3/50 Project

A good local business anchors a whole neighborhood. A store or a restaurant gives a place character and personality, and it gives people a reason to visit a certain part of town. Think about the places you go when you need to find a gift for someone (for me: Rare Device is my usual first stop) or the places you take people who visit from other areas.

But it’s not easy for local businesses to survive, especially in tough economic times, and that’s where the 3/50 Project comes in.

3/50 encourages people to support the local businesses they rely on by choosing three local stores and spending $50 there (that’s $50 total, not at each store).

It’s also a great way to share what stores you love in your area. In reading other blogs about the Project, I’ve discovered places on the peninsula that I’d never heard of before. Since I’ve been posting about our wedding recently, I’ll start with three great local wedding-related shops.


My vintage 60s-era wedding dress is from this little vintage store on College Avenue in Oakland. From the fairly small selection of women’s vintage clothes in front of the store, you’d never know that Recapture has what I found to be the best selection of vintage wedding dresses in the Bay Area. You’ll need an appointment to get to the den of vintage bridal in the back area.

Recapture also takes care of alterations. This was one major concern I had about going with a vintage dress: how do you know who to trust to work on something that is one-of-a-kind? Eva, Recapture’s in-house seamstress, does impeccable work.

Dianne’s Estate Jewelry

When we got my 1920s engagement ring here, the staff seemed as excited as we were. We were showered with congratulations and sent home with jewelry cleaner and a bottle of sparkling wine. You can also come back to Dianne’s to have your ring cleaned or just to have them examine it and make sure its holding up well. And if that wasn’t enough, I found their prices better than Lang’s. If you want a vintage wedding ring, Dianne’s is your place.

Vintage Berkeley

Despite the name, this isn’t another vintage store; it’s a great wine shop with two Berkeley locations. It’s a great source for wines for a wedding or a party because the store focuses almost entirely on wines $25 and under (there’s a small area in the very back with pricier wines). They had lots of recommendations for our wedding, even helping us choose wines that would work with the menu.  In the process of trying their many suggestions, we discovered a new favorite everyday red wine, and both the white wine and the sparkling wine for the wedding.

Other local stores we used for our wedding included: BiRite Grocery (wine), Alcatel (beer), Rare Device (decor), The Other Shop (decor), Clubcard (printed our Save The Dates, invites & RSVP postcards), Blue Bottle Coffee (coffee), Miette (cakes), Heath Ceramics (registry).


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