A recent study by Brides Magazine found that most American couples get engaged during the month of December. That means lot of men and women out there are in the beginning stages of wedding planning…and the intermediate stages of realizing that weddings can be a very costly affair.

Weddings are becoming more non-traditional by the day, but no matter how "outside the box" you want to be there are some elements that everyone expects: food, flowers, pretty outfits, and delicious libations. And these elements can be expensive, even for family-only affairs.

But why should couples go into long-term debt for an event that only lasts 24 hours? Buying a bunch of single-use wedding goods and decorations just didn't make sense to Lane’ Bigsby, a Portland resident who was planning her own nuptuals in August, 2011.

“When we were planning our wedding, I was unemployed and knew how it felt trying to make a dollar stretch. It was also very time consuming making and hunting down one‐of‐a‐kind pieces," said Bigsby. 

After encountering other brides with the same frustrations, Bigsby had a great idea: why not create a way for people to share wedding goods on a temporary basis, thus saving money and reducing waste?

A few short months later, that idea had materialized in the form of Something Borrowed {Portland}.

Operated out of Bigsby's home, Something Borrowed {Portland} is a wedding goods and decor lending library where items may be borrowed free of charge by Portland brides-to-be hoping to create a DIY wedding.

Love and lavender: photo by Simply Rosie

"Our mission is to build a greater sense of community, promote thoughtful consumption by sharing, and provide brides-to-be of all income levels the opportunity to have the wedding of their dreams while staying within their means," writes Bigsby on the website. "This is a way for brides‐to‐be to take a breath, relax and know there’s a community resource available.”

Blue books and cupcakes: photo by Sarah Ainsworth

Something Borrowed's inventory of more than 150 items consists mostly of wedding decorations and dishes including bird cages, chalkboard frames, mason jars, milk glass, assorted vases, candle holders and an assortment of other rustic, vintage and shabby chic decor.

All things that you would likely purchase when planning your DIY wedding, and then wonder what to do with when the party was over!

Mason jars from Lane' Bigsby's wedding

While all items are free to borrow, Bigsby has created a set of Borrower's Rules and does require a $50 deposit, before allowing brides to select items from Something Borrowed's inventory. The entire registration and item selection process happens online, which most harried wedding planners find quite convenient.

"My main goal is not necessarily to promote the new library, but to try and encourage other cities to jump on the bandwagon and start their own," said Bigsby. "It seems that Portland is on the forefront of lending libraries, which is great, but I can only wish that others who share the same eco-passions will take the leap as well."

Recycled bottle arrangement: photo by Smitten Photography Blog

To learn more about Something Borrowed {Portland}, including instructions on how to donate your remaining wedding décor to the inventory, please visit:

You can also connect with Bigsby by visiting her page on Facebook, or following @PDXGreenBride on Twitter.
Beth Buczynski


Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in beautiful Colorado. She loves sharing so much, she wrote a book about it. "Sharing Is Good" is a practical guide

Things I share: Transportation (I love my bike!) Office space (yay coworking!) Money (Credit Unions do it better!)