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updated 4/24/2012 2:03:25 PM ET 2012-04-24T18:03:25

Despite the tough economy, American couples still managed to spend, on average, slightly more than $25,000 on their weddings last year. And when every dollar counts, many turn to warehouse membership clubs to stretch their wedding budget to help bring their dream day to life.

Slideshow: Box Store Weddings

You may be surprised how many wedding-related items are offered at warehouse stores around the country. There are flowers, wedding rings, outdoor equipment, food and baked goods, alcohol and table linens, all to help make your big day special.

Whether you’re working with a wedding planner to create a grand event at a luxury venue or you’re a do-it-yourself couple putting the event together, there may be something from a warehouse club that fits your wedding style and helps your bottom line.

Sam's Club

Bridal ring, 1.26 carat

Price: $5,775 at Sam’s Club
Stores: Sam's Club, Costco

For brides who don’t need their diamonds to come packaged in a little blue box, warehouse clubs offer jewelry collections that include discounted engagement rings and wedding bands. Costco sells diamond engagement rings ranging from $500 to $2.3 million, with the most popular size (1.5 to 2 carats), ringing up anywhere from $16,000 to $28,000, according to Megghan Harruff, assistant general merchandise manager who oversees jewelry.

CNBC.com: Royal Wedding Memorabilia

At Sam’s Club, diamond engagement rings are appraised at up to two to three times the purchase price, the company says. Pictured here is a 1.26 carat yellow diamond ring, offered at Sam’s Club for $5,775.

Sam's Club

Wedding kit 10-piece set

Price: $99.87
Store: Sam’s Club

You could spend hours running around from store to store to find the perfect accessories for your ceremony and reception. Or, consider Sam’s Club's 10-piece wedding kit to help you cut down on the chaos. For $99.87, it contains a flower girl basket and ring bearer pillow, a guest book and feathered pen, a cake knife/server set, toasting flutes, and the all-important garter. By comparison, a sterling silver cake-cutting set from Tiffany & Co. costs $335 alone.


Price: $244.44
Store: Sam’s Club

For outdoor summer weddings, shade is a must-have for guests and the food. Warehouse clubs offer various options to provide cover from the beating sun or other bothersome elements. Among them is the Garden Party Gazebo from Sam’s Club, which sells for $244.44.

Sam's Club


Price: $810 for 43-piece collection
Stores: Multiple

Beautiful blooms add a burst of living color to your occasion. But opting for custom arrangements and out-of-season flowers can run your floral bill into the thousands. Depending on how good your (or your friends’) flower-arranging skills are, consider bulk flowers from warehouse clubs, or choose from prearranged bouquets and centerpieces.

CNBC.com: Warehouse Weddings That Take the Cake

At Sam’ Club, 100 roses cost just shy of $100 depending on color; 150 white carnations can be had for $77.87. Or spring for a 43-piece prearranged setfor $810. The collection includes a bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, a throw-away bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages, petals to toss and centerpieces. BJ’s, meanwhile, offers 200 carnations in a single color for $119.99 and 26 hydrangea stems are $84.99. Costco has 100 white roses for a cool $79.99 and various bulk and prearranged choices.

Sam's Club

Cuff links

Price: $140
Store: Sam’s Club

On the wedding day, it’s usually all eyes on the bride. But the groom must get dressed, too, and if he’s wearing a tuxedo, don’t forget the cuff links. They make a great gift to a groom, or from the man of the hour to his groomsmen. Pictured here are diamond and stainless steel cuff links, offered from Sam’s Club for $140.

Wedding gown

Prices range from $699 to $1,399
Store: Costco

A wedding gown is one of the most important garments a woman will ever buy. And now, that grand white dress she hopes will draw gasps on the big day can also be purchased at a warehouse club.

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Since last year, Costco has teamed up with California-based designer Kirstie Kelly to offer a collection of gowns that start at 40 percent off retail. The dresses are sold in trunk shows at select Costco clubs and through Costco.com. The 12 styles range in price from $699 to $1,399 and come in sizes 2 to 24. Brides can borrow a sample for two days for $35 before deciding to make a purchase.

CNBC.com: Extreme Retail Experiences

Without releasing sales data, Janet White, an assistant general merchandise manager for Costco, said the gowns are popular.

“The prices were phenomenal when they compared them to what they were [finding] elsewhere,” she said of brides. “It’s not anything our competition has done. It sets us apart.”

