Will The Couple Say 'I Do' -- And Thank The Sponsor?
"I thought, 'Why not couple my two loves? My soon-to-be husband Jamil and my love for marketing?" McKenzie told Today.
The two created a site called SponsorOurWedding.com on which they describe six different levels of sponsorship:
Of course, you have to wonder how large the audience will be for all these opportunities. McKenzie and Newell explain that they have a combined 30,000 social media followers, though presumably most will not be flying to Thailand for the nuptials.
Out-of-the-box sponsorship opportunities have been designed for your company to collaborate with us; from having your logo on the bride's wedding dress to your logo on the Elephant we will be riding after our ceremony. Sponsor Our Wedding sponsorships provide a channel to boost your corporate brand and include your company as an active participant in our "Wedding With A Cause." We will donate a percentage of money raised to charity. Your participation is crucial in making our "Wedding With A Cause" successful!
McKenzie describes herself as "an award-winning entrepreneur, and digital media consultant who works with Fortune 500 companies to create social media contests, and events." Newell is a "southern gentleman" who designs electrical transmission lines for a living.
So far, a hotel in Thailand has already agreed to put them up, while two other companies are providing wardrobe and ring. That only covers half of the total $30,000, according to Cosmopolitan. Their goal is to have the entire cost covered and then to donate an unspecified percentage to charity.
You might understand how couples could be interested in finding a way to cover expenses when you consider that the average wedding cost in the US is $25,200, according to The Wedding Report. But that does include some very expensive celebrations, as "most couples spend less than $10,000."
McKenzie and Newell aren't the first to come up with the idea of a sponsored wedding. For example, Ben Sherwin and Samantha Moseley in the UK are looking for businesses to underwrite their wedding, according to the Mirror Online. The two were under time pressure as Moseley's sister is moving to Australia, so they created the site The 123 Day Wedding where they list the current sponsors. Moseley and Sherwin weren't out to have everything covered, however. They paid for the ring and bride's dress, for example, and Moseley's father is giving them a honeymoon in Egypt. The couple says that the money they saved will go to the charity Save the Children.
The idea of a sponsored wedding is actually even older. In 2005, a couple sold ad space at the event to cover the cost, according to WeddingSponsorships.com, which claims to have connected "local and national business with engaged couples for over 18 years now."
Here's hoping that McKenzie and Newell stay together. Getting sponsors for a divorce would probably prove much harder.