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{Wedding Inspiration} Ombre Obsession

I’m all about finding new trends and looking for them in every aspect of design. Last week, my sister and I were watching some E! news show and we were both in love with the ombre coloring that Giuliana Rancic had going on in her hair. Her hair fades from rich brown roots, to ashy brown in the middle and the ends are colored a golden blond color. In French, the word “ombre” translates to “shaded.” It’s used when a color starts off deep and saturated, and gradually fades into lighter or whiter color. I just love it and lately, I can’t get enough of it….so of course, I had to incorporate it with some wedding inspiration!

Check out Giuliana’s hair. I feel like I should apologize for the boobalicious-ness in the photo in advance.

Here are a few of my favorite ombre things:

I also love love love Gwen Stefani’s wedding gown, which fades from white into a rich fuchsia. Can someone please make this gown, but instead of fading into pink, fade into cream/taupe? Please and thank you ahead of time.

Don’t you just love that wedding dress?! It’s pink and fun, but not overly so. The girl clearly has great taste.

Martha Stewart Weddings jumped on the ombre trend train too, with these beautiful cakes that fade from peachy cream to a nice blush color.

I’m also loving these ombrified wedding invites from Minted. How perfect are they?! Subtle and elegant, but also very fun and unique!

And lastly, this is my favorite ombre trend of all time. I’m doing this to my nails this week. What do you think? Would you rock this manicure at your wedding? I know I would!

Are you all ombre-d out now? I know I just can’t get enough of this!

{Up for Grabs} Giveaway Round-up!!!

Once again, this week we’re bringing you not one, but TWO gorgeous giveaways! (We do that every week, BTW.) Is it possible to OD on pretty? I’m not sure, but if you find yourself experiencing extreme heart palpitations as you check out this hot giveaway-on-giveaway action, PLEASE avert your eyes!

First off, we have a sweet set of pretty paper poms to bestow on one lucky bride, courtesy of Paperwhite Designs! You know your wedding guests are totally gonna freak over these dangling pretties!

Paperwhite Designs

The winner will receive one Bulb Package, which includes five poms – 3 large and 2 small,  in the colors of their choosing! Use them to add a frilly pop of color to your DIY wedding day photo booth!

All you have to do to enter to win is subscribe to our Broke-Ass Brigade newsletter. Oh wait, you’ve already subscribed? Then you’re already entered to win! Easy, peasey.

Rocking a vintage-inspired dress on your wedding day? Then of course you’ll want a beautiful hairpiece to complement your look! And you’re in luck, because this week we’re giving away an exquisite hair creation from PoshVeils!

Whether your inspiration is the roaring 1920’s or the super mod 1960’s, there’s something beautiful for every aspiring vintage bride! The winner will receive the gorgeous PoshVeils creation of her choosing!

To enter to win your choice of PoshVeils creation, just leave a comment on any post on the blog this week!

Remember – when you leave a comment, please make sure we have a way of getting in touch with you! If you’d like to leave your email address in your blog comment, be sure to write it out like so – brokeass at awesome dot com – so evil spambots don’t snatch up your email and flood your inbox with offers for non-FDA approved miracle diet pills.

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Veils… Yes, Veils!

I have a fun request for this week’s CAI/GOI post. We talk a ton about the dress, but what about the second most important piece many brides choose to wear on their wedding day? Veils of course!  And boy, can they be pricey.  More pricey than many of us brides would expect.  In fact, one time I went dress shopping with a friend and she fell in love with a veil without knowing the price.  She was thinking that it couldn’t have cost more than $100… I mean, it’s just some tulle and a comb right? Well, not exactly. The veil she fell in love with was $700!  I mean, most ladies reading this blog wouldn’t dream of spending even that much on their actual gown, let alone on the veil. So when bride Katie wrote in wanting to get over this Cap Style Veil from Twigs and Honey, I knew I had to help a gal out.  Here’s Katie’s plea:

Let me just say, I would wear it back just a smidgen so it wouldn’t cover my eyelashes, but I am loving this cap veil from Twigs and Honey in all of it’s vintage-y glory. Can NOT justify $265 for even my pretty little head. ;) Help!?


