Sponsorship sought for romantic merger
Though couples work hard to put their own spin on their weddings, there is usually a certain set of expectations for the prospective partners to follow.
While much of their plan is quite conventional, one Moose Jaw bride and groom are breaking the mold in one important way.
“We are looking for corporate sponsorship, say McDonalds or Rona, or whomever,” Jason Mielke told the Times-Herald on Tuesday. “Because Moose Jaw is so small, I’m going to be pitching it in Regina as well.”
Mielke and his bride, Moose Jaw native Rebecca Hansen, are looking for support from local businesses for their big day, which is coming up fast at the end of November. While the trend towards corporate-sponsored weddings seems to be growing in the United States, this is the first one in Moose Jaw as far as the couple knows.
“I Googled some pictures and some brides have the logos of the companies on their dress, and I don’t know if we’re going that far, but we’ll put up a board with special thanks to our sponsors and recognize them all at the reception,” Mileke said.
The plan began to percolate earlier this year. Mielke had asked Hansen to marry him at Christmastime, but had then become unemployed in January. With a background in promotion and marketing, his thoughts turned to how he could give the woman he loved the dream wedding she deserved.
“It’s something that I’ve always done. I’ve always been good at marketing, forming relationships in the community, sponsorship, stuff like that,” he said. “I thought maybe I could do something here. I hadn’t heard of anything (like this) here in the past year or two that I’ve been here, and it’s exciting. I’ve got nothing to lose.”
Hansen, who herself has been recently working on telling her own life-story, said her initial reaction was one of caution.
“I grew up in Moose Jaw, so this is my hometown,” she said. “So I thought, okay, I’m just recently working on my story … and I thought, this is really going to exploit my story — in a good way — and am I ready for that? Am I prepared for the reaction to that? Am I humble enough to look at this sponsorship, and if I say to others that it’s okay to be humble, I need to walk in that as well.”
So far, the couple have said the reaction has not been negative. That being said, they have come across at least one business that encouraged them to look to family first, or to elope if they are worried about the cost. For Mielke and Hansen, neither are options.
After decades working in oil and gas, as well as running a production company, Mielke is answering the call to the ministry. He is seeking to attend Briercrest College and Seminary to become a youth pastor.
“It’s a different kind of charity in a sense,” Hansen said. “It’s creating a buzz to help us begin our next chapter together, so we can be married, and in the eyes of society, that is important to go into what we’re going into.”
When it comes to family, Mielke said his own has money, but having supported him in other ways in the past, he doesn’t want to rely on them for this.
“Sometimes you got to step out and ask people in the community versus just asking your family,” he said.
What Hansen and Mielke are offering the businesses that decide to sponsor their event is a chance to be part of a love story. The future groom spent more than 20 years living in Alberta and California and, for a variety of reasons, kept finding himself coming home to Regina. Looking back, he said he knows now that it was the universe putting him in Hansen’s path,. In the Southland Mall Library, as it happened.
Hansen’s own path hasn’t been an easy one. She escaped an attempt on her life by a former husband and has been working towards sharing her story with others. This wedding, she said, it part of forging a new trail, as a team.
“Part of our meeting has to do with our personal stories, and how we want to carry forward with a new life, a new message of hope, and a new strong voice, to voice that (it doesn’t matter where) you come from — whether it’s from abuse, or you’ve made mistakes, you’ve been in the firing line,” she said. “This is a great avenue to do that. And no matter the result (of the sponsorship), I was okay with that.”
The wedding is set for Nov. 25, just over two months away. While Mielke said they have secured the church in which the ceremony will take place, the basement may not be big enough for the reception, depending on how many sponsors they garner in the coming weeks. Besides the church, there were no other sponsors on the couple’s roster as of press time. Still, Hansen said the unconventional idea has a lot to offer businesses.
“Kindness, helping others, is always fantastic publicity,” she said. “Community is corporate, as well. It involves everybody …. The sponsors get to be part of bringing the community together. Reciprocal reward is so important …. It’s something new and exciting.”
Anyone looking to help the couple can contact Mielke at email@example.com or check out their website here.