Bridal Buyer: Three Potato Four

Welcome to Bridal Buyer—an occasional feature that spotlights our favorite wedding resources. Up this week: a mom-and-pop e-boutique filled with rustic antiques and vintage-inspired accessories.

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Part antiques emporium, part general store, Three Potato Four is, in some senses, the perfect fulfillment of our wedding-decor desires. Launched in Reston in September 2007 by Janet Morales and Stu Eli, the online housewares boutique started its wedding-centric section after receiving a large number of orders from brides and wedding planners this past spring. If you dream of a vintage-inspired reception, but don’t have the time to scour flea markets and antiques stores, consider this adorable shop a helpful intermediary.

Though Stu, Janet, and family (the couple is heavily inspired by their children Holly and Otis) moved to Philadelphia last week to try their hand at a brick-and mortar-store, their wares are still accessible to anyone with a mailing address.Welcome to the Bridal Party blog, Three Potato Four! Your collection’s extremely eclectic— how would you describe it? "We ultimately try to sell things that we would own ourselves and put in our homes or offices. We source items from all over—markets, fairs, individual dealers, etc., and all over the US and Europe. We always want to keep it as close to a true mom-and-pop shop as possible. Like the great little antiques shop you would stumble upon on a road trip—but Online."

Though we first got to know the shop through your industrial home accessories, your recently added wedding section is a wonderful resource for brides with vintage style. What needs do you think it fills best? "For the most part, the items work best as decorative items, such as centerpieces, table numbers, or small accent pieces, but we also try to include goods that could be used as favors. The most important part of this section is that everything is available in multiples—that’s usually difficult to do with antiques. When we planned our wedding seven years ago, we sourced similar items from a wide range of vendors, and it was definitely difficult. So we made Three Potato Four a more singular source for items like miniature glass bottles, skeleton keys, and vintage containers."

Photo by Josh Goleman.

But the items in that section don’t always scream wedding. How have real-life brides used Three Potato Four purchases in weddings past? “We’ve had customers use vintage mailboxes for cards and notes to the couple [see photo], cash-register flags or gas-station price signs as table numbers, sugar-cane molds as centerpieces, and candy boxes as favor boxes. We’ve had quite a few customers order custom shop signs as well.”

Any ideas you haven’t seen done yet? "The milk carafes, Mason jars, and Rx medicine bottles could be displayed in a group with a collection of flowers, lined up in a row and filled with colorful candy, or used to hold votive candles—all great centerpiece ideas. The gift tags work as personalized place settings or attached to favors. Hung individually on a peg board, skeleton keys can help guests find their table-seating info."

What do you think of when you envision a Three Potato Four wedding?
Place: "A lake house during late spring."
Bridalwear: "A simple vintage white dress with flowers in the bride’s hair."
Groom’s attire: "Simple three-piece suit (no jacket), a plaid tie, and black Converse All-Stars."
Soundtrack: "Old ’50s songs."
Cake: "Red velvet."
Main menu item: "Crabcakes."
Flowers: "Wildflowers in antique bottles."
Signature cocktail: "Spiked lemonade in jelly jars."

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Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.