Can’t Afford It

Get Over It:

1. CR Boggs Designs. Retails for $145.

2. CL Costa Designs. Retails for $30.

3. CR Boggs Designs. Retails for $145.

4. CL Costa Designs. Retails for $38.

5. CL Costa Designs. Retails for $3o.

6. CL Costa Designs. Retails fro $68.

7. Head Coverings by Devorah. Retails for $24.99.

8. Amazon. Retails for $68.95.

9. Retails for $45.

Miss any CAI/GOI gown magic? Catch up here:


DIY or DIE: Bath Soaks + Sugar Scrubs

A few weeks ago I lead a DIY workshop at The Wedding Pantry, making “favors with flava” — homemade bath soaks and sugar scrubs. It was my first time leading a workshop, and it was hella fun! Making your own bath soak and sugar scrub is insanely easy and inexpensive it’s silly, so make some for yourself while you’re at it. I’ve been using our scrub and its ahhhhhmazing!

They put out a cute sign for the event, I felt so legit! (See that wedding dress in the window there? Its made of PAPER, yo!)


Here’s the ingredients for the sugar scrub. Everything in it is not only natural, but edible too! And the smell? Just don’t blame me if you find yourself licking your fingers in the shower, yo.

You can use any oil you want as the base, but I prefer coconut or almond. Coconut oil is mega moisturizing, and its solid at room temperature, so its an excellent vehicle for the sugar in your scrub. I brought fine granulated white sugar, brown sugar, and sugar in the raw. I like to mix all three, about 1/3 of each, but you can customize it to be as coarse or as fine as you like by changing that up or omitting one completely. Honey adds even more moisture so I like to add a squirt of that as well. The best part is there are no rules. Just mix it all together until you reach a consistency you like!


You might even have all the ingredients for our homemade bath soak already in your pantry. Really all you need is coarse kosher or epsom salts and essential oil to scent them, but you can add oats and/or baking soda for a more skin soothing and moisturizing soak. You can get little bottles of essential oil at a natural foods store. I bought lavender because its relaxing, and grapefruit because its so invigorating. Just remember that a little goes a long way!


In between each step, we all went around playing “Two Truths and a Lie” which adding a fun bit of spice and girly slumber party fun to the workshop. None of the girls were very good liars, though … it was adorable.


Ta Da! Behold, the finished products. We got those jars at Ikea — they come in packs of 4 for $4 — one for a dolla makes me holla! A little ribbon and a gift tag puts the perfect touch on your gifties … even if you’re just giving them to yourself.


Food for the event was provided by the totally boner-worthy Soho Taco. I ate wayyyyy too many of their gourmet veggie tacos and their topping bar was mad addictive. I’m a huge fan of taco carts at events and these are by far the best I’ve had. I highly recommend them!




We had a total blast, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity. Thanks to Eva and Wendy at The Wedding Pantry for having me, Holly Steen of Cakes and Kisses Photography for taking these gorgeous photos, and to Rico at Soho Taco for dinner!


{DIY or DIE} Even More Broker-Ass Brooch Bouquet

Like many a Broke-Ass Bride, I’m forgoing flowers entirely at my wedding.  I originally thought I wouldn’t need any sort of bouquet alternative, but you know how it is when you read wedding blogs. You see a few amazing bouquets made of paper or buttons or Christmas ornaments and suddenly you need a “ball of pretty” to hold in your hands on your wedding day.

I found myself particularly delighted by the ubiquitous (at least as far as non-flower bouquets can reach ubiquity) brooch bouquet, because a bouquet made of jewelry could fit in my mixed-metallic color scheme in a way that flowers never would have.  I also had access to a bunch of free pins from my mother-in-law, who incorporates recycled jewelry and found metals into her artwork.

