Tuesday, August 24, 1999

Local companies volunteer to sponsor couple's wedding

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MOUNT HEALTHY — Natasha and Charles Allen now know where they will renew their wedding vows this October — at a restored historic house in Heritage Village in Sharon Woods — and they will have invitations and programs donated by local companies.

        They also should have new wedding bands, compliments of a jeweler, makeup for the bridal party provided by a cosmetics company, and their family shuttled to Heritage Village in a horse-drawn carriage.

        That has been some of the response to the couple's ads soliciting businesses to underwrite a traditional ceremony to renew their wedding vows.

        When the Allens were married Oct. 16, they exchanged their vows in a courthouse wedding, unable to afford a traditional ceremony that would have embraced family and friends.

        Still unable to afford that kind of ceremony, they decided to try to line up business sponsors for their ceremony, in the same way that sporting events have done — businesses underwriting the expense in exchange for an acknowledgement.

        The couple took out ads in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Post and the Trading Post and made some phone calls.

        “We're getting offers for services,” said Mrs. Allen, an investment specialist at a Cincinnati brokerage firm. “We're excited.”

        Louise Anderson, owner of Royal Carriage Co., was among the first to respond. Her company provides horse-drawn services for special events and operates in Heritage Village, a village of restored buildings run by Historic Southwest Ohio Inc.

        “I appreciate the fact that they're committed to each other and went ahead and got married, even though they couldn't do it the way they wanted,” Ms. Anderson said.

        If the ceremony takes place — the Allens still need a reception hall — the couple would renew their vows on the veranda at the Hayner House at Heritage Village, after they and their families are shuttled to the village by horse-drawn carriage from the parking area at Sharon Woods.

        The timing is perfect, Ms. Anderson said. Both Heritage Village and Royal Carriage will use the opportunity to let people know that the village is available for private rentals, she said, “for such things as weddings, receptions, corporate events.”

        Mrs. Allen said they also have received responses from a jeweler willing to supply wedding bands, a printer willing to do invitations and a printer who has offered to do programs for the ceremony.

        “I had never heard of anything like that before, sponsoring or whatever,” said Dan Distler, owner of D&P Publishing, which will print the programs.

        “It's another alternative means of advertising for us. We're basically a Christian-based company, so if we can help other people, then that's not a problem.”


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- Local companies volunteer to sponsor couple's wedding