If you're a full-on DIY bride or are doing at least some of it yourself, there are things you can buy at huge savings at the post-Christmas sales.
Twinkle lights - They are perfect for wrapping in tulle, organza or other fine fabric to decorate buffet tables, cake tables and ceilings. Twinkle lights can be strung on plants and trees. They also can dangle over your dance floor.
You also can interwine the battery-operated version of these lights into your centerpieces, bouquets, and even affix to table edges and then cover with a sheer cloth to give your tables a soft glow. Use them on the backs of chairs and tape the battery pack to the bottom of the chair.
Or use them to decorate your wedding arch, chuppah or cake table.
String them along the edges of your aisle runner or as pew decoration.
Some fashion-forward brides have even had the lights wired into the skirt of their wedding dress. Talk about a glowing bride!
The standard type of twinkle lights will give a soft glow, while the LED style may be brighter but may have a slightly blue hue.
Batteries - If you're using a lot of battery-operated lights and decorations, after-Christmas sales is the time to stock up and save.
Christmas ornaments - Today's ornaments come in virtually every color, from pastels to metallics and, of course, the more traditional red and green. These can be used in a variety of ways even if you're not having a holiday-related wedding.
These can be used to fill vases and bowls for colorful and cost-cutting centerpieces.
They also can be inverted and placed on candlesticks and used alone for a unique centerpiece look or, when combined with candles, can make a charming, sparkling and affordable centerpiece display. With the stem of a plain or non-holiday-designed ornament inserted into the candlestick, you won't even know they're ornaments, so you can use them for any wedding throughout the year.
And for winter or Christmas weddings, ornaments can be personalized and do double-duty as place cards and favors.
Candlesticks - You can't invert your ornaments into candlesticks if you don't have the candlesticks, so stock up on these too. Your best bet is to choose one particular material such as glass, crystal, metal, wood or ceramic to get the best effect. Great deals on candlesticks also can be found at garage sales, tag sales, thrift shops and antique stores. Mix and match a variety of heights to make the biggest visual impression.
Candles - Whether you're using them alone or with other adornments, candles and weddings are synonymous. You'll find them on sale after Christmas in a variety of colors, and if you're not sure what color to buy, white, metallics and cream are always a classic choice. Later on, you can dress them up with ribbon if you want to add more color.
Store candles in a cool, dry place, preferably your refrigerator, so they will burn slower and won't get misshapen. You'll want to buy pillars, tapers, tea lights, and votives for use at your reception, rehearsal dinner, parties, at-home entertaining, ceremony and for your unity candle.
For ideas of how to make your own unity candle look at the story below.
Battery-operated tea lights can be affixed to centerpieces or put into votive holders. They are safe, easy to use and won't blow out during South Florida's outdoor weddings.
Ribbons and Bows - Of course you'll find a number of holiday-themed designs, but you'll also find numerous plain colored spools of ribbon and pre-made or pull-bows on sale too. Use them to decorate pews, chairs, tables, attendant gifts, party favors, invitations, ring bearer pillows, flower girl baskets, programs and more.
Silk ribbon can even be used to add an accent to a plain wedding gown or attendant dresses for a designer touch.
You can even add narrow ribbon to plain flute glasses to further personalize them as toasting glasses in your wedding colors.
Christmas cards - You'll want to stock up for next season when you send them out as man and wife.
Bed, Bath, Dining and Beyond - You'll everything from small appliances on sale to linens to charger plates to holiday plates, glasses and more. Chances are you left some of these things off of your registry so you'll want to make sure that you'll save money if you have to buy them yourself. You also can find napkin rings that will dress up any table setting. Don't forget things like generic serving platters and bowls that will coordinate with your tableware.
Christmas items for your own tree and that includes an artificial tree. Everything from keepsakes ornaments to classic designs, garland, lights, tree stands, storage boxes for your ornaments, tree, lights and stands.
Generic gift bags - These will be great for attendant gifts. Just choose a plain metallic or solid color. Then you can use them throughout the year and it won't be so holiday-specific.
Stationery - You'll want stationery for your holiday newsletter and some styles are so generic or have a love design that you can use them for thank you cards.
Gifts - Not just for your bridal party and VIP guests, but also gifts that you can give throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries, hostess presents and so forth.
Jewelry and accessories - Sales won't be better for a long time so choose attendant gifts now and save. All the quality without the high price. Don't forget things like hair accessories that you might want for you and your attendants for your wedding.Jewelry boxes, men's accessories, perfume kits - they're all on sale and would make great gifts for your wedding party.
Clothes - If you're buying your trousseau for your honeymoon, you'll find great sales on these items too.Plus it's a chance to buy things you want but Santa forgot to bring.
Jewish items such as a menorah, candles and dreidels will also be on sale along with blue and silver gift wrap.
Also look for party items that you can use for engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, hospitality baskets, gift baskets and so forth. First you have New Year's around the corner so look for those metallics and then Valentine's Day is almost here and you can definitely recycle all of the red items you can find. The green ones can be used for St. Patrick's Day and Easter as well.
Open your mind to savings and you can take a lot less out of your wallet.
Happy Holidays and happy bargain shopping!