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DIY Bottle Labels
When I started planning my wedding, my already married sister gave me some advice: choose three things that are important to you and leave the rest to someone else. Invitations and decorations top the list and although I have a whole slew of DIY projects up my sleeve, this is by far my favorite.
THOUGHT PROCESS: Sangria is our signature drink and I really love the idea of using corks and empty wine bottles to decorate the three different wedding locations. With this in mind, I really want to have some interesting flower holders at the cocktail hour for people to also take away as favors. But who wants a boring old empty wine bottle and another bud vase? Thinking cap!
I saw a catalog for Artful Home and tucked in the back were these reversed etched colored bottles with very cool sayings (the entire bottle was etched, leaving the letters in clear glass). Sayings like: LOVE - Warning causes dizziness. Recommended in excess, DREAMS: Drink deeply and believe. They were perfect wedding sayings but outrageously expensive bottles so I decided to make my own version! No etching only labeling....my style.
1. Wine bottles - lots of 'em. I retrieved the wine bottles being thrown out after a christmas party at my work. No worries, they knew what I was doing. Straight ones are better than v-shaped ones I have come to find out. Soak the labels off and clean well. I like clear ones, but colored ones are fun too
2. Paper and printer - you will have to experiment to see which works best with your printer. Paper cutter, Glue stick,
3. Embellishments - I used a silver paint pen and ribbon
STEP BY STEP:
1. Using Word, I took the sayings from the catalog, added our names and wedding date, put them into a border I got from Clip Art, played around with color and accents and then printed on a laser printer at work. SHHH.
Here is my first attempt:
2. I lined the edges with a silver paint pen, trying a couple of different options - silver paint, a silver sharpie, but the silver paint pen worked the best.
This is the final label product although the picture is not as crisp as I would like.
Here is the corner.
3. So now that I have the label, a bottle is in order. I recommend buying lots of bottles of wine you like, sharing them with your FI, all in the name of science, well, an experiment, ok, a trial of sorts. Or you can steal them from parties you attend. I found that the perfectly round bottles, while boring in shape, make for the best specimen.
4. I thought I would try spray glue first, I hear it is good for everything. At my first attempt, it turned out gloppy, too thick in one area and not enough in another. It oozed out the sides of the label as I tried to smooth it out...yuck. It also soaked into the paper in the areas where is was thicker and ruined the label. Here is what it looked like.
5. So for my next experiment, I tried a super bond glue stick and a completely cylindrical bottle which made the smoothing out a lot easier. I would highly recommend using the glue stick cause it allows for adjusting.
Here is one of the final products, with some added ribbon and voila - a personalized wine bottle/vase to go the tables at our cocktail hour and to scatter around the mansion we are using for our wedding day festivities. Tags will be added with little notes encouraging people to take these home as a momento of our wedding.
It is an easy project and adds a personalized touch to your special day.
NOTE: I would not recommend putting these in water.
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For the Bride that prefers not to wear white or ivory, champagne is a glamorous altenative. With touches or gold and chocolate to bring out your inner starlet, and don't forget the something blue!
Hair Clips (something blue) $3.80
Grand Total $435.55
Where to buy this ensemble:
Hair Clips: http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog_name=FOREVER21&category_name=acc_hat_hairgoods&product_id=1072512071&Page=all
PWer Chest173 provides directions for making these gorgeous paper flower bouquets! These are perfect for creating a whimsical look in floral for your bridal party, would make a fabulous toss bouquet, or can be used in an infinite number of ways to decorate your ceremony and reception.
Masking tape(I like it better than green floral tape, I think it was stickier and if it showed at all, it matched)
Very light text weight paper, or tissue paper
Wooden skewers-I broke them up to be about 4 inches
Yarn-for the big fluffy ones, they add a nice texture and break it up a bit
Styrofoam ball-whatever size you want, I used the biggest I could find!
1. Roll up a small piece of paper and attach with tape to the top of the skewer, this is to keep the petals from just falling off. I did this with the rosettes too.
2.Cut between 4-8 circles, depending on how big you want the flower, and poke a small hole in the middle
3.Starting with the first piece of paper, scrunch it up, no need to be neat with it! And continue with all the pieces of paper. Add a little piece of tape on the bottom to keep them from sliding out too.
I used 3 different colors for these because I wanted them to be the main flower
1.Cut a spiral out of a piece of paper, about 4x4 inches
2.Roll all the way down, slightly pinching just to make it tight
3.Slide a skewer through the top and add a piece of tape underneath
I used these mainly to fill the spaces left between the flowers since they are really small!
1.Twist about 3-4 feet(yes feet) of yarn between your fingers and slide off when finished
2.Cut a single piece of yarn and place on top, pull very tight and tie at the end of the roll, not in the middle
3.Cut through all the loops until you get a very messy ball
4.Cut off all the ends until you are just left with a fuzzy ball
5.Stick a skewer through the bottom(just a plain skewer, no paper or tape on it). There should be two little strings left from when you tied it, tape those to the skewer. They will be wobbly, but it's ok because the other flowers will hold it up
I used the biggest size styrofoam ball Michaels had, I think 9 inches. I didn't push the flowers all the way down so it would be a little fuller. Each ball took about 150 flowers!
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Splurge: Silver Filigree Diamante Vintage Headband $235.00 at etsy
Steal: The Ritz Bridal Headband $82.00 at etsy
Splurge: Rhinestone Flowers and vintage petal headband $70 at etsy
Steal: Versailles rhinestone headpiece $15 at etsy
OMG...those are all just so gorgeous to stare at!! great finds!!
GREAT finds! I love that last one!
I just ordered mine! It's going to look like this on
but the material looks like this
I'll post pics when I get it! It's from Luciabella1 on etsy!
I adore that first one!
I love that, jennypaul!!! Very vintage/greek!
I love that last one that Wildefirej29 posted! It's beautiful and what a great deal!
Jenny - I love the headband that you ordered. I can't wait to see pics when it's finished!
I love them... What a great post wildfire!
I love the last two you posted.
LOVE LOVE the steal!!! :)
i love the last one!!!! super pretty. i have to stop looking at these... :(
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Here is a entire ensemble for under $500 from ONE store..
Not only can you shop within a budget but you don't have to go to a million different stores to find everything.
This Pickup gown is beautiful and looks great on almost any body type.
And to accent the pickup is a long cathedral veil, it gives it a bold and very bridal look to it.
To finish it off these beautiful shoes that you can get in any color.
I picked very simple jewelry for this ensemble because it really didn't need much more.
Dress $249.99 + $15 shipping = $264.99
Veil $69.99 + $6.95 = $76.94
Shoes $59.99 + $6.95 = $65.95
Earrings & necklace set $20
total = $427.88
Earrings & Necklace set:
1. Don't be superbride.
You're smart, you're focused, you're energetic. But you're still one woman. Superbrides—those engaged gals who devote every waking hour to wedding planning, brushing aside all offers of help—eventually run out of steam and end up near the big day with favors unassembled, invitations unstamped, shoes undyed, heads uncounted. How to avoid this fate? Call in your trusty sidekicks before you're really scrambling. Here's a little secret: People want to help. So do yourself a huge favor and accept their kind offers. Then, once you've got a cadre of pals stuffing your envelopes, sit back and have your toenails polished. You deserve it.
