Posts in the 'Broke-Ass Brilliance' Category

Weeding out Your Wedding Nightmares

There is one wedding-related recurring nightmare that I hear about over and over and over. Yes, more than the one where you look awful, despite hours of hair and make-up. Yes, more often than your groom/bride not showing up. Or the one the one where you can’t show up because you’ve locked your keys in your car. Somewhere in Siberia, which is  even worse because you’re afraid of bears … like the one staring at you over the hood of your locked car.  Okay, fine, that was just one bride.

Hey Nearlywed That Wedding Nightmare It's Probably Not Going To Happen


The most often recurring wedding nightmare I hear about is where none of your guests are having a good time. Over and over and over. They’re going to hate the food, they’re not going to dance, they’re not going to talk, they’re going to ignore the candy buffett/photo booth/chocolate fountain, and stand around and stare at each other, and at you, with deep regret and condemnation.  You wake up in a cold sweat (again) at 4:00 a.m. One thought goes through your head: It’s going to be the worst wedding ever.  All the hard work, all your vision, for naught. YOU. WILL. FAIL.

Instead of anticipating the day, you’re stuck future-tripping over, dreading all the horrible things that could occur.


This is 10 years of wedding planning experience talking to you right now: Things might go entirely according to plan, or just go wrong, this is true. But all of your guests having a bad time at your wedding? With the one or two exceptions that you can name — because you know how they are —  It’s not going to happen.

(yes, it will, you’re thinking at me)

No, it won’t. Why? Because you have gathered your favorite people, some of whom you haven’t seen for years, in one room. As much as you’re looking forward to seeing them, they are looking forward to seeing you, and seeing each other. And that’s what they are going to do.

(they won’t like anything, you mumble in your head)

Not true, but your guests will follow your lead. If you’re having fun, they’re going to have fun. So, open the photo booth by dragging a couple of bridesmaids into it. Grab your brother and attack the candy buffet. Go up to the bar and order a signature cocktail. Be the first one on the dance floor. Tell everyone you talk to how glad you are that they came. You created this wonderful day, you’re marrying the love of your life, while surrounded by everyone you both love. Look forward to it. And when you when you get there, enjoy it, all of it, and your guests will, too. I promise. Repeat this as often as you need to: “I’m going to have fun, so everyone else will have fun.”

Seriously, who doesn’t turn into a giddy 3-year old at the sight of a candy buffet?

So, what’s your other recurring wedding nightmare? Let me know in the comments and I’ll share mine with you from my wedding 500 years ago.

See you at the end of the aisle,






future tripping


Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! An Allure-ing Lace Gown For Under $500

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Hey BABs! This week we’re helping Sara get over a lovely lace Allure Bridals gown. Allure started as a retail store in 1998 and and has since expanded into a bridal manufacturer. Women go crazy for the meticulous attention to detail that make up these elegant gowns. We are helping Sara find something similar to the gowns in the Allure Modest Collection. Sooo, errthang you see here might not look the same but that is OK. Variety is the spice of life. Let’s go!

Can't Afford It Allure Bridals (Style: M524) ellure Bridals (Style: M524) $1,600

Get Over It

Tulle & Lace Ball Gown With Ruffle Beading Sequins (Style: 002056250) $200 at JJ's House Tulle & Lace Ball Gown With Ruffle Beading Sequins (Style: 002056250) $200 at JJ’s House

Lace Ball Gown With Appliques (Style: 11048464) $207 at Lace Ball Gown With Appliques (Style: 11048464) $207 at

Off The Shoulder Ball Gown With Appliques (Style: 11066916) $216 at Off The Shoulder Ball Gown With Appliques (Style: 11066916) $216 at

Tulle Wedding Dress With Lace & Sequins (Style: 002056486) $350 at JJ's House Tulle Wedding Dress With Lace & Sequins (Style: 002056486) $350 at JJ’s House

A-Line Lace Gown With Scalloped Neck (Style: 5220E) $376 at A-Line Lace Gown With Scalloped Neck (Style: 5220E) $376 at

Strapless Tulle Gown With Beaded Belt And Lace On Bodice (Style: VN6816) $418 at Strapless Tulle Gown With Beaded Belt And Lace On Bodice (Style: VN6816) $418 at

Lace & Organza Wedding Gown (Style: 0117153) $430 at Lace & Organza Wedding Gown (Style: 0117153) $430 at

V-Neck Ball Gown Wedding Gown (Style: 0113853) $430 at V-Neck Ball Gown Wedding Gown (Style: 0113853) $430 at

V-Neckline With Dropped Waist & Side Flower Accent (Style: TB7564) $458 at V-Neckline With Dropped Waist & Side Flower Accent (Style: TB7564) $458 at

There you go, Sara! Most of these dresses come in other colors if you’re looking for something other than ivory/white.

