By Susan Hawkins
"Welcome to the happiest day of our lives, brought to you by these fabulous sponsors!"
Part of television's new fall line-up? Not at all. A sponsored wedding simply means the engaged couple has services and products such as catering or the wedding cake donated free of charge, in exchange for advertising. This "marriage of convenience" between wedding necessities and their customers has been the rage among celebrities and soon-to-be brides like you for some time now. Proponents say the overwhelming joy of having the wedding you've always dreamed of far surpasses the small change it may make in the feel of your wedding celebration.
Some of the items and services you might want to consider for sponsorship are invitations, flowers, photography, reception hall, catering, wedding gown, bridesmaids' dresses and tuxedos, hair and make-up, wedding cake, music and limousines. Once you identify the ideal sources for all your needs, negotiations may begin.
As with any wedding, there will be contractual obligations for both the sponsors and the wedding couple. In exchange for the magnificent reception hall or top-quality catering, the sponsors will want to know how their businesses will be showcased. There are a number of ways to accomplish this tastefully and discreetly. You may enclose a list of sponsors with the wedding invitation or list the sponsors on the back of your wedding program. Some sponsors may choose to provide matchbooks, cocktail napkins or place-setting cards imprinted with their logos. Another option is a sponsors' table at the wedding, where they can place brochures, business cards, discount vouchers and laptop displays of their Web sites. Signs are also an option - consider signage on limos and other transportation and small, tastefully designed signs on buffet tables and wedding cake tables. Be creative, but make sure that the sponsor is satisfied with your presentation.
When choosing vendors, your initial impulse might be to head for the hottest, most sought-after boutiques in town, but you may be disappointed. Their marketing strategies are clearly working very well for them. Instead, contact less-well-know vendors in your area who may be equally talented and need the publicity. They'll be anxious to put their best foot forward for you in exchange for the exposure. It's a win-win deal for everyone!
What can you do with all the money you save with a sponsored wedding? Find the largest selection of upscale, trendsetting table favors at www.myweddingfavors.com and splurge on elegant wedding favors that make your guests feel welcome and special. When the party is over, you'll want to thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen with a gift that shows them how much their participation has meant to you. Look no further than www.myweddingfavors.com, where your perfect bridesmaid and groomsman gift is waiting to be found. And of course, you'll want to plan a spectacular honeymoon! Acapulco? Italy? Hawaii? Niagara Falls? Bask in those first days of wedded bliss, all happily provided by your satisfied sponsors!