2. Don't have a cash bar.
Forcing guests to reach into their sequinned clutches every time they want to enjoy a celebratory champagne or a refreshing gin and tonic is just plain rude. Think of it like this: You invite people to a party—your wedding, for heaven's sake!—and then you ask them to shell out for part of the fun. It's a recipe for bad feelings! Keep in mind that you don't have to have a top-shelf bar; in fact, there are plenty of other ways to serve and save. You could offer wine and beer only or create a signature cocktail. You might have an open bar during the cocktail hour only and serve wine at dinner. Ask your caterer to suggest lower-cost options.
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3. Don't include registry info on invites.
Registering is a good thing for everyone. When gift buyers are steered to the things you actually want and need, it saves them time—and saves you from having to contend with a pile of cut-crystal candy bowls. Registry info, however, does not belong on your wedding invitation. Why? Giving wedding gifts is never mandatory, though the vast majority of attendees will naturally want to do just that. Best way to get the message across is by word of mouth on the part of your mother or your bridesmaids or on bridal-shower invites.
4. Don't be bossy with your bridesmaids.
In the most traditional sense, your bridesmaids, in particular your maid of honor, are there to stand up for you as you take your vows, to act as witnesses to this solemn event. Somewhere along the line, bridesmaids have become, well, more like maids, and to an extent there's nothing wrong with that. These are your sisters, cousins, best friends, future in-laws, and there's something sort of sweet about the way they gather around you, wearing finery you picked out, helping you pin up your bustle, holding your flowers. But some brides ask (or worse, demand) far more: They expect their bridesmaids to shell out for needlessly expensive outfits, to run endless errands, to wear their hair just so, to attend (and buy gifts for) countless all-for-you parties. Don't let this happen. Be sensitive to how you'd feel if the tables were turned. Gifts to the maids are always welcome, of course, but a little kindness and care go a lot further than any pashmina shawl or monogrammed trinket.
5. Don't make guests cool their heels for hours between ceremony and reception.
I once attended a lovely wedding in a quaint wooden church in a rural area. Beautiful. Then I checked my invite. What?! The reception was scheduled for much later in the day, at a location that was a good 45-minute drive away. Sometimes it can be hard to plan a perfectly seamless schedule, especially if your heart is set on sites that are wildly inconvenient to one another or if your ceremony and reception times don't line up. But do your best. If you really must wed at, say, your childhood church, confine your search for reception locales to local spots. If that's truly impossible or if you can't avoid a time gap, provide transportation and/or a comfortable spot for guests to hang out while they wait.
6. Don't plan a difficult destination wedding.
Ah, the lure of the exotic faraway wedding—you can just picture it, can't you? Exchanging vows on top of a volcano in Hawaii… or how about in a ski gondola or on a majestic slope in the Austrian Alps? Hmmm, nice idea, but will Grandma Gert be up to the trip? Will your college pals drain their bank accounts to get there? No, and no. Destination weddings can be terrific, but as with any wedding, it's not only about you, it's also about your guests. While some friends and families welcome—and can afford—an Alpine adventure, others will end up resenting the cost and hassle or simply decline the invitation. Make it easy for everyone by (a) choosing a well-traveled locale, (b) planning well in advance and (c) providing information and help (securing group rates, for example). Bon voyage!
7. Don't go DIY crazy.
You know that clever bride who sewed her own dress and designed and made her own invitations? Or the one who baked her own three-tiered cake? Everyone's in awe of the girls who can do these things, and I say good for them—if they did it because they really, really wanted to, and if they managed not to get stressed out. The point of these projects is to use your craft/sewing/baking/designing skills to save money and to put a one-of-a-kind stamp on some aspect of the wedding. But if you are really not the hands-on type, don't drive yourself crazy hot-gluing tulle and folding fiddly favors until 3 a.m. Do only what you can, and beg, borrow or buy the rest.
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8. Don't let your parents (or his!) steamroller your invite list.
Back in the old days, when parents footed the bill and brides were barely out of high school, the invite list was more Mom and Dad's idea of a good party than the bride and groom's. Times have changed, but that doesn't stop some pushy parents from insisting on having the whole book club/golf club/garden club/Elk's Lodge at your wedding. The best advice is to brush up on your negotiating skills and start early. Once you have a budget in mind, you can rough out the number of guests it's feasible to invite. Then ask both sets of parents for invite lists, in order of preference, so you can cut from the bottom if necessary. Stay in charge!
9. Don't forget about your fiancé.
Doesn't sound like something you'd do, but plenty of women surprise themselves. We've got our heads stuck in a glossary of floral terms (tussy mussy? anemone?) when all our men know is that there will be flowers at the wedding. We're neglecting our regular TV and pizza night in favor of dress fittings. Hey, listen up: You're not just having a wedding, you're getting married—to that guy over there, sitting on the couch, munching a cold slice of pizza. Put aside the bridal to-do lists and go give him a hug, would you? All kidding aside, the engagement can be a stressful period for a couple. This is not just party-planning time, it's major life transition time. So talk to each other. Talk about your life together. Talk about what color you want to paint the bedroom, what you want to name the puppy you'll adopt—whatever. Anything but flowers and crab-cake appetizers, please.
10. Don't bow to bridal peer pressure.
It's insidious. You just got back from a friend's wedding and you're battling the green monster: She had an eight-piece band (while you booked an inexpensive DJ). She had Dom Perignon, you're having a nice sparkling wine. Well, stop right there. If you scramble your plans to best hers (or anyone else's), two things will happen: 1) You'll go over budget and 2) you'll hate yourself for it. Worse, you'll veer off the course you set for yourself when you imagined your own dream wedding. And you'll hate yourself for that, too. She made her wedding hers. And you're making your wedding yours. And that's an “I do!”
DIY Card Box (With Instructions)
Inspiration: its.nicsknack's photo frame card box My Finished Cardbox (Without Photos):
Yeah, I know I'm not officially engaged yet. However, not having classes this semester makes for a LOT of free time. I went to Walmart this afternoon to go grocery shopping, and I picked up the materials to start my DIY Cardbox.
PART 1 - Construction of the Box - COMPLETE
Materials Needed to Construct the Frame of the Box
4 Solid Wood Frames (I got mine for $4 each at Walmart - they were 8x11 - I wouldn't go smaller than that)
8 Utility Door Hinges (I used Bulldog Hardware 1" D-90 Utility Hinges from Walmart in the tool aisle - 2 pk for 99 cents)
Screwdriver (regular is fine, but power is much better)
Hammer & Nail (or drill bit)
STEP 1 - Take the back and the glass out of the frames so that you only are working with the frames. Draw two circles using the holes of the hinge. The hinge should be on the VERY outer edge of the frame, but should not fall off of the frame. The edge of the hinge should like up with the inside part of the frame (see Step 4 for what I mean by this).