Brides spent an average $1,166 on their gown last year, according to The Wedding Report.

Sam's Club

Kalorik chocolate fountain

Price: $58.42
Store: Sam’s Club

Pass the strawberries and get ready to dip! A nonstop flow of melted chocolate can be both elegant and fun. Guests love dipping goodies of their own choosing into the sweet cascade of the milk, white or dark variety. Pictured here is the Kalorik Chocolate Fountain offered at Sam’s Club for $58.42.

Silver cake stand

Price: $13.48
Store: Sam’s Club

The more do-it-yourself your wedding, the more options you have at warehouse clubs. If you’re creating your own dessert bar or even baking your own wedding cake, why not show off those baked goods in style on stands or serving trays. Pictured here is a 13.25-inch silver cake stand from Sam’s Club, offered at $13.48.

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Lancaster arbor

Price: $228.88
Store: Sam’s Club

If you’re having a backyard wedding and want to spruce up the property, warehouse clubs offer many outdoor options. There are gazebos, pergolas and arbors, patio furniture and decorative urns and planters. Pictured here from Sam’s Club is the Lancaster Arbor for $228.88, which can be decorated with flowers or greenery and set over a walkway or used as a backdrop for the ceremony.

TUNE IN: “The Costco Craze” premieres Thursday April 26 at 9 p.m. ET on CNBC, with a re-air at 12 a.m. ET.

© 2012 CNBC.com

Video: Paralyzed bride’s ‘big step to independence’

  1. Closed captioning of: Paralyzed bride’s ‘big step to independence’

    >>> friday morning, on "today's" update, the young woman who was barrelized in an accident at her bachelorette party . we're going to talk to rachelle chapman and her husband in a moment. but first we caught up with rachelle at project walk, a rehab facility in san diego , dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries . this is another milestone for rachelle chapman, standing and walking with the help of specialized machines.

    >> i feel a big difference. i'm obviously not walking, but i mean my upper body is infinitely stronger. my core is getting stronger, which helps me so much in my daily life.

    >> reporter: this is rachelle's second visit here. she's already seeing signs of progress.

    >> it certainly doesn't feel like it used to feel. but it brings it back, makes your mind remember when it felt like to stand up.

    >> reporter: it's been nearly two years since rachelle's life was changed forever. it happened at her bachelorette party when one of her friends playfully pushed her into a swimming pool. she ended up with a c-6 spinal cord injury , paralyzed from the collar bone down. since then she's gotten married to her longtime sweetheart. honeymooned in fiji and had her house remodeled to be more wheelchair accessible . but there's still a lot left to accomplish and therapist kimberly davis says rachelle's positive outlook is helping her succeed.

    >> her laugh is infectious. her attitude is second to none. if she's not able to perform an exercise she never gets frustrated. she only works, what do we need to work on for me to be successful.

    >> reporter: davis says while being able to walk is again the ultimate goal, it's not the only one.

    >> you think, okay, you're paralyzed when will you be able to walk again. what about when will you be able to brush your teeth again? when will you be able to get out of the chair on her own and get into bed on her own?

    >> reporter: and just like a lot of young wives, rachelle says she and chris are hoping to add to their family. her therapist and friend says that's what she's working toward, as well.

    >> to be able to start a family would be one of my biggest goals for rachelle. not only because i know how important it is for her, but i believe that she deserves that. and i know that she and chris would be wonderful parents.

    >> rachelle and chris chapman , good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> last time we talked to you you were just back from fiji. so you sort of experienced your first year of marriage together. more or less challenging than you thought?

    >> i mean, we've been together for six years. i kind of have the hang of him. so we're good.

    >> how about for you?

    >> it's been wonderful. we had the opportunity to do so many things. we just keep working.

    >> i've got to tell you the part that struck me the most in that tape was you standing upright, with the help again of assistance, being able to sort of put one foot in front of the other. what did that feel like for you?

    >> it's so hard to explain. but i mean, it feels amazing. i would have never even had the opportunity to go there without walking with anthony, which is an organization that sent me there. and i mean, to have the opportunity to be able to go to a place like that, and stand, i mean, it's so good for your body.

    >> you talk about baby steps. what sorts of changes have you seen in terms of improvement for you and how you get your mobility and how you get around things like that?

    >> oh, gosh. i mean, i'm pushing up ramps so much better. just my upper body is a lot better. i don't look weak, i look strong and i'm able to sit up better and do things on my own a lot more.

