When Yola Robert got connected last July, she began house hunting, heading out to the rec center and investigating her fantasy wedding scene. Then, she slid into the DMs of her #1 brands.
The 29-year-old was determined to have an Instagram-commendable wedding, however when she valued out merchants for blossoms, food, alcohol and limos, she got serious sticker shock and acknowledged she expected to spend vertically of $100,000 for the wedding of her fantasies. Be that as it may, Robert could sensibly just burn through $20,000 of her own cash on her June pre-marriage ceremony, which were held at a confidential domain with a winery in Paso Robles, California.
Thus, the way of life and excellence force to be reckoned with, who has in excess of 50,700 devotees on Instagram, got imaginative.
“My better half and I plunked down and outlined our associations and connections we’d made with brands,” Robert told The Post of her discussion with hubby Mark Huntsinger, 33, who is an actual specialist and TikTok powerhouse with more than 122,000 devotees. “We expressed, ‘Is there a way we can make it work for the two of us?'”
The fantasy wedding is turning into a planning bad dream thanks to expansion, rising gas and land expenses, and compensation stagnation. The expense of the typical wedding rose an incredible 79% from 2020 to 2021, from $19,000 to $34,000, as indicated by the most recent insights from wedding site the Knot. So a few ladies to-be are utilizing their virtual entertainment wise to score gifts and sponsorships to save a huge number of dollars on their important day.
“A lot of millennials my age are in this position because we haven’t been able to save up fast enough and compete with the inflation,”
Robert said, adding that the couple wanted to put most of their savings toward buying a house, not throwing a wedding.
“Our parents giving us $5,000 a couple of years ago would have been a big help, but not anymore. So we tried to find party hacks and partnerships to help offset the costs.”
Since Robert isn’t a big drinker, she envisioned a mocktail station to balance out the booze bar for her 110 wedding guests. She reached out to the nonalcoholic brand the Free Spirits Company for a mutually beneficial bargain: If they supplied drinks, she’d share photos of herself enjoying them, which the brand would be allowed to repost on their own social media.
The beverage brand went for it, providing her with $4,000 in cash, plus a case of their faux spirits. With that, Robert bought all the essentials to build the booze-less bar, including glasses, garnishes and mixers. She was also able to hire three bartenders to shake up mocktails all night long, plus a photographer to capture the content. In exchange, she gave Free Spirits about 50 to 60 high-resolution images for the company’s use, plus a high-res reel of her and her wedding guests enjoying the free bevies. She also agreed to post three different story frames tagging the brand on her personal Instagram page.
“It was really great because we have a lot of friends who are sober, so we came up with a whole menu. They paid for the product and I took that money and paid the bartending team to bring it to life,”
Robert also teamed up with Hum Nutrition, which gave her $3,000 in cash, plus various supplements, gummies, beauty products and other merch for the big day. In return, she supplied the brand with high-res images and videos of herself and guests holding up the products for their usage, and she agreed to post at least three images or videos on her own Instagram story.
The bride also got free tequila seltzer from friends at the canned booze company Onda for her wedding weekend. The drinks were a gift, though Robert did give them a shout-out on Instagram.
Fashion came next. Her bridal party of six was gifted silk robes from Papinelle and matching black tank dresses from the brand Splits59, with both hauls worth around $1,000 each. She saved another $2,000 by getting SloCal Photobooth to do a pop-up for free; the business was new, so the exposure was payment enough, she said. All of these brands sent her the free merch in hopes of her posting organically; there was no contractual obligation. She still posted photos as a thank you on her Instagram Stories and her bridesmaids tagged them too. It was all fairly effortless, the recent bride said.
“While some people might look down on working with brands during this special moment in your life, my husband and I found it to not only be super fun, but it allowed us to save and have the wedding we really wanted,”
“It allowed us to do other things that we may not have been able to without them — like hiring a belly dancer.”
Even if a bride-to-be doesn’t have a huge number of followers, some wedding planners say it’s worth reaching out to get a deal.
“Everyone’s an influencer these days, and even if you’re not, brands are giving away things for free to get the exposure and free advertising,”
said Amanda Orso, a party stylist who runs the High-Low Hostess, a New York City company that curates welcome bags and events.
But, Orso cautions brides to approach potential partnerships with caution.
“It has to feel cohesive, not like you’re hawking a bunch of things a company is trying to get rid of,”
“It can’t look rinky-dink.”
It shouldn’t look shameless either. In 2019, Marissa Fuchs, who runs the popular Instagram account @FashionAmbitionist, caught flak after a 13-page pitch deck geared toward potential sponsors for her “surprise” engagement leaked.
To Robert, the brand deals were smart, simple transactions that allowed her and her husband to expand their guest list. She still scrimped as much as she could, shopping at Costco for flowers — which only cost about $500 — and wrangling centerpieces and decor from supplies she bought at Dollar Tree and on Amazon and Facebook Marketplace.