LITHONIA, Ga. - James Jones and Angela Everett spend a lot of time browsing through thrift stores together. In fact, that's how they met. In March 2017, James was shopping at the Ellenwood Goodwill only because his sister forced him to join her. But Jones told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner the shopping trip got a whole lot better when he spotted something, or really, someone who caught his eye.
“Come to the Goodwill and find a wife? I never thought in a million years,” Jones said as he laughed during his interview with Bruner. I got on the prowl. I thought she was very interesting, so I kept looking and kind of maneuvering my way to her.”
The professional truck driver maneuvered his way into the lined section where an unsuspecting Everett was perusing through pillows. When she made a move for the door, Jones move.
“My instincts said, 'don't let her walk out the store' so I did my famous one-liner. ‘Yo, come here.’ It just came out and she stopped and we started talking,” Jones said.
The two hit it off and just five months later, James was back in the same Goodwill, in the same linen section, but this time, on time bended knee. Everett said yes, then set out to exchange vows in the thriftiest wedding you could ever imagine with a $5,000 budget—including the dress.
“When he proposed in August, I said then, I'm not going to go into debt trying to have a wedding. You’re supposed to be able to live comfortably after the wedding,” the future Mrs. Jones said.
So far, the Lithonia bride-to-be is way under budget and nearly finished shopping for her April 21 wedding day. She’s shopped at Goodwill thrift stores across metro Atlanta and even along the east coast. A few of the items she’s found--new toasting glasses for $3.93, a new cake topper for $3.53, $5 for her wedding stilettos, a new $200 tiara for $13 and an exquisite designer wedding gown that retails for $3,000 at the designer’s New York boutique. The Goodwill store in Sandy Springs listed the dress $44, but the Air Force veteran paid only $38 thanks to the store’s military discount. The chargers, the table runners, the candle holders, all the silk flowers, the chair décor and several other items for the backyard wedding and reception also came from Goodwill.
“The best thing I’ve ever found at a Goodwill, besides James of course, was my wedding dress. As soon as I saw it, I was like ‘wow!’ It was a perfect fit and I couldn’t believe it. James hasn’t seen it, but when I told him how much it cost, he was so excited,” Everett said with a smile as she showed Bruner her dress.
The thrifty couple bride-to-be insists every couple planning to make their way down a wedding aisle should shop through a few thrift store aisles first. “I found bargains and a wife, so I couldn’t be happier. She’s my angel,” said Jones.
“I’m all about becoming Mrs. Jones. I really am and I just want to be happy after we get married, not stressing out over debt,” Everett said.” You just have to be creative and patient enough to look through things to see how you can make them work. There’s just nothing like knowing how much something is supposed to cost and paying a lot less for it,” she added.