After you've tied the knot, what are you supposed to do with things you bought just for the wedding? Do you really need seventeen mason-jar floral arrangements in that exact shade of green? Chances are, your fancy new married life will not require any of your folksy wedding decor, but it can be hard to part with things that meant so much to you just a few days ago.
Luckily, weddings are a big business in this country. While yours might be over and done with, there are plenty of people who are looking for exactly what you have, who will be more than willing to pay to take it off your hands. Here are a few ways to clear out your closet and make a little extra cash while you're at it.
Where to sell it.
If you had a good photographer, there's no need to hang on to all your old wedding decor forever. All those flowers, old wagon wheels and string lights have been captured forever in your wedding pictures, and they're not going to bring you any joy gathering dust in the attic. Instead, you can help out another bride or groom-to-be by selling them. Here are a few places to look:
Wedding venues -- When I was looking for a venue for my wedding, I was surprised by how many of them offered decor packages. Several of the places we looked at had a storage area with tons of ready-made centerpieces, candle holders, table numbers -- you name it! I asked them where it all came from, and they told me they bought it from previous couples who didn't want to keep their decor.
If you have a lot of extra stuff, chances are there's a bride out there who favors your style and needs help gathering decor for her upcoming wedding. If the venue you used offers decor packages, ask them if they want to buy any of your old things. Even if they don't offer them, bring it up anyway and ask if they'd be interested in buying your stuff to rent out to future brides. If the answer is no, shop your things around to other venues.
Facebook -- Do a search on Facebook for 'wedding garage sale' or 'wedding items for sale' with your city name to get an idea of what people are selling in your area. I've found a lot of local pages that you can join to buy, sell or trade items. If you decide to list something on one of these pages, be sure to price your items competitively. I know it's tempting to try and make a profit from your sale, but the reality is that you're not going to sell anything for full market price. People go on these pages to find discounts, because weddings are expensive. Set a reasonable price point. Making any money on things that would otherwise be rotting away in your closet is a win.
Wedding recycling sites -- There are a ton of wedding re-use sites popping up all over lately. These sites allow you to list your gently used items for buyers who visit the site from your local area. Some of my favorite wedding re-sale websites are:
- Wedding Bee Classifieds
- Tradesey (for apparel and accessories)
- Bridal Garage Sales
- The Knot Classifieds
- Once Wed (apparel)
Traditional online marketplaces -- We've written before about how to sell your stuff on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon and Etsy, and wedding decor is always in high demand on those sites. Check out our comprehensive guide to online sales here!
Where to rent it.
If you're not into the idea of parting with your old wedding decor forever, look into renting it out! Here are a few places to try:
Photographers and wedding planners -- I have a friend who ended up getting quite a bit of her reception decor from her wedding planner. The planner had ended up with so many unwanted items over the past few years that she allowed new clients to use them on their big days.
Seek out wedding planners and photographers, who might not have much space to store a ton of wedding decor options for clients. Offer to let them rent out your things as needed. If you offer a better price than what the bride and groom would pay to buy these things themselves, you can end up making a quick buck once in a while. Sure, this requires a bit of logistical planning in terms of pickups and drop offs, but if the stuff was going to sit in your closet anyway, why not make some money off of it?
Local rental companies -- You'd be surprised to find how many local businesses exist solely to rent out party decor. Gone are the days where party rentals consisted of tents and dinner plates; today's brides can rent vintage wooden dinner tables and mismatched vintage chairs, table runners with matching centerpieces, or their ceremony gazebo. Do a quick search for 'local party rentals' and see which companies match your style. Contact them and see if they'd be interested in using your items for rentals.
Wedding dress rental companies -- This might seem crazy, but even your wedding dress is rentable. We wrote about it a few months ago, so check out that article to learn more about how to do this. Sites like Get the Gown are a great option for both newlyweds with dresses taking up space in their closets, and brides-to-be who don't want to spend a fortune on a something they're only going to wear once.
Just want to get rid of it? Don't trash it.
If you're not looking to make a quick buck, donate your old wedding decor to a friend in need. At my wedding, a lot of people asked me where they could find my aisle decor, and I just told them they could take it home with them. We got married out of state, so it was a lot easier for us to let other people take our decor than it would have been for us to cart it back across state lines. While I could have probably sold some of it, I was just happy that my guests wanted to take a part of my big day home with them. You can also list things on many of the sites listed above as free with local pickup. I guarantee you'll make some soon-to-be brides very happy!
This story originally appeared on Brad's Deals.