3/31

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Real Wedding Peach Jersey 50Peach

Names: Peach and Jersey

Occupation: IT geeks

Wedding location: Little Gardens

Wedding Date: October 19, 2014

Budget: $15,000 – $20,000

How would you describe your wedding: We had an intimate, simple, outdoor garden wedding with a rockin’ party afterward. The ceremony was short and sweet, spiritual but fun, and we wrote our own vows.  Afterward, everyone enjoyed cocktails, dinner and a fun party.

Real Wedding ceremony 50Peach

What was your favorite part of your wedding? The exit! Our venue didn’t allow anything thrown or flaming (like sparklers), so we provided our guests with party horns and glowstick necklaces. When Jersey and I were standing inside waiting for everyone to finish assembling outside, our ears were met with the most glorious, raucous, synchronized HONK-HONK-HONK-ing of the party horns! It was so funny and happy and celebratory that our faces just lit up with joy.

Real Wedding exit 50Peach

What did you splurge on? His suit. But we felt strongly that a perfectly tailored Armani suit is something that he can wear for YEARS to come … unlike me and my wedding dress. We don’t regret it a bit.

What did you save on? Many things!

  • We opted to not have favors. Instead, my mom and dad graciously handled our out-of-town welcome bags, bless them!
  • My dress — I budgeted about $2000.00, but found mine for $800.00!
  • Programs — my Maid of Honor designed the gorgeous things, then called in a favor for printing them. (Rumor has it that our little 100-count program printing halted the work the printers were doing on the latest major Clinique ads. NBD.)
  • We didn’t do name cards per person, but used a collage picture frame to list out each table’s people. (And saved a damn tree.)
  • I printed out table numbers for free from Pinterest on card stock and used the venue’s included table clips to hold them.
  • We double-purposed the bridesmaid bouquets as our table centerpieces.
  • I also wasn’t afraid to bargain or offer to pay in full up front for a percent discount, which easily saved us at least a thousand.

Real Wedding roses 50Peach

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect?  Uhhh, yeah. I wrote an entire separate post about our blown budget.  Go read this post for more details. But in short, I wish I’d known then what I know now: read the fine print, plan for the unexpected, ask more questions than you think are necessary and do not, DO NOT, pay one cent more for anything than you think you should.

Real Wedding mirror 50Peach

What was your biggest challenge in planning? The guest list and RSVPs. With such big families on both sides, it was tough to choose only 100 to invite. And when about 10 people who RSVP’ed yes didn’t show up on our big day, it was such a letdown … It meant that we could have asked 10 *other* people who we really wanted there to come! Planning a wedding 100% showed me the importance of the RSVP.

Real Wedding arbor 50Peach

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? You can only control what you can control. Do your best to think through all the details, ask questions and don’t apologize for it. But when the big day arrives, LET IT GO. Things will go wrong, but your only job on your day is to be there and be happy and marry your person. Let everyone else freak out about the curveballs!  Also, wine is a requirement when wedding planning. For realz.

real wedding dad dance 50Peach

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

  1. Seeing him standing there, waiting for me, while my dad walked me down the aisle. It made it all worth it.
  2. Having so many loved ones, from all over the US, in one place on that day just for us. Warm fuzzies galore.
  3. Dancing with my Dad.
  4. That we made our wedding day unique to our wants.
  5. I’m finally Mrs. Jersey!!!

Real Wedding waterfall 50Peach

Top 5 least favorite?

  1. Hands down, I hated feeling like I was under a microscope with everyone on the wedding weekend. “Are you okay?” “Are you sure you’re okay??” “You seem nervous.” Stop looking at me, swan.
  2. The day went so fast!!! We did manage to thank everyone personally, but it was all a beautiful blur.
  3. RSVPs: We hated having to hound people to tell us if they were coming. Nothing makes you feel more lame than inviting someone and they can’t be bothered with responding to you. Plus the no-shows, just grrrr.
  4. I wish there had been more time to spend with our out of town guests. We did our best, but it was still difficult.
  5. It’s a little thing, but I only got one bite of our wedding cake that day! My sweet tooth may have cried a little.

