Posts in the 'Broke-Ass Brilliance' Category

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Vintage Lace Chiffon Tea Length Dress For Under $200

Hello my lovelies! This week we have lovely bride-to-be, Shane. She already found her dream wedding dress but wants something she can move a little more freely in at her rehearsal dinner. She found this lovely, vintage tea length dress but unfortunately, they were sold out. Harrumph! BUT, never fear … Elaine is here! And totally up for the challenge. Here we go …

CAN’T AFFORD IT?

EtsyOriginal

Vintage 50′s Lace Chiffon Tea Length Wedding dress $172 at Etsy.

GET OVER IT!

EcoFriendlyCoutureEtsy

Ivory Mori Girl Bohemian Romantic Fairy Beach Wedding Dress $120 at Etsy.

OKDressesEtsy

Vintage Ivory Lace High-Low Beach Wedding Dress $150 at Etsy.

UniqueVintage

Vintage Inspired Swing Dress With An Ivory Floral Overlay (Style: 35378) $156 at Unique Vintage

PennyPardyEtsy2

One-of-a-kind vintage inspired tea length dress $169 at Etsy

ModCloth2

Tulle Lined Lace Dress With Illusion Neckline And Delicate Lace Overlay $170 at ModCloth.

(I am GUSHING over the back of this dress)

AngelBridal2Etsy

Short Sleeved Lace Wedding Dress $189 at Etsy.

AngelBridalEtsy

Sleeveless Scoop Neck Lace Dress $189 at Etsy.

ForHerandForHim

Boat Neckline Lace Dress $190 at For Her and For Him.

tbd_dress

Delicate A-Line Spaghetti Straps Knee-Length Embroidery Georgia’s Lace Wedding Dress (Style: 03818871) $192 at TBDress.com.

 

If you want to add a little oomph to any of these dresses there are plenty of petticoats available. Petticoats everywhere! Like here and here. I hope you find something you love out of this selection of dresses. Let me know what you think!

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!

 

 

Real Bride Kate: Engagement Stationery and Choosing My Battles

I don’t know about the rest of the USA, but in Kansas, engagement parties are relatively uncommon. I’ve heard that they’re a growing trend, but my area’s philosophy seems to be: “Why bother? Wait for the wedding!” In Australia, however, engagement parties are a huge deal. As my Aussie friends inform me, their philosophy is: “Any excuse to celebrate!” And you know what? I think that’s pretty awesome and have jumped right on board.

How could I not be won-over to Aussie ways? They have kangaroos!

How could I not be won-over to Aussie ways? They have kangaroos!

Daniel and I are super stoked for our engagement party, which will sort of double as a going-away party for him. The sentiment is a little bittersweet, but we’re very thankful we have so many great friends and family members to wish us well in our future in the United States. We’ve finally begun making plans for the party, which for me, as a writer, always begins with stationery.

We found one, count it, ONE engagement party invitation we liked on the entire Internet. Okay, on the dozen or so sites we scoured. It is “Bubble Blowout” from Wedding Paper Divas, and it just felt perfect for us. The colors are sophisticated, the drawing of the Champagne bottle has a slight vintage feel (and conveys that celebratory spirit!), and the font mixture is really cute.

However, I’m super cautious about buying stationary online – I’ve seen too many bad cards – so I wanted samples. Of course, I’m too cheap to pay even the minimal shipping fees to acquire samples. Luckily for me, I got an email from Wedding Wire (which I had entirely forgot signing up for) advertising FREE samples from Wedding Paper Divas. Naturally, I ordered every combination of both available colors (gun metal and umber) and each paper type!

My sample package, courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas.

My sample package, courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas.

Above is the sample tri-fold I received in the mail. Inside were my requested samples, a complete guide to customizing stationary on Wedding Paper Divas, a sample of every paper type and color they offer, and a coupon! I was incredibly impressed. For someone as organized (read: anal) as me, the presentation alone was enough to secure my purchase!

Our chosen invitation style looked just as good in person as it did online, and eventually, we narrowed the field down to two options. The colors are difficult to distinguish in the pictures, but the paper type is pretty clear, I think:

Option A: Umber on “pearl white shimmer” paper.

Engagement Invitation Gold

I love this version of the design. I thought the golden colors showed a good tone variety, where the grey tones in the other design lacked distinction. I also really like the shimmer paper, because, you know, shiny. Alas, I was outvoted by everyone!

Option B: Gun metal on “signature white textured” paper.

Sample from Wedding Paper Divas

My mom likes the grey, because it looks a little purple, her favorite color.

My future mother-in-law likes the grey slightly better than the umber, and she thought the shimmer paper was too “wedding” (which I can concede). Plus, the super-adorable thank-you notes she bought are grey, and I’m all for matching. (They seriously are adorable … they are little cardstock picture frames with room to write notes inside!)

Daniel does not care about the paper type, but he insists on the grey, because his wedding suit, our wedding bands, and every other piece of jewelry we own is grey/white gold/silver.

I’ve decided to let myself be outvoted and save my “bridal veto” power for something else down the track. Plus, there are bound to be hundreds of wedding details that I care about more than Daniel, so I’ll give him a win since he was surprisingly passionate about having the grey invitations. After all, you’ve got to pick your battles, right?

With the stationery selected, the rest of the details are falling into place. We have a location (Daniel’s parents’ house) and a tentative date and guest list. The only tricky detail has been how to ask for only monetary gifts, as Daniel is moving to the USA, so any housewares we received would be too bulky to move or ship (for a reasonable price) and anything electronic could not work without a converter. However, my uber-creative future MILL saved the day by writing a fantastic poem that explains our predicament and politely conveys our request. I won’t spoil the surprise by posting it here, but trust me: it is lovely and oh-so perfect.

Needless to say, I am one happy bride-to-be! I love having plans set in stone, and once we nail down the final date and guest list, I will be over-the-moon with joy! (You know, until I have to deal with the stress of starting the real wedding planning…for both weddings!)

Until next time,

From NYC: Helping People with Weddings

Hey-o! A while back, BAB put out a call for a rad chicky in NYC to help us stay in the know on rockin’ events and killer happenings around the Big Apple. And we got just that in Michelle, who is planning her own wedding. So when she’s not busy being her radtastic self, she’s reppin’ The Broke-Ass Bride at various parties and shows in New York, then sharing her experience with y’all! Here’s Michelle:

Randy! TV Personality! Fabulous Dresser! Wedding Dress Extraordinaire! Bartender?For one night, at least, he most definitely was!  Randy Fenoli, along with other celebrities in the wedding world, volunteered their time and efforts, bartending at a Drinks and Dresses drive at TAJ Lounge in New York City.

Most importantly, this happened:

Randy

Photo credit: Michelle Yee

Even more fabulous than Randi, the event supported the New York Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding, a wonderful organization that provides services and products to hold beautiful weddings for couples that, due to medical and financial circumstance, would not be able to hold the wedding for which they have wished. The organization works with donations and the generosity of many members in the wedding world to grant the wishes of brides and grooms to hold the wedding of their dreams and to be able to celebrate and say “I do” in the presence of their friends and family despite illness, pain and financial limitations. It puts a whole ