My secret source

Posted on January 29, 2009. Filed under: the goods |

I have yet another secret to share with you.  If you, like me, are trying to have a great home or backyard wedding on an extreme budget, you will love me.

It’s a fabulous place where you can get basic stuff that you need for very little money; so little, in fact, that you might be tempted to buy your glassware and tableware rather than mess with renting them.  Because, dear friend, while renting dishes sounds like it’s the best thing ever, it’s not.  Before you return said dishes, you have to wash them.  Um, what?  Yes.  Wash. Well, okay, technically not “wash,” since you don’t have to use soap, but you must remove all food particles and ensure that they are “eye clean” before returning them.  Swear.


Given that, spending a fraction more to avoid dealing with it all seems worth it, at least to me.  And we all know what a cheapo I am.

Anyway, back to my point: this place is awesome for gals trying to plan simple, meaningful, straightforward weddings with a minimum of madness (and thus, vendors).  And when it’s all said and done, you can keep them.  You never know when you need to throw another party for 80 people, or when you just want to throw a dish.

Here, I’ll show you.

img_0921Terrible picture.  Bummer.  However, how cute are those plates?  And who doesn’t love glasses all lined up and ready for imbibing?  The mister digs the pilsner glasses on the far right; I’m debating etching them with our monogram.  The big wine glasses on the far left are my favorite.  We’ll buy some of the goblets in the dead center for non-alcoholic drinks and margaritas, totalling somewhere near 120 glasses for 80 people.  I heart glassware, and these will be perfect for parties in our future — there’s that “lasting” thing I was going for.

Here’s a (terrible photo) closeup of the plate, 80 of which are now sitting in precarious piles in my dining room:

img_0833‘Scuse the background… that’s the stainless steel countertop in the room with the most light. The green is slightly brighter, more of an apple green.

Where’d I get ’em?  The Dollar Tree.  For. One. Dollar. Each. (Just in case you weren’t sure how that worked.)

Honestly, I just buy a few dozen every time I drive by and have an extra 10 minutes.  Grand total: $200 for 80 plates, 40 pilsners, 40 wine glasses, and 40 goblets, all of which we can reuse.

Wanna see more goodies that I’m debating buying?

Wouldn’t these be perfect for our sundae bar?  The only reason I didn’t buy them is that they seem a little too small.


These will hold more ice cream!


Vases.  They’re not exactly the shape I wanted, but heck, they’re cheap!


These bud vases are sweet.


Do you have any secret sources for inexpensive supplies?  And does anyone have any tips for somehow mimicking (or importing or copying) the design from the dishes onto my invites?


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5 Responses to “My secret source”

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I LOVE THE DOLLAR TREE. I’m planning an outdoor wedding in Oregon, so my plan is, instead of spending $1000 on a tent we might not even use, if it looks like rain the day before I’ll just buy enough umbrellas for everyone at the Dollar Tree. If I did it a week in advance, I could even make a stencil and spraypaint a monogram on all of them!

What do you do with all the plates and goblets when the wedding is over with? I LOVE the idea, but my fiance doesn’t see the point if you just are going to have 80 plates left over.

Katie – Well, we use ours. Our neighborhood has block parties, and we already used them for our winter block party, which we hosted. It was great! That’s part of the reason that it wasn’t worth it to me to rent them. For an additional twenty cents per plate, their OURS! *bwahaha*

If you don’t want to keep them all, you can donate them and get a tax deduction, or you can resell them to another bride (especially if you get the plain white plates… so reusable!).

[…] in Tennessee, with our ceremony in a clearing.  I bought my dress off eBay.  Dishes and glasses each cost a dollar.  Our friends and family will be asked to help out by mixing their own drinks and maybe even […]

[…] and provide our own twinkly lights and luminarias.  Ballpark rentals estimate: $1800.  Add in $200 for tableware, $200 for my dress on eBay, plus an extra $100 for random things I bought and probably won’t […]

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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