For a more convertible option, consider a lace topper to go over a strapless or spaghetti strap ballgown. Dessy has a cute one for $47 and BHLDN has a few options, starting at around $180.

Also, check out the Venus Bridal Collection at Best Bridal Prices  – They have some great, affordable options, too! Hope I was able to help and of course you know we’re always here!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with their families & frands! BAB won’t be posting on Thursday, because we’ll all be too busy eating and drinking. I am going to eat ALL OF THE FOOD because it’s one of those days when you actually CAN and it’s OK … or that’s what I’m going to tell myself at least. Gobble, gobble!

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.

LaRue to You: How to Cook the Perfect Holiday Turkey in Only One Hour

Now that she’s back from her crazy honeymoon tour, Dana’s cooking up some awesomeness over at her personal blog, LaRue … like literally. Since Turkey Day is like, literally around the corner, it’s a pretty perfect time to show you how to make that big ol’ bird in no time at all. Because, let’s be real, who has time to fuss over fowl for hours at a time? Broke-Asses gotta work, y’all. Check it!

LaRue to You How to Cook the Perfect Holiday Turkey in Only One Hour This is not a joke, nor an exaggeration. Indeed, it is a promise. A gift to you, from the bottom of my heart. Because you CAN cook the perfect turkey in one hour, and transform your Thanksgiving experience forever. Believe me, you and your guests deserve it. Not only is it perfectly juicy, tender, and flavorful every time… but the skin is crisp and gorgeous, too. It’s everything you want your bird to be… in a fraction of the time.

How to Cook the Perfect Turkey in One Hour

I’ve been cooking turkeys this way for a few years now, ever since my high school bestie posted her father-in-law, Ron’s, youtube instructional… and I’m never going back. Nor are the friends and family that I’ve turned onto this style. Why in gobble’s name should anyone slave over a bird for hours on end, basting and fussing and checking temperatures… when you could be kicking back with a glass of wine and good conversation and family and friends?!?

To continue reading and see how the whole shebang is pulled off, head over to LaRue.

Words to Wed By: Excerpts for the Kids at Heart

Full disclosure: I’ve been waiting to do this Words to Wed By, and really, it could be FOREVER long. Kids, man, they get all the good shit — toys, clothes, books that have wise and sweet words nestled nicely inside. It must have something to do with the inherent innocence and lack of jadedness. There were many more readings that will be awesome for your wedding ceremony that I wanted to include, but these are just a few of my favorite excerpts pulled from awesome books (that are supposedly for the little ones).

Words to Wed By Excerpts for the Kids At Heart

Credit: 50Peach’s Instagram

From “Winnie-the-Pooh,” by A.A. Milne

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” 

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” 

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” 

From “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White

“‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’”

From “Peter Pan,” by J. M. Barrie

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

From “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss

“You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous an deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

From “Your Personal Penguin,” by Sandra Boynton

I like you a lot.
You’re funny and kind.
So let me explain
What I have in mind.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to walk right by your side.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to travel with you far and wide.

From “I Like You,” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

I like you and I know why
I like you because you are a good person to like
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember

When I think something is important you think it’s important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too

I like you because you know where I’m ticklish
And you don’t tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes
But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too
You know how to be silly – that’s why I like you
If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,
then you are getting ready to jump

I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute
You want to think about things
It takes time

I like you because if I am mad at you
Then you are mad at me too
It’s awful when the other person isn’t
They are so nice and oooh you could just about punch them on the nose

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
And that’s how it would happen every time

What are you reading during your wedding ceremony? What inspired you?

Real Bride Meg: Why We Chose To Splurge on Photography

Dinner, dancing, dresses, oh my! When you came up with your wedding budget, did you base it on how much every individual detail would cost? How about all of those little details — did you decide any of them weren’t worth it?

