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Art Smith Says "I Do" To Marketing Dollars!

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Two-time James Beard-Award winning Chicago chef (and he will remind you, Oprah's personal chef for a while) Art Smith is getting married on August 21st to his longtime partner in what he calls "probably the most visible gay wedding of the year." So like, hooray! Love! But expressing one's eternal love on such a joyous occasion can cost a lot of money! You could just call up your chef friends and be like, hey buddy, in lieu of a gift, mind cooking something?

Or, if you're Art Smith, you could send a flier to PR companies offering commercial underwriting opportunities: "$2,500 for the privilege of donating 350 items for guest gift bags; $20,000 and 350 products gets four tickets to the celebration."

Don't worry, it'll be worth your money, with Smith sort of promising the movers and shakers of the world: According to the Washington Post, the offer mentions "invited guests" (in other words, not confirmed): the Obamas, the Bidens, George W. Bush, Jessica Simpson, and Oprah Winfrey.

Even the wedding invitation itself is an advertisement. According to Gael Greene, the invite "lists 104 friends and sponsors." Our must have gotten lost in the mail.

Granted, some of it is for a good cause, which makes corporate sponsorship alright? Part of the proceeds, according to the flier, will go to Common Threads, the national kids cooking charity program that Smith founded.

And to make it "fun," the wedding celebration begins with a Nike sneaker-sponsored run (this is August in Washington, DC, mind you) from "Smith's Art and Soul restaurant on Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument." That's like a 1.7 mile run!

· Celebrity chef Art Smith turns wedding into marketing opportunity [Washington Post]
· Art Smith Lost 95 Pounds Last Year [-E-]
· All Art Smith Coverage on Eater [-E-]

[Photo: Washington Post]