So If FTD Provides the Flowers, What Does Tampax Pay For?

When I first discovered the glories of Manolo for the Brides, I well remember reading an entry on corporate-sponsored weddings. The very concept made me laugh and cringe at the same time. What bride would do such a thing? What corporation would…well, that, actually was less of a question. While I hoped some would turn down anyone who asked, in my heart I knew that a great many more corporations and businesses would merrily hand over cold, hard cash and services in exchange for advertising. After all, who wouldn’t consider the corportation a caring, loving family resource after helping a strapped young couple make their dreams come true?

(raises hand)

But apparently the trend is on the rise.

Today there’s a story in the about wedding trends that includes the story of Oklahoma U student bride Brook Breitenkamp and her fiance Chris Carlson who are seeking sponsorship for their Sept. 22 wedding.

According to the article:

The couple intended to have a low-budget ceremony since they were footing the bill themselves. As Breitenkamp talked to friends at Enid’s First Baptist Church, the more she realized she could have a sponsored wedding. She contacted acquaintances and branched out to area businesses in need of a boost.

In exchange for corporate sponsorship, Breitenkamp is offering advertising space on her wedding programs, a list of all sponsors on her wedding website, and an invitation to a representitive of each company to come mingle at her reception to find new customers.

In exchange for all this, as of the end of August, she had raised a whopping $1,000 in goods and services.

I may be old-fashioned, but if I’m going to a dear friends’ wedding, the last thing I want is to have sales pitches lobbed at me while I’m trying to toast the happy couple.

The article went on to say that sponsored weddings are becoming more and more common in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles, though it doesn’t list a source for that statement. I choose to stick my fingers firmly in my ears and sing ‘lalalalalalalala’ until the buzzing stops.

Why is Breitenkamp doing this? I assume other brides taking this route have much the same reason and here it is:

“I tell them I’m trying not to get indebted for this wedding,” Breitenkamp said.

To which I can only reply: then throw a wedding you can afford. If you don’t have thirty thousand dollars to spend on a wedding, don’t do it. I’d much rather go to a backyard wedding and eat homemade picnic foods than have to choke down a sales pitch along with my prime rib in a hotel ballroom.

In the end, what really makes a wedding isn’t the amount of money spent on it, but the happiness of the couple and the love that went into creating whatever is on hand. I’ve felt it in backyards, state parks, tiny chapels, grand churches, and hotel ballrooms. I’ve felt it whether the bride wore a designer gown or a hand me down. It isn’t the budget that makes a wedding, but the spirit of love and hope that should surround everyone in attendance.

And if there’s one thing in the article that gives me hope, it’s this fact: several businesses have politely turned Breitenkamp down.

4 Responses to “So If FTD Provides the Flowers, What Does Tampax Pay For?”

  1. Pencils says:

    Very true, Twistie! I’m very much in agreement that couples should have the wedding they can afford. We did! Actually, we could have afforded more of a wedding, but we were more interested in putting that money towards a down payment on a house than spending it on one day, no matter how special the day. (We had a beautiful small wedding with a budget of 10K.) Corporate sponsorship of your wedding–of any personal celebration–is tacky. And I don’t understand why any company would think it was a good idea anyway, considering the limited nature of the audience. During my wedding planning I saw so many posts on my local weddings board from brides desperately asking how they could raise more money, asking how you go about getting a loan, or would a low-interest credit card be a better idea… I always responded “DON’T!!” but they’d say they had signed the contracts and had to pay the money. Besides, many of them said, they’d get the money back in gifts anyway! Oh yeah, because you can count on that. Sigh. And people wonder why Americans are drowning in credit card debt!

  2. Ninjarina says:

    Ugh, how crass.

    Still, it has to force one to re-examine one’s lifestyle – why are you being turned down by businesses that are actively searching to sponsor people?

  3. Ugh. I went to an Easter sunrise service on the beach in Miami years ago with a friend who belonged to the church running the service. In the middle of the service, the pastor thanked Lipton for sponsoring the service and afterwards, there were Lipton reps handing out free samples and coupons. Tacky, tacky, tacky. Didn’t Jesus thrown the moneychangers out of the temple?

  4. Livia says:

    My husband and I got married at a somewhat sleazy marriage saloon on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. We invited a few friends, those who could make it on 2 days notice. All of them were gay men. The wedding cost us $184, and the receipt was stamped “No Refunds” in English and Spanish. Our best man came in a black suit and an orange t-shirt. The best man’s boyfriend was the photographer. He used a Polaroid camera. Our friend who “gave me away” gamely practiced the bridal walk down the aisle with me until we were able to do it to the Venezuelan Baptist minister’s satisfaction.

    We’d have gone to Las Vegas, but couldn’t get a hotel room. Who knew that Halloween was so big in Vegas? This turned out to be better. Our wedding gifts included a pair of champagne glasses and a couple of Halloween cupcakes for our 3-day weekend honeymoon in Solvang. It was all absolutely, wonderfully memorable. We drove off into the sunset on Highway One after the ceremony and the lunch we bought our participant friends. We still have the small cuckoo clock we bought as a honeymoon souvenir. We’ve been blissfully happily, wonderfully partnered, for 15 years. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.

    I understand our wedding may not be for everyone. For us, it was perfect. It makes me sad to read about huge weddings that stress the couple so badly they separate within weeks after, or couples that feel they have to shake down corporations or their friends to have the wedding they want. Isn’t it about what happens after? Why put on an insane display? Does it make the marriage any better? Just asking.