Friday, July 26, 2013

Invite Etsy to your Wedding....

Photo by AMBPhoto

One of my oldest childhood friends; Jennifer got married with Marry Me Productions in the summer of 2012. I have seen many weddings in my years working with Marry Me as well as watching my own friends get married in the last 9 years. But Jennifer was still able to blow me away with the gorgeous decor that she sourced for her shabby-chic Mont Tremblant wedding. When I found out almost all of it was from Etsy and nabbed at reasonable prices, I knew I had to share more information with our Marry Me blog followers.

I thought it would be fun to interview Jennifer instead of just writing the blog like I normally do- ask her questions our readers would want to know about Etsy. Just to give you some background, Etsy is basically an online store filled with unique items that are handmade (or vintage) by people all over the world. Every seller has their own 'store front'. It's a great source to find unique items for your home, wardrobe, wedding or even a loved one's special event.

It is absolutely worth a look the next time you are enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning- but be warned, you'll wonder where hours of your time went!

Karen: A lot of people have heard about ETSY or have even been on the website but what is it exactly?

Jennifer: ETSY is an incredible site that enables creative and crafty individuals from all over the world to sell their products, creations or fabulous finds on one easy-to use-website. I love this site as most vendors before would have been limited to creating their own online shops, or selling their products at local fairs…now they can be accessed by anyone with a computer.

Photo by AMBPhoto
K: How long have you been an ETSY fan? Was it something that your recent wedding just brought on or had you been a faithful buyer for years prior?

J: I honestly cannot remember how or who directed me to this site, but I am an avid lover of online shopping, thus I am sure someone mentioned it to me once wedding planning was in full swing. I was hooked from day one.

K: On average, how much would you say the average bride can save by buying some of her wedding items from ETSY sellers?

Photo by AMBPhoto
J: I definitely think there are savings to be had as you are purchasing directly from the vendor. In most cases these vendors work from home and thus overheads are minimal so that cost does not reflect in the price. I would hate to put a figure on it because that is quite difficult to identify. Many vendors will discount multiple orders which does come in handy when wedding shopping.  I personally think when purchasing from ETSY you have to think of the quality you are receiving. Most products are handmade and thus would be incredibly difficult to find in a large commercial store and I truly believe a similar item would be a significant amount higher and most certainly not as personal.

Photo by AMBPhoto

K: Were you pleased with the amount of time shipping took and interaction between yourself and the ETSY sellers if you had any questions?
Photo by AMBPhoto
J: I was so fortunate and worked with the most incredible vendors who were dedicated to making my day extra special. One of the greatest and most unique aspects of the ETSY website is that you are in direct contact with the vendors, thus if you see something you love but want it personalized to suit your taste, you can communicate this. In my experience the vendors will go out of there way to ensure that your needs are met. For example I had the pleasure of working with Candice Stanley who runs the ETSY store UniquelyDifferentToo. I was on the hunt for table numbers and came across her shop. I made two requests, one to change the block from Black to White and to have passages of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet pressed on each block to incorporate my husband's British background. She was more than happy to go out of her comfort zone and the final product was beautiful and special. My advice for anyone shopping on ETSY is always do a little background research. Each purchase made on ETSY can be reviewed by the buyers. I recommend always looking at the Feedback as it will give you an idea of the vendor themselves and their shop and their strengths and weaknesses. The vendor only ships to the US….not a problem for us Ottawa ladies and gents. Ogdensburg is only a 45 minute drive away and orders can be addressed to the UPS Store located across from the Walmart for $5.00 US a shipment.  Make sure to bring all your receipts as Canadian Customs will require this information and ensure that when giving address details to your ETSY Vendor that they include your name and also always request tracking information.

Photo by AMBPhoto
 K: What was your best deal or favourite item you snagged off ETSY? (wedding related)

J: I already mentioned Candice’s wood blocks, but a personal favourite of mine and I was absolutely blown away when I opened the box was my handmade Pinwheels by Kellee Nelson of Rule42. The purchase really left me speechless. I gave her an idea of the colour scheme and feel of the wedding Simon and I were trying to achieve but I let her work her own creative magic and was so happy I did because the final product was absolutely incredible and more than I could have ever imagined. I also adored the handmade Flower Girl tutus by Mirela Olariu from BambaroosBoutique that were just exquisite and looked so beautiful on.

K: You also resold a lot of your bridal items online after your wedding to try to recoup some of your costs. What website did you you use to do this and would it be complicated for a first time seller? 

Photo by AMBPhoto

J: That is a work in progress, but most brides I imagine are left with numerous items they will probably never use again or have no room for in there house. A great way to recoup some of your wedding costs is buy selling your items on EBAY or one of my personal favourites . This website is all about weddings and is great for both brides to be looking to snag a deal or post bride looking to recover some costs. Both websites are extremely easy to navigate, but I will say it is time consuming and it is important to be honest and descriptive about the products you are selling. Great pictures are a must and definitely help with sales.

K: Could you share some of your top wedding websites you used to plan your stunning wedding 

J:  - The British version of ETSY. Definitely worth checking out as many vendors will be happy to ship to Canada. - great votives gorgeous linens and so many choices
Don’t just limit yourself to using ETSY as a shopping tool; use it as a source of wedding inspiration. I loved the idea of having our table chart on Vintage Windows and there were many ETSY sellers, who sold this item, but they are expensive in general and shipping due to the weight and size is costly.  I reached out to family members and my wonderful Uncle Jay who is an extremely crafty individual himself. He set off to Habitat for Humanity and took two very dreary vintage window frames and used his magic to transform them into something beautiful. I really encourage people to reach out to family and friends or even tap into their own creative juices, you would be very surprised and pleased to see the results and it is so much more personal.

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