    >> and driving a car. i mean --

    >> yes.

    >> that was surprising. i said wow, this girl is behind the wheel. tell us about how that came about.

    >> well, it is scary at first because you have to drive with your hands, not with your feet. but i mean, i was right out on the road, and i'm excited to drive my new van that i got. i'm so excited.

    >> how is she at driving?

    >> i'm a little nervous. i'm a little nervous. but i think it 's wonderful . this is a big step towards independence. i've gotten very protective of her, obviously, since the accident but i think it's really exciting. it will be great.

    >> you don't waste a second, rachelle. i can point out. you're always busy. you're talking about writing a book. i love the working title .

    >> with a possible title, i like the idea of calling it hot, sexy and rolling on 24s. it's not just the story of my life , it's my, you know, my injury and us but also a story about you can be sexy and you can pretty in a wheelchair. you can have confidence, you know. we're just normal people, and no matter what -- no matter who you are or what situation you're in you can have confidence.

    >> one of the other things you're doing, you have a children's book basically to show kids, we only have a couple of seconds, but it helps children understand spinal cord injuries and it's called "new opportunities." we want to thank both of you for coming. we're so happy that you're feeling better.

    >> thank you.

Photos: Intimate portraits of bride battling cancer

loading photos...
  1. A lock of hair

    Wedding photographer Emily Harris documented the events leading up to the March 3, 2012 wedding of Joseph Jones and Lainie Schultz, who is battling a rare form of cancer. When Harris shared the photos online, it prompted an outpouring of support and gratitude. Here are images and captions from Harris’ blog at IntimateBridalPortraits.com.

    Lainie Schultz, 28, pulls out a clump of her hair, which has been falling out by the fistful since beginning chemotherapy in Janurary. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A new look

    Three weeks before their wedding, Lainie’s fiance, Joesph Jones, shaves his future bride’s hair. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Adapting, adjusting

    Lainie tells her father, Jeffrey Schultz, that the razor is starting to burn her scalp. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. An attentive eye

    Lainie and Joseph’s dog, Stella, observes the locks of hair falling onto the floor. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Laughing together

    Jeffery Schultz tries on his daughter’s wig. “In a situation like this, you have to have a sense of humor,” he says. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Facing the mirror

    Lainie tries to adjust to her new look. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Sharing the news

    All smiles, Lainie uses FaceTime on her cell phone to show her brother Brian the new look. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Getting organized

    Joseph and Lainie sort through their RSVPs to to plan their guest seating. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Undergoing treatment

    On Feb. 9, 2012, Lainie receives her second round of chemotherapy since her diagnosis in Coral Springs, Fla. To clean out her port, Lainie’s nurse, Jana Golfin, injects it with saline. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Support from a friend

    Lainie’s friend, Nicky Hale, waits with her while she receives her chemotherapy treatment. The treatment lasts about three to four hours. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A fun fitting

    The wedding day is close. Lainie goes for her final dress fitting at Zola Keller in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Status update

    Lainie’s new Facebook status on Feb. 26, 2012. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Party favors

    Lainie and her mother, Kathy Schultz, put together welcome bags for their out-of-town guests. The custom bags read, “All you need is love.” (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. The big day arrives

    On the afternoon of her March 3, 2012 wedding, Lainie gets her makeup done in her hotel suite at the Chesterfield Palm Beach. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Finishing touches

    Lainie’s cousin and bridesmaid, Micole Bag, watches Lainie center her wig after her makeup is complete. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A beautiful bride

    Chandon Jones, left, and Lainie’s mother adjust the crinoline under Lainie’s bridal gown. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Married at last

    The newlyweds have a lot to celebrate after being pronounced husband and wife at the Harriet Himmel Theater in Palm Beach, Fla. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. No stress

    The reception set-up ran an hour late, but neither the bride or groom noticed as they enjoyed their cocktail hour. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Appreciating what matters

    “It was the best night of my life!” Lainie said. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. An unusual honeymoon

    Wearing bride-and-groom Minnie and Mickey Mouse hats, Lainie receives another round of chemotherapy with Joseph by her side the Monday morning after their wedding. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. An authentic celebration

    “This is our honeymoon!” Lainie said with a laugh and smile. (Emily Harris) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Emily Harris
    Above: Slideshow (21) Intimate portraits of bride battling cancer
  2. Kubota Photo-Design
    Slideshow (14) One month of marriage: ‘A gift no one can take away’


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