Wedding Reception decor

Brides who spend hours picking the perfect wedding-day decorations and assembling them into Pinterest-worthy masterpieces are all too aware of the Cinderella effect. Once the clock strikes midnight, the coach turns back into a pumpkin, and those decorations suddenly look like an expensive storage hog.

If you’re in the midst of planning your big day or you’ve already said “I do,” there are a few tried-and-true ways to hand your decorations off and receive some cash back in the process.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Find a Buyer Online

McKinzie Pack, a travel and budget blogger, said much of her wedding decor was purchased on Facebook Marketplace or in wedding-related Facebook groups. So when it came time to sell her items, she was able to find buyers using the same tools.

“Groups and forums like these are great because there are so many people in them who are planning months and even years ahead for their big day,” explains Pack. “Finding brides-to-be with similar tastes and styles to yours is fairly easy and makes selling your items a breeze.”

Here are a few other sites to check out, along with their fees for listing (or selling) your items.

Wedding Recycle

Cost: Free, although using the “cart” feature results in a 4% fee taken from the purchase price.

Bravo Bride

Cost: Free for all items except bridal dresses and wedding rings, which cost $19.95 to list.

Ruffled

Cost: Free.

Tradesy

Cost: Items sold for less than $50 are a flat fee of $7.50 per item. Items over $50 have a fee of 19.8%.

Weddingbee

Cost: Free.

Talk to Your Vendors  

Jenifer Gay, a wedding planner and the owner of Blue Flamingo Weddings, says she’s always looking to purchase decor from brides. She suggests contacting local wedding planners to see if any of your items might be of interest to them.

“The easiest way to do this is simply email them a list of what you have available, including clear photos, description, condition, and price. Don’t waste their time or yours by leaving those details out,” she explains.

Sarah White, lead consultant with The I Do List, suggests expanding this list to all of your vendors, including rental companies and caterers. If you’re still in the midst of the planning process, it can be helpful to see if they want certain items even before your wedding day.

“If they do,” says White, “they can take the items when they leave, which makes it easier on you at the end of the night as well.”

Price Them Right

When you’re still reeling from the exorbitant cost of your big day, it can be tempting to price your items high, but this could turn off would-be buyers.

Gay advises pricing items reasonably and expecting to make a little money back. “You’ll wind up giving them away for free if you don’t price them like the used, not commonly needed items they are.”

White agrees. “If you really want to get rid of the items (and quickly), you’ll probably have to post them at a 60-70% discount.”

Bring Your Listing to the Next Level

Cat Ekkelboom-White, a wedding photographer and owner of Wild Connections Photography, says how you list the items can make all the difference.

List the items separately, but offer a discount if someone is interested in buying them in bulk. Also, put some time and effort into ensuring your photos do the items justice.

If you don’t have your professional photos back from your wedding, Ekkelboom-White has a few tips for taking them yourself. “The best light for photography is to use natural window light. A blank white background is the best, but if you don’t have one, just try to find an angle where there are no distractions.”

Think Before You Purchase

This tip may be too late for those who’ve already said “I do,” but for soon-to-be brides, it can help to think about where and how to resell items while you’re in the process of picking them out.

Pack was able to extend this to one of the more costlier wedding items – the dress.

“I purchased my wedding dress from a consignment shop and then sold it back to the shop after dry-cleaning it,” she explains.

Be Patient

While a bride could already be hunting for exactly the items you’re posting, there’s a good chance selling your decor could take some time. But with a little patience and some testing of different selling methods, you might be able to recoup some cash and combat that dreaded Cinderella effect.

Have you sold any items from your wedding? What tips do you have for future brides? Let us know in the comments below!

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