You’ve heard about our venue hunting adventure, and how we jumped right on it a month after our engagement. Just a few weeks after we booked where our happily ever after would start, we got to my favorite, and in my opinion, one of the most important details — the photographer.


Courtesy of Sharyn Frenkel Photography

Steve and I sat down and listed what parts of our day are the most important to each of us, and we decided on this:

1. Photographer
2. Booze
3. Music

I think it’s safe to say that every bride has that one thing they really want on their wedding day, and that they’d cut out other parts to fit it in their budget (you should’ve seen my mother’s face when I said I wanted pizza delivered to our reception).

I’m definitely not alone in thinking the photographer is the most important vendor. Numerous times, I’ve heard that finding the perfect photographer is something you should put a little extra money into. They’re the ones that will capture your precious wedding day moments for you to have until the end of time!


Courtesy of Sharyn Frenkel Photography

I decided that if we were going to spend a little more money on anything, it would be on a great photographer. We’re already saving a ton of money by using the many talents of our families. With that said, photographers can be really, and I mean really, pricey. But you know what? They’re professionals, and they dedicate their weekends to you.

I have to tell you, before you decide on whatever that one thing you must have on your wedding day is, do your research. Check out the average price for your area or you might end up like us — totally shocked. We absolutely could not justify spending a quarter of our budget for a few hours time. So, like any BAB, we did more research.

I have to admit that I was pretty picky during this process, but that’s what happens when you have this one thing in mind! I knew I wanted our photos to look natural, but awkward poses and bright flashes flooded vendor websites. Even so, I emailed a few for pricing packages and none of them really did it for me, until I found a LivingSocial deal for a session with this super cute, vintage-feeling photographer.

I was in love, and continued to be more in love along the way — from her portfolio, her price adjustment (thanks to the LivingSocial deal) to our engagement photos, which we still get compliments on. The extra bit of money has already been worth it, and we’re not even married yet!


Courtesy of Sharyn Frenkel Photography

The only way we’re able to spend a little more cash on something we really care about is to cut some corners on things we’re less excited about. In order to save paper (literally), we ditched envelopes for our save the dates and opted for postcards. Our simple aisle decor will be reused for the reception. We’ll be taking the DIY approach when it comes to favors, which are often left behind anyway. While we love the idea of a photo booth, a corner where a family friend will be taking photos for guests to take home will be set up. Same idea, much smaller price tag.

We’re also saving a ton on much bigger things, thanks to the help of family and friends, but we’ll get to that later.

So, BABs, I want to hear from YOU! What is that one thing you need on your wedding day, and what are you going to cut to get it?

On Marriage: 5 Obscure Wedding Traditions We Should Definitely Bring Back

I know our On Marriage series can usually focus on the poignant and serious, but this little ditty was just calling my name. I mean, MARRIAGE KITTENS, YOU GUYS. Written by Amanda Scherker for The Huffington Post, this article covers five wedding traditions of yore that definitely deserve to be brought back, in the way JT brought sexy back, ya heard?

While we love a good hora, there are plenty of wedding traditions we’re more than happy to skip (er, Garter belt, anyone?)

That’s because a lot of wedding traditions are pretty deeply rooted in old-school gender norms that don’t accurately represent modern relationship dynamics.

That said, there are a few forgotten weddings traditions of yesteryear that we think deserve a revival, simply because they are absolutely, positively awesome. Here are five of our favorites:
1. Giving kittens to new brides.

metro and dolly Metro and Dolly think wedding kittens sound like a great idea. I mean, #duh.

Vikings used to give new brides the best gift ever: house cats! This was done to honor Freyja, the goddess of love, who, according to legend, drove a chariot led by cats. A brand new kitten probably beats that blender you got from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
2. Wearing a flame-colored wedding veil.

Ribboning Cirque Veil from BHLDN Ribboning Cirque Veil from BHLDN.
“Pardon me, but is this available in the lava color?”

Ancient Roman brides wore veils with pictures of flames on them to ward off evil spirits. The happy side effect was looking seriously badass.

To continue reading “5 Obscure Wedding Traditions We Should Definitely Bring Back,” head on over to HuffPo.

BAB Throwback: Fishing For Budget Decor Has Never Been Easier

This post was one of the first that made me really, truly fall in love with The Broke-Ass Bride when I was planning my first wedding. I loved the colors and the non-floral aspect … not to mention the budget-friendliness. I remember thinking it’d be so great to have one of these at the wedding, then use it for house decor as a little, frequent reminder of that awesome day. The vibrant colors in the LGBT shoot we featured yesterday reminded me of this post all over again, so we’re bringing it back with this BAB Throwback.

I get loads of questions from brides seeking guidance on budget wedding planning, offbeat or green wedding decor, and I can relate! I had many a stressful day pondering how to not only afford decor that would pack a punch, but not lose my limbs paying for it, and still manage to make a statement with it.  But let me tell you, sisters, if you get yourself a roll of fishing line and turn on the creativity. There are loads of unique wedding ideas, affordable and simple opportunities to spruce up a space with little money, little effort, but MAXIMUM flavor, yo! Let me count the ways … Let’s take a walk off the beaten aisle for a moment, shall we?

Clear out the clearance rack at your local post-holiday sale, and string up a dazzling and reflective curtain that’s as festive as it is adorable….

Christmas Ornament DIY

Its raining baubles!
Christmas Ornament Decor
Clearance Ornaments + Fishing Line = broke-ass brilliance!

And use your leftovers to line your aisle, pile into glass vessels for centerpieces, and make a whimsical winter wonderland of it! Wouldn’t it be dreamsicle to hold your ceremony in front of such a shimmery sight?

Hit up your craft shop and go craft pom wild! String these babies up for a light and easy beaded curtain backdrop and give your wedding a modern take on retro design flare.

craft pom wedding DIY

Its the POM diggity!

For a tutorial, click here. And for more pom decor ideas, check out this post!

For the music-oving couple (c’mon rawkstar brides, put your hands up!) How about an edgy and modern (but romantically twinklingly loverly in candlelight) recycled compact disc chandelier or curtain?

Cd curtain at the Sci-port in Shreveport.


Turn up the awesome with a CD backdrop.

DIY CD craft


Colorful compact cuteness. Tutorial here

Whew! That was easy, wasn’t it? And that’s just the beginning – all it takes is a step outside the box and a little fishing line! The best part is, there’s no special DIY talent necessary.

What kind of unusual or found objects will you incorporate into your bad-ass, broke-ass design?

Get Inspired: LGBT Inspired Shoot by Two Sparrows Photography

When Ben and Jenni from Two Sparrows Photography contacted The Broke-Ass Bride little while back asking if we’d be interested in featuring a broke-ass LGBT shoot in honor of October’s roll as LGBT History Month — National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, also happens to be my birthday – I responded with a resonating HELL YES. Gimme dat! So after hooking them up with some of our amazing homies, like DIY darling Tabitha (of geometric table numbers and cement planter fame) and of course BHLDN and Unique Vintage, I waited oh-so patiently for the photos (read: Not patiently at. all.) and guys, it was SO worth it. Here’s what Jenni has to say:

At Two Sparrows Photography we believe love is love, and when LGBT History Month came upon us we were inspired to celebrate the couples who finally have equal opportunity to exchange vows in California and a growing number of states across the country.


We’ve found that gay and lesbian weddings don’t have nearly enough creative inspiration out there yet, so we wanted to do something bold, affordable, and fabulous to help give Broke-Ass-Brides some fresh new ideas. When we partnered up with Tabitha Johnson at Winston and Main her fabulous DIY style helped our vision came to life; pride rainbow colors with an elegant twist, a nod to 60s style, and some fun splashes of unique ideas.

We wanted to contrast our colorful scene with a natural background so we chose some beautiful landscapes around the Altadena trails to shoot, and we have to say, couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. The work certainly isn’t done for marriage equality, but we’re well on our way and are so grateful to have the opportunity to share our inspiration for couples of all kinds with BAB readers. #loveislove

















Check out this behind the scenes video:


Photography – Two Sparrows Photography
Photography – Behind the Scenes - Two Sparrows Blog
Event Design & Styling - Tabitha Johnson
Makeup – Vivian Tran 
Jewelry – Sophia Kaman 
Bridal Dresses – BHLDN
Bridesmaid Dresses and Accessories – Unique Vintage
Scooter – Route 66 Modern Classics
Cake – Bakebeth
Popcicles and Candy – Suck It Sweets And Treats
Tableware – Borrowed Blu
Video – Making of The Shoot – Richard Che 

Real Bride Peach: Next Stop, Married!

