Planning a wedding can get so expensive! For many couples, spending the "typical" $20,000 - $30,000 for one day is simply impossible (and perhaps just too hard to stomach, even if they can afford it). The great news is that there are many creative ways to spend far less on your wedding, while still having a beautiful event. This is how to find cheap (but nice!) stuff for your wedding.
Free is even better than cheap, and if you are really persistent, you may just find that you can get some really fantastic things for your wedding at no charge. Seriously! Look for a local "freecyle" group and see if anyone has old vases or silk flowers they are no longer using. Keep your eyes peeled for furniture being discarded curbside; you might just find a cute old side table or dresser that you can re-purpose into an escort card or gift table for your wedding. Paint it a pretty color or re-finish it for a one-of-a-kind shabby chic wedding accessory. Using real furniture in unique ways is a hot wedding trend right now, so this would be a terrific addition to your reception.
When you are looking for free things to use at your wedding, consider borrowing from a relative. Maybe your grandmother has a beautiful cake knife and server that you can borrow for your cake cutting service. Perhaps your sister has a shawl you can borrow to keep the chill at bay for an autumn wedding. Be creative! Let's say you were planning a rustic outdoor wedding in the fall. Instead of renting chairs, use bales of hay for seating and borrow an assortment of blankets to cover the hay from family members. If you would like to welcome your guests with a hot cider station, perhaps you know someone who has a huge coffee carafe that you could borrow instead of buying or renting one. Many people would be more than happy to lend you items for your wedding, as long as they are not extremely fragile or valuable.
Bartering is another excellent way to get rock bottom prices on wedding essentials. Do you have some sort of item or skill that you can offer in trade? Perhaps you know an up-and-coming stationer who specializes in letterpress. Maybe she needs a new website to promote her business. If you are a web designer, offer to trade your services for free custom wedding stationery. A few tips on bartering services: smaller companies will typically be more open to bartering than established ones. Also, be sure that what you are offering in trade is worth as much as what you hope to get in return. Finally, if you are trading professional services, you are supposed to list the value of what you received as business income for tax purposes.
Many brides have found all sorts of incredible deals on the Internet. Looking for pearls for your bridesmaid gifts? Check out online retailers, who may offer the very jewelry you want for bridesmaid gifts at a huge discount over traditional jewelers. Take a look at sites like Craig's List or the chat boards on wedding websites to look for super deals on decorations and attire for your wedding. A lot of brides will try to sell their wedding decorations like vases, silk flowers, and so forth on a wedding message board after they are done with them. Having only be used for one day, most of the second-hand decorations are likely to be in excellent condition.
When it comes right down to it, there are all sorts of creative ways to get what you need for your wedding on the cheap. All that is required is a willingness to search and an open mind about how intriguing items can be used. The extra effort will surely be worth it when you have a lovely wedding at a fraction of the usual cost!