With the economy not exactly on the upswing, it’s not surprising that brides (and bridesmaids, for that matter) are looking deep in their purses and handbags for that golden ticket which will stretch their already tight budgets even further. But who wants to compromise glamour for frugality? My guess is not too many will raise their hands to volunteer. Luckily you don’t have to. You can achieve a beautiful wedding with a little antiquing know-how.
If there’s anything positive that springs from a recession it must be the ingenuity and forced creativity which rises like a phoenix into our minds (just recently I began learning to bake fresh bread and pasta!) When budgets are being cinched at the waist a bride needs to think outside the norm to achieve the beautiful day she’s envisioned. And nothing has spoken louder to me in the past few days of drenching heat then the intimacy of summer gatherings with family and friends, fireflies littering the lawns, and beautiful linens, china, and the floral scent of fresh picked flowers. I’ve thrown together some quick ideas for how to replicate that intimate feel by simply taking a bit from the trash (talk about going green). One lady’s trash is another lass’s perfect wedding décor!
Vintage postcards can be used to achieve a delicate and classic feeling to your day. Not only are they one of kind but they double as excellent mementos for guests to remember your wedding. An idea I find irresistible is using them as place cards for guests by buying a cheap wooden box reminiscent of your local library card-catalogue lining the inside with postcards. Guests can rummage through while glimpsing the array of images (from black and white to vibrant color to vintage churches or the 50s graphics). Postcards can even be used as table numbers themselves by simply attaching them to small picture stands or placing them in frames on table tops. Plus, at only 50 cents each their extremely easy on your budget.
Take advantage of the abundance of empty bottles littering antique stores and flea markets. No one knows what to do with them and they are everywhere. Not to mention the misted glass adds an old-fashioned tint which can run you loads for money if you try to buy these brand new. Nothing accounts for the beauty of natural antiquing. These bottles ranged for $1 to $5 dollars and came in a variety of sizes. Picture them gathered as centerpieces or dusted around the reception space. Stocked with flowers they create a personal feel that no one could replicate. Whether you are a bride who prefers clean lines in monochromatic white shades or opt for a loose, seasonal bunching of blooms the bottles make the perfect vases and add a touch of character to your space. Large metal tubs outfitted with flowers can serve as decoration or can even be loaded with ice to sit by the bar stocked with your beverage of choice. Another great idea for centerpieces: old tins, like this timeless printed flower tin.
The point is to have fun and be creative. Find things that mirror your tastes and lifestyle. The beauty of buying eclectic pieces is that they can double as starting accessories for you and your groom. Tablecloths later double as pillow cases, duvet covers, or curtains. Your wedding should be an experience that reflects the two of you and the things you both love. For the perfect vintage feel, don’t get bogged down with all the fuss of matching everything perfectly. Keep in mind it’s those rustic nuisances and tiny imperfections that add life and meaning to your relationship, and it should be the same for your wedding.
My picks for the best Hudson Valley antiquing:
“The Antique Barn” at Waterstreet Market in New Paltz
“Hoffman’s Barn Sale” in Red Hook
* all pictures courtesy of the author, Siobhan K. McBride