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Budget Wedding Planning: Thrift Shopping | Eau Claire, WI Wedding Photographer

It’s been a couple weeks since my last Budget Wedding Planning post, and I figured today was as good a day as any to catch up. Today’s topic is thrift shopping. I love thrift shopping. I remember as a kid, going with my aunt who LOVED thrift shopping. This woman could write a how-to book on thrift shopping. How to find the best places, how to find the best things, how to find the best deals. She always knew exactly how to do it. She still does. Just yesterday she brought me a bunch of brand new curling irons and hot rollers still in their boxes, and the prices? All $6.99 or less. Yes, she’s a handy one to have around, I tell ya!

So where do you start? Well, what are you looking for? Chances are, many of the things you’re looking for can be found at a thrift store for a fraction of the price. So make a list first, then figure out where all your local thrift stores are so you can scrounge and rummage through their items. Always ask if you’re looking for something specific that you cannot find. I am a big fan of asking, you never know what may be hiding in the back waiting to find it’s way to the front lines. So ask.

Some of the best things I have ever found while at a thrift store? Lace gloves, probably from around the 50’s and they were so gorgeous! I have also found some very pretty wedding dresses, veils, tiaras, shoes, decorations, etc. But let’s go back to that dress. Many people see a dress on a rack and they see it for what it is. Not what it could BE. Sometimes these dresses are only about $60. So, you look at that dress and you hate the long sleeves? Well, a good tailor can take those off easily and turn it into the dress of your dreams. Not only that, but many of the dresses today will never be able to copy that vintage look of this dress, or the beautiful detailing. If they can, that dress is going to have a very nice price tag. And when I say very nice, I mean only the Rich & Famous will fully appreciate it, seeing as they won’t have to take out a second mortgage on their home in order to afford it.

In some cities, there are even entire consignment shops dedicated to once used and loved bridal wear, or decorations, etc. Check your local area to see if you have one. You never know what you might find.

One idea I desperately love, that would work perfectly using a thrift shop, is mis-matched china & silverware. Not for everyone, I know. But there are some serious bargains to be had for someone willing to go this route. In addition to china, you could find beautiful vases, canning jars, apothecaries, furniture, bridesmaids dresses, cloth napkins and hankies, candles, etc. Personally, if I was planning a wedding that incorporated canning jars, I wouldn’t go anywhere to get them until I checked out my local thrift store first. So, if you can’t tell…I am a huge advocate of thrift store wedding planning.

Start by making your list, then construct a list of all your local consignment/thrift shops and plan your route. Make a day of it and buy all the things you’ll need to make your wedding unique and one of a kind. FYI, you can use this route whether you’re planning a modern or vintage wedding. We did go through the 70’s after all…and the 70’s were mod.