By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 20, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- According to the website The Knot, the average wedding costs $35,000.
More and more couples are planning their wedding themselves and paying for it themselves.
This week, Tallahassee joins a new wave of wedding DIY's. Sustainable Tallahassee is hosting its first "Recycled Wedding Market."
Amanda Warren is a newlywed. She and her husband Ed tied the knot in November, but couldn't believe how expensive weddings could be.
"We've been to weddings that are 60-thousand, 25-thousand dollars," Warren said. "We just didn't feel comfortable spending that kind of money whether it was ours or our parents."
Warren did a lot of the decorating herself with help from friends. Now, she's ready to get all this out of her dad's garage.
"Here are some signs that I made," Warren said. "I have 60 of these vases, brand new."
"I have two bags of burlap," Warren said, pulling out piece after piece.
Warren's among 40-plus brides and vendors selling items at Sustainable Tallahassee's first ever Recycled Wedding Market.
"The hope would be to recoup money but also to give other brides the opportunity to save on their weddings," Warren said.
"Because these are gently used items, you're going to be paying a fraction of what you would have paid had they been bought new," said Recycled Wedding Market co-chair Julie Todd. "That really helps to make it affordable for these couples."
The bridal bargain hunt is being spearheaded by Julie Todd and Jodi Wilkof.
"It's perfect. I love it," Todd said as the two folded and banded napkins.
"It's very expensive and I think people are being smarter about that and realizing that you use it once and then you're done with it," Wilkof said.
Recycled wedding markets are a growing trend across the country as couples look to go green, do it themselves and save money.
Perhaps the biggest is a market that attracts more than 1,400 brides just outside of Pittsburgh.
"We have it in a convention center now," said Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market founder Jodi Colella.
"I call it 'Bridal Black Friday' because there's a frenzy to get in first. We have people waiting in line one to two hours beforehand and we've had sellers sell out in an hour," Colella said.
Buying used wedding items on line is always an option, but with that getting an up close look is not.
"Has it been stored in a place that's smoky or has pets? Does it have a stain on it? Does it have a rip?" Jodi Wilkof said. "Whereas, at the Recylced Wedding Market, you can come and touch it and feel it and smell it and try it on if it's a wedding dress."
Brittney Waldo recently married a second time and she's ready to say goodbye to wedding dress number one.
"It's an A-line dress. It's taffeta," she said as she pulled it from the garment bag. "I thought someone could get some use out of it."
Its $1,200 price tag with alterations is now slashed to $400.
"I still think it's gorgeous. I think it would be a great deal for someone who fell in love with it like I did," Waldo said.
The Recycled Wedding Market is this Sunday, February 25th at the Aveda Institute in Tallahassee.
Early bird tickets are already sold out, but you can still buy tickets at the door.
Net proceeds from table and ticket sales are going to Sustainable Tallahassee.