One of the most expensive financial decisions many of us make is having a wedding .
While my wedding was pretty modest (coming in at right around $3,000), the average cost of a wedding as of this writing is a little more than $28,000 !
Who has $28,000 to spend on a wedding — especially if you have student debt  and you are hoping to save up for a house?
One way to pay for your wedding is to obtain sponsorships to help you take care of the costs. This is the approach Donnie Gallagher and his fiancee Jennifer are taking. They hope to raise $25,000 in services and and cash to pay for their dream wedding on February 14, 2014 (yes, that’s Valentine’s Day ). If they manage to raise more than $25,000, everything extra will be donated to charity.
Should You Find Sponsors for Your Wedding?
“Jennifer and I are recent college graduates paying back student debt,” Donnie says. The couple also plans to save up to buy a house , since mortgage rates are low, and so are prices.
In order to fund their wedding, the two decided that finding sponsors would be the best way to get their wedding off the ground, saving them money while still allowing them to have the wedding they want.
So far the couple has one sponsor, a photographer willing to donate $500 worth of services for the wedding. Donnie is confident, though, that the two of them will find more sponsors. “We need to continue to send our message out to as many people as we can,” he says. “Once we beat down enough doors, we will find the right sponsors.”
Of course, no business is going to sponsor a wedding without receiving some sort of recognition. Donnie says that corporate sponsors will be recognized in a number of ways. He says that sponsors will be promoted on the couple’s wedding web site , as well as through the social media accounts associated with the wedding effort.
But what about at the wedding? “We really wouldn’t mind if anything outside of the main ceremony was branded or contained promotional pieces,” Donnie says. This means that sponsors could have branded materials at the reception.
The hardest part of the whole operation so far, Donnie says, has been trying to find a charity to work with. While some of the sponsors the couple has talked with so far have been open to the idea — even if they haven’t signed on officially yet — charities have been harder to work with.
“Jennifer suffered a stroke in 2011, so we wanted to partner with a stroke-related charity because that is a cause that we have a personal connection with.” Donnie says. Unfortunately, it has been difficult, with many charities refusing to allow them to show public support as part of the wedding. “The reason I was given was that they would not be ‘the sole reason for giving,'” he says.
Even though the charities said that they would be happy to accept any donations, they don’t want their names out there in association with the sponsored wedding.
Other than that, Donnie hopes that he and Jennifer will be able to find sponsors for their wedding, and perhaps be able to donate to a good cause to boot.
What do you think? Would you ever find sponsors for a wedding? Or would you prefer to just save up?
Image: Katsunojiri via Flikr