Real wedding cake 50Peach

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I wouldn’t say I had any bad advice from anyone. However, there were more than a few well-meaning but quite obvious and/or obnoxious suggestions. But I was all: Yo. I got this.

The best? On the wedding day, take it all in. Look around and mentally note all the details, the people, the love in the room and enjoy it. We did, as much as we could.

Any other bits of wisdom? Yes!

  1. Brides and grooms: take 15-30 minutes the morning of your wedding day and just gather yourself. It helped me a bunch to have some quiet time to reflect, calm my mind and prepare my control-freak self to let go of the planning mentality.
  2. If you find you and your partner are covering much of the costs of your wedding (as we did), a long engagement will help tremendously. We were able to spread out the payments and time them so that we didn’t go into debt. And same goes for parents, too.
  3. Budget for the bridal party gifts.It adds up quickly, no matter how much you try to DIY or Etsy the hell out of it.

Real Wedding arbor 50Peach

Budget breakdown?

Venue: $13,000.00 *included: ceremony and reception space, seating, decor, linens, all florals, food/drink, cake, lighting, wedding planner and day-of coordinator

Dress + alterations: Enzoani Beautiful, $1040.00

Veil and bling belt: $250.00

His suit: Armani, with dress shirt and tailoring: $2400.00

Pearl necklace, my great-grandmother’s: Gifted

Cuff bracelet and earrings: 150.00

Badgley Mischka flats: $60.00

Photography by Lee Patterson (engagement session + day of, digital-only package): $1800.00

DJ: $999.00

Videography: WeddingMix, $650.00

Officiant: $350.00

Save the Date Magnets: MagnetStreet $180.00 ← ordered waaaaay too many. Rookie mistake!

Rehearsal dinner invites: MagnetStreet $50.00

Thank You cards: MagnetStreet $72.00

Invitations: MagnetStreet $568.00

Guest Book: Shutterfly self-made $72.00

Wedding bands: $2300.00

Bridal party and parent gifts: $1000.00

Hair/makeup: $500.00 — with trials for both and the day-of, both onsite

Hotel suite, 3 nights: FREE – they were comp’ed for us due to a glitch with our hotel block!

Rehearsal Dinner: $450.00, but FREE – We paid for it ourselves with gift cards we’d received since the engagement, so $0.00!

Actual Total: $25,441.00

List of all vendors.

Venue: Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, GA

Photography: Lee Patterson

Videography: WeddingMix

DJ: Lethal Rhythms

Officiant: Jeremiah O’Keefe-West

Hair: Joseph’s Salon, Lawrenceville, GA

Makeup: Andrea Carter

Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, NE Atlanta

Dress: Ivory Bridal & Formal, Smyrna, GA

Suit: Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta, GA

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Jim N’ Nicks BBQ

 

 

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  • 3/31

    As a Broke-Ass Bride I want to be as equally wallet conscious for my Broke-Ass bridesmaids. As much I love being in many weddings, I have been known to silently shed a tear looking at my bank account during wedding season. Between the dress, shoes, makeup, hair, bridal shower, bridal shower gift, bachelorette and wedding gift, it adds up. However, I am lucky that the weddings I have been in haven’t been extravagantly expensive (a friend of mine who was a bridesmaid last year had to spend $450 on a Marchesa dress!).

    After much deliberation I finally decided on four bridesmaids. These are my ride or die bitches — the kind of girls that you can be your absolute total gross self with and they still love you. Now that I had my girls I had to find that damn dress for them all to wear. I wanted something different and not your run of the mill chiffon dress. However, I didn’t wan’t my girls to spend more then $100 on the dress — a bit of a tall order. I scoured Pinterest but half those dresses I pinned were stupid expensive or I couldn’t find them. I went to bridal salons, tried on bridesmaid dresses myself and hated them all. I spent hours scrolling through department store sites. I considered renting them from a particular site but the Yelp reviews turned me off. I browsed through bridal store catalogs and magazines. Defeated, I eventually ignored my task of finding their dresses.

