Being a Salvage Bride

March 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Mr Pretzel and I bought a townhouse this summer and then promptly got engaged.  While we’d love to do some renovations before I move in after the wedding, the likely-hood of us getting around to it is slim.   But in the meantime, we  discovered a couple of amazing home improvement salvage stores.  The RE Store and Second Use in Seattle are two of our favorite places to browse on a Sunday afternoon. They both stock reclaimed building supplies, doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, granite, fireplaces, light fixtures- you name it- diverting it from the landfill and offering it for a fraction of the price.  We actually already scored two full size lockers that we  are refinished into extra coat storage from the RE Store..

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Pretzel, what on earth does this have to do with weddings?  If I had been more savvy, I would have been keeping my eyes peeled for things that could be re-purposed for our wedding. Sure, we’re using milk glass and re-purposing old beer boxes, but  I could have been a “Salvage Bride”.

This weekend Mr Pretzel and I attended the “Salvage Bride Workshop” at the RE Store.  The event was led by Rachel Kate Bair who – in addition to having the coolest job working at the RE Store- is also is planning her own wedding.  She documents and inspires other brides as Stubborn Sparrow.  What does a salvage bride look like?  Never fear, I brought my camera…  mmmm OK, pro photographer I am not- so I was glad that  the lovely Eliza Truitt was on hand snapping pictures so I have some good eye candy for you (with some personal photos mixed in).

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Wanna see more detail?

Chalkboard cabinet door, concrete drain tile vase, house number table numbers… oh my!

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Alternative guest book and candlesticks from chandelier fixtures set atop a table made from old shutters.

The room was packed and I learned as much from the amazing brides attending the workshop with me as I did from Rachel- which is saying a lot. We shared websites and resources as well as tricks and tips. Rachel told us she wasn’t going to tell us to have a cheap wedding, but that we should have a “clever wedding”.  That concept stuck with me.  Mr Pretzel was particularly pleased to see other grooms in the room and happy that Rachel took a moment to remind us that we all have a partner in crime. That this isn’t us forging it alone- it is a conversation.  On that topic, one Seattle bride shared that she and her fiance had a discussion of their values for their wedding- rather than writing a list of words that describe what the envision. Values.  I like that.

Rachel’s example projects were quite inspiring.

Photo by Eliza Truitt

An alternative ring pillow

A succulent centerpiece made from a cedar rain gutter and aluminum flashing.  That’s a plant tag as table number holder

Photo by Eliza Truitt

An alternative guest book

Electrical Wiring Spool Cake Stands

You might be surprised to learn that the workshop didn’t include any DIY instructions on how to do any of these projects.  The focus was on opening your eyes and seeing what was around you that could be re-purposed or salvaged.  I just about fell off my chair when one of the other workshop attendees shared that her fiance collects old beer growlers (half gallon jugs) and that they were using them in their centerpieces. SWOON!

We left the workshop and searched the store for salvage booty.  For $10 we got two good size cabinet doors to make our own chalkboards for the wedding.  Mr Pretzel and I agreed that our pretend wedding, you know the one we plan in our heads alongside the real one, would be a salvaged affair.

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Are you incorporating any salvaged goods into your wedding?

Links from the Salvage Bride and workshop participants:


Entry filed under: decor, DIY.

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I am Mrs Pretzel

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