Once the engagement excitement wears off and the soon-to-be married couple gets down to the brass tacks of wedding planning, one huge realization inevitably slaps them across their faces – getting married is expensive!
An average American wedding is more expensive than a luxury car, now a days, and many couples find themselves with champagne dreams, but a Kool-Aid budget. Most rely on family and friends or adjust their plans to make for a more reasonable budget. But one couple is putting their trust in corporate America to foot the bill. Behold, America’s first corporate-sponsored wedding.
Courtney McKenzie and fiancé Jamil dreamed of an 11 day Thailand wedding adventure complete with elephants, fireworks, sacred temple tours, and exotic excursions, but the price tag placed their vision well out of grasp. McKenzie, a digital marketing professional, began brainstorming ways they could bring their wedding to life and came up with idea of creating a platform for wedding sponsorship campaigns. In an interview with Madame Noir, she explains, “After about a week of planning we launched www.sponsorourwedding.com, a crowd funding platform that will be used to help us and other couples raise corporate sponsorships in exchange for publicity pre- and post-wedding day.”
So, the couple decided to take a cue from athletic teams and television networks and offer their December nuptials to businesses as a vehicle for brand exposure through product placements and social media buzz. According to their website, the bride and groom plan to use their personal social media accounts – a 30,000 plus following – as a platform for their sponsors throughout their pre-wedding planning and their 11 days in Thailand.
“We are a young, fun couple who opted to have an adventure instead of a traditional wedding. We have created several sponsorship categories that incorporate your amazing company in our one-of-a-kind social wedding. We will be hashtagging, tweeting and instagramming our way through Thailand to our over 30,000 combined social media followers and we want to include some of our favorite brands on our adventure,” says the website home page.
If a company were to sign up, they would receive extensive benefits including, logo placement on bride’s wedding dress or groom’s tuxedo, customized hashtags, logo t-shirts worn in wedding and honeymoon shots, and a company video prominently displayed on the wedding website. Even placements on the bride’s bouquet and shoes are up for grabs.
Though a large part of the proceeds will be going to the couple’s trip, the website does note that a percentage will be donated to charity through their Wedding with a Cause campaign.
Thus far, the response has been positive with over 40,000 likes on the couples Facebook announcement, but is this the best precedent to set?
In my opinion, weddings are meant to be a special moment shared between you, your partner, and select guests, not the NFL or Taco Bell. If brands begin seeing weddings as a marketing opportunity, it could be a slippery slope we all do not want to tumble down. Next we’ll have logo boards behind the altar and commercials during the unity candle lighting. Also, if a couple is unable to pay for the dream wedding, does that mean they should petition major corporations or is this a moment to re-evaluate expectations.
BMWK – Would you consider seeking corporate sponsorship for a wedding? Is this a good idea or just a recipe for disaster?