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With the average wedding costing $22,360, Tom Anderson, founder of www.sponsoredwedding.com and author of the forthcoming book Sponsored Weddings, says sponsored weddings are catching on. Anderson, who rounded up nearly $35,000 in sponsorships for his own nuptials, says more couples are willing to exchange a bit of promotion along with their vows, for free or discounted goods and services. Says Anderson, "We provided a sponsor list, tasteful signage and a verbal thank you at the reception, and a newspaper ad thanking sponsors."
Virtually any business can benefit by providing goods and services partygoers need, says Anderson. And the sponsorship concept works for other large events, like retirement parties. Look for hosts who aren't afraid to save a tidy sum on their event by spreading the sponsor's word to a happily captive audience.
When Diane Niebuhr, 43, co-owner of Hope's Bridal Boutique in Atkins, Iowa, was approached to sponsor a wedding, she donated six tuxedos. "We were covered on our local TV station because of [it]," she says. "It would have cost us four times [the cost of sponsorship] to buy the time."
To locate events to sponsor, Anderson advises contacting banquet halls and other event venues or visiting his Web site.
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SOURCE: Merrill Lynch
Gwen Moran is a consultant and writer specializing in marketing. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.