Every aspect of a wedding can cost a pretty penny, thankfully there are ways around almost all of the costs. Depending on your location, you can get great deals on previously used wedding items. It can take some time to find exactly what you are looking for, but it will be worth it. If you keep a general idea of how you want your big day to look you can find transformations and DIYs to turn nothing into something.
There are a few ways I have saved money from different aspects of my wedding, the largest being decor pieces. I was determined to make the things I could find work how I wanted them to because $200 for a rental sofa and $300 for nautical decorations for the guest table was not feasible within our budget. There are several places to look for budget pieces, some work out more than others, but everything is worth a try. You can also find great ways to make your money back after your wedding. Here are a few places I found along the way for secondhand or heavily discounted wedding items.
I was shocked to find the number of people that sell their wedding items as a lot on Craigslist. Everyday I search for big items that I know I will want. I was able to find lanterns, mirrors, a cake stand and a few other pieces from different people. In the end I have saved at least $400 from Craigslist alone.
Facebook Wedding Groups
I’m not sure if these are popular everywhere, but there are over 10 Wedding Resale groups in the Maryland area. I can’t even begin to list the amount of things I have purchased from others selling their wedding items. The only thing is for most of these sites, you have to be quick. I made sure to turn my notifications on for all of the groups, so as soon as someone posts I get an alert and I check to see what they have for sale. I have also found a few vendors from these sites.
I bought my veil and slip from this website and saved over $100. I fell in love with the veil I purchased when we were dress shopping, but I knew I couldn’t spend $200 just for that item. I went home that night, searched the item number, and 5 of them came up on Tradesy, I saved $100 and still got the perfect veil! I was undecided if I wanted the full slip to go with my dress, so I held off until I decided. Just be sure to remember your size as it may be different than the dress size. As I was buying my slip I realized my dress was also available for much less than I had paid.
I wasn’t sure weather to include this or not, but as long as you are careful you should be fine. My recommendation is only buy items that you don’t need a specific size, and try not to buy from China. There are so many stories about things being nothing like they looked via the photo, and the last thing you want to do is waste your money. I have found this to be helpful for table numbers, and DIY pieces.
Thrift Stores/Consignment Shops
You would be surprised at what people get rid of. I was able to find so many decor pieces in these stores, from vases to rope. Be sure to see if they have discount days when you could get what you are looking for even cheaper.
Before you look anywhere else for wedding shoes, check the clearance section! They have a mix of all seasons, and you could get an amazing discount. I found two pair of heels for $10 each, so I bought both to see which I liked best with my dress. My sister will be able to wear the other pair so it worked out really well. They also have coupons often.
COUPONS! You will always be able to find a coupon for any craft store (Hobby Lobby, AC Moore, Michaels, etc). It will also help to find out when the sales are. Normally the sales associate will let you know what is coming up over the next few weeks, and they tend to run in a pattern.
I was extremely happy to have found this website for our favors. They have anything you would need for any type of restaurant and the best thing is they allow the public to buy from them. We were able to get our favors for a great price, and they shipped for a minimal amount of money.
This is another store to keep an eye on for their sales. If you need to supply wine glasses or silverware, this is the place to go. They also have a variety of items you could use for decor such as artificial flowers, lanterns and candles.
Purchase items vs rent
This especially works for linens. I was able to find a company that rents linens for 25% less than any other company in the area, but their customer service was terrible. I googled linen companies and found LinenTablecloth.com and Efavormart.com, both sites have sales often and a great sale section. In the end I got all of my linens for $200 less than I was renting them for, and save on the delivery fee. I checked with my caterer ahead of time to be sure she would have her staff set them up, and she said it wasn’t a problem.
To make some of these work you should be willing to travel within a good distance to pick-up items. The furthest I traveled was an hour, but I was able to get an amazing deal on 2 antique sofas and a chair for only $100! I had already secured a rental of these for more than I paid, so once I found this deal, the money went right back into our wedding budget. If you have the time and patience these resources can save you thousands!
Happy Shopping + Saving!
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.