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So my little sister is getting married soon and I am soo happy for her. The problem is she is a teacher and a new one so she doesn't have a lot of money to plan her wedding and host all of her friends and family attend, let alone her boyfriend's family. So this is where I come in. I am writing this after I had helped her to figure out how to have a dream fairy tale wedding on a tight budget and how to be able to invite your family and friends, while not going into debt. The secret I helped her discover is to shop with liquidators, use online stores with coupons, and to be creative. Not everyone wants to fly to Las Vegas and do the quick drive through or mini chapel wedding which is one route to go without a lot of money, so here are some tips and shopping ideas on how to plan your dream wedding with a tight budget.

Just because you can't afford a museum or the amazing venue of your choice doesn't mean you cannot have a great place to have your wedding. Think about it, do you have any friends or families who live on a farm and you could do it out in the country creating your own backdrops with things we will learn later on in this article? How about your own house? If you bought a house with your partner or owned it ahead of time, there is a reason you bought it and it is because you loved it and it is you. What better place to have your wedding than in your own yard. You can easily transform your yard into a paradise and then have it go back to normal after the wedding is over. Not only does having the wedding at your house save you money on a venue, but every time you see the yard or the room where you get married in, you will have the memories of your wedding day close at hand. What is better than reliving the happiest day of your life when you get to walk in your living room or look out into your yard. Anyways, enough about your own house. Think about using a friend's place, or renting space on a farm etc....it is cheaper than a banquet hall and usually less than a nice hotel with a grand ballroom. Plus you can set up a dance floor outside and dance under the stars.

So, now the question is "where do you buy your decorations to turn your wedding space into a wedding dream. This is simple and what is going to take up some room.

The first place I would begin looking is at liquidators and in liquidation shops. There are various national chains like Tuesday Morning where yu might be surprised at the discoveries and inspiration you can find. When going into a Liquidation shop, you will find numerous things which go through a reverse chain cycle and are not always just salvage or junk. Heck, a ton of the stuff you find on eBay comes straight from these types of stores. Now what would go in to look for are various things.

1. the lighting you would like to use. Since liquidation shops and liquidators carry aftermarket merchandise that didn't sell or could just be last season or off season, you may be able to find things like Christmas lights or even spotlights which you can put celophane over to create a nice light show outside or have the wall or your wedding altar or chupah if you're Jewish lite up in your favorite color.
A cool thought and idea about doing the colored spotlights outside is that if you combine the spot lights around the wedding area in the dark, you can point them from various spaces over the wedding reception area lighting the sky with gorgeous colors and have the sky match and coordinate with your wedding colors below. You could even add in a fog machine which you can also usually find in liquidation shops or through liquidators very cheap and use it in the distance as well to make sure it is high in the air making all of the colored beams of light stand out even more. Trust me, it makes a cool effect and since the fog will have risen high enough by the time it reaches your reception, you won't be smelling it or having it choke anyone,,,it should just show the colors in the air bright and beautiful. Just remember to also place fans out by the machines to blow it in the direction you want.

2. if you made your own dress or are having a friend put it together, you can almost always find pearl beading and already streamed together white and pearlized beads at liquidators shops and liquidation shops. They look the same as the ones that appear on wedding gowns and dresses you buy at a retail shop or boutique wedding shop, but they will cost much less than a seamstress would buy them for and you can choose the exact ones you want instead of having a designer pick it for you. After all, your wedding day is about you and you should have as much say down to the last detail as you can. Craft stores like Michaels are also great places to shop for beading and accents for your wedding. I believe they also carry tiaras but I am not sure which then you can start to modify with tool or silk or whatever you choose to use to make it work with your hair and gown. 3. One other thing I may look for at a Liquidators shop or a liquidation store is for an archway, especially if you have an outdoor wedding. If you cannot find an archway or garden archway at the liquidators, then you may want to try a craft store like Michaels. I remember at my friend Jamie's wedding (which was also on a tight budget), her and her husband (yes a straight wedding I know, how cliche) looked gorgeous under their garden arch. To build herdream archway/chupah/altar, we only spent about $60 and everyone was left speechless at how great it looked and how they looked beneath it. Here's what we did.

