Inside the Big Business of Sponsored Weddings

Photo credit: Gallery Stock; Getty Images(sign).

Photo credit: Gallery Stock; Getty Images(sign).

The morning before her wedding, the model Josephine Skriver held the kind of brunch that sends the thumbs of her 7.5 million Instagram followers tapping. Wicker abounded. White umbrellas trembled in the breeze. Fresh-cracked coconuts were draped with sliced citrus. Menus advertised not one but two varieties of millennial-inflected toast: almond butter and avocado.

Almost 150 people had flown to Cabo San Lucas in April 2022 to watch Skriver and singer-songwriter Alexander DeLeon (better known as Bohnes to his quarter-million Instagram followers) tie the knot. Skriver hoped to give her loved ones a shot of relaxation—at a reasonable price. “You want it to be grand,” she says, describing her wedding planning mindset. But costs add up. “You don’t want to blow the craziest amount.”

The spread at the Flora Farms restaurant delighted Keltie Knight, the Canadian TV correspondent, who cut a quick video for TikTok to show it off. She tagged Skriver in the caption and then thanked her host, too—with a mention and a hashtag. Not that it could have taken Knight much time to deduce to whom she owed her gratitude. The host’s name was plastered all over the festivities. It wasn’t Skriver or DeLeon or their parents or their pals. To celebrate the bride and groom, skincare brand Sunday Riley had stepped in to pick up the tab. It had the iron-branded coconuts to prove it.

If you’ve recently noticed an increase in wedding photos on social media tagged with brand names instead of just cutesy portmanteau hashtags, you’re not alone. The practice of bold-faced names collaborating with fashion designers, luxury hotels, liquor brands, and the like to sponsor their nuptials has become as common as honeymoons in the Maldives. But what are couples giving up in order to have their

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