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Fashion

Sales at Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market help brides cut costs

| Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
submitted
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
Submitted
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
Jody Colella
Submitted
Jody Colella
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
Submitted
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market
submitted
Items for sale at a prior Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market

Brides all over Pittsburgh are saying “I do” to an innovative new wedding concept.

Imagine a classy version of the standard flea market, only brimming with hundreds of wedding decor items.

Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market, which started as a Facebook-based endeavor, will host a two-day live event on Nov. 7 and 8 at Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer. More than 50 sellers are booked for both days. Here, recently married brides looking to unload their wedding goodies can sell to DIY brides looking to save money.

Pittsburgh Wedding Flea Market is “a vendor-free event,” says organizer Jodi Colella. “This is purely for bride to bride.”

The concept was hatched by Colella in 2012, when the former wedding planner was a newlywed herself with a surplus of leftover wedding items.

“Nothing online like this existed, so Facebook was my solution, and my page currently has over 1,000 members and is growing,” says Colella of West Mifflin.

When the original Facebook page gained overwhelming popularity, Colella decided to go “live” with a flea market. The first event this past January welcomed hundreds. The second event, in April at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino, drew about 1,000 visitors.

“I realized there was nothing out there (locally) for brides to sell to future brides,” Colella says. “This is an easy and straightforward way for former brides to sell off their new or barely used wedding items and recoup some of the money they spent on their weddings.”

Couples spend an average of $31,213 on their big day, according to the latest study from The Knot. Allegheny County's average wedding bill will cost $28,017, according to wedding-spot.com.

“Weddings are expensive, so if a bride can purchase items at a fraction of the retail cost, well, she is very happy,” says Bethaney Lentz, who offers marketing support to friend Colella.

The feedback has been positive, so the friends quickly planned a third flea market.

“This is the first time we are extending the live event into a second day,” Colella says. “So many styles and themes will be represented — rustic is big currently.”

Vendors and businesses are not permitted at the event, but, Colella says, “we do offer a non-intrusive ‘bride bag,' distributed to the first 250 people admitted, which vendors pay to advertise in.”

Tessa Liddington of Mt. Washington will marry in December and attended the most recent live wedding flea market, which helped her save hundreds on wedding supplies.

“I will be back here married selling at their next event next year,” says Liddington, who plans to attend this week and shop for some decorations.

“I found amazing deals at the last market on tablecloths, my tiara, oversized decorations and some adorable snowflake table number holders that will tie into my winter wedding theme,” she says.

Joyce Schwartzmier Fries was a seller at the Meadowlands flea market. She stresses that sellers be “realistic” with their pricing because “brides are there looking for bargains.”

She arrived with a full load of items with her daughter, Brittney Powell, and sister-in-law, Susan Schwartzmier.

“This flea market was a huge success for us,” Fries says. “We even gave our storage bins that we hauled everything in to the people who bought our vases. My daughter was able to sell all of her wedding things and recoup a good bit of money.”

Joyce Hanz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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