A thrifted wedding means married with money to spare

Authentic and affordable items for your wedding that you can snag at a thrift shop

Hi there! It's Debbie, your closet coach. Planning a wedding can seem daunting, but with my help, you'll see how easy – and fun – it can really be.

Whether on Facebook, Pinterest or in real life, DIY weddings that burst with originality are the trend in today's wedding scene, each more creative than the next.

Are you strategizing details for your Big Day and finding nothing but frustration? That's why I'm here to pull you from your uninspired rut. Thrift stores are perfect and budget friendly havens to score finds that authentically your wedding.

Overwhelmed? The key is to keep your budget, theme and overall goal in mind while sorting through the racks; don't buy just because a piece is $1.99 and fits your great-aunt's idea for your wedding. Often, the secret to DIY weddings is to make your venue seem as homey chic as possible. Thrift stores usually serve up just that.

Pull on your hunting gear and gather your groom or bridesmaids, it's time to shop!

Here are a few items at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio thrift stores, ready to make your wedding shine:


A big component of your wedding is the meal, and many guests, especially those who refuse the dance floor, will spend the majority of time sitting at their place setting. Make it stand out. Before purchasing plates and flatware, check that they're not included in your catering fee. Look for tableware such as:

  • China
  • Glasses, stemware and Ball mason jars
  • Utensils
  • Bar Supplies
  • Placemats
  • Linens
  • Cake plates
  • Catering and serving dishes

Bridal outfitting

Don't forget your “something old."

With enough searching, brides can come across one-of-a-kind vintage gowns and accessories that truly complete a DIY wedding. Keep an eye out for:

  • Wedding and bridesmaid dresses
  • Suits for groom and groomsmen
  • Estate and costume jewelry
  • Watches
  • Lace, ribbon and/or quality fabric detailing to use around bouquets or in accessories
  • Brooch pins
  • Hair pieces
  • Handkerchiefs to have embroidered

Wedding decorations

Keep in mind that your wedding probably has room for a number of decorations, from arbors framing you and your spouse-to-be to centerpieces and bunting glamorizing the reception. Thrift stores are filled with unique knick knacks and accessories, including:

  • Vases
  • Candles and candlesticks
  • Frames
  • Baskets
  • Birdcages, books, globes, suitcases or other antique pieces that enhance your theme's uniqueness
  • Chandeliers and lighting sources
  • Paper lanterns
  • Arts and craft supplies
  • Planters, old windows and doors


Many DIY wedding brides choose statement seating, placing antique pieces, such as bureaus, bars and fainting couches, outside or around the venue. If time allows, scouring Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio stores for furniture is a thriftier option. The bride and groom can save money while bonding over reupholstering and refinishing projects. Don't miss finds like:

Seating: Mismatched or outdoor-ready chairs and stools
Dining tables
End tables, high tops tables and bars

Find a thrift shop near you

It's over—what now? Begin bliss with a car donation

So, you and your new spouse just drove off into happily ever after, with cans stringing behind your just-got-married mobile. On your way to the honeymoon, drive your thrifted goods right back to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio for the next bride - and leave your vehicle there while you're at it. When you return, you'll be ready for a fresh start with your new spouse.

Did you know? By donating your extra or unused vehicle to Volunteers of America, you support shelter, affordable housing and support programs that serve our neighbors in need. We'll take almost anything with a motor, be it a car, truck, boat or RV, even if it's not running. Same-day towing is available, and you might make more money off of your vehicle as a tax deductible donation than you would by selling it privately.

Check out more tips and DIY projects from my Thrift Guide!