She turns her big day into payday.
While other inflation-weary brides are left anxiously skimp and economize To cover mounting wedding expenses, New Jersey bride-to-be Dri Buonocore is billing others for her June 2023 party. She bought a shipment of decorations for her big day and is now renting it out to others married.
“I have won about $3,000 renting out my flower towers, gold candle holders and presentation plates to other brides in my area,” Buonocore, 26, from South Jersey, told The Post. “So far I have rented to about 15 brides – the extra money All I did is go to a painter and live musicians at my wedding.
While Buonocore’s business acumen has inspired some of her 15,000 followers on TikTok, others have lambasted the pennywise planner, saying she’s “exploiting” other wives for profit. But the company’s health worker insists that her company, thanks to her nominal pricescome as a help rather than a hindrance for the bride and groom in need.
“The most of [the brides] decide to hire me after being shocked at the price rental companies charge for the same parts,” Buonocore continued. “And they are really grateful that my items are available at reasonable prices.”
Buonocore herself felt pressured to take the unconventional route to keep her engagement budget in check.
After getting engaged in December 2020, she and fiancé Matt Patel, 27, a fintech consultant, initially set their wedding budget at around $20,000.
But with stylish, albeit expensive, flourishes on their must-have list — like renting a local estate home where they’ll get married in front of 155 guests, hiring a top DJ for entertainment and select delicious bites for their reception – the couple’s initial award quickly swelled by several thousand dollars.
They are not alone. On average, brides and grooms across the country will spend $28,000 on their nuptials this year, per The knot. That’s a serious increase from 2020, when the median hitch cost was $19,000.
In addition to inflation, the increase comes after the wedding industry suffered a near-crippling slump $46 billion in losses during the pandemic, due to canceled or postponed ceremonies.
So, to avoid dipping into savings or salaries to afford “vintage chic” wedding she wantedin February 2021, Buonocore devised a plan to purchase decorations and increase their budget for the big day at the same time.
“I started looking for wedding items online that were in stock and on sale, buying them and posting them for rent on Facebook Marketplace,” she said.
“It all started with my flower towers,” Buonocore said of the set of 12 rectangular structures, each measuring 24 inches by 9 ¾ inches. Gold stands serve as floor or table centerpieces to support floral displays, and can cost over $39 for one.
She bought a collection of poles for $360 from a wedding and event supply site called eFavorMart.com during a flash sale sometime after New Years 2021. She now lends them out for $10 each to brides who want the luxury look without the exorbitant price.
From there, Buonocore began marketing its presentation plates – decorative dishes that often add a dimension of spice to dinner place settings. His are printed with a rare and attractive floral relief.
She nabbed 160 hard-to-find trays, not available in stores, for $1.25 apiece from the Dollar Tree website. Additionally, Buonocore paid an additional $200 to have them shipped to their address. She has since rented each charger for $1 a plate, offering a 20% discount to brides who rent all of her stock.
Buonocore then expanded its wedding business by adding its supply of gold candle holders into the fold. She bought her set of 35 stands — originally from the Christmas tree shop — for around $300 from a reseller on Facebook Marketplace. She loans them out for a fee of $150.
And Buonocore is not worried about other brides damaging, stealing or losing her wedding ornaments.
After asking each bride to sign a rental agreement, which Buonocore drafted based on a Google template, she charges them a refundable deposit, usually 20% of their order, to cover the cost of unusable goods.
“One of the best parts of it all is that I don’t have overhead,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t have to worry about shipping or delivery charges, they come to me.”