Skip to main content

Create a stylish, memorable wedding day on a budget

Create a stylish, memorable wedding day on a budget

Much has changed since the onset of the global pandemic, especially how we celebrate momentous occasions in life — especially weddings.

This special day has been reimagined by couples, with a focus on smaller, safer, cheaper and more meaningful celebrations.

According to a 2019 study by The Knot wedding website, the average cost of a wedding in the United States checked in at $33,900 (including the engagement ring). That figure is sure to plummet in 2021 as the official wedding season approaches. Approximately 78 percent of all weddings take place between the months of May and October. The warm, sunny weather makes this time ideal for ceremonies, especially those held outdoors.

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are few things you shouldn’t skimp on. But many couples are turning to a more DIY approach when it comes to their big day. After all, what’s really more important, a meaningful celebration of a lifelong bond or showing off flashy, expensive “extras” that suddenly seem a bit distasteful.

That’s where Goodwill Central Coast comes into play. Whether you’re attending a wedding and need to scour the racks for a one-of-a-kind outfit, or trying to trim costs as the host of the big day, Goodwill has you covered.

Plus, while you’re keeping to your budget, you’re also helping out members of our community find employment through Goodwill’s programs. Truly a win-win.

A day of love and thrift

It’s common knowledge that weddings are expensive. But more and more couples are choosing a more thrifty, do-it-yourself experience. They also want to consider their eco-footprint. In the end it feels better to use something again, rather than wastefully buying something new.

Goodwill to the rescue! Here are some easy ways to cut costs in ways that will go unnoticed:

  • Sometimes brides can get lucky and find their wedding dress at Goodwill, but certainly a search for proper shoes will reap benefits.
  • Shop for secondhand jewelry at Goodwill stores or online at www.shopgoodwill.com. You can score brooches, barrettes and baubles for a fraction of the cost of new items found at a typical bridal shop.
  • Floral displays are costly, but you will definitely want to include some blooms at the reception. The secret is to limit them, and fill the rest of the table space with a mixture of thrifted items such books, tins and candles. To enhance each centerpiece, add family photos displayed in mismatched picture frames and mason jars.
  • Use old, interesting, hardbound books and quirky cups as vases that look great filled with baby’s breath or greenery.
  • If you don’t choose an established wedding venue, you may have to go out in search of dishes. Goodwill always has lots of reasonably priced dishes and glassware that will save you money and give the event a fun, eclectic feel. After your thrifted wedding, you can either pass on the collection to another bride or donate everything back to Goodwill. It would be a gift that keeps on giving.
  • Turn plain white sheets into table runners, and use extra cloth to line the flower-girl basket.
  • No matter what style or theme you’re going for, glass hurricane vases are good to have on hand when decorating a space. It sets a great mood and they can be found at Goodwill for a steal.
  • Everyone loves vintage-inspired weddings with tons of heirloom silver decor, but buying or renting silver pieces is often too expensive. For table centerpieces, pick up faux silver trays from Goodwill for about $1.
  • Picture frames are so useful at weddings and a great way to display mementos, menus and event information. But they can be expensive. Instead of buying new, browse Goodwill stores for vintage, hinged frames that add just the right touch.
  • Gold spray paint can turn anything luxe, from glass wine bottles to plastic serving tiers. Create the look of an expensive brass lantern by spray painting Goodwill picture frames and gluing them into a lantern shape.
  • Instead of spending a fortune on silverware rentals, head to your local thrift store and pick out different designs. This not-so-matchy look is perfect for outdoor receptions and bohemian-inspired weddings.
  • Head to Goodwill and collect vintage plates in different patterns and designs. You can also use vintage saucers for cake plates. A good rule of thumb for the coordinated-yet-mismatched look is to always have a theme. Pick a color that unifies different styles and patterns and the mismatch will look intentional.

Everyone wants their wedding day to be special and memorable. But more and more couples are carefully evaluating what’s really important. Flowers and fashions and styles and colors and textures and linens will quickly fade from your memories. Love, family and friendship will never go out of style, and will always rise above any trend.

And the money you save with your more thoughtful, thrifty wedding will go to support the combined life you have just created.