Budget Bride Tip for June 11: Buy dishes for the wedding dinner

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.

Jeff and Lane’ Bigsby wanted their wedding and reception at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Ore., last Aug. 13 to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

But producing little trash is difficult when the plan includes an outdoor potluck dinner, which is typically served on plastic plates.

Lane’ considered renting dishes or using disposable dishes that could be composted, but both options were too expensive.

So she took advantage of her then-unemployed status to spend multiple Mondays scouring 50%-off sales at area Salvation Army thrift stores.

“I’d go in at 8 a.m. and load up a cartful of dishes,” says Lane’, 36, now a project administrator for an energy efficiency company.

She was amazed at what she found.

“I really had never gone thrift store shopping much,” she adds. “Some of the sets are gorgeous.”

Between the thrift store and Craigslist, Lane’ estimates that she was able to buy all the wedding dinner dishes she needed for half what it would have cost to rent them.

This contributed to keeping the cost of the Bigsbys’ wedding and reception to just $3,000 for 100 guests -- far less than the 2011 average of $25,631, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.

“We really liked the eclectic mix rather than all uniform settings,” Lane’ says. “It added a touch of originality to the wedding. It was really cool.”

Here are Lane’ and Jeff, a 41-year-old drafter for an environmental engineering and consulting company, on their wedding day ...

These are the dishes they bought for their dinner ...

Here are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:

Budget Bride Tip for June 1: Throw a potluck dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 2: Say 'yes' to an affordable dress

Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Budget Bride Tip for June 4: Put dad to work

Budget Bride Tip for June 5: Turn your reception into a barbecue

Budget Bride Tip for June 6: Take the ceremony to the beach

Budget Bride Tip for June 7: Cupcakes make tasty wedding favors

Budget Bride Tip for June 8: Hold down the guest list

Budget Bride Tip for June 9: Feed your guests wedding cake from Costco

Budget Bride Tip for June 10: Decorate your reception with Craigslist

Thanks to Jeff and Lane' Bigsby for sharing these personal photos from their wedding album.