  • We bought an arch with posts on it from Michaels for about $20, then we bought fake flowers, a huge variety which were all off-white and shades matching her dress and bridesmaids and wedding colors. We bought a pre-assembled fake rose line thing, it was a series of roses and flowers already assembled and prearranged to be an accent, then we bought some silky feeling tool that matches again her dress, the bridesmaids and the wedding colors.
  • Next we set up the archway and tightened everything, and unloaded the supplies.
  • We took the ivy and we wrapped it tightly around the archway starting half way from the top up and over.
  • Then once that was secure, we took the prestrung roses and wound them through the ivy (btw I think we had used a small leaf english ivy which was a dark green to counterbalance all the white and pink and purple) to hold them in place and secure them.
  • Then we tok the other floowers and worked our way down from the top to the middle of the archway where we began and ended the ivy. Now you want to make sure you don't take away from the center flower in the precreated arrangement. It will be the largest one or the one that stands out the most. Yes you probably want the arch to be full of flowers, but keep the focus at the top center and work at accenting it with other flowers from there.
  • Now set all the flowers working their way down and once they are all weaved through the ivy to hold them in place, violently shake the arch for about a minute and see what falls, and what stays. This is important because when you set this up at the wedding, if you are doing this as a pre-run, you will want to bring a glue-gun or tacky or fabric glue that dries wuick to hold these in place in case you get a strong wind.
  • Now the last thing to do is to take the silk/satin/tool/or whatever fabric you have chosen and to tie it to the top of the archway, or wrap the center of it in a circle and let the sides hang down, or drape it over the sides of the arch whichever way you feel lookes best to finish off the archway and cover the rest of the arch. I would also recommend buying the fabric to be able to reach the ground with ease. You will want to have something covering the bare and empty parts of the archway because the ivy is still raised up fairly high. Then again, if you like the minimalistic look of the flowers only traveling half the way down the arch, then you're set.

The archway was a project that took us about an hour or so to do, but it was a ton of fun and well worth it. Not only did it look great, but it did not cost much adn we were able to sell it on Caigslist for more than double what we had spent after the wedding and used the money to treat us to a movie night with food delivery and cocktails so we could all sit back and relax after the wedding was over. eBay would be another great place to try and sell the arch, even though it costs money to list it then ship it and it could get damaged.

So now we have trimming for the gown, archways and decorations for your wedding and you still should have spent less than $250 for what would normally have costed you at least $1500 (with real flowers up to $10,000). The lower costs are the beauty of using a little creativity, as well as using liquidators, liquidation shops and a little bit of your time.

Before this article continues, I would like to give a fair warning, I am not going to change the next paragraph/s, but I had recommended people use Liquidation.com below but only to buy new product. Unfortunately this is not the case any more. I do not recommend shopping there and encourage you to try elsewhere like dhgate which is an importer from China I believe; or a wholesaler which will get you good and solid merchandise that you can be proud to hand out. I am not saying anything bad about Liquidation.com, but I do not recommend them and if you read the reviews on any website, even eBay or the BBB, about iquidation.com, you will find out why I have had this change of heart. Take the information below and apply the same principles to a wholesaler with new product and a solid reputation that you can trust and apply the same strategy from below to it to find a great deal on the gifts, decorations and handouts.

Now, a secondary place you could look at besides liquidators and liquidation shops in your home town is online at sites like Liquidation.oom. Liquidation.com is a great resource that many people use to source products for their businesses. Well Liquidation.com can also be used to source products for your wedding part and wedding day as well. It could be very scary shopping at Liquidation.com because of all the salvaged merchandise and because you cannot see the products before you purchase, however if you follow these steps, you should be able to find something perfect for your wedding at Liquidation.com.

  • use the toolbar on the top of Liquidation.com in the search features and set it to new. Then hit search.
    This will allow you to view only merchandise that is in new condition. By buying new, you potentially will have to pay a bit more, but you will also be getting new merchandise from Liquidation.com and not have to worry about if it will be good or not.
    Also, some of the things I would buy from them for my wedding would be something like the remote controlled helicopters which could be fun at the wedding, or even be set to float holding a banner or to fly banners to the bride and groom or even a gift if it's light enough to the wedding party. Heck they could even be the gifts lol. =0)
  • Now the next thing you can do to not only find new merchandise at liquidation.com but to lower the cost of shipping after buying from liquidation.com is to (in the search features toolbar) select the category for the merchandise you are looking for (high end jewelry which could be gifts for the wedding party, toys, etc...), then to set it to condition new, then to Location and select the location or region of the country closest to you. Now Liquidation.com will only show you lots of that are in new condition, in the category of merchandise you are looking for, and are closer to you which will lower your shipping costs. Also, on a side note, I have seen Christmas lights and fun lighting products frequently on Liquidation.com so Liquidation.com could easily be a place to find decorative lighting for your wedding day as well. On a side note though, Liquidation.com sells most of it's product through bulk lot auction, on a good note, they do have some fixed price sales, and if it isn't fixed price, the auctions start at $100 so you are bound to find one that will not cost much and you should be able to get a great deal when shopping at Liquidation.com.

    Here is a follow up article on finding a wedding dress, suit or tux at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing any of the quality.

    Anyways, this page is getting long, I will write some tips on finding cheap caterer's which quality food or even do it yourself ideas on food without much time and effort, as well as invitations ideas and more to keep your wedding under budget even when you are on the tightest of budgets. But for now I am off to go help my friend who just got engaged. I hope you found this article helpful and please feel free to browse the site for other ideas and savings tips. have some great stores in the online mall and in the wedding rings section fabulous deals on wedding rings and wedding bands for gay and straight weddings including the wedding vow rings where they engrave your personal wedding vows in the band. =0).

    On a final note, I am happy to let you reproduce or reprint etc.... the content you find on Gay Wedding Gear, however I would like to ask that if you do use or reference the content found here, you provide a hotlink or backlink to http://www.gayweddinggear.com. Thank you again for visiting and check back often for new updates and news.