I’ve talked about a good portion of the big expenses of a wedding, and the places where you shouldn’t cut on costs. This blog post is all about the things you can save money on, and where to look for them. As a bride myself, I’ve been looking for decor and other items for my wedding that aren’t breaking the bank.
What items can you save money on? I would suggest trying to save money on a card box, centerpieces (not the flowers!) and decor, guest book and even favors. There are five places I have looked for items, online clearance from stores I shop, Facebook, Etsy, Amazon and Oriental Trading.
Online store clearance is one of my favorite places to look for items. You can get up to 70% off an item depending on the sale. Big clearance sales usually happen around holidays and also around the end of seasons. (I’ve noticed them mainly in June, August and November) I bought my guest “book” and my card box at Gormans, their prices are pretty decent and when I bought the items it was an extra 50% off clearance. I’ve also seen them have a buy one get one sale on their clearance items.
There are a ton of Facebook resale groups specifically for weddings. People sell items they make as well as items they bought for their wedding that they want to get rid of. Most items I’ve seen have been pretty decently priced (Free-$20+ depending on the item). I’ve seen wedding dresses on these groups as well, but if you are on a budget for a dress there are other options that are cheaper. I would also ask to try on the dress first before buying. Just be careful when buying items from people on Facebook, make sure you are meeting in a public place and if they want you to pay online, make sure you get an invoice from them for it. The last thing you want to deal with is being burned by someone taking your money.
Etsy is more of the mid-priced place to find items; it’s an online website where people sell their vintage and handmade goods. You can buy small bags that have a personalized stamp on them that you fill yourself, unique vintage items for centerpieces and even wedding rings. I personally love Etsy, it’s amazing seeing artists showcase their work, and I love vintage items (I worked for a vintage Etsy store as a photographer for a while) so it’s my kind of place. Definitely search around and see what fits in your budget, looking on there for favors I was looking at right around $120 for about 100 guests.
You can buy ANYTHING on Amazon, and that’s the truth! A few of my past brides have bought their husband’s wedding ring on Amazon for roughly around $20. Most things on here are not going to be personalized, but you can buy some items in bulk and if you are an Amazon Prime member you already receive free two day shipping. This is great if you need something last minute, or changed your mind about what jewelry you are wearing. I looked for a cake topper, which they have a TON of options, but they only show you so many pages. If you have an idea of what you are looking for, try a more specific search to get a better result.
I swear they must have it in with all the wedding websites, as soon as I was engaged I started receiving these catalogs in the mail with all these items that are pretty cheap. I remember getting their party favor catalog when I was a kid, but what kid is going to need 200 paper lanterns? The main thing about Oriental Trading is that you buy in bulk. I’ve known people who have bought small boxes for candy from them and never had an issue, other than that I’m not sure how the quality is. I also wouldn’t wait last minute to order from them, I’m going to guess that shipping takes a few weeks so plan accordingly.
There is always the option of DIY; I’ve seen some amazing examples of decor and guest books that couples have done themselves. You can even DIY your favors, I’ve seen homemade BBQ sauce, s’mores and even a cupcake mix you microwave! You can also find tons of unique treasures at resale shops, and even check dollar stores for vases. I had a bride and groom a few years back who had vintage decanters as their centerpieces that they picked up from garage sales and resale shops.
Don’t forget it is your wedding, and there are ways to have it look the way you want without spending a ton of money. My biggest tip is to look around and try to buy smaller items earlier in your wedding process. That way it’s already crossed off your list, and it’s not stressing you out with final payments to vendors being due closer to the big day. If you are looking to do more DIY one of my favorite online stores is Darby Smart. They have a ton of ideas for weddings and most of the items can be found at your local craft store.