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?
But apparently the trend is on the rise.
Today there’s a story in the enidnews.com 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.