STEP 2 - Using a drill bit or a hammer and nail (then a screwdriver), drill holes for the screws so it's easier to put together. You should do this for three frames. You'll want to wait to do it for the 4th frame so that you can make sure it will all fit together.
STEP 3 - Attach the hinge to frame 1.
It should look like this:
STEP 4 - Attach Frame 1 and 2. Remember that if you drilled the holes already, it will be MUCH easier to put together.
It should look like this when attached:
STEP 5 - Attach Frame 2 to Frame 3.
STEP 6: Set Frame 4 on the ground, and then set the three frames together on top of it so you can mark the holes in the brackets onto Frame 4. Then drill your holes onto Frame 4. Attach Frame 4 to Frame 1 and Frame 3.
STEP 7 - Put the glass, (pictures can go in now too if you have them ready), and glass back in the frames.
STEP 8 - Here is the finished frame (prior to decoration and putting the top and bottom on):
PART 2 - PAINTING THE FRAME - COMPLETE
It took me FOREVER to paint the frames, and it was because of the materials I used. I picked up these two bottles of spray paint from Walmart:
DO NOT use the Clear Glaze on top of the Flat Black. It stripped some of the color, and I had to repaint the entire thing!! Here is the finished paint job:
PART 3 - CONSTRUCTING THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE CARD BOX - COMPLETE
Materials for Base
1 Sheet of Plywood (9.5 in x 9.5 in) (I used two because it was too thin for the screws)
Lazy Susan (got mine at Home Depot in the cabinet accessory aisle - 6.99)
Screwdriver & Screws
4 utility hinges (I used 2" from Walmart - $1.97 for 2)
Instructions for Base
Step 1 - Spraypaint the plywood if you wish.
Step 2 - Screw one side of the lazy susan onto the middle of the plywood. Set it aside.
Step 3 - Screw the hinges onto the bottom inside of each photo frame.
Step 4 - Set the photo frame on top of the plywood with the lazy susan underneath. Screw the hinges onto the plywood. All done! [NOTE: Since my plywood was so thin (even double sheeted), the screws went through the bottom. It's annoying, but as long as it doesn't interfere with the lazy susan, it's ok.]
Materials for Top
1 inch foam board cut to 9.5 in x 9.5 in
cardboard cut to 9.5 in x 9.5 in
Instructions for Top
Step 1 - Cut a 1 in x 7 in slot for the cards diagonally in both the foam board and the cardboard.
Step 2 - Attach the cardboard to the foam board using either the staple gun or glue.
Step 3 - Put the fabric pattern down and the foam board/cardboard piece on top of the fabric cardboard side up.
Step 4 - Slice the fabric where the card hole is, and start upholstering from there, and work your way around the edges with your staple gun. Pull tight!
Step 5 - Once you've finished upholstering, just place the top foam side up into your photo frame. You're done (at least, until you put your pictures in!)
Let's help out the soon to be wed...
I'm Glad I did: Drapery
This was my inspiration
This is What I got...
Almost there... I almost cut it out due to the cost, but I'm so glad I kept it! Loved the ambiance it added..
I wish I hadn't...spent so much on invitations! I spent almost $1000 on the invitations alone..
Although they were custom and eveyrone loved them including myself, I could have invited more people if I had pared it down and just went for something tossable. It's not like people even care about the details as much as I do...
What about you???
THANK you for this post!!! I have thought about Drapery a little but I am going to think about it more and I have been a little upset that my invites aren't as Fab as other brides but in the end does the invite really matter when your on a budget? I am only spending about $100 on invites. What was the cost of your Drapery? It looks fantastic!
shelewis - thank you as well for creating this topic. It seems like today is a big ball of nerves for me deciding what to do and not to do. I hope some other add to the fun!
Love this post! Can't wait to hear more!
very pretty invites... love the drapery!
Great post! I can wait to see what the other ladies come up with!
GREAT thread Shelewis! I'm not married but here's what I'm glad I did and wish I had so far:
SO glad I spent so little on our invitations. I do graphic design stuff for work and was initially committed to doing our own..but then I thought of all the time and effort I'd need to invest into something that'd be tossed.
Wish I had spent more on photography. We wound up spending as much as we would have if we booked my preferred photographer! Yes, we'll get an album instead..buut....I dunno.
Also wish I had just sucked it up and ordered a dress from a boutique. My "custom dress" experience through Milly Bridal pretty much sucked. Hopefully in the next few months the bad voodoo I have w/my gown will go away.
love your pictures and thanks for the help!!
Bump! Can't wait to hear more :) Great idea for a post! :)
@AppleCapital.. We live in central California, so luckily we didn't have to pay big city pricing...It was about $650 for the drapery.
But linens and chair covers were an additional $700.00.
BTW shelewis your invites are amazing!
I'm glad that I splurged on the photobooth - I'm sad I only took 2 photos in it, and I didn't get a shot of the photographers taking a shot of my DH and I in there.
I'm not happy that I had a friend do my cake..DISASTER!
@milkgal ...thank you!!! LOL they better be for the price!
oOoh good post.
And if you're looking for drapery try gifts international's website. They have bolts of organza for 6 bucks, and shipping is reasonable.
So glad I bought my bridesmaids and myself flip flops!
Wish I had planned something to eat after the reception, with all the food there was, I only ate a potato and a chocolate covered strawberry!
Wish I hadn't let the florist talk me into the ugly centerpieces. I should have went with my orginal idea of simple pink roses in a small vase. Somehow I ended up with some ugly flowers and I still don't know what they are.
Wish I had made it clear to the groomsmen that I didn't want them drinking before the ceremony. Didn't think I had to but men are so childish.
@kristinamarie I didn't even have an appetite...but I drank like a fish lol
GREAT POST! ! !
I'm glad I ended up hiring a florist in the end! We spent a lot of money on silk flowers, and then were gifted real flowers 4 weeks before the wedding. The real flowers cost THE SAME as what we spent on silks, and having the real ones to smell and see on the wedding day was priceless. . .as a gal who has seen and done both, I HIGHLY recommend that before you go crazy thinking you can't afford real flowers, INTERVIEW a florist who will work with your budget.
I wish I hadn't spent the morning of our wedding stressed out. I was worried about the weather (rain), worried about my mom (who was 4 hours late), worried about our hair (our hair lady was fired the day before the wedding and we had to DIY). . .what a WASTE! I would give anything to go back to our wedding day and live it again so I can change my attitude and take it all in.
My mom showed up, our hair turned out beautiful, and the rain got us this pro photo:
edit: that worry was me being in a very quiet, stressed out, trembling, teary mode. Not bridezilla :)
Oh Mountain Bride! thanks so much for that post! I'm a little worried about the weather (living in tropical australia has it's draw backs), and it's so good to see that amazing photo! WOW! A rainy day would be worth that one shot! Thank you again!
