All of the gossip surrounding Kim Kardashian’s wedding has kicked up buzz around the idea of wedding sponsorships again. Many people find the idea of a sponsored wedding inexcusably tacky while others insist that it’s a smart and savvy way to cut the cost of what is likely to be the most expensive day of your life.
Most etiquette experts agree that you should steer clear of having any part of your wedding sponsored, suggesting that you cut the guest list or tone down your taste instead. After all, your guests are there to enjoy themselves and celebrate the love of two people they care about, not get bombarded with advertisements. We see enough advertisements every minute of every day. Shouldn’t we hold some things sacred?
Well, more and more couples these days are saying, “screw that.” Instead of worrying what people may think, they’re using their connections, creativity, and negotiating skills to have some if not all of their wedding day sponsored. With an “if Star Jones can do it, why can’t I?” attitude brides and grooms are turning their backs on convention and going for it.
Unless you’re an A-list celebrity, don’t expect to cash in on your wedding, Kris Jenner style. However there are a few ways you can leverage sponsorships to stretch your budget without offending your guests
If you decide to use wedding sponsors, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Big-Ticket, Big Savings
Rather than try to get every detail of the wedding sponsored by individual vendors, focus on securing a sponsorship for one big-ticket item. Whether you select the wedding dress, the flowers, or the honeymoon, getting what could be a major expense fully paid for or discounted goes much further than less expensive items.
Snag New Talent
Do you know of an up and coming designer, photographer, or other talent who is just starting out in the industry? I’m not suggesting you contact your co-worker’s best friend’s neighbor who just took a photography class. But if you’re aware of a relative newcomer who’s proven herself but could benefit from more exposure, that’s your gal.
Use Your Local Celebrity
Ok, so maybe you’re not a Kardashian, but are you pretty well-known in your community? Perhaps you’re an artist, small business owner, athlete or volunteer with a recognizable name in your town. If your small town paper or the local grapevine is likely to pick up news about your wedding, try using that angle to negotiate with vendors.
Bartering is different from sponsorship, but you could combine the two cost-saving techniques. For example, a caterer might not bite on the idea of sponsoring the wedding for mere mention on your wedding website. But if you’re also an online marketing expert who can help drive traffic back to the company’s site, it makes the gig much more attractive.
Any advertising should be as unobtrusive as possible. The key is to make it noticeable enough for the sponsor to be pleased, yet subtle enough that most guests don’t even recognize that the item was, in fact, sponsored. If you agree to wedding invitation sponsorship, for example, make sure the company’s logo is small and as inconspicuous as possible (comparable to the back of a Hallmark card).
Think Creatively and Strategically
How can you turn the sponsorship into a win-win-win situation? If you focus on getting something you really want, providing something guests will enjoy, and presenting a beneficial opportunity to the vendor, everyone will be happy.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether you agree that sponsorships are tacky no matter how you slice it, or if it’s something you’d consider. If you decide sponsorships are a savvy way to stretch your budget, just be sure not to bombard your guests with blatant ads and awkward announcements.
So what’s the verdict? Where do you stand? Are sponsored weddings tacky or savvy?