First there’s love, then there’s marriage, but in between the two is a world of planning that takes place for couples who want to make their wedding dreams come true — within a feasible budget that won’t break the bank, that is.

That’s why Jessica Rios of Grayslake was at a wedding garage sale Sunday at the Lindenhurst Park District, where about 40 booths displayed a variety of once-used items from previous weddings that their owners hoped to sell at a discount.

Rios is planning to get married next summer and was looking for decorations for her hall, which she said may be a barn since she wants a rustic style wedding.

“I want something classic but laid back,” Rios said.

That rustic look seemed to be the popular theme at recent weddings.

Many of the items for sale were wooden crates, burlap banners that read “Mr. and Mrs.” and had romantic quotes written in different style lettering. Other items included ribbons made out of burlap to wrap around jars and bottles.

Jewelry, silk flowers, vases, table runners, card place holders and signage were all displayed to entice and not be left to go to waste or be kept in a closet or basement.

From cents to hundreds of dollars, the objects that once made couples happy at previous weddings again will be put to use and make their owners some money.

Kevin Funk and his husband, Justin McPheeters, had everything they used at their 2108 wedding at a large table, as well as things from another wedding from a friend.

“We actually bought some of the stuff we’re selling now at last year’s wedding garage sale here,” Funk said.

According to the website, the average wedding cost in the U.S. for 2017 was $25,764.

McHenry resident Katie Hochbaum said her original wedding budget was under $15,000, but with an ever-growing guest list, that has gone up to $20,000.

On Sunday, Hochbaum was accompanied by her mother and her son while trying to find last-minute small items to place at tables at her July wedding, she said.

“There’s a whole lot of country and rustic-looking stuff, but I found some fans that I think will work for favors,” Hochbaum said.

Professional services for the big day made up about half of the booths at the event, offering catering, halls and entertainment.

Jason Govekar, DJ and owner of the Celebration Entertainment business based in Gurnee, said he spoke with about 10 brides who seemed to be interested in his services.

“It’s hard for a DJ to show what we can do because it’s not like we can invite the brides to come to our work,” Govekar said.

Govekar instead invited those who were interested to a showcase this month at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Round Lake Beach, where he said couples can hear his sound and see his techniques.

“It’s a try-it-before-you-buy-it kind of thing,” Govekar said.

New business owner, Jazmynn Panek of Jazy’s Creations and Unique Decorations, said the exposure she got at the garage sale will hopefully lead to many orders for her signs.

“This is such a good business to get into,” Panek said. “It will never die because people are always getting married.”

This is the second year the Lindenhurst Park District has held the wedding event.

Park district special events coordinator Mackenzie Derrick said there were more vendors and more brides this year than last.

“It’s been a success, so now we’re thinking about having another in the fall,” Derrick said.

Yadira Sanchez Olson is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.

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