How to Flea Market for your Wedding, p.1: The Groundwork

How to Flea Market for your Wedding, p.1: The GroundworkHallo friend Vintage Feed Shack, At the article you read this time with the title How to Flea Market for your Wedding, p.1: The Groundwork, have prepared this article well for you to read and take the information in it. Article ANTIQUING, Article CLASSIC, Article FLEA MARKETING, Article FLEA MARKETING FOR YOUR WEDDING, Article HOW TO FLEA MARKET FOR YOUR WEDDING, Article TIMELESS, Hopefully the contents of this post we write you can understand. Okay, happy reading.

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How to Flea Market for your Wedding, p.1: The Groundwork

I grew up tagging alongside my Mom to every single antique shop and market in Charleston, SC, and later, when we moved to Germany, we traipsed through market after market all over Europe. That childhood instilled an admiration of vintage items and I had a ball antiquing and flea marketing with my Mom and friends during the months leading up to my own wedding. We sourced dozens of milk glass vases, silver platters and trays, rhinestone baubles, cuff links and more. After the wedding, my husband & I moved back to Germany and I found myself in a brocanting paradise. My friends and I would daytrip into France, Belgium and Germany to discover antique treasures at pop-up markets and little dusty antique shops every week. Without a doubt, those were the best years of my life {so far!}. ;)

Because I consider myself pretty well-versed in the international flea marketing world, I thought I'd share a series devoted to tips and tricks of the trade to help you navigate this sometimes intimidating world of bargaining and bantering ... because there's no doubt that gorgeous antiques and vintage pretties can elevate the aesthetics of a wedding by leaps and bounds!
From my wedding - I sourced the silver cake stand at an antique shop in South Carolina.
The pitcher is a family heirloom and the milk glass vase was found flea marketing in Mississippi
TIP NO. 1 | First, get over any fear you may have associated with the word 'antique.' I've met so many people who hear 'antique' and immediately think big dollar signs and start shuddering. While some antiques certainly are pricey, you can still find gorgeous pieces at affordable prices. So shed that fear and look forward to the hunt ahead of you.

From my wedding - a glimpse at a few of the milk glass vases + compotes I collected from flea markets,
shops and antique malls. Some of them had to be cleaned heavily but the end results were pretty lovely,
if I do say so myself. ;)
TIP NO. 2 | Get ready to embrace some dust + dirt. While you'll sometimes find great deals at upscale shops, you're most likely to hit treasure at those grimy street markets, garage sales, or my absolute favorite - vide greniers - in France {vide grenier literally means 'empty the attic'}. I have found so many amazing treasures at markets and while I have invested many hours using clorox wipes and polishing scrubs to clean up my finds, I've never once minded because I'd just keep reminding myself of the awesome deal I got! Dust + dirt can be your friend - learn to be okay with them and trust in the power of soap!

From my wedding - I found that chic rhinestone pin at an antique mall in Alabama.
The blue sapphire is a family heirloom.
TIP NO. 3 | Don't forget about the antique shops. Just because you're more likely to find bargains at the markets, don't forget about boutiques and shops. Every once in a blue moon, you'll strike gold and find an amazing deal. I once found a sterling silver mint julep cup in a high-end antique shop in Louisiana for an absolute steal. And while you may not always make a purchase at antique shops, they will inspire you to no end - these shopkeepers and vendors have taken the time to clean up their gorgeous pieces and stage and style them so they'll be appealing to you - which will give you great ideas on how to incorporate different pieces in different ways. Whether for your wedding or your home, inspiration abounds at antique malls and shops. Visit them frequently!
One more glimpse at those pretty milk glass arrangements from my wedding!
TIP NO. 4 | Be educated. You wouldn't walk into Target and plop down $50 for a pack of frappuccinos just because that's what the price tag said - would you? Of course not! And the same goes for antiques - you never want to walk into a shop or market blindly. So do your research and know the going price for the piece(s) you like. My favorite way of educating myself is to shop around. Let's say I'm on the hunt for a milkglass cake stand ... I'd begin my hunt online and check eBay, Etsy and a few online boutiques to see what sort of price range exists. Armed with that knowledge, I'd then visit a few local antique malls/shops/markets and keep my eye peeled for those elusive milkglass cake stands. I personally feel that this is the best way to earn an education on the going price as you're actually able to see the piece in person and compare more accurately. After you've shopped around online and in person, you will start to see a pattern in pricing and you'll know if a price is sky high, right on the mark or if it's a true bargain. This is the time that you should start searching for the best price and leap on it when you find it. Bottom line: Know the competition and you'll know a good deal when you see it!

COMING UP | Next week, I'll share tips on bargaining - whether you're shopping on Royal Street in NOLA or the regular ol' local market, there's a special language to use and you should know it. I'll later share a special European edition highlighting some key phrases and techniques to score some serious booty.

ps. Click on the label 'flea marketing for your wedding' to access all the posts in this series!

Photos by Look Photography.

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