We 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.