I agree with you dominique. I'm going to be dealing with the stress of rain as well. Beautiful picture, MB!
dominique - rain is a BEAUTIFUL thing on the wedding day! You can't control it by stressing about it, so you either embrace it, or waste your one day as a bride. . .
Love this post! Keep the suggestions coming. I too am spending more money than I'd like on photography...but I think it's worth it!
I can't wait to hear more! With my wedding only being 25 days away I love hearing advice!!
I love the drapery. It looks great in photos too. I'm a photographer, so I should know!
I agree that you shouldn't spend too much on invitations. I don't know anyone who saves them!
@christinecha.. Anyone but me..lol!
*bump* come on ladies! I know there are a bunch of you out there who can get in on this!
did the drapes cost you a lot?
never mind I just saw the line.
I am trying to incorporate fabric to cover two post but I don't know how.
Great post. Bump. . . .
The photography is SO WORTH IT! I used to get all gummbled up in my tummy thinking about how much we spent, but I have to say now that it was definitely worth EVERY penny. . .
Awesome post shelewis!
I'm glad we splurged on a wicked photog and a 12 day honeymoon...
I WISH we had kept track of our guest list, there were several ppl who didn't show up or RSVP... jerks! That end up costing us quite a bit
What a fantastic thread! I see a great article for the Ideas section coming out of this, so please keep the great feedback coming! :)
Thanks for sharing.!
@BrideInNovem..-We went a little over on photography also..but..it was worth it!
I wish I had've done videography...
I'm glad.....I spent the money on a decorator and didn't decide to do it myself with the help of friends and family.....SO not worth the stress!!
I'm gald......that when I wasn't happy with our venue and was given the chance to have my dream tent wedding, draping, chandeliers and all....I went for it! Amazing.
I wish I hadn't........tried to save money on the photog.....our photos were good, but I'm not in love with them
I wish I hadn't.........bought a SECOND pair of shoes on a whim, they are beautiful, but I only wore them for the ceremony and then changed into my colored shoes. Totally not necessary.
I am GLAD - that we fired our horrible budget photographer after our E-session
I am GLAD - that we splurged on wedding studio pictures.. they came out beautiful!
I am GLAD - we splurged on an awesome photographer :D
I am GLAD - we are having the reception at a Chinese restaurant, everything is included and I don't have to stress about it.
I wish I hadn't - bought 3 different pairs of shoes for the big day. I decided to only wear 1 pair the whole time.
I wish I hadn't - bought my wedding bling so early, I ended up changing my mind a million times about them.
I wish I hadn't - let my FMIL and FFIL and FI talk me into agreeing to have the wedding at FI's aunt's home in Beverly Hills, but I am glad it didn't work out in the end :P
Great Post Shelewis!!
Great thread! Love it! Very imformative, Thanks! :)
good call on not worrying day of the wedding. that's the same thing that some of my friends have said. don't worry on the day of. just let everything go and let other people deal with it.
This is a great post! I'm not married though so I can't contribute.
I'm glad...we splurged on photography - we're so pleased with our pics!
I'm glad...I decided to get a veil at the last minute. It made me feel so..bridal! lol.
I'm glad...we splurged on a photobooth - we had tons of fun with it during the reception.
I'm glad...I wasn't a bridezilla. My MUA was 20 minutes late, my coordinator ordered the wrong colored napkins and petals, and our ring pillow was ugly and nothing like what it was supposed to look like. But I honestly didn't care. It really is the happiest day of your life. And when you're that happy, nothing can bring you down!
I wish I hadn't...forgotten to bring a completed invitation with me. I wanted the photographer to take some pics of it with the rings, bouquet, etc etc. Oh well.
I wish I hadn't...waited so long to book a DJ. Actually, we didn't wait too long, but my first choice was already booked on our day and we had to go with another DJ that was good and adequate, but not as fun as I think my #1 choice would have been.
I wish I hadn't...gone all crazy with my wedding diet. I think my elbows and shoulders were a bit boney looking, and because we had to make the inner-corset of my dress so tight it made my dress sag just a bit in the back. My coworker warned me that you lose wait right before the wedding with all the stress and running around. I should have listened.
Great Post. Bump
I love the drapery!! how did you do it?
It's so reassuring how many of you say you're glad you splurged on your photography. I hope FI goes for it.
I love reading this post! Great advice! Keep it coming!
I'm glad...we spent the $$ on photography - we were running late (my fault), but I have complete confidence that we'll love our wedding pics even without all of our 'must haves'
I'm glad...MIL & DH talked me into the photobooth - everyone loved it & we have so many fun pictures!
I wish I hadn't... left so many things until the last couple of days. Being more prepared would have saved me a lot of stress.
The photobooth! It was so awesome...see bio for pics. Our guests LOOOVED it!
I wishI just got my dress from a store rather then getting it made. Cost me a lot and still wasnt right.
I wish I went with my gut and got a different photographer that was extra $500. Didn't think we needed to considering the company we booked were expensive and thought you paid for what you get. Instead the photographer cancelled on the Wednesday night before the wedding and gave us a photographer that didn't speak English and made me do ridiculous posses!!! Anyway that's a long story I could go on all day. At least they gave a refund but its a shame because you cant have your wedding day again.
Im glad I made my own invitations. Everyone loved them and I saved lots of money. (Advice dont stress about Invites no one keeps them!!)
Im glad that we had an MC, made the night run smoothly and everyone loved him
Im glad I didnt try loose or tone up before the wedding because I ended up losing weight the week before the wedding from the stress and running around.
Annoyed that groomsmen wore sun glasses because it ruined some photos because some have them on, some dont and on their heads!!! Tell them no Sunnies :)
Im glad I had a florist do the flowers, was thinking of doing them myself but would never of had time, was running behind time how it was already
Remember that in the end its all about getting married to your best friend and none of this matters and just smile and soak up the day. I dont think the smile came off my face from the morning to the night. Best day EVER
I'm glad we did dance lessons, we had a killer first dance that ended like this:
I wish I hadn't picked a salon out of convienence. It was a block from my house, and getting married in Dec I was afaird weather would be bad, so I picked it on location not ability. In the end my makeup was great, but I hated my hair.
i'm so glad that we took dance lessons! it was the most fun part of planning our wedding and is something we continue to enjoy together.
i'm so glad that we had a small bridal party. zero drama!
i wish we had spent more time researching photogs. same as mizbiz, i liked our photos, but was not in love with them. i also wish i had been more specific about what photos we wanted. i was a very low key bride, but in hindsight, i wish i had been a bit more demanding!
I'm glad we splurged on our venue and just handed the day over to someone we trusted to do a great job. I cannot imagine having had my wedding anywhere else and our venue, while pricey, was just perfect for us and it really created the exact wedding we wanted.