    In February, my six-month mark before the wedding, my bridesmaids told me I had to get my shit together and pick a dress. I finally found the dress through an online clearance event from David’s Bridal. I found out about it via a promotional email, the ones I normally trash right away. So always make sure you read through those emails when you are on the hunt for wedding savings. Then when you get what you want, re-route those emails to spam … I shouldn’t say that though since I am an a digital advertising professional … actually open those promotional emails and click on banners often.

    OK I digress. Anyway, I found a pretty dress on sale from $149 marked down to $79. Plus one of my crafty bridesmaids found a promo code for free shipping so I felt triumphant in my frugal find. It ended up being friggin chiffon but that’s OK. I have made peace with it.  To make it “different” I had the girls order two different shades of purple so they would have alternating colors. 

    davids

    My Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal Chiffon Sweetheart Short Dress with Cap Sleeves Style F15406

    I nervously waited for the dresses to be delivered to my girls. I had read the reviews, which I highly recommend always reading, and saw it was a mixed bag averaging out at 3.5 out of 5 hearts. The dresses came in and yep, they were a solid 3.5 out of 5. I was disappointed when I first saw them. The picture showed an A-line cut with capped sleeves. In real life it is a bit limp and has more of a thick strap. I kept asking the girls, ” Are they comfortable? Do you like the color?” No one told me they hated them and they did say they were comfortable so I settled. I am ultimately happy with them, though. 

    My Advice: 

    *Be wallet friendly to your bridal party. These are suppose to be your bestest friends. You don’t want them bitching behind your back for making them spend $300 on a dress they will never wear again. You may not get to have them in your dream dresses but you’ll be sure to find something that will satisfy you.

    *Sign up for wedding email lists and be on the look out for promotions in your inbox. If I didn’t know about that clearance event from David’s Bridal I’d still be searching feverishly. 

    *Always Google promo codes before you order something online. (Or pay attention to BAB’s Ten for the Weekend column) You never know how much you can save!

    *BTW Did you know Target sells cute bridesmaid dresses?? None of the colors worked for me but they might work for you! Just search “Bridesmaid Dresses” on their website.

  • 3/30

    Placement of Stamp




    Thank you cards are an essential part of the wedding process — people give you stuff, you say thanks. But man, it’s a daunting process, too. This DIY or DIE tackles the thank-yous in a whole new way — make ‘em yourself! We love this idea for a MOH or …

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    3/30

    CCMay242014-0041




    Credit: Alicia Robichaud

    The Guest List — how big it is, who’s on it — is probably one the most important and difficult parts of the planning process.  My primary saving strategy has been to keep my wedding small.  When there is a per person cost, it seemed like the best way to keep …

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  • 3/27

    Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 8.42.57 AM




    The weather in North Texas this week has been absolutely gorgeous, which is awesome because I feel like it’s making up for my less-than-awesome last couple of days in Mexico last week (more on that Monday). It’s been patio-drinking weather, even running on the side of hot more than once …

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    3/27

    03_Christen-Leigh-Getting-Ready-024




    Credit: Persimmon Images 

    Hmmm …We’re beginning to notice something lately. And as the most adultish-adult around here (at least age-wise), I’ve been picked to say something about it:
    The little, sniping, judgy being made about other people’s wedding choices.
    Knock it off. It’s unbecoming. And honestly, it’s not making you feel …

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    3/26

    Shop Hey Lady Tiffany Blue Shoes




    Hey BABs! We’re gonna be checkin’ out some OMG SHOES again. It’s been a while since we’ve done shoes so I’m excited. We’re helping reader Brigid get over gorgeous Tiffany blue shoes that at $340 are well over the $200 she’s comfortable spending.

    Here’s what Brigid has to say:

    The At Tiffany’s …

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  • 3/26

    budget

    As we close in on six months to the big day, the Pinterest slave in me couldn’t help but gravitate to all of those “Wedding Planning Timeline” posts. They all assume you’re engaged for over a year, so they’re so not for everyone, but since we fit in the presented

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