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Creative Thrifting for Weddings – Velvet Rentals

Hello! I am Constanza (con-stahn-zah) from Velvet Rentals. Last year I started to run my own specialty rental store in Madison, WI, and this year, Amanda joined my team to help me with deliveries, styling, and maintenance. I love hunting for treasures and combining unique pieces of furniture to make someone’s day more special. I rent for any occasion: Private dinner parties, baby showers, birthdays, and yes…lots of weddings!

Many people ask me where I get my inventory and the answer is everywhere: Antique stores, online marketplaces, thrift stores, and strangers selling their belongings. I encourage my friends and clients to browse around for objects that define them as a couple. To some, thrift stores may seem like the last place they want to go to look for wedding décor, but if you are a creative mind that enjoys finding treasures on a budget like me, then looking for beautiful artifacts that you can use in unseen ways is an adventure.

Where to look?

If you decide to look for special furniture and décor yourself, remember to look online first. You don’t need to go very far to find the gorgeous objects. Nowadays, social media and online marketplaces make it easier than ever to shop for treasures. If you are in a store and doubting whether to buy something or not, my recommendation is to always buy it. I have regretted too many times NOT buying items that I never found anywhere else and that sell fast. If you end up not using it, you can always resell it and even earn a little money from it.

What to look?

Most of us have seen the classical thrift store finds at weddings: Suitcases for storing cards, antique mason jars as flower vases, and vanity mirrors as centerpieces. I challenge you to think outside the box and look for objects that reflect the couple. For example, if they like to travel, add antique world globes of different sizes on a welcome table or a dessert table. If they like to ski and have a winter wedding, plaid armchairs and wool details give a northern cottage warmth to a lounge space. Look for something that has meaning: What the couple enjoys, how they met, or a story they have. An ordinary object might turn into a beautiful symbol of the couple’s story.

Imagine all the possibilities

Think creatively about all the ways you can use a piece of furniture. A trunk may not just be used for storing flowers or gifts, it can also be a coffee table. A dessert table doesn’t even have to be a table. This year, I had a bride ask me for a blue chest drawer to display the wedding cake on the top and cookies in each drawer. It was unusual and special. Use your imagination and don’t fear mixing sizes, colors, and shapes.

Never underestimate the power of details

When I am styling, sometimes I wish I had an extra touch of “something” and that’s usually a detail. A small silver cup with flowers on a side table, an extra candleholder for the welcome table, or a vintage glass vase in the bathroom. Small details are important. My recommendation is to buy at least ten small items at thrift/antique stores so they are available during styling day. Think vases, cups, saucers, small stands, candleholders, small pillows and textiles. These items add interest and finish the look of any space.

Be open to upcycling

Let’s face it: Some things look ugly in thrift stores. You might find an oxidized silver tray, a very dirty glass candy bowl or a pretty chaise with broken upholstery. You see them and you don’t feel like buying any of it. Trust me: When you bring it home, take away all the dirt, rust, fix it up, and add some paint, it’s all worth it. It’s a matter of seeing a piece’s potential, watching some upcycling YouTube videos, and putting them into practice.

We can help you

If you want to add something special for your event but you don’t know where to begin, give me a call or send me an email. We’ll sit down, talk about what kind of look you want to achieve, and we’ll brainstorm together what pieces I can buy for you that you can rent at a lower price for your event. I am happy to help and design!


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