There are the conventional methods of tackling the high cost of weddings: Be rich, have a rich family, save forever, or elope/city-hall it. However, we live in an era that rewards creativity and self-promotion, so it should be no surprise that a few engaged couples have gone a completely different route. They’ve asked corporations to sponsor their weddings.
The latest couple to try this are Jodi Gilbert and David Grzybowski. They’ve commissioned a logo, posted it to social media, and grabbed a headline in the Philadelphia Enquirer, all in the name of soliciting sponsors to help pay for their big day.
— David Grzybowski (@DavidGrzyTV) October 19, 2017
“I think what companies would get out of it is something that’s cool to be a part of,” Grzybowski, a currently unemployed TV reporter, told the paper. “Obviously, you can’t promise this will be seen by a million people — but, in our perfect world, it would be.”
He and Gilbert, who works in PR, are in their twenties and know the language of influencers. They have envisioned decals on the dance floor, ads on the invitations, groomsmen’s shoes provided by a name brand, and more.
This love for sale concept is bound to have critics.
“It’s going to be something that’s unique and conversational and fun,” Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Is it traditional and formal? Would I suggest doing it on a regular basis? No, probably not. … If you’re in social media, advertising and marketing, it’s a way to promote yourself and your company. It’s a way to gain attention, but I don’t think that everybody in attendance will be as enthusiastic as [the couple] will be.”
This sort of thing has been done before. Back in 2006, Dave Kerpen and Caroline Fisher got 1800Flowers, the Brooklyn Cyclones, and others, to pay for $75,000 of their $100,000 wedding at Keyspan Park in Coney Island, the New York Times reported. Then in 2014, Courtney McKenzie and Jamil Newell caused quite a stir by casting a wide net for sponsors for their Thailand destination wedding. That stunt worked too — as you can tell by this feature in Essence.
One of the most over-the-top recent examples of a branded wedding wasn’t even sought out by the couple. When a marketing genius at Burger King found out about the impending nuptials of Joel Burger and Ashley King in Illinois, they reached out and offered to pay for it. How could they possibly refuse?
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) July 20, 2015
As Gottsman mentioned, getting corporate sponsorship won’t please the traditionalists. That’s why anyone looking to try this out should be mindful not to pressure friends and family members who own businesses to sign on. It should be as optional as buying a gift off the registry. She also cautioned couples to make sure the guests have given their permission to be associated with the sponsoring brands on social media.
“As a courtesy, I wouldn’t post anybody’s name or tag them without asking them first,” she said.
If this practice remains rare, Gottsman said guests can probably appreciate it as something a little “shticky” and fun. That attitude might not last if everyone jumps on the trend, though.
Guests who don’t approve can always decide to stay home. Or they can remember this about weddings: “We want all couples to have a successful marriage,” Gottsman said, “regardless of how they are spinning the wedding.”
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