We all know wedding planning is an investment. No matter your budget, the expenses can pile up. Therefore, let your money do the most good by shopping small + local wherever you can!
*Side note: yes, I did buy some things from big box stores when I was in a pinch. However, I always thought of small & local first.*
Based on my experience, I wanted to compile a list of ways I supported small and local business as a way to inspire brides to think local while planning their big day!
So, let's get into it!
Here are 17 ways to shop small + local while planning a wedding:
This is one of the most "no-brainer" ways to support business in your community. Just about every option for a wedding photographer is someone who started their own business and is crushing it!
This is also the one vendor that everyone (myself included) recommends splurging. TAKE YOUR TIME before choosing a photographer. Know what you're looking for, compare prices & understand that you may need to dive a little deeper in your wallet to be satisfied... (but it is SO WORTH IT to spend a little extra on someone who is going to guarantee great results!)
Our Photographer: Hannah Barlow Photography
With the new entrepreneurial trend of building wedding venues, it's becoming much easier for brides to support local business by choosing a venue that is run by someone in their community. This is where most of your money is going to go, so consider who it is going to support.
Our Venue: River City
Majority of salons are small business owners which makes this vendor easy to support local. Just so happens that Salon 304 is owned by my cousin, so this was a support small & support family all rolled into one 😉.
Hair: Salon 304
Same deal as hair. Most brides have the same person/group of people doing hair and makeup. However, if you're looking for separate vendors, consider the local community members who are MUA's.
Makeup: Cloud 9
5. Save the Dates + Invitations
Did you know that minted is comprised of independent artists who design all of their products?
So, ordering through minted helps support their artist community. You can also choose to include the artist's tiny watermark at the back bottom of the product. I choose to do this because I know how much it means to the artist who designed it!
I also HIGHLY recommend the "all-in-one" wedding invitations from Minted. They are SO SIMPLE and guests don't feel like they are receiving 20 pieces of paper in the mail. Here's the best part: 200 "all-in-one" invitations only set me back $140. Bless.
link to minted here
Okay, ladies, I have a personal vendetta with wedding veils. I sew some of my own clothes which means I understand the prices of fabric and how veils are made.
This might be surprising, but the production cost of veils is actually extremely low. As in, if I had the time to make my own elbow-length veil with lace, it would have set me back about $25, if that...
SOO that being said, I HIGHLY recommend shopping for a veil from Etsy. There are several businesses with very high reviews and sales numbers. Trust me on this, you do not need to spend an absurd amount of money on a veil at a bridal store.
Where I bought my veil: VeilsbyRebecca
This one is pretty surprising, but we bought our wedding bands from Etsy! Yes, Etsy.
Camden wanted a black tungsten ring. However, he is a firefighter and can’t wear a real ring at work.. so he knew he was mostly going to be wearing a silicone ring.. so why spend a ton of money on it? (Maybe that’s just me)
Also, we aren't the only people who bought rings from Etsy, Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher bought their rings from Etsy! So yeah, all the cool kids are doing it.
Camden's Ring: BrielleShoppe
My Ring: CraftyDiamJewels
Who doesn't love a great local bakery?! Hit them up first for cake options.
Also, one suggestion: we got a tiny cake for "looks" and bought sheet cakes to serve.
The tiny cake was just about the only thing that was *truly* just for us, and I cannot explain how much that meant 😂
(The cake topper was from my parents wedding 🤗 It had sentimental reason, so that’s why it’s larger than the cake itself lol)
Our small cake: Whisk Bakery
Our sheet cakes: Pam Neely
This one is pretty standard to support local business.
Our DJ: Jay Yalenic
Our tuxes: Daniels in Morgantown
Majority of bridal stores these days are local boutiques which makes this one easy. The store I visited is family-owned.
Where I bought my dress: MB Bride
The best advice I got: buy a template from Etsy, fill in your information and print! They will look gorgeous and it saves money!
Etsy Shop: MarryMePaperBoutique
13. Seating Chart
Same deal as the programs! Buy a template, fill in your information and have it printed somewhere that does poster printing.
Etsy Shop: MarryMePaperBoutique
This is one of the vendors that could be a little more pricey when you go with small + local. But again, you can't beat the relationship you build when you choose small. The owner will likely take more pride in the product and deliver above your expectations.
Our Flowers: Angel Vines
It's pretty easy to find a local calligrapher or someone selling online. I have a friend who is in the works of beginning a calligraphy side-hustle so she offered to make anything we wanted!
Our Calligraphy: McKenna Callahan
16. Cupcakes for Bridal Shower
For my bridal shower, the cupcakes doubled as dessert & decoration. We borrowed cupcake trees from my mom's school, filled the trees with the gorgeous cupcakes and set them in the center of the table.
Our cupcakes: Pam Neely
17. Bridesmaid Gifts
There are a MILLION ways to shop small here. I included face masks in their gifts from a local Korean skincare boutique. This is by far the easiest place to support all the local and small business.. think local boutiques, Etsy, local artisans.
Link to Poppy & Daisy
Link to a few ideas on Etsy
So that wraps it up!
What other ways did you/ plan to support small + local business with your wedding planning?! Leave your ideas in the comments!