I'm glad I got the dress I wanted and didn't beat myself up over trying to find one that was cheaper. After I found that one nothing else seemed right on and it felt more special on the day knowing that it was a little extravagant.
I'm glad we hired vendors that we could be friends with and were just cool people. It was really nice to be surrounded by down to earth people on the day and no one felt uncomfortable or stressed us out.
I wish we would have spent more on photography. I love the photos we have, but in the grand scheme of things knowing that we could have spent an extra 2K and gotten something out of this world makes me wonder...
I wish I hadn't had last minute stress spending and bought things like a cheapo cathedral length veil and jewelry that I did not really want - but just convinced myself for some reason days before the wedding that I did.
I wish we had spent more time at our hotel just relaxing. It was totally part of my plan to do this but I got sick and couldn't get out of my bed at home to make it over to the hotel. Then we had to leave the day after the wedding :( Whenever I drive by the hotel now I just feel sad that we stayed there for two nights and I never walked around the grounds or anything.... I feel like we need to stay another night just to get the experience but its too spendy!
I love this thread. Just reading and soaking up the wisdom! :)
Glad I had custom bouquets made. I love how they looked, I used them for the wedding and for pics two days later and now I get to keep them forever.
Glad I had my dress custom made. It was exactly what I wanted.
I wish we would have spent the extra money to have a photographer before the ceremony and for the reception. We figured that since it was a more casual reception that family and friends photos would be fine. They were good but I wish we had more.
Mountainbride, I don't think you could have said anything more comforting than that.. enjoy the day.. it will all come out in the end.. You helped alot of us to think about that.
Mountainbride, that pic is awesome! I also am somewhat worried since May in Florida brings rainstorms... they come and go quickly but when it comes it really pours!
Love this post, thank you ladies for sharing your wisdom and experiences....
thanks for the post... i'm actually wanting to do drapery as well, but have no idea where to start lookin for fabric, or even what type to look for.. =(
Great thread...I have the same questions as pink- where can I find the fabric for drapery??
Great Post! I can't contribute yet!
I'm glad I..had a spa day with my mom and sister 2 days before the wedding. It was the BEST thing I could have done for myself.
I'm glad I..hired a DOC, there wasn't much she needed to do- but just knowing that if any emergency came up she could handle it. Also it was a gift to my mom, she wouldn't have to worry about the set up/clean up after the reception.
I'm glad I..found etsy. I got unique custom pieces that made me feel special.
I'm glad I..wasn't a bridezilla. Accept that the day before the wedding there isnt much more you can do to change anything. What's done is done, just relax and enjoy. Your vendors will be happy to work hard for a happy pleasant little bride.
I wish I hadn't..skipped my honeymoon. I was exhausted and NEEDED and STILL NEED a honeymoon.
I didn't realize I could post more than on in each category!
I'm glad I DIY my FG's dress. That was my favorite project and so special to see her in it the day of the wedding.
I'm glad I had my students perform at the wedding - even though they weren't polished and perfect, having them play the music was another special touch.
I'm glad we chose the venue we did!
I wish I hadn't said 'no' to a veil. Looking back, I should have worn one. . .I feel like I missed out and hate that I was so stubborn about not wearing one.
I wish I hadn't DIY all the bm gowns. . .what a PITA. They came out great, but getting my mom and everybody on board for measurements, etc. was really stressful.
I wish I had not cheaped out on finding a hair lady, because end the end well. . .you get what you pay for. I had to fire her the day before the wedding, and we had to DIY the hair - I would have loved to have professional hair though :(
I wish I had been more direct with my seamstress. I lost a lot of weight to get into the teensy dress and in alterations she didn't make it fit like I wanted because she was worried about 'support'. She had never worked on a low-back gown before and didn't understand how to make it fit properly. . .Well, I get that support is important (I mean, I sew, I understand how clothes fit) but I could have done with some chicken cutlets or something instead of having the dress sewn up so snug that it didn't fit like I wanted it too.
I'm glad that I skipped the traditional wedding thing and got married on the beach in Jamaica. (It's not for everyone, but it was awesome for us.)
I'm glad that I hired a good photographer. I have awesome pics that I love and am proud to show off.
I'm glad that I didn't spend a lot of money on a dress (<$500 including alterations). This made me want to do a TTD, and I had super fun playing in the ocean in it.
I'm glad that I hired a videographer, but that I didn't spend a lot on one. We showed the video to our family that couldn't make it, but we haven't viewed it since.
I am disappointed that I forgot to take my hair inspiration with me. :( I ended up picking something out of a book, and I didn't like it as well. Also, one piece came undone and I have a piece of hair sticking up in 1/2 my photos!!
I wish I had worn a veil...wind or no wind!
I forgot sunscreen on the wedding day and I got burned. Big mistake!!
Wow! What a great post.. I'm learning so much! Thanks for sharing! :)
These are great, thanks ladies for your comments!!
I'm Glad: we hired an amazing photographer. Wasn't in our original budget we were thinking, but it was worth it!
I'm Glad: we hired a videographer at the last minute! Photog missed a couple of shots I wanted, but the videographer covered everything. It was worth every penny!
I'm Glad: we did uplighting & monogram at the reception venue. brought a great ambiance to the party.
Soooo GLAD: I had an emergency bridal kit. One of my loops broke and my MIL found my sewing kit and made a new one! Thank goodnes!!
I wished: we had a vehicle after the ceremony to fit all the bridal party because we took pictures afterwards and we were in a big caravan of cars and one of my BMs got lost. So I didn't have any pictures after with my girls. I was mad that I was waiting for 30 minutes just sitting there doing nothing. While the GMs men were taking pics. Blah!
I wished: I incorporate more my Korean culture into the reception.
I wished: I ate my food and drinks we paid for! I heard it was good. Wished I could have try it.
I love this post more and more...Anyone questioning the drapery, PM me i'll give you more info!
Keep the awesomeness coming ladies! =) I love reading these!
I'm Glad: I listened to my mom and MIL and got a new florist 3 weeks before the wedding. It was way more expensive but sooo worth it, totally exceeded my expectations. Thank goodness my MIL was able to pitch in.
I'm Glad: We got an Ice Luge for cocktail hour with our monogram. Ours cost under $400 and it was such a huge hit, people were raving about it for weeks after.
I'm Glad: I had all my stationary custom designed by an etsy vendor and printed locally. It was a lot more trouble then getting something at a stationary shop or online, but it saved a ton of money and all the stationary had a common theme. People actually noticed and complimented us on it, which was surprising since I thought I was the only one who would be so into the details :)
I'm Glad: We got the venue that we did. It was a difficult decision initially, but they took really good care of us, the food was great and we were able to party until 2am. Not too many people were left at that hour but our close friends were and that's what counts!
I wish I had: Finished everything a little earlier and had a few days to relax beforehand. I was pretty stressed until Friday afternoon, basically until the rehearsal dinner.
