Clever couple saves big on wedding

July 28 [Sat], 2012, 12:32
It’s the high season for getting married but a local bride managed to save thousands of dollars.

“We went to Goodwill and Salvation Army every Sunday for nine months,” remembered Verenis Estrada.

She collected more than a thousand pieces of china and silverware for her reception.

What she couldn’t buy, she rented from Something Borrowed PDX.

“We wanted a vintage wedding and those are expensive,” she said.

Estrada believes she saved nine thousand dollars with her cost cutting measures.

Her wedding was on a Friday which usually means a 10 to 20 percent savings.

Wedding planner Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss says May through October are the most expensive months for a wedding.

Her number one tip for saving on a wedding is to trim the guest list.

“Almost every expense of the wedding is tied to the number of people attending so if you can trim the list you’ll save.” Sheils also advised checking out discontinued dresses which can bring a 60 percent savings.

“Bridal shops have sales to get rid of their samples. Some dresses have barely been touched,” said Sheils.

A recent survey at says the average wedding in Portland costs a couple $23,000.

The average spent on a dress is $1200. The reception runs about $15,000 and invitations can cost up to $1,000.

Verenis says she saved $400 on invitations by using Living Social.

But her greatest savings came from Goodwill.

They have wedding dresses for under $100 along with shoes and even the glasses the bride and groom use for toasting.

“We have our most donations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is when the store will have the best selection,” said Dale Emanuel at Goodwill.

Verenis is proof of that. Her shopping day was Sunday. “They pretty much know us by name now,” she laughed.

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