try out this method! Especially for something as costly as a wedding!

  14. Wow, My partner and I have been talking about getting married for two years now. Each time the subject comes up we both just hang our heads at the ridiculous cost that we would rather put into our mortgage. This idea is brilliant though and if anyone comes up with a “how to” for a sponsored wedding I really want to hear about it. It does lead me to think about whether I should start a wedding blog or even incorporate it into my current money blog? Thoughts anyone? It is all about saving money after all! Maybe after we have had our second child ( in the planning process) I will consider this more seriously but thanks so much for the idea its definitely worth exploring. To be quite honest if it meant wearing a plumbing hat for a few worth of wedding stuff I would probably do it haha. At least your photos would be original!

  15. Stephanie says:

    @budgetblonde

    I know this post is old, but I would like to know how would you recommend a person find out the newer companies from the more established ones?

  16. A Jeweler says:

    A friend of mine who also works in the industry just received a sponsorship email from a soon to be wedded couple. He wasn’t their source for their wedding bands or engagement ring(s). They just asked him out of the blue if he’d provide the bride with jewelry to wear at the wedding.

    Let me put it nicely: This is insulting. Don’t, just don’t.

    This is the equivalent of asking a graphic designer to do some work for you because of the “GREAT EXPOSURE.”
    The same goes for any other artistic endeavor. We work hard to create this jewelry, and if you like it and want to wear it at your wedding, RESPECT US enough to buy it from us. You and I both know that any “exposure” you give us isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

    Thanks.

  17. Soulsmart18 says:

    The idea of having a sponsored wedding came to me in the shower this morning. At first I was like noooo, but then the idea seemed to grow bigger and I was lost in my mind trying to figure it out. This would be great for me and my fiance since we are both young college students and my fiance is on dialysis. We tried to have a small wedding, but me and my fiance have a big CLOSE family and a wonderful church family who all cant wait until our big day. Where would I even start to look? Who would/should I consider contacting? Im getting ready to start vlogging soon on youtube, but until that what should I start doing?

  18. Natisha DeHart says:

    My fiancé wants to get married in a sleeveless camo tux. This is his first marriage and the second for me. I got married at the court house. So never having a real wedding, I would love to be able to have a few of my little girl wedding dreams come true. Any suggestions on finding a sponser for my semi-formal redneck wedding?!

Trackbacks

  1. […] thanks to Cat at Budget Blonde for featuring my guest post on how to save money on a wedding by getting sponsored. I had a lot of fun researching this post and if I ever get married I think I’ll look at […]

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    […] Alford @ Budget Blonde writes How To Get Your Wedding Sponsored & Save Lots of Money – If you can’t afford your dream wedding, get your wedding sponsored! Here are a […]

  4. […] Alford @ Budget Blonde writes How To Get Your Wedding Sponsored & Save Lots of Money – If you can’t afford your dream wedding, get your wedding sponsored! Here are a […]

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