I wish I had: Spoken to more people during the reception. I only realized afterwards when I looked at pictures that I missed quite a few people. I had a great time and danced a ton with my friends, but I still wish I had more time to chat with everyone.
Not married yet, but so far in the planning process I'm so glad I hired a wedding planner for full coordination. She makes everything so easy and almost eliminates stress. Worth every single plenny! I don't know how some of you ladies not only do everything on your own, but do it so well!
I love this post! It is great to see what the Brides think looking back on their big day...
not married yet but here is what I've learned so far:
Im glad : that Im designing the invites on vistaprint and that I found a coupon so our invites are only going to cost $100 versus our original invites that were $400+ &&& I'm sooooooo happy I ordered samples of every invite I was serious about buying!
Im so glad: that we ordered the cake topper that I wanted!!
Im glad :that we are doing a small wedding, and its only going to be family and close friends.
Im glad: I stuck to my guns and got the gown I wanted and loved and that my mom and one of my bridesmaids loved even though my MOH said it was ugly on me.. :/
Im glad : That we picked the colors that we did because its just making planning soooo much easier!
Im glad: that we hired a DJ/ MC , its going to make the reception totally fun!!! We were really thinking of just playing music from our laptop but I really feel that this is going to be totally worth every penny!
I wish I had: really thought about the location that I we wanted to get married at.... My FI really wanted to get married in Vegas and he is paying for the wedding so i caved.. however I keep thinking in the back of my mind how wonderful it would be to have a small beach wedding in key west on our favorite beach.... So for any one who is thinking about getting married for a DW really think on it!!!
I wish I had: Really thought about who I want for my BM & MOH because the person I choose for the job of MOH does not deserve it at all (So really put thought into your wedding party!)
this thread is awesome! I'm not married yet either (7 months from today!!! EEK!) but I'll give my pre-wedding two cents!
I'm glad we looked at other venues instead of just booking the one my dad wanted us to book.
I'm glad I went for just one more dress shopping day because thats when I truly found "the one"
I'm glad we are splurging a little bit on uplighting. Seeing pictures of other weddings makes me really excited for ours!
I'm glad I started planning everything early because I dont feel as stressed and short for time
I'm glad we're having a videographer and a photographer
I wish we would have started saving earlier so we could have a few more "extras"
I wish we would have taken time to choose our WP because my sister is just a PITA and he wishes he would have picked friend B over friend A.
I wish we would have sanded the "AMORE" letters before we painted them because now they are ruined and we cant use them lol
I think thats all I have right now =)
Im glad we spent the money on ... photographer & my dress!
I wish we didnt spend so much on Candy!! My god I went way to far with our candy buffet..I didnt properly figure out how much we would need, I just thought, oh I will just buy a bunch of everything and to much of everything so we dont have to worry about running out- Yeah well 700 dollars later..I had so much left over it was ridic! And, we bought it from Sugar Mountain, which is double the price of bulk barn :(
Ah well, other then that I wouldnt change a darn thing ;)
I'm glad we had the DIY uplighting. It ended up costing only $35, because we were able to resell the spotlights for almost as much as we paid for them, and it really added to the atmosphere:
I wish we had pushed a bit harder on getting our ceremony video shown at the reception. They had troubles getting the sound to play, so we had to give up on it. Since the ceremony was far away, and few of our guests were able to be at it, I really wanted them to be able to see it.
There have to be more ideas... Keep 'em comming :-)
Glad Im glad I picked the reception i wanted and involved all my family with the cermony, im so glad i had a bachelorette part as i really didnt want one to begin with it...it was so worth it so much fun. Im glad I had shorter BM dresses when everyone said you must hae long to be formal, im glad my BMs had different hair styles to suit their taste. Glad I had a good photographer and videographer..after the day is gone thats all you will have left of it!
Not so glad wish i asked our videographer to stay until later in the night or at least until after the 1st dance i feel i really missed that and so hard to remember after the day. Wish I didnt spend so much on our invitations too...they were way to expensive but i still love them!! Wish my photograther got more detail shots of the day..after all the effort I put into the little things but you would never know from my album.
Wish I didnt invite some people that havent really bothered with us since....nut overall im so pleased with how are day turned out it was perfect or near perfect to me and DH!
Bellabride your wedding was fab...omg your dress was amazing i can totally see why you were glad you went with it!~
I'M GLAD I / WE...
-- ponied up the $$$$$$$ for "top tier", excellent photography AND videography
-- always went with my gut feeling
-- ponied up for a superb deejay
-- wore 2 different ensembles; one for the pre-ceremony pics, and then another for the wedding and reception
-- i'm glad we did NOT rent a limo or party bus - it would have been a huge waste of money
-- took pics BEFORE the ceremony; it was NOT rushed or hurried and we got to spend some quiet time before the rush of the day
-- had a DOC
-- stayed at the same hotel as out of town family so we could hang out pre and post wedding day
-- ponied up and paid for my bms to get their hair & makeup done; it was a fun treat for them b/c we got to sit and get beautified together - girly time!!
-- i'm thrilled i had my gfs all in different styles of black dresses that were perfect for their personalities and body types
photos by Kristi Klemens of KLK Photography
I WISH I/WE:
-- asked the florist to make taller and larger cps; i loved my cps, but in the space we were in, they werent in perfect scale with the tent's height LOL!
-- had color-coordinated all our boxes at the venue so our DOC could easily identify what was ours... the box with our green uplights got lost at the venue b/c when we labeled it, i guess our name wasnt written large enough on the box?? nobody could find them! oh well, not a huge deal, but i wanted to see the green uplights in action... we found them 2 days later!!! woops!
-- i wish i hadnt gotten the flu the week of my wedding; in my med-head haze, i forgot to pack so much--> my fg's basket & petals, our aisle runner, aisle decor
in the end tho, all the "i wish" stuff didnt matter... now looking at the pics, the church are perfect as they are and the cps didnt look totally miniature, or as miniature as i thought when i first saw them LOL!
We got a tent for our outdoor wedding because it rained and had to move the ceremony into the tent!
DIY'ed our flowers, CP's veil, hair flower and other things for the wedding. It gave a personalized touch which we got a lot of compliments on
We got a DOC. She was a life saver!
Spent $$ on my dress and for a MUA for the day of
We wrote our own vows, that was the most emotional part of the day for me.
I didnt spend so much $$ on the cake because we had plenty left over.
Bpics for DH
Saved $$$ on wedding
Paid extra for my photographer to make our wedding album for us.
Had more time to get additional shots with family members and remebered to take thank you shots
Paid ahead of time for a DJ rather than trusting a friend who let us down and that caused some drama in its self
Love this thread its so informative....... I'm still on the iffy board regarding videography so seeing the "Glad I did" vs "Wish I did" helps me out.
love this thread!!!
if there is one thing you do get a videographer...honestly it is the thing I was most glad i did and would happely cut back on something else to have one...you will be so glad when the big day is over and you can relive it over as many times as you like after
I just re-read this whole thread and all the new advice! Def helps me out alot!
