John and I had the privilege of emceeing a wedding last month for a couple from our church. It was a beautiful wedding, held at Mt. Lehman Winery in Abbotsford. The ceremony took place in the barrel room, with the huge oak barrels lining the walls and the reception was held under a tent on the winery grounds, overlooking the vineyard. Joel and Breanne’s wedding was very much an expression of their personalities and thrift played an interesting role both in their relationship and in their wedding.
They met via Value Village – Breanne recognized Joel from his bandcamp site while shopping at VV, she contacted him, they got together and the rest is history. That they met in a thrift shop is not that surprising given that they both prefer to shop thrift whenever possible. For both Joel and Breanne, thrift shopping is as much about lifestyle as it is about saving money. This ethic informed how they prepared for their lovely day.
Gift cards were placed in a vintage suitcase displayed on a table covered in vintage linens. The bridesmaids’ dresses were all vintage, purchased through etsy.com (each for under $50) and all different – which surprised me because from a distance they looked as though they’d all been made from the same fabric. Table cloths were actually thrifted bed sheets cut to fit the tables and the afternoon tea was served in vintage china cups, saucers and plates. The centre pieces were made from thrifted vases that Breanne collected, painted and coated with school glue. She also collected different sized glass containers for the serve-yourself candy table. The wedding cake sat on a thrifted plate as well.
One of the neatest displays at the wedding was a hutch that had photos of their parents and grandparents weddings- all in thrifted picture frames; a wonderful way to honour their heritage and highlight the importance of family. They also thrifted the furniture that they used for displays which then simply went to furnish their home. One of Joel and Breanne’s favourite pieces is an old stereo with flowers carved into it, circa 1930s that was used to sign their register.
The centrepieces were made from wildflowers they dried themselves and potted succulents that were then transplanted into their garden. Breanne decided to sell her gorgeous wedding dress so that someone else can enjoy it and she can also earn some money from it. They made sure that all the clothing that the bridesmaids and groomsmen wore could be worn again. A family friend made all the jam served at the wedding.
I asked Breanne why they decided to do their wedding this way. This is what she wrote to me:
One, it was frugal. Since we are both poor students with tight budgets we didn’t want to financially overburden our parents. Two, we really value simplicity and wanted our wedding to reflect that. Three, we love old things and love being able to support organizations like MCC and Bibles for Missions which donate their proceeds to important causes. Four, we were turned off by the mass consumerism that has been generated by weddings and wanted to avoid getting sucked into it. Five, I just love crafting and if I can make something myself, I am all over it! And six, we really wanted our wedding to be reflective of our values, lifestyles and who we are as a couple.
I believe that they accomplished all their goals and they had a beautiful, unique, personal wedding.
If you’re married – were you intentional about saving money or did you choose to go all out for that special day? If you’re not married – would a thrift-consciousness factor into your decision making?