How to Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams on a Budget

I’m not a very “bridal” person. I never dreamed about my upcoming wedding when I was a little girl (I was running around on the soccer field instead!). And while I know a lot of people do, it just wasn’t my thing, personally. Once I started working in fashion, I will admit that I dreamed about the dress, but it was more of a white dress and less of a wedding gown. Let’s just say I’m non-traditional.

Now that my fiancé, Andrew, and I are planning our own wedding, reality has settled in. First of all, can we talk about how much weddings are?! The average cost is now $42,400, up from $38,973 last year! Perhaps I was naïve, but we went in with a budget of about half the average wedding. My, how things have changed.

With such a high price tag, many people (myself included) are looking for creative ways to cut down costs without compromising the visual beauty of the big day. I’ve talked about this before, but using the second-hand economy and DIY projects have been a big help to us so far. It’s amazing how much those little items can cost.

Marriage is actually among the top three life events that lead consumers to participate in the second-hand economy for the first time and I can see why.

Most of the items bought for a wedding are actually only used once, and don’t even talk to me about how much the price of an item is inflated once the word “wedding” is mentioned. Plus, the planning process and cost takes a toll on stress levels, so if there’s a way to save money and sanity, I’m all for it.

We are going for a chic, relaxed vibe with our wedding – lots of white and green, with gold accents. If you are a follower of mine, you know that I tend to shy away from colour, and so using metallic accent colours (like silver, gold, or bronze) is how I’m looking to add personality and detail while sticking to the desired aesthetic.

I have been planning what my table settings are going to look like on the big day and have been relying on second-hand items. Once I started shopping for table setting items, I realized I could bring my vision to life at a way better price point than buying brand new. Buying votives, vases, or other center piece items all for one day seemed silly when I added up the price, so I felt a lot better going this route. I was able to match our theme, fit way under the allotted budget, and I love the results. And you can’t even tell what’s used vs new!

We had originally thought about renting plates and tableware as well, but have you ever looked at rental prices for that stuff? It’s honestly almost as much as the food, which is crazy since you’re literally giving everything back a few hours later. Andrew and I spent some time on Kijiji and realized how many plates, glasses, etc. were available, and eventually we sourced all tableware from the site.

I’m a pretty detail-orientated person, so another plus with purchasing our tableware and décor second-hand was that I was able to purchase in advance and put it together myself. I basically stalked Pinterest as inspiration, and then figured I’d try to design the tables myself. I could play around with where everything would sit (like a million times), and I won’t have to stress about this day of the wedding. It’s peace of mind knowing what everything will look like, and that we didn’t blow our entire budget on tables alone.

I am going to continue to shop second-hand for as many wedding items as I can and I highly encourage any new bride-to-be to do the same.

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!

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