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WUSA 9 Web Producer Meta Pettus Buys Wedding Dress On Craigslist, Finds Other Ways To Save Big

6:54 AM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- All this week we are helping you plan your wedding in style and on a budget.

Getting your wedding dress can be a budget buster but would you be willing to buy your dress on Craigslist?

A woman who did it and lived to tell the tale talked about it on Wednesday morning. Our senior web producer Meta Pettus says she bought her dress off of Craigslist from a woman who lived about 2 or 3 miles away from her. Meta scanned many different websites for dresses before Craigslist but the photos of the posting made her decide to contact the poster. Meta admits that at first she was a little scared but after several email exchanges, Meta met with the woman and tried on the dress. Meta shared a photo from that moment with us on Wednesday. Meta loved the dress, which was the first dress she tried on, and she bought it for 30 percent off the original retail price! 

Meta later paired her dress with Cole Haan shoes she found on Zappos and a necklace she bought from The Limited -- both were on sale.

Meta says she also found other ways to save. Instead of buying flowers for centerpieces, she bought two colors of floating candles in bulk on Amazon. Her caterer provided the bowls and mirror to set under them to create a simple, yet elegant centerpiece. 

She did have flowers at her wedding for the wedding party only. Meta worked with a local shop a short distance from her venue in Alexandria and to save money, she skipped having the flowers delivered and had her sister pick them up instead. It saved at least $100.

Meta and her husband made the invitations and programs themselves using a kit they bought from Michael's. Meta says the process was fairly easy.

Meta also created her cake toppers herself from wooden figurines (and paint) she bought on Amazon. It was her first time ever making cake toppers, and she said she decided to give herself a little bit of a tan since she knew she was going on a honeymoon in Mexico. That honeymoon, by the way, she also saved 30 percent off the price through an employer's discount program.

Other ways Meta saved money: 

  • She and her fiance (now husband) chose The George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria for their venue. It's a museum/memorial and rental was less than some other places more known for hosting weddings. The parking lot next to it was free so guests didn't have to worry about paying for parking.
  • They hosted the rehearsal dinner at their condo building in the party room. They ordered a bunch of barbecue for pick-up from a local restaurant (Pork Barrel BBQ) instead of having something catered.
  • She purchased two lighted branches for the altar off Amazon and put them in two vases from Marshall's. They were her main decorations for the ceremoney.
  • Meta bought the containers and ribbon for the salt ceremony (a take on the sand ceremony) from Michael's on sale for less than $25. The salt was from home.
  • She used online tools like TheKnot and a paper planner she received from a co-worker to keep things organized.
  • Photography was done by a friend who started her own company (Purple Flower Photography). She worked for free and used an online site to create the wedding album (Blurb). 
  • Meta and her fiance (now husband) bought the alcohol ourselves after gauging attendants' drinking habits. They purchased Barefoot champagne and wine from a winery using a discount.
  • A jewelry-making friend made jewelry for the bridesmaids and mother of the bride to give as thank-you gifts, and even wrapped them. Meta and her friend worked closely to choose the materials, online for the cheapest price she could find.
  • They skipped out on limo service. Her parents drove her to the venue, and her husband drove his car.


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