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

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.

Emily Guerroro and Kevin Parr turned to Craigslist for nearly all of the decorations for their wedding and reception at a waterfront home they rented on Lake Anna, Va., last Sept. 11.

“Scores of brides are seeing and craving the same things you do in wedding magazines,” says Emily, 39, a communications director. “They buy them for the big day and then have no use for them.”

By searching the popular website of classified ads, she scored blue antique Ball jars from a woman who had collected them for her own wedding. Emily paid her $3 apiece and used them as centerpieces.

She and Kevin, 41, a sales engineer, also bought paper lanterns for $50 to create a canopy over the outdoor dance floor. Theirs was the fifth wedding the lanterns were used in.

“We thought it was kind of cool,” she says.

Plus, when the seller realized Emily was a bride-to-be, she pulled out other items for her to sort through. Emily walked away with two more boxes of items that the seller’s husband was happy to see go.

The average cost of a reception decorations and centerpieces was $617 in 2011, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.

Other items Emily and Kevin found through Craigslist, which helped keep their total wedding cost to $5,000, included burlap tablecloths, drink dispensers and silver serving dishes, as well as servers for the wedding dinner.

After her wedding was over, Emily headed back to Craigslist and sold her finds to new brides-to-be.

“It’s nice to know items were used again and part of another special day,” she says.

Here are some of the antique jars Emily bought on Craigslist ...

Kevin and Emily in her wedding gown right after the ceremony ...













Thanks to Emily and Kevin for sharing these personal photos from their wedding album.










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