While Real Bride Peach has already been a married lady for a few weeks now, she kindly saved some of her pre-wedding posts to keep us going until she gets all of her pro photos back. Here’s the final one before she delves into deets of her big day!

Real Bride Peach: Next Stop, Married!


Photo Credit: Lee Patterson Photography

Looking back on this last year, it’s been surreal. There were so many wonderful, crazy exciting times. I can reflect back and smile on the bridal gown weekend in January, right along with my amazing bridal shower and bachelorette party weekend and our sweaty, sweaty engagement photo shoot. It’s been so much fun! Yes, there have been bumps, aka nights that I drowned my sorrows in wine and chocolate and/or called my MOHs in complete trainwreck mode … but I survived! Yay, me.

Jersey and I also connected in a new, super awesome way that isn’t explainable. You think that this person you’ve promised yourself to can’t possible grow closer in your heart, but they do. It’s all become so real and our love for each other has taken on a new sheen. Which is really a quite lovely perk that no one tells you about.  Because going through all the trials and meltdowns and craziness of wedding planning? Well, in my mind, it’s just a sneak preview into how the two of you are going to deal with the much bigger, scarier curveballs that life is going to throw your way. Jersey and I have a new appreciation and understanding of one another after over a year of planning, coordinating, communicating (often times long distance while he and I traveled for work), moving into a new home and dealing with the emotional typhoon of family/friends/people involved with our wedding.  He is my person. 100%. I can’t wait to marry him!

… which is rapidly approaching. Tomorrow brings the arrival of the first of our out-of-town guests, then the following day my parents arrived. The Jersey/Peach Inn will be full for a few days, until we all head to the hotel near our venue on Friday.  But honestly, I’m relieved to have the emotional support arriving soon, along with the fact that I’ve taken off of work starting on Thursday. There will be a fair amount of running around left to do and it will be nice to not have to do it all alone!

The LAST of our to-dos! *gulp*

Mama Peach's Veil, from 1972.


Mama Peach’s Veil, from 1972.

Take my mom’s veil to the florist. I’m using the pearls and pieces of the tulle for the wrap on my bouquet. This made my mama a little leaky, but it means the world to me to have a part of her big day with me on mine. My parents have been married for 42 years (!!!) and their devotion and love are what I waited so long to find for myself. I can’t think of a better good luck charm.

Final touches on our welcome bags.  Since 90% of our guests are flying in from out of town, we made the choice to forego favors and instead have welcome bags waiting for them when they check into the hotel. Included in each bag will be: a personal thank you note, a MoonPie, Georgia Peanuts, a bag of chips, a few caramels, bottled water and Advil.  We really felt the welcome bags would be both a really appreciated gesture and far more useful than a token trinket/favor at the wedding.

Make the seating chart. I’m not procrastinating on this, I swear. But even this morning I woke up to an email from a friend who is no longer able to attend. Seating plans are truly a moving target and I am doing everything I can to only do this thing ONCE!

Haul everything to the venue. Luckily our venue allows us to bring our personal items a few days in advance, so we don’t have to worry about trucking over pictures, table numbers, exit favors, guest books, etc., etc., etc., on the day of.  Whew. That’ll get done Thursday.

Pack for the weekend + honeymoon.  Considering packing for a 2-day trip takes me 4-5 hours, I better get going on this one. I am the type that is super-paranoid about forgetting something and I have to have every possible clothing option thought of and packed for just in case. I know. I drive my own self crazy!  But honestly, I’m more worried I’ll forget some key component for our actual wedding. Like, I dunno … the DRESS?!? That would be typical of me.

Take good care of myself. This may sound silly, but I DO NOT want to get sick, hurt myself, or be completely exhausted for the big day. For that reason, this week is all about being nice to me. Healthy foods, plenty of sleep and as little stress as possible. That’s the plan.

Wish me luck with the final details and see y’all on the other side … AS A MRS.!!!  omgiamsoexcited.

‘Til next time,