In last week’s Bridal News You Can Use, editorial assistant Janee included a mention of the engaged Florida couple Courtney McKenzie, 27 and Jamil Newell, 34 who are seeking corporate sponsorship for their December 2014 wedding. That’s right: This enterprising couple is soliciting donations from big brands to fund their destination nuptials/honeymoon in Thailand — to the tune of $30,000 — and they’re quite proud of it. Courtney and Jamil are even willing to wear company logos for their strut down the aisle. The story seemingly got lost in the aforementioned post (or maybe you guys were already BBQ-hopping for Labor Day Weekend) but this duo is getting way too much buzz elsewhere in the webosphere for Triple B to ignore so…
Here’s the skinny: The Orlando-based lovebirds launched their Sponsor Our Wedding campaign and website last month. McKenzie, a former pageant queen turned digital marketing guru (surprise!), told the New York Daily News she came up with the idea in middle of the night. She talked it out with her fiance, and they decided to go for it.
“We’re still going to get married either way,” she told the paper. “It was one of those things that we just wanted to see if it worked.”
And so far, it is working pretty darn well. The couple has nearly 42,000 likes on Facebook and has received substantial media coverage — all of which will make them more attractive to potential sponsors. McKenzie says they already have a handful of sponsors on board, including a hotel that will provide lodging and a company that has agreed to sponsor the wedding bands (McKenzie was clear that Newell, an engineer, purchased her engagement ring).
If all goes according to plan, logos will even pop up on the Courtney and Jamil’s honeymoon wardrobe, and the newlyweds will be Instagramming and tweeting their 11-day trek through Thailand. But not everything about this wedding is self-serving. There is actually a huge philanthropic angle as well. A portion of the money from the sponsors will be donated to two of their favorite charities — Positive Habitat for Aspiring Teens and Big Brothers Big Sisters, McKenzie claims.
The couple’s efforts have been called everything from tacky and materialistic to greedy and pathetic. Others have praised Courtney and Jamil for thinking outside of the box and allowing someone else foot the wedding bill while incorporating a charitable angle to their wedding and honeymoon.
What are your thoughts? Is this crowd-funded wedding genius or classless? Do you think Courtney and Jamil will pull this off? Sound off in the comments!