Lifestyle Magazine

Jack & Michelle’s Big Fat Sponsored Wedding!

By Claire

Bride Michelle has over twelve years’ expe­ri­ence in PR, spon­sor­ship and events and work­ing for some of the biggest clients, sports stars and A-list celebri­ties. She also spent four years as a reporter on one of the UK’s biggest sell­ing news­pa­pers and says she’s con­fi­dent that she I can drive traf­fic and great pub­lic­ity to and in turn gain mas­sive expo­sure for her wed­ding sponsors.

Before we started the site I dis­cussed the idea with a few of my con­tacts at the nation­als and local news­pa­pers and thought it would make a great fea­ture. I then got to work on approach­ing the dif­fer­ent sup­pli­ers. We’re not talk­ing about plas­ter­ing com­pany logos over my wed­ding dress but dri­ving traf­fic towards the site and links to the sup­pli­ers web­site — it is a real feel-good story that I feel would get picked up on and bridal forums will love! With regards to the sup­pli­ers, they go onto the web­site I have said I will use my exper­tise to drive traf­fic to the site.”

How did Jack and Michelle con­vince wed­ding sup­pli­ers to work for free?

The most impres­sive achieve­ment is sourc­ing every­thing for free: and while Michelle’s web­site nav­i­ga­tion shows the key sup­pli­ers, the list of sup­pli­ers in the “wow fac­tor” cat­e­gory is fan­tas­tic! From boudoir pho­tog­ra­phy by the absolutely fab­u­lous Alter Ego Por­traits, to fire­works and a choco­late foun­tain — every wed­ding sup­plier is there.

The resource­ful cou­ple have also sourced every major sup­plier they’ll need: a venue, invi­ta­tions and sta­tionery, a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher and film maker, rings, flow­ers, wed­ding dress and two wed­ding cakes: a tra­di­tional cake and a cheese wed­ding cake. I mean — wow. So what could con­vince all these sup­pli­ers to donate their time and prod­ucts for nothing?

Michelle says, “After see­ing [spon­sored wed­dings] in the USA I really thought that was a great idea but it wasn’t done prop­erly. The spon­sored wed­dings I wit­nessed in Amer­ica just mar­keted to the guests at the actual wed­ding — using spon­sor boards, nam­ing the com­pa­nies dur­ing the speeches and even print­ing the com­pany names onto the brides dress!

“Apart from being tacky, it really has no ben­e­fit to the spon­sors as it is such a nar­row audi­ence. I thought it would appeal to the UK mar­ket as long as it was mar­keted cor­rectly and the pub­lic­ity sur­round­ing it was strong. Work­ing in spon­sor­ship and PR for the past twelve years I knew that I could use my exper­tise to make it a suc­cess, not only for myself but to give ven­dors the best plat­form for mar­ket­ing their prod­ucts; PR is absolutely my passion.

“It had to be online, a sim­ple design with each ven­dor clearly listed which enabled other brides-to-be to sim­ply search the site and click through to each of the spon­sors. It’s like a wed­ding fair all in one place that brides-to-be can visit at any time! Not only that I am also hold­ing an actual Wed­ding Fair for all the spon­sors listed on Novem­ber 25th at Plum Park Hotel.

Why a spon­sored wed­ding? It seems a lot of effort to go to!

I asked Michelle why a spon­sored wed­ding: I under­stand that you didn’t have the bud­get for your dream wed­ding, but as a solu­tion this seems… extreme!

“Well, we could have got mar­ried in Vegas ear­lier this year for $100 bucks so it wasn’t really a money thing, and you can get mar­ried here in the UK in a reg­istry office for a nom­i­nal fee… I would marry Jack in my gar­den­ing gear and wellies, so it wasn’t about hav­ing a huge wed­ding either.

“I lit­er­ally woke up one morn­ing with the idea, told Jack and we both thought it was dif­fer­ent and bril­liant for every­one involved from a PR and mar­ket­ing point of view and that is of course my back­ground! But it has been like a full-time job together with organ­is­ing the Win­ter Won­der­land Wed­ding Fair for all the sup­pli­ers involved — just two weeks before my wed­ding! Its not for the faint hearted!”

Giv­ing some­thing back: Keech Hos­pice

I still think Michelle and Jack are tak­ing on a mas­sive amount of work, when a sim­ple wed­ding would have been just as lovely… per­haps even love­lier than all the atten­tion — but that’s my own pref­er­ence and I admire what they’ve done.

I also admire the couple’s atti­tude — on top of every­thing they’ve doing for the sup­pli­ers who are help­ing them, they also wanted to “give some­thing back” in return for their spon­sored wedding.

Michelle says, “To give back we are also donat­ing money to Keech Hos­pice; in every town or city most peo­ple will know some­one who has had to go into a hos­pice and know how vital the care is. I came across their char­ity wed­ding favours and just thought it was a great idea and also a way of giv­ing back.

By pro­mot­ing them on the site I am hop­ing it encour­ages other brides to use the char­ity wed­ding favours instead of sug­ared almonds! Its a great cause and also one of your guests could win up to £1000!

That’s enough for me. Sug­ared almonds are the devil’s own inven­tion… and donat­ing to the Hos­pice is a lovely ges­ture. I hope they make plenty of money from Jack and Michelle’s big fat spon­sored wedding!

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