wedding reception en-US Great Sites for Online Wedding Shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/great-sites-for-online-wedding-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Wedding kiss in a field" title="Wedding kiss in a field" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting married today does not require buying into the wedding industry&rsquo;s &ldquo;your special day is priceless&rdquo; sales pitch.</p> <p>When my husband and I got hitched last October, we skipped the sterile hotel banquet hall for a rickety gazebo and beach house overlooking our neighborhood lake. The venue oozed sentimentality in a charming 1960s Catskills sort of way, but to say it was &quot;raw&quot; was an understatement.</p> <p>The space demanded tons of decor to camouflage the chipping paint, concrete bathrooms, and cork announcements board. I also needed wedding basics to get me through the day, so I turned to my favorite lazy girl&rsquo;s shopping resource &mdash; the Internet &mdash; to purchase rattan fans from China, lingerie from Illinois, and seven-foot bamboo poles from California.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, the brick-and-mortar route makes sense for certain items, such as fragile pieces, perishables, and that wedding dress you drooled over in a magazine but never bothered to try on. (I found mine at a local consignment shop for $50).</p> <p>But most everything else can be had with the click of the mouse. (See also: <a href="">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <h3>No-Brainer Wedding Website Creation: MyWedding</h3> <p>Personally, I think creating a wedding website for the couple is a bit hokey, but it is also a convenient way to communicate a ton of information, including directions to the event, wedding registry, photos, hotel information, and a list of area attractions. The clincher for me? I&rsquo;m too environmentally-friendly (and cheap) to spring for separate RSVP cards, so I had guests respond directly to the site. There are many options for free wedding websites, but I found <a href=""></a> had the most straightforward setup and classiest templates.</p> <h3>Restaurant Supply Mecca: Instawares and LinenTablecloth</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s no big secret that it&rsquo;s less expensive to buy your own tablecloths, silverware, dishes, and glassware than to rent. My stainless steel salad forks cost eight cents each at <a href=""></a>. My 120-inch round tablecloths were $12 each at <a href=""></a> (they also sell on eBay, so cross-check for deals before purchasing). An added bonus is that both these sites regularly run deals for free shipping with minimum spending limits. Granted, I went the no-frills route, preferring to spend more on flowers than on gold-encrusted place settings and silk linens. But I was able to make my money back on most items after the wedding.</p> <h3>Everything Else: eBay and Etsy</h3> <p>Sadly, with the influx of &ldquo;buy it now&rdquo; vendors on <a href="">eBay</a>, the auction site has lost some of its &ldquo;thrill of the chase&rdquo; attitude. But it&rsquo;s still a valuable resource, especially if you know exactly what you want. Here&rsquo;s a sample of my wedding fare purchased from eBay: personalized favor tags, hair clips, silk flower petals, rehearsal dinner dress, wedding heels, my hound dog&rsquo;s bowtie, plastic wine glasses, Spanx pantyhose, and a ring pillow.</p> <p>For vintage and handmade items, the pricier <a href="">Etsy</a> furnished my birdcage veil, &ldquo;Save the Date&rdquo; e-invites, bridal bouquet holder, and groom&rsquo;s card.</p> <p>As with any other online shopping experience, there are risks of misrepresentations and shipping snafus. My vintage-inspired library drawer (which doubled as our guest book) arrived with the handle broken off. My veil, which looked so elegant in the photo, appeared frumpy in person. Fortunately, I&rsquo;ve found most eBay and Etsy vendors are receptive to resolving customer concerns.</p> <h3>Regrets? I Have a Few.</h3> <p>The best advice I have to offer? Know when to pay. Research, organizational skills, a low-maintenance attitude, and a flexible job also come in handy when shopping online for a wedding.</p> <p>Going against my better judgment (and to my mother&rsquo;s horror), I purchased simple, inexpensive his-and-hers wedding bands on Etsy and eBay, respectively. Mine turned out fine (though I never bothered to get it formally appraised). My husband&rsquo;s &ldquo;titanium&rdquo; ring arrived too big and got banged up within a few weeks. That frilly script that looked so regal on the proof for my wedding invitations, ordered from <a href="">TheAmericanWedding</a>, was barely legible out of the box.</p> <p>Finally, I know the all-encompassing <a href="">wedding planner tool</a> at Google (including <a href="">budgets</a>, seating charts, address books, and playlists for the deejay) puts Excel to shame. Just remember you still need a real live person &mdash; be it a day-of coordinator or a family friend &mdash; to execute your vision on the actual wedding day.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Margie Fishman</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Surprising Things You Still Can&#039;t Do Online in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Favorite Mail-Order Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Save Money Shopping Online With Google</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping Technology cheap weddings online shopping wedding reception Thu, 26 May 2011 10:24:20 +0000 Margie Fishman 550554 at