I love this post, its 2 months today for us. Not sure if I now feel vvvv excited or vvv worried I forgot something!!!!!
Anymore???? H x
FarmBride you 're not alone... IDK what Im feeling these days either!!!
I love this post.. I can't post anything yet though
i'm so glad i DIY'd my paper products (STDs, invitations, menus, program) and CPs, as well as splurged on a photobooth.
i loved my photographer, but wish i had scheduled more time for portraits and photos (the day just went by too fast!)...
SO GLAD we hired a professional photographer! We had a very small budget, but ladies ... the photographs are the most important thing! You will cherish them forever :)
- we booked a band (best vendor ever)
- glad we chose to get married in the offseason - prices were great and our guests were excited b/c Feb. is typically a boring month with not alot going on for ppl, PLUS Aruba was that much sweeter :)
- I chose the WP we did
- we left for our HM shortly after the wedding
- I hadn't left anything to the GM and dicated to them who was doing a speech, which I figured they could handle. No, no...all 4 of them thought it would be a grand idea to do a 15 minute speech each. ugh.
- I hadn't chosen a scam artist as a florist, but there was nothing that I could've done more to prevented what happened - I was as clear and communitive as humanly possible
Courtesy of PWer jeslynn02:
*I just updated my bio with this tutorial, so I wanted to pass it along. These turned out better than I ever could have imagined, and we even had a few guests ask us where we bought them. It was so exciting to tell them that I made them all!*
After searching and searching, I finally found these Hot Cocoa Vials and knew they'd be perfect for our winter, wedding. Everything was perfect until I priced everything out and found out they'd be around $1 per favor, which is way more than I wanted to spend...So the search continued.
Then I found Hot Cocoa Cones...
PERFECT! I found several different tutorials on how to make them, so I set out to make our own. I was able to make our favors for less than $.40 each and in under 10 steps! (Once I get our pro-pics back I'll show a good professional picture of these!)
Cast of Characters (to make 150 cones)
(3) 100, 12" Disposable Decorating Bags (bought these from Michaels using their 40 and 60% off coupons - regularly $19.99)
(2) Nesquick chocolate powder (we got ours from Costco for around $6)
(2) 75 teeny, tiny hair ties ($5)
(4) Marshmallows (from Walmart, $1 each)
yarn (Michaels for $2.50)
Total spent: (around) $56. We made 150, so they came out to around $.37 each!
Step 1: Cut decorating bags around 6.5"
Step 2: Fill bag with 2 tablespoons (or whatever your chocolate powder suggests) with chocolate:
Step 3: Use the teeny, tiny hair tie to close off the chocolate. (You may need to cut the access bag after tying it off. The picture below, for example, should be cut so there's just about a 1/2 inch of bag showing after the hair tie.)
Step 4: Insert chocolate filled cone into another decorating bag; make sure seams line up.
Step 5: Scoop out a 1/4 cup of marshmallows and poor into decorating bag on top of the chocolate cone.
Step 6: Tie a piece of ribbon, yarn, or string above the marshmallows. You need to make this tight so the marshmallows don't dry out. I tied it into two knots:
Step 7: After string is secure around bag, add your favor tage and tie it into a pretty bow
Step 8: Reapeat as many times as necessary
Since I'm now down to my last few wedding items for sale, and have made close to $3,000 on the sales, I thought I might share my experiences, in hopes they will be of some help to other newlyweds here.
How to Buy Stuff You Will Later Be Able to Sell
When you are buying, look around on the resale boards to see what tends to go quickly. For example, when I was considering whether to buy chair covers, I discovered that those listed often fetched nearly as much in price as new ones, and tended to be snapped up quickly. That gave me the confidence to buy them, because I knew I was likely to be able to keep the ultimate cost down by reselling them after the wedding.
Consider neutral colors. Lots of people are going to want white or ivory table linens. If yours are bright pink and purple stripes, your market is much more limited. This doesn't mean you have to avoid all uniqueness in your wedding. However, you do want to keep in mind that your potential market is a lot bigger if you are buying items that a lot of people want.
Avoid monogramming or engraving. You aren't likely to have a whole lot of trouble selling unused packs of plain cocktail napkins. But if your napkins say, "Dave and Betsy forever, 10/10/2010," there is not going to be a big market for them.
The more stuff is individualized, the less it will retain its value. Anyone who likes your table linens is a potential purchaser. By contrast, someone may love your wedding dress, but if you are a size 2 and she is a size 24, she is not going to buy it. Thus, your table linens will be an easier sell, and will retain more of their value, than your dress.
Go for popular designers, and know the designer and style number. We had two dresses to sell, one a David's Bridal style 5268 and one an Emme Bridal (style number unknown). They cost about the same. However, the David's Bridal sold a lot more quickly and easily. Why? Because many people go to a bridal store, find a style they like, then look to see whether they can find it more cheaply online. If they search by the manufacturer's name and style number, they simply will not find your dress if you don't know that information.
Similarly one of our veils was a David's Bridal and one was a Symphony Bridal. The David's Bridal was a lot easier to sell. A lot more people have been in to a David's Bridal store than have been into a store that sells Symphony Bridal. Thus, even though we knew the designer and style number for the Symphony Bridal veil, there were fewer people searching for that style.
Don't be afraid to buy used stuff, if it is less expensive. Used stuff will often retain its value better than new. For example, if you buy table linens new in their packages, you are going to have to sell them as used, which brings down the price. There is a much lesser difference in price between linens that have been used once and those that have been used twice than between new ones and ones that have been used once. Thus, you may be able to recover more of your cost if you buy used.
Keep pictures. If you buy an item online, keep the picture from the listing. Just right click on the photo, and choose, "Save image as." eBay ads, for example, expire after a certain period. You don't want to lose the only photo of your item that way, because you will need it when you go to sell.
Didn't buy the item online? Take lots of pictures yourself, preferably in daylight. Indoor pictures often end up dim or with a yellowish cast. Outdoor pictures will make the items look more appealing. Or try to set the item up the way it will be used for the wedding. For example, if you are taking pictures of candlesticks, take them with lit candles in them, on a table with a tablecloth, silverware, and plates.
And don't forget photos of your item in use. You can take some yourself as you are setting up. If you have a professional photographer, you may be able to crop pictures of meaningful details from the pro photo. If you have an amateur, you may want to discuss with that person specific photos you would like to have.
When Do You Start Selling?
As soon as possible! You are likely to be far more active on wedding message boards before your wedding than after. So when you start buying items, immediately put them on a "for sale" page in your bio, with the date on which they will be available, and link to that page in your board signatures. If someone wants to buy an item, get a deposit (20% or 25%) immediately to make sure they are serious. You can then have them pay the balance immediately after the wedding, and then you can get all that stuff out of the house.
How Much Is It, and What Does It Look Like?
