Custom wedding invitations for $100? A custom handmade silk wedding dress from a U.S. designer for $500? A hand-bound wedding guest book for $30?

Too good to be true? Not for a savvy recessionista bride who knows all about Etsy Alchemy.

Alchemy, you say? Isn’t that when mystics turn pennies into golden nuggets? Indeed.

Anyone planning a wedding on a budget, will find that alchemy will turn your hard-earned pennies into golden nuggets of handmade good’ness’. How?

Etsy Alchemy allows buyers (it’s free to join and anyone can become a buyer) to post requests for custom handmade items. Buyers state how much they will pay for their completed project. Sellers bid on the opportunity to create the goods.

Requests for wedding invitations, as well as save-the-dates and thank you cards are among the most popular, but you’ll also find requests for veils and headpieces, as well as wedding dresses, rings, favours and cake toppers.

How does a recessionista bride get in on the pot of gold?

1. Sign up for an Etsy account.

2. Click on the Custom tab at the top of the page.

3. Click add new request.

4. Fill in the required information.

5. Watch for Bids.

6. Accept a bid.

7. Pay the bidder.

8. Wait for the item to be created and shipped.

9. Enjoy!

Easy as wedding pie.

Hungry for more info. Check out the guide.