I’m a 25-year-old writer living in New York City. Funds, as you can imagine, are pretty limited. So when I daydream about my wedding—disclaimer: I’m very single—everything I want is out of reach. A venue like the Plaza? Would have to sell my liver. A custom-made Tom Ford tuxedo? Would need to be cool with working until I’m 87. A registry filled with crystal kitchenware? Let me write you an “IOU” for the amount of 10 paychecks. It’s all impossible.
Celebrities, on the other hand, are more than able to shell out thousands—millions, even—for their dream weddings, and many have. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s wedding cost an estimated $6.5 million. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s nuptials were $12 million. That’s pocket change to them, in my opinion.
The same, I imagine, goes for Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. The couple just had the most gorgeous, elaborate wedding in India—and the build-up to their big day was equally as lavish. A Tiffany & Co. engagement party! An Amsterdam bachelorette weekend! A bachelor shindig on a yacht! It’s all so rich—which is fine, because they’re rich.
Why is it, then, that Chopra and Jonas (seemingly) spon-conned the hell out of their wedding festivities? Take one look at Chopra and Jonas’ Instagram feed, and it feels like they had a lot of help footing the bill for their many activities. Amazon helped Chopra out with her wedding registry; Lime Bike and Elit Vodka supplied the good times for Jonas’ bachelor party; and the amount of Tiffany references made from “We’re engaged” to “I do” is eyebrow-raising, to say the least. What’s happening here? Were those Quantico checks not deep, Priyanka? Are the Jonas Brothers royalties running thin? The success of the band’s cover of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” should’ve covered the bachelor-party booze, at the bare minimum.
Chopra and Jonas aren’t the only celebrities who’ve done this, either. Wayfair helped Julianne Hough with the decor of her wedding; Star Jones famously sponsored almost all of her 2004 nuptials to Al Reynolds; and Kim Kardashian made $2 million off her wedding to Kris Humphries, largely because she let E! air the ceremony.
This phenomenon of rich people not spending their money on weddings is pretty common, according to several experts. “The idea of a sponsored celebrity wedding is nothing new, and it’s an idea that continues to grow more popular among non-celebrity couples as well,” AJ Adams, brand and social media strategist for Celebrity Lifestyle Brands, tells Glamour. “When you’re a world-famous celebrity, you’re in a position for brands to want to pay you to use their products. So, why not?”
Wedding consultant Anne Chertoff says spon-con affairs are more common with influencers and reality stars than actual A-listers. “A sponsor for a wedding can help offset costs of the wedding. Just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t mean they can spend $5 million on their wedding,” she says. “The sponsorships, so to speak, are a partnership where the celebrity gets the look they want, as well as money, and the brand gets the alignment with the celebrity and press.”
Dr. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, posits that some celebrities are aware they can make a profit from their personal life and have no issue cashing in. “Many of them see no dividing line between their career and their family life,” he says. “All the life’s a stage, including the wedding and the marriage. They want to maximize attention and profit for their brand, which is partly about their relationships, including their marriage.”
It makes sense, in a champagne-problems sort of way. No one wants to spend their money—not even the mega-wealthy—so if a brand is willing to cover some wedding costs, who wouldn’t take advantage? “It’s not a matter of ‘have to,’ but rather ‘get to,'” Adams says. Adds Chertoff, “Having a sponsor is not just about money you get but also about brand alignment.”
In other words, of course celebrities are keen on closing their paychecks for weddings. They save on costs, gain exposure—if they’re seeking it—and can potentially garner support from brands and causes that will boost their image. In that respect, I now 100 percent see why Chopra posted a probably-sponsored image of herself drinking a Havana Club cocktail during her bachelorette party (see above). She’s literally receiving a check without having to write one herself. It’s genius! The women of “Lady Marmalade” really did say it best: Why spend mine, when I can spend yours?