Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Friendly for the Environment and the Budget

Here's my purse chock full with 20 oranges because I was desperately trying to avoid getting a plastic sac from the grocery store (and I didn't have my canvas bags with me...)

When Matt and I were planning our wedding, we were constantly on the lookout for things that were simultaneously friendly on the environment and the budget. Oftentimes, these two values conflict. Our organic, antibiotic-free fajita meat, for example, cost way more than the non-eco-friendly stuff.

However, there's one arena in which things are consistently good for the environment and the budget: craigslist. Matt and I generally try to keep our shopping to a minimum (that's the best way to be eco- and budget-friendly!), but when we do need/want something, we almost always search cragislist first (that's how we got our crock pot, dining room table, bocce ball set, and bedside table).

This past weekend, I hosted a work meeting at my house and desperately wanted a little electric juicer to make freshly-squeezed orange juice (it was a brunch meeting). Our juicer broke at our wedding when we were juicing a butt-load of limes for the fajita marinade.

So, I went on craigslist and voila! There was an electric juicer for $6.

As far as I'm concerned, craigslist is a miracle worker. And they aren't even paying me to say that. I can usually find anything I need, and it's typically cheap! And, since the items are used, they're better for the environment because you aren't contributing to the production of new goods, which requires a lot of resources. Plus, when you no longer want something, you can sell it on craigslist and postpone its journey to the landfill.

As far as wedding planning goes, craigslist can be exceptionally helpful. Katie over at A Backyard Wedding actually found someone to let her pick free roses and other flowers from her yard (Katie ended up losing the address, so it didn't work out, but it's an awesome idea!). I'm still inspired by that story. I love the idea of using craigslist to make connections with people.

Our friends, Anne and Gena, found their photographer on craigslist by putting up an ad for someone who was looking to be an up-and-coming photographer.

It might also work to borrow someone's folding chairs (schools and businesses often have a ton of these on-hand) or folding tables or to buy someone's dishes or vases.

Have any of you used craigslist to work a little wedding magic?

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Sharpiegirl said...

I was always sending Dave on a craigslist run! We bought a bunch of our wine glasses that way.
Dave is always trying to get rid of stuff that is just sitting around gathering dust in the garage. He's sold several things through CL.
He is big on giving also. So when he saw that a lady was looking for a hoveround (sp?)and didn't have much money to spend, he gave her the one he had in the garage (it had been his late MIL's and was barely used but needed batteries)
He even found a church to donate a beautiful piano that had been the MIL's as well. They use it to teach music lessons.
It's a good thing!

Kerry S. said...

i actually was looking for dresses to wear to my cousin's rehearsal dinner and stumbled across a brand new wedding dress for $300! I went and tried it on and I love it! Craigslist is totally my go-to for anything I need!

Becca said...

Especially in larger cities, craigslist is a wedding mecca! Search for reception vehues (I found a ton of photo studios and different sorts of non-hotel locations for rent.) There are a bazillion wedding dresses for sale, along with veils and "wedding" jewelery (tiaras and the like, I suppose?). You can get vases and tablecloths and can find people selling their entire centerpiece sets and reception items at rock bottom prices. I make a weekly visit just to see - we've got a long timeframe until the actual date, so we're just picking things up along the way, and Craigslist is the perfect resource!

V. Wetlaufer said...

Craigslist is great when you live in a town big enough to have a craigslist. Until recently, I haven't and the thrift stores were not that great, just lots of clothes.

I do find that borrowing small kitchen appliances is pretty easy. People seem to look at me weird when I borrow their blender, but hey, it's free, and for as little as I use it, it seems silly to buy one.

Unknown said...

I just wanted to say that I love your Queenbee Creations bag! I have a green one :)

And I LOVE craigslist as well, I think our entire apartment is furnished via craigslist (or family hand-me-downs), and it's where we got our job too!

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Nicole: Thanks! It was a wedding present from our friends Jason and Allison (to go with the "Birds of a Feather" theme. Thanks, Allison and Jason!

elizabeth said...

Ha! another Queenbee fan here - great bag! I love how big bags can do double-duty for grocery shopping. I had a quart of milk, yogurt, ice cream, and fruit in mine on the way home from the store the other day.

The Websters said...

My dress is listed on craigslist. i bought it from a used dress site, though. =) Hopefully, i'll sell it soon and make some of that money back.

Erin said...

I'm a serious amateur photographer, and I use craigslist to find weddings to photograph. I don't know enough yet to charge the outrageous prices that most photographers charge, and without that, I can't really afford to advertise much. This way actually suits me much better, because I get so many great brides this way.

I also search it for my own wedding stuff, as well as yardsales and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Katie said...

i found myself not one, but TWO glass jar drink dispensers and apothecary jars for centerpieces all for a grand total of $26! it was mucho awesome. :)

sabrina said...

I found my wedding coordinator on Craigslist. She was looking for clients to build her portfolio so she worked with me for six months and did total day-of coordination FOR FREE! I just got married 2.5 weeks ago, and I was able to completely relax and enjoy my wedding day thanks to her! She was awesome and I am still thanking Craigslist for connecting us. :)

Unknown said...

I just posted our first wanted post, I hope it works. My brother in law has had a ton of success with craigslist.

Sara said...

I love Craigslist! I haven't gotten anything from there for our wedding (yet), but when I moved out of town to go to grad school I furnished an entire apartment (couch, love seat, bed, kitchen table/chairs, desk, and more!) and decorated it with the help of Craigslist for under $500! xo Craigslist.

EmilyAnn said...

Freecycle is another really great site. If you have things that you would never dream of asking people to pay money for on Craiglist you can post them to Freecycle and people will take them for free. For example, a broken appliance that is no use to you but that someone else can fix and use. Just another great way to recycle your old items!

Unknown said...

I had a great experience with Craigslist! I didn't want to spend a silly amount of money on glass votive candle holders (we are having an outdoor, low key, camp wedding) so put an add in the "Free" section on CL for empty baby food jars. I ended up having 4 wonderful women contact me and save their jars, now I have over 300 free votive holders!

Sasha-Ingenue said...

Haven't searched for any wedding stuff on craigslist yet, but plan to! I did however meet my fiance through craigslist! No joke. I owe CL a life-long thank you!

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