Nice to meet you, readers! My name is Lindsey Nickel, owner of Lovely Day Events, and I’m here to save you some money and stress this wedding season.

If you’re reading this, your wedding is probably around the corner, congratulations! Your venue is booked, your dress is at alterations, your caterer is finalizing your menu, and your guest list is set. Now, all that remains are the décor and finishing touches. These will transform your big day into the beautiful, unforgettable day you’ve always imagined it to be.

Like with all things wedding-related, you’ve probably also realized that these finishing touches often add up in cost. The average person spends about $2,000-$10,000 on decorations – and that’s not even factoring in 2022’s “wedding boom” and inflation-related price spikes on various items.

That’s why I’m here to tell you that hope isn’t lost; in my 12 years of experience planning weddings, I’ve been gathering handy tricks that can help you save money and the planet in the process. Use these yourself and spread the word to your friends!

Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Secondhand

I recommend couples looking to save money search for items such as reserve signs, favor signs, and any other signage. Search for signs that don’t have a specific name or wedding date on secondhand shopping sites like Facebook Marketplace. You can also look for things like picture frames, votives, candles, a card box, or a basket to put your cards in. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Look inside your home for items like a tray for cards or decor on your bookshelf for your welcome table.

Wield Search Tools

Another reason I like to use Facebook Marketplace to help clients find wedding items is the search function. My advice is to create a few “saved searches” with finds that catch your eye as early into the wedding planning process as possible. Then, check consistently. Over time, you can build up your material stock for the big day! If you see something that you really like, don’t wait too long because the best items get purchased fast.

Save Trees, Go Electronic

Save trees for your wedding by using electronic invitations; this trend has been on the rise. Plus, you can even set it up for people to RSVP online. Thus keeping everyone organized and making things much easier for you. Also, some of my clients have opted out of printed paper programs for their ceremony in lieu of one giant sign. Purchase ceremony signs secondhand, along with the easel to place it on. Or, they’ll opt out of wasteful, paper-based items altogether.

Photo by Abby Jiu

Recruit your Friends

Do you have a friend with really beautiful handwriting and a passion for crafts? Ask that person to make your ceremony program sign. Look for large mirrors and window frames on Facebook Marketplace. Rework these into a tasteful and photo-worthy ceremony sign.

Keep the Circular Economy Going

A great way to participate in the planet-saving circular economy and make some of your money back is to sell items online that aren’t personalized, or that you’re not as interested in. Consider signage or props like parasols which are useful for outdoor weddings. I’ve had my clients often go right back on Facebook Marketplace and sell what they’d just purchased from there for the event.

Good Photography Can Make a Difference

I recommend couples have their wedding photographer take photos of things they bought just for the day. Like, table numbers or ‘Take a Seat, Not a Side’ signs. This way, they can use professional quality photos to resell the items after their big day. These items are very wedding-specific and you probably don’t have a use for them again. So, instead of taking up storage, I tell couples to sell them on Facebook Marketplace. Then, helping out the next couple instead.

The Wedding Party Can Save Too

Your wedding party can also participate in the eco-friendly planning while saving money—especially the bridesmaids. You'll have no trouble finding heaps of bridesmaid dresses on Facebook Marketplace in the color scheme and sizing that you need for major discounts. A good route to go if you’re planning on only wearing the gown once!

Lindsey started Lovely Day Events in 2010, a boutique wedding planning company based in Napa, California specializing in working with stylish, hands-on couples who want to have fun on their wedding day. She is a Bay Area native with a passion for outdoor adventures and travel. Lindsey’s weddings and expertise are featured on, The New York Times, Style Me Pretty, Brides, The Knot Yours Truly book and more.

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