I see a lot of brides who put up ads that say, "Photos sent on request." That is a really bad idea. It just adds one more hurdle to a potential buyer. You'll notice that stores that sell by mail order always put up pictures of what they are selling. You'll have a lot more success if you do the same.
In the case, of a dress, you'll do best if you list the designer, style number, size, and your actual measurements and height. (Sizes are so variable that your actual measurements may be of more value to a potential buyer than the listed size.)
The other really bad idea is saying, "Make me an offer," instead of saying what the price is. The buyer does not want to take the chance of wasting money by making an offer that is too high. The buyer also doesn't want to be embarrassed by making an offer that you will think it is ridiculous. Thus, you will get fewer offers. And many of the offers you get will be for a ridiculously low price--because the only people to make them will be people who are hoping you don't know the value of your own items.
Instead, do some research. How much do you see these items being sold for used? Do some Google searches and figure it out. If you can't find used ones being sold, look for what new ones cost, and then provide some discount from that. When in doubt, go for a price that is too high rather than too low. People will often make you an offer below what you are asking--but they never make you an offer above that. Then state your price, right up front. That way, a potential buyer can compare your price with the prices at which the items are available elsewhere, without a lot of hassle.
Break Up Large Lots
You may have bought 100 chair covers. Or you may have paper lanterns and lighting to go with them. However, you will probably do better if you are willing to sell smaller quantities at a time, or sell those lanterns separately from the lighting.
The reason is that your potential buyers' options are more limited if they want to buy only a few of something. For example, the price for 100 chair covers on eBay is a lot less than 100 times the price of one. So, if you bought 100, and are willing to sell one or a few to each buyer, you may actually make back more than you paid. Conversely, if you are only willing to sell all 100 to one buyer, you are ruling out any buyer who needs either more or fewer than 100.
Similarly, we ended up with a lot of white paper lanterns, and a lot of lighting for them in pink and amber. That worked for us. However, some buyers wanted white paper lanterns and did not want to light them at all. Others wanted to use the pink and amber lights in lanterns that were colors other than white. By being willing to sell them separately, we were able to get all of them sold more easily.
Where Do You Start Selling?
The short answer is, everywhere you can. For example, a Craigslist ad will typically bring in only buyers in your local area, while one on eBay can bring in international buyers. So a heavy item may have the most resale value on Craigslist, because local brides can pick it up much more inexpensively than they could get it if they had to pay shipping charges. A lightweight item may have the most resale value on eBay. For example, I had some Christmas net lights that were all bought by someone in Austria. Apparently, net lights are much less available in Europe than they are in the US. So it was worth it to someone to pay the shipping charges to get something she just couldn't buy in her area.
Some specific suggestions:
Amazon. The Amazon rules are a bit bizarre. For example, you can sell something on Amazon only if that exact item is already for sale on Amazon. You have to charge shipping at a rate set up by Amazon, which may be either more or less than your actual shipping costs. It also takes about two weeks after you add a new bank account on Amazon before they will release the first payments to you, so you will have to pay the first shipping costs out of your own pocket, and get them back later. However, items typically go for more money on Amazon than they do on eBay or other sites. Also, Amazon does not charge you for listing an item, but only charges a commission if it actually sells.
eBay. eBay makes it really simple to start selling. If you see an item on eBay, there is typically a link on the page to, "Sell one like this." Payment comes in immediately via PayPal, so you can use the purchase money to pay for the shipping.
The one issue with eBay is that if you sell with an auction-style listing, the price you get may be kind of random. If you have a couple of people trying to outbid each other, it may go very high. However, if your listing happens to close at 5:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, the one person online at that hour who wants it may get it for much less than its value. Personally, I prefer "buy it now" style listings, because I'd rather get the actual value (even if it takes a bit longer) than to sell it at what it gets on an auction.
You also need to know that the eBay system is highly biased toward buyers. This is good for you in a way, because it gives people the confidence to buy on eBay, which brings you more buyers. However, you should know that there are a couple of traps there for unwary sellers.
First, if someone complains that an item is "not as described," and they paid by PayPal, PayPal will probably make you take the item back and give the person a refund--and quite likely even pay the shipping charges to get it back. This is true even if you state a "no refunds" policy on your ad. And whether an item is "as described" can be a judgment call. If the buyer thought your ad made it seem bigger, redder, or in some way different from what the buyer got, the presumption is going to be in favor of the buyer. Thus, you may as well provide that the buyer can return the item for a refund.
Second, your ability to sell on eBay depends on your retaining a good rating. And one of the factors that goes into a good rating is whether shipping costs are reasonable. You may therefore want to raise your asking price a little to provide for "free" shipping, so as to avoid someone thinking that your shipping rates are too high.
Craigslist. Craigslist is totally free--no fees to list items, no commissions when they are sold. And because it is targeted to your local area, it is particularly good for hard to ship items. However, there are two things to watch out for with Craigslist. The first is the scam artists, who seem to particularly target wedding dress sales. If someone says they can't stop by to see your dress, but want it sent to a foreign country after they pay you with a certified check? That's a scammer.
The other issue with Craigslist is "community moderation." What that means is that anyone can flag an ad, and if an ad is flagged a certain number of times, it's deleted. There is no way to appeal a flagged posting, and you won't even be told why it was flagged.
Saying you will sell something for "best offer." Craigslist readers want you to tell them the price up front.
Mentioning a price for shipping, or that you will accept PayPal. The idea behind Craigslist is that it is a means for local buyers and sellers to find each other. Thus, you should be getting people to pick up your items and pay cash.
Saying that you will give items free to someone who is needy. Either you give the free item to the first person who shows up, or you sell it. If there are conditions on giving it away, you will get flagged.
Posting the same things in multiple categories or multiple cities.
Deleting a post after it has been up a couple of days, then reposting, so as to keep your post at the top of the list.
Moreover, if you have a post that gets flagged, and you try to fix the issues and repost, your new post is almost certain to be flagged. You'll need to wait at least 48 hours to repost. Plus, the number of people who have to flag an item before it gets deleted goes down if you have had previous posts flagged. So, check the rules carefully in the beginning, or you can end up in an endless spiral of never being able to put up a post without having it flagged.
Wedding Message Boards. Almost all online wedding message boards have a "for sale" section of some kind. Use them! For items that area typically used for weddings, they are your most likely source of buyers. Here are some links:
Offbeat Bride's Wedding Swap Group
OneWed's Buy, Sell, & Trade forum
Project Wedding Classifieds
Trash to Treasure
Wedding by Color Marketplace
Wedding Dress Resale Sites. Some sites are designed specifically for the resale of wedding dresses. Here are some links:
Preowned wedding dresses
Other Wedding-Specific Places. Here are some links to wedding-specific places to sell all types of wedding items, not just dresses:
Non Wedding-Specific Places. Here are some you might want to consider:
eBay Local Classifieds
Buying items to resell after the wedding can in many instance be much less expensive than renting the same items. However, you need to do your homework and figure out how to sell them, so as not to get stuck with a house full of unneeded wedding stuff.