Affiliate Disclaimer New

Just as we do every year, because we know and appreciate the importance of a good sale but also recognize the very real need to not want to leave your house and deal with crowds, we’ve put together an exhaustive list of Black Friday deals from our partners. There are huge discounts on wedding-y things and just regular old everyday stuff, too. Stay tuned for an equally-extensive Cyber Monday deal roundup and enjoy your weekend!BAB approved black friday sales and deals

Skip the lines and take advantage of Target’s doorbuster deals from the comfort of your couch.

Got a geek on your gift list? Get 40% off 75 gifts at ThinkGeek.

For the makeup lover, Julep is tossing out its Holiday Collection at 75% off.

Stock up on stunning dresses for the holidays (or any time, really) with 25% off at Adrianna Papell.

Score cute baubles for your bridesmaid (or yourself) and get 15% off + free shopping from Alex + Ani.

There are few things awesomer than new sheets. Take 20% off select bedding and get free standard shopping at Design Within Reach.

Thinking of having a candy bar at your wedding? It’s Sugar is taking 20% off all orders with code THANKS20.

Whether you are still coveting something from your registry or you’re just a foodie, head to Le Creuset to get up to 70% off + receive a free gift and get free shipping on orders over $50.

Love some trendy jewelry? Get 30% off at BaubleBar with code THX.

As if they weren’t cool enough, Urban Outfitters is taking an extra 30% off sale items and has tons of other great deals.

Stylish clothes are even better when they’re on sale: Free People is knocking 50% off on select styles.

Shopping for dudes can be tricky sometimes. Menkind makes it easier with 50% off.

Love yoga, hate going to classes? Get Yoga Download’s Monthly Elite package for just $9 — 50% off regular pricing!

Get goodies with your personal touch at up to 65% off plus an extra 20% off at Zazzle with code ZAZBLKFRIDAY.

Calling all sports fans! Get your team gear at 25% off + free shipping on orders over $40 at Fanatics.com with code BLACKFRI.

For the oenophile, take 15% off wine gift assortments with code BLKFRIDAY at Wine of the Month Club.

Rent those gorgeous designer duds and get 25% off $75 at Rent the Runway.

Baking is way more fun with a cute apron. Get 60% off + free shipping at Flirty Aprons with code SHOP60.

Adults like toys too! Marbles: The Brain Store has tons of great deals sitewide.

Give a gift, get a gift. Send a 2-month (or more) wine club subscription as a holiday gift and get a $32 bottle of multiple gold medal winning wine for yourself at The California Wine Club with code BLACK15.

Get some cute gifts at 15% off or save 20% on orders over $150 at Minted with code BF2015.

Calling all crafters! Get online classes for $19.99 at Craftsy.

One of our very favorites, ModCloth, is offering 40% off new and favorite styles.

If you’ve been slacking on getting prints of your wedding pics, now’s your chance! Get a gorgeous Montage photo book and take 35% off.

Got some kids on the list? Tea Collection has great deals sitewide.

For the curvy ladies, Kiyonna’s $40 doorbuster dress sale is going on now! This only happens once a year!

Guys, get your duds from Bonobos at 25% off $150 or 30% off $250 with code FRIDAY.

Bridesmaids and brides rejoice! Kennedy Blue is taking 15% off + free shipping with code GOBBLEGOBBLE.

Get shapers and support for 20% off at Hourglass Angel with code HGABF2015.

Score cute sale items with an extra 25% off at Stella & Dot.

Accessorize yo-self and take 20% off sitewide at Benique with code THANKS.

Got a sweet tooth? Get cookies from Elenis New York and take 15% off with code HOLIDAY15.

Rubber stamps save time on return addresses and add a cute touch. Get a personalized stamp from Holmes Stamp & Sign for 15% off with code HOLIDAY.

Ready to order your wedding stationery? Get 33% off at MagnetStreet with code WONDERFUL33.

BHLDN is having a 15% off sale! Use code WEDDINGBELLS.

Get yoga, barre, cardio, zumba and a plethora of other classes in your home and take 50% off annual memberships at Grokker.

Take 15% off your order at 6pm.com with code BLACKFRI15.

Stock up on cute unmentionables and get an extra 40% off clearance at Aerie.

There are a ton of great deals over at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Traveling over the holidays? Save up to 50% off at Booking.com.

Donna Morgan is knocking 20% off her bridesmaid dress collection.

Fab, of course, is having fabulous deals across the site.

  • 11/27

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewGratitude Tips Jar

    Gratitude Tips Jar, $14 by Etsy seller WonderfulJourney

    If you’re reading this from the U.S., may I be the umpteenth person to wish you a Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! It’s a holiday tradition to express thanks at this time of year, and today I’d like to start by thanking you, BABs, for helping to grow this awesome community, and to the BAB staffers for inviting me to come hang out with y’all.

    And if you’re not all thanked-out from the week (or maybe still in a food coma?), today’s post is also about gratitude — but not in the way you think! While many of you might grouse about the added expense of wedding gratuities, I’m going to challenge you to think about it in a different way.

    What is Gratuity?

    See, the word gratuity is just a really fancy way of saying “tips.” It’s not at all accidental that it shares a root with the word gratitude, since both are derived from the Latin word gratus, meaning “thankful.” WORD NERDS UNITE!

    Gratuity, or tipping, therefore is ultimately a method for expressing gratitude or thanks for stellar service. That’s how it’s supposed to be anyway. Today gratuity gets a bad rap because of the way some vendors automatically add it onto a bill, making it less discretionary and more of a requirement. But there’s a good reason for that as well.

    How Does Gratuity Work?

    (Note: I’ll be talking about general tipping practices inside the U.S., but tipping traditions vary regionally, and recommended rates may be different in your area.) 

    Gratuity is a funny thing in that it’s based more on cultural tradition, subjective interpretation of etiquette and individual perception than any clear-cut lines of distinction — and yet it’s still more or less standard practice. Unless gratuity is automatically applied (we’ll get to that in a minute), decisions about when, whether and how much to offer are totally up to you. (There’s no Tipping Police that I’m aware of; though you might catch a few dirty looks, that’s probably the worst of it.)

    Let me state this again for the record: With a few exceptions, whether, when, and how much to tip your wedding vendors is totally up to you.

    Gratuity is usually only applied to services where one or more people have provided labor, but it’s not standard to tip all types of service providers. Most of the time gratuity applies to the hospitality, travel, and personal care / beauty industries. In Wedding Land, this might include your venue, caterer, and/or bartender, as well as hairstylist, manicurist, makeup artist and limo driver, but may also apply to other types of service providers as well. With the exception of the providers I mentioned, though, most wedding vendors don’t expect a tip and will find it a pleasant surprise if offered.

    Note, too, that a service charge is different, and usually covers administrative and miscellaneous expenses rather than gratuity for the wait staff. Your bill might include both a service charge and gratuity, so read the fine print, and ask if you’re not sure what a specific charge covers.

    Mandatory Gratuity

    I know I just said that gratuity was up to you, but in some cases it’s not. Food service providers like caterers and sometimes transportation services may add a mandatory gratuity fee onto your bill. (This is similar to the gratuity fee of 18%-20% that some restaurants automatically apply to large parties.) The amount varies, but may hover in the 15%-20% range, which means if your catering service bill is $8,000, you could really owe $9,600 at the end of the day. That number might come as a shock if you didn’t add gratuity into your budget calculations, but if you did, you can relax knowing you’re still on budget.

    What to Do About Gratuity?

    I hear ya. When you’re deep in the trenches of wedding planning the last thing you need is another unexpected, un-budgeted expense. Especially if it’s a sneaky one.

    In short, there’s not much you can do about gratuity. If your venue or caterer (or any other vendor) adds a mandatory gratuity fee to your bill automatically, there’s not often a way around it, and I’d argue that it’s not where you should be trying to cut expenses anyway. Remember that true gratuity is an expression of thanks to all the people who are running around on your wedding day — so that you don’t have to — and you might find something in that to appreciate.

    But there are two things for sure that you can do about gratuity, and both involve planning ahead! (Skip to the bottom of this post for another creative idea if you’re strapped for cash.) 

    1. First, double check all of your contracts and ask questions to find out a) whether gratuity is expected, and b) whether gratuity is already included in the total quote, is added to the bill at the end, or is not included and therefore at your discretion.

    2. Second, add a separate line for gratuity to every single category in your budget and only remove it when you’re sure it’s neither required nor necessary. Overkill? Maybe, but better safe than sorry. How to tell whether it’s necessary? Here’s a quick cheat sheet for tipping:

    Who Should I Offer a Tip?

    Tipping Decision Tree:

    Does the vendor automatically apply a gratuity? If yes, pay it.

    Did the vendor provide exceptional service? If yes, consider a tip. (Or at the very least a sincere thank you note — see the bottom of the post.)

    Can you afford to offer even a modest tip to your vendors who went above and beyond? If yes, consider a tip.

    If you’ve answered ‘No’ to one or more of the above, it’s perfectly fine not to tip your vendors.

    Another general rule of thumb is that if the service provider is also the business owner, a tip is not necessary because the provider is able to set their own rates. Tipping for exceptional service is always good karma, though.

    How Much to Tip?

    Remember that with the exception of beauty, hospitality / food service, and transportation, tips are generally not required or expected. For other types of vendors, if your tip percentage is lower (or nil), it really is okay.

    Bakers – 15% (at your discretion)

    Beauty, Hair, Makeup Artists – 15%-20%

    Caterers, Wait Staff, Bartenders – 15%-20% (usually included in contract)

    Coat Check Attendants – $1 per guest (unless accepting tips from guests)

    DJs – 15%-20% (at your discretion)

    Florists – 15% (at your discretion)

    Limo Drivers / Transportation – 15%-20%

    Officiants – $75-$100+ for clergy or a donation to religious venue; civil officiants are usually not permitted to accept gratuities

    Parking Attendants / Valet – $1-2 per car (unless accepting tips from guests)

    Photographers / Videographers – 15% (at your discretion)

    Wedding Planners / Coordinators – 10%-20% (at your discretion)

    What If I Can’t Afford a Tip?

    So what’s a broke-ass to do if she wants to recognize super vendors (or friendors), but doesn’t have the cash to shell out for non-mandatory tips on the wedding day? I’ll let you in on a little insider secret: Many wedding vendors will value a heartfelt review or testimonial equally as much as a modest tip … and referrals are worth their weight in gold.

    If any of your vendors go above and beyond to make your day special (or even just meet your expectations, making your day just a little easier), shout it from the rooftops! Tell your friends and family, and make sure they let the vendor know you referred them. Not only will you be helping out your vendors, but you’ll be helping other couples to save time in their own vendor searches.

    And if your vendor hasn’t reached out to offer review methods? Ask them! Let them know you’d like to write a review and find out their preferred methods for you to share your praise for their work. Not sure what to write? I’ve got you covered!

    Vendor Review Mad Libs

    If you’re stuck on what to write about your amazing wedding vendors, here’s some inspiration:

    (Name of company) provided (exceptional / kickass / phenomenal / dreamy) (type of service) for my wedding in (month), (year). (Name of business owner or provider) (insert awesome thing they did to go above and beyond), and I highly recommend this company to engaged couples planning a wedding! 

    Everyone appreciates an expression of gratitude when it comes from the heart. <3

    Party on!

    – Lisa 

    Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 11/26

    Happy Thanksgiving 2015

    Because we want you to maximize your Thanksgiving time with your family and your loved ones, we're refraining from our normal amazing blog schedule. Instead, we wish you the happiest day to you and yours. Enjoy this time with your family and/or friends (me? Personally? I'm going ballz deep with Friendsgiving, even contributing an amaze bacon-jalapeno stuffing and have committed myself to at least one…

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    Holy cow, you guys, it's already Thanksgiving! The holidays are upon us. But before I run off to be thankful, let's see if I can help out our dear reader, Hannah, who is on the hunt for a gown for her December wedding. She writes: "Please! I need your help in the worst way!! I have fallen head-over-heels for the "Londyn" dress by Hayley Paige…

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    DIY or DIE: Easy Ink-Stained Wine Glasses

    Last time, I shared some of the DIY Details of my elegant, jewel-toned wedding, so now I'm back to give you the low down on how you can make some of those projects work for you. One of the easiest (promise!) and most fun projects I tackled was turning plain, inexpensive wine glasses into gorgeous, favor-worthy works of art with alcohol ink. Actually, I used this…

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  • 11/24


    Hey guys! I am writing this to you today as a married lady! Yay! Here's proof that we really did tie the knot in front of God and everything! Married life thus far is pretty awesome. Matt and I just got back from our “mini-moon” at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Mass. If you ever have a reason to be in that area, it’s pretty great…

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    Wouldn't wedding planning just be a breeze if you could create a wishlist, share it on one platform and get matched with pros and rentals that fit into your ideal budget? Even better if you earned points toward dollars off said rentals and purchases? Well, you know that if I brought it up, it's because it's a REAL THING YOU CAN DO. No, for serious.…

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    Etsy Alligator Food Design Let's Elope Print

    Wedding planning and preparation can be stressful. It has it's ups and downs, twists and turns. There's drama with friends, family and vendors. Decisions upon decisions. Money. Money. More money. It can be a lot for a person or a couple to handle. Throughout my planning process, I've certainly experienced some stress!  There's been changes with my venue, my coordinator and disagreements with good friends. As I'm…

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  • 11/20

    The Broke-Ass Bride's 2015 Gift Guide For the Libation Lover

    Hey Broke-Asses! It's that time of year again, where instead of Five for Friday, we'll be compiling some seriously rad gift guides for y'all. From the fun to the funny, the quirky to the practical and all of the budget ideas in between, I've scoured the Interwebz to find those perfect gifts for someone -- or everyone! -- on your list. We all have that one…

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