A bride's unusual effort to raise funds online for her wedding has led to a decidedly unconventional result — corporate sponsorship of her special day.

Pinched for cash, Virginia Beach hairdresser Kelly Gray went on eBay to offer a spot in her bridal party to the highest bidder. But when the auction was over Wednesday, the winner was not a woman eager to wear taffeta, but a representative of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

The company will donate $10,000 and drinks for Gray's April 19 wedding to Karl Gau. She said the company also plans to launch a Web site to help her find a bridesmaid or provide a surprise guest for the slot.

The Dr Pepper people may have taken notice of Gray's auction because the brand was mentioned in a local newspaper article about her offbeat effort to fund her ceremony. Gwen Lala, Gray's co-worker, suggested she try eBay because a Dr. Pepper can was selling on the online auction site for $400.