Put a Ring On It: Wedding Promotions for Any Market

by Julie Foley Second Street

The Dream Wedding Big Giveaway

One option for a wedding contest is big giveaway where the winning couple receives an entire wedding. A contest like this usually has three phases, and is ideal for ensuring that your advertisers receive a lot of exposure.

Phase 1: The Couple

The first phase of a dream wedding big giveaway is to choose the lucky couple. This is usually a submission photo/essay contest. Newly engaged couples submit a photo of themselves, along with a brief essay about why they want the dream wedding, or even just how they met or their engagement story. Players then vote for the couple they think should win.

Phase 2: The Elements

Once the couple has been chosen, it’s time to get down to business. Phase 2 is all about your advertisers. In other words, it’s time to select all of the wedding details.

Have your contest prize sponsors each put forward a few options for the wedding elements to be voted on. A jewelry store would offer a choice between ring sets, a caterer might put forward three different menus, a bridal store several bridesmaids dresses, and so on. Have voters choose the rings, the dress, the cake, the flowers, the food, and even the honeymoon location. The more choices you offer up to your voters, the more invested they will be (and the more likely to come back and spend time looking at what your advertisers have to offer).

Voting during this phase of the contest can take place all at once, or you could choose to open up voting on one element at a time. No matter how you choose to run the contest, increase the exposure for your advertisers even further by putting ads all around the contest pages and sending out reminder emails with their logos when it is time to vote.

Phase 3: The Event

With a dream wedding big giveaway, the follow-up is just as important as the contest itself. By the end of the contest, voters will have become invested in the couple and the wedding that they have helped to shape, meaning they will be upset if they don’t have a chance to see how it all came together. Feature the wedding on air or in print, either as a live broadcast or a feature including the story of the couple and the wedding and lots of photos.

If a huge wedding giveaway is beyond your means or just seems like too much effort, you can always scale it down to a more manageable size. Instead of the whole three-phase contest, focus on either phase 1 or phase 2.

Use referral features & social incentives

By offering participants sharing incentives – such as extra chances to win for every person they refer to the contest – you can encourage social sharing and attract even more entries.

Engagement Story

Isolate phase 1 and you have a simple engagement story photo/essay submission contest. You could focus on newly-engaged couple and the prize could be an element to go toward their wedding, or you could include a much larger chunk of your audience by offering an all-inclusive date night as a prize. Either way, it’s a lot of romance for very little hassle.

Wedding Sweepstakes

If your goal for your sweepstakes is to grow Facebook Likes for you or for an advertiser, follow these few simple steps.

Another wedding contest option is to isolate phase 2 of the dream wedding big giveaway and run a simple wedding-themed sweepstakes. Make the contest a straightforward enter-to-win and offer pieces of a wedding as prizes. Instead of flowers from a florist, engagement photos and wedding photography from a local photographer, AND a wedding cake from a bakery, offer the flowers, the photos, OR the cake. This is a great option if you love the build-a-wedding idea but are having trouble finding a matching set of sponsors.

“What Kind of Bride Are You?” Quiz

A wedding quiz is a great complement to any of the contests described above, but it can also be a standalone promotion. Opt for a simple theme like “What Kind of Bride Are You?” that will appeal to a wide variety of women in your market.

Sell a quiz sponsorship to one of the advertisers listed below for even more wedding promotion revenue.

Advertisers to Target

Speaking of sponsors, when it comes to wedding promotions, the list of potential advertisers to target seems endless. Whether you’re sticking to an engagement story or sweepstakes contest or going for the whole shebang, here are just a few sponsor ideas to get you started:

  • Florists
  • Bakeries
  • Photographers and videographers
  • Catering companies
  • Jewelers
  • Salons, makeup artists, and spas
  • Lingerie boutiques
  • Department and bridal stores
  • Tuxedo rental
  • Shoe stores
  • Dance lessons
  • DJs and live musicians
  • Wedding planners and event designers
  • Stationery stores
  • Travel agencies
  • Limo rental
  • Private event venues
  • Lighting professionals
  • Dentists and dermatologists
  • Customization services (custom printing, engraving, etc.)

And that’s just scratching the surface. Wedding contests, like weddings themselves, allow for a lot of creativity.

Do you have any wedding contest ideas not covered here? Let us know in the comments.


Julie Foley Second Street

Julie is the Director of Affiliate Success at Second Street and a former client from Morris Multimedia. Her best advice for driving the most success with your audience engagement strategy? Plan ahead.