But here’s the thing, the traditional dome-shaped brooch bouquet [yeah, I’m as surprised as you are that “traditional brooch bouquet” is a phrase that makes sense in the Wild World of Wedding Websites] requires more than “a bunch” of pins. It requires a wheelbarrow full of pins. And I wanted to make four brooch bouquets. If I made my bouquets the usual way, I’d need a garden shed full of pins.

So I took a page from the Broke-Ass Brides out there with flower bouquets and made clever use of filler. The brooch bouquet version of baby’s breath is wire that’s been bent and twisted and curled into funky pleasing swirly shapes that evoke the stems and leaves and stamens of flowers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Tools: Wire cutter, needle-nose pliers (to do the tricky bending and working that doesn’t need to look pretty), round-nose pliers (to create the pretty bends and curls).
Wire: 12-gauge aluminum floral wire (for stems), 16-gauge aluminum wire (for filler), 26-gauge jewelry wire (for attaching the brooches)
Brooches: 3-6 per bouquet (that’s it!!)
Optional extras: Extra rhinestones or sparkly beads to liven up the filler, glue dots to snub the pointy ends of brooch pins, floral tape to wrap the handle of the bouquet to protect dresses from snags.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: This part’s technique is adapted from Sarah’s excellent tutorial on how to make a dome-shaped brooch bouquet. Weave a piece of 26 gauge wire through the brooch so you have a U-shape of wire with the ends sticking out of the pin. Twist the ends together to form a triangle under the pin.

Step 2: Anchor your new “brooch flower” to a sturdier piece of 12 gauge wire by looping the wire through the triangle of the smaller wire. Twist all the ends together. Admire how free-standing and non-wobbly your new brooch flower is.

Step 3:
Using your round-nose pliers and other rounded surfaces, create bends and pretty swirly loops within a piece of 16-gauge wire. Alternatively, look through your mother-in-law’s cellar until you find a shopping bag full of pre-formed swirly loops of wire that were used as napkin rings at your sister-in-law’s wedding.

[Sorry this picture is out of focus]

Step 4: Slide the stem you made in Step 2 through the pretty swirly loop from Step 3.

Step 5: Lather, rinse, repeat steps 1–4 for however many brooches you want to use. Sometimes you can put two stems through one swirly loopy piece. Just go with the flow, combining pieces until your bouquet is sufficiently bouquet-shaped.

Advantages of the filler brooch bouquet:

  • Lower cost! This is the biggie. Cutting down on the number of pins you need epically reduces the price of the bouquet. Or it lets you spend bigger on each pin to get some truly remarkable pieces.
  • Lower weight! Have you ever held a dome-shaped brooch bouquet? They weigh about as much as a three-month old baby. The filler-friendly bouquet weighs about as much as a three-month old fetus. Which one of those do you think more brides carry around on their wedding day?
  • The funky fresh factor. Yep, we’re now at the point where we’re discussing alternatives to bouquet alternatives. Feel free to roll your eyes!  But using wire gives you so much more flexibility in shape and allows for more variation in color and texture within your bouquet. More chances to add your own personality to the finished product!


  • One-sidedness. Dome-shaped bouquets hide the backs of the brooches. This technique doesn’t. You can sort of obscure the ugly pin backs with curly wire flourishes, but ultimately your bouquet will have a clear “best angle.” It might end up being too much of a pain to keep that facing the camera/audience at all times.
  • Risk of snags. More wire means more pointy ends means more things to snag your dress on. Careful, patient work with your pliers will keep your stems as neat as possible to avoid snaggy bits. But if you are rushed, lazy, and/or aren’t set on a metallic color scheme, wrap those bad boys with floral tape to smooth everything over.
  • The mysterious step 3. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That part of the ‘torial was a bit of a cop-out. But before the napkin ring windfall, I was making my own swirls just fine, thanksmuch. So let me tell you: if you’re prepared for a lot of trial and error and slow, steady wielding of your round-nosed pliers, you can do it. Find the technique that works for your hands and tools to create the shape that works for your bouquet.

So there you have it: the ins, outs, ups, and downs of a broke-ass variant on the brooch bouquet.  Anyone else crafting with wire? Or did I lose you at “alternative to bouquet alternative”?


Fancy Flats for Under $100

Most brides-to-be are coveting fabulous heels for under their wedding gown, but the popularity of comfy flats is growing and growing. Flats can be just as flirty and fun as a killer pair of heels, and they are often more affordable.

Here are some fancy flats that will be easy on your feet and your wallet!

(Click images for links)

Me Too from Nordstrom, $89:

Topshop, $100:

Tommy Hilfiger from Zappos, $59:

Pour la Victoire from Zappos, $99

Steve Madden, $80:

Romantic Soles from Zappos, $69:

Vivienne Westwood from Zappos Couture, $63

Blowfish from Jildor, $39

Audrey Brooke from DSW, $55:

Vince Camuto, $70

Rocket Dog from Famous Footwear, $25:

Would you consider comfy flats on your wedding day?

-Dana F.

{Link Lust} Making the happy happy.

First off, this video will make your day. I mean it. So watch it, already!

Did you miss it? Our resident wedding planner Liz doled out some killer advice to deal with the attack of the dreaded Momzilla.

To celebrate her memory, BRIDEfinds compiled a slideshow of Liz Taylor’s wedding dresses – all 8 of them.

Get your vintage fix with this Vintage Inspired Bridal Session from The Wedding Chicks.

Is there such a thing as the perfect Boudoir shoe? There just may be… And it was featured on bWed Exclusive this week!

A new and improved Every Last Detail launched this week, complete with Inspiration Galleries, a section just for wedding planning advice, and a detailed vendor guide, Every Last Vendor!

And don’t forget to come back Saturday and Sunday to visit with Dana F. and Robin!

Have a great weekend! xxoo


Ask Liz… About Family Politics

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for me to take questions from YOU. Here we go:

Dear Liz:

I have a large family, 2 sets of parents with all the usual aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My future husband’s family is smaller by far. I am close to 10-15 family members and want to make sure they attend our wedding. Recently at a family function, one side of my family that I’m not very close to asked the where, when, etc about my wedding.

Of course they all wanted to know when their invites were coming and  I did not say anything to make them feel they would not be invited. Now I have to re-plan my festivities for 94 instead of 45-50. Is it possible to “un-invite” family?

Courtesy of Kenny Backer Photo


Flummoxed at $79.95 a person

Dear Flummoxed,

The good news is that you haven’t actually invited them, yet.

If I were you, I’d take this list of, Good Lord, almost 50 extra people  to  your parents, and see what they think. Be honest – say that you’re not that close with the extra half-hundred (!), and weren’t planning to invite them before the fateful get together. Mention the added cost a couple of times, the destruction of desired plans, and try to narrow down the list to whomever they feel has to be invited. That is the ultimate nice way to do it, if only to avoid your parents or loved ones having to answer the question, “Hey, how come I didn’t get invited to Flummoxed’s wedding?”, any time soon. <gulp>  The next nice way to do it is put the unwanteds on a “B” list, sending them invitations only when you’ve got acceptances and rejections from your primary list.  Or, you can just not invite them, but  that might not be possible on a personal or political level. Choose whatever will stress you out the least. But if you feel you need to invite some of them,  I’d start with your parents.

I know that it’s hard to know what to say when put on the spot like that (ugh) but for those of you who might face a similar situation with similarly presumptive people, practice this response, “Gosh, you know, we haven’t gotten that far in the planning, but yeah, we’re really excited, thank you so much! So, how’s (change of subject related to them) going?” Gall bladder surgeries, new houses, new puppies, anything having to do with whatever you know about their lives, and go with it.

Courtesy of Kenny Backer Photo

Hi Liz,
I’ve been wondering when the bride and groom usually check into their wedding night hotel?  My wedding will be in Santa Barbara so I will be staying at a hotel the week before, but my fiance and I  wanted to stay at a different location on the night of our wedding.  My wedding day is starting to fill up with hair appointments, makeup, photography, etc, and I’m just wondering how I’m going to make time to check out of my current hotel and check into my new hotel, especially given check-in time restrictions.  What should I do?


The Road’s Not Traveled Yet

Dear Traveled,

The first thing I do whenever there’s a problem is find out exactly what I’m dealing with. Call the hotel that you’re staying in before your wedding and explain the situation. Standard check-out is usually 11am, with check-in available at 2 or 3pm, but find out what the latest checkout time is that you can get. Then give your wedding night hotel a call, too. There usually isn’t a specific time that you have to check IN, just when you CAN – but make sure.  See if there is there a way that you can check in remotely, by phone call or online. After that, it should just be a matter of getting your stuff over there. Are you taking a car/being driven/able to hide your suitcases somewhere in your venue? My wedding planner duties sometimes include transport, and always include an assistant who can drive,  so if you have a planner, ask. If not, you’re just going to have to store it where you can and remember to put it in the getaway car before you take off.  Ask someone to remind you. Moms are very good at that job. :-)

Courtesy of Kenny Backer Photo

Dear Liz:

I’m the mother of the Groom. Although the bride’s parents are paying the majority of the wedding costs, my husband and I are taking care of the bar and the wedding flowers, along with the rehearsal dinner. The problem has been the invitation wording. My husband and I wanted the invites to include our names as well, as in “Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Karen Jones and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Jane Simmons request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children Sarah Jones and Charles Simmons.” Her parents seemed to resist this, at first, but agreed to it. As a compromise, the wedding rehearsal invitations will say “join us” as opposed to naming my husband and me as hosts. Is this proper etiquette, or have we overstepped, given that they are paying much more towards the wedding than we are?


Paid and Proper

Dear Paid,

I think you’re okay. There are two invite wording standards these days: Either the bride and groom invite everyone (Sarah Jones and Charles Simmons request the honor of your presence at their wedding) or the bride and groom, along with their families (together with their families, Sarah Jones and Charles Simmons…) invite everyone. But the wording on your children’s invites is used frequently too, as a way of involving both families, especially since both sides will have guests of their own at the wedding. In other words, it’s a good way to avoid a potential guest opening the invitation and thinking, “Wait, who?” I can see where your discomfort comes in financially, but you should give yourself a break, seriously. The rehearsal, the flowers, the bar? These are essential things. You know, especially the bar. Thumbs up from me.

What do you guys think about these questions?  I’m curious if anyone has run into “Miles” problem, and how they resolved it. Let me know in the comments. Bring it!

See you at the end of the aisle,


{Wedding Inspiration} Silly for Stripes!

You guys? I have something to tell you. My name is Maddie and I am addicted to stripes. Yes, I’ll admit that recently I have developed a problem. Lately I’ve been dreaming about striped scarves, striped shoes, striped pillows…..stripes all over the place. At any moment, my friends and family are going to have to hold an intervention. But in the meantime, I’ll bring my love of stripes over to this blog where I can share it and use it for some wedding inspiration.

These are some of my favorite stripe-y things to wear. The dress on the left is here and the one on the right is here. The shoes are found here, the earrings here, and the ring here.

I love parrot tulips because they’re a flower with some stripes on them, but I also really love this bouquet here tied up with this great striped ribbon.


And of course I love this striped cake created with layers of fondant. Don’t you love all of the colors!?

Naturally, a striped wedding dress would be icing on the cake! This cute, short dress is from David’s Bridal. I love it!

Do you have a love affair with patterns? Stripes? Polka dots? Let us know! What theme do you have for your big day? We love hearing from you!