Meredith’s Wedding

I never planned to have a “green” wedding…it’s something my husband Tom and I kind of fell into. When I envisioned the day, I wanted a collected, backyard party look. With a good excuse to shop, I grabbed loads of vintage items from Arc’s Value Village, happy that the purchases for our big day were a way to give back to a great non-profit. What we didn’t realize until a few days after the wedding was that our choices made for a stylish and easy way to “go green.”

The reception took place at GibbsFarm in St. Paul, a beautiful backdrop for the vintage pieces I purchased. Although we had a few key colors for our day (navy, yellow, and pink), using the collected items allowed us some freedom (and less stuffiness!) in our color scheme.

My favorite use of Arc’s Value Village items was in our centerpieces. Our florist Luna Vinca dreamed up two different styles:  Half used white milkglass planters, easy to find at the stores and very inexpensive, and the other half used vintage, wide-mouthed champagne glasses collected in groups of three to form one cohesive centerpiece. Each champagne glass was beautiful and delicate in its own right, and we saved a dozen of our favorites to use throughout the years.

To add to our backyard party feel, we served cupcakes for the evening instead of a formal cake. The cupcakes were displayed on colorful plates, and throughout the table were stacks of dessert plates found at the stores. Each plate was colorful and many had a sense of whimsy; I loved the ones that were souvenir plates from places Tom and I have visited or a wedding anniversary commemorative plate. If you are looking to incorporate vintage dishes into your wedding or party, this is an easy and cheap way to do so. We rented table settings through RevivedTableware,  finding that more practical than purchasing our own vintage china.

The biggest investment for these items was time. It took me about a year to collect everything, and probably a few hundred dollars (loved the 50% off storewide sales…I drove to all four stores on a snowy President’s Day!). Because city living wouldn’t allow us to keep everything, we donated many items back to Arc’s Value Village. We loved that our day allowed us to give money to the community AND go green with beautiful recycled vintage pieces.


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Meredith Salmi-Bydalek and her husband Tom were married in June of 2011 in Minneapolis. They incorporated many vintage pieces from Arc’s Value Village in their wedding day and were featured in the February, 2012 issue of TheKnot: Minnesota. Find Meredith on her blog Mill City Mama.  Photographs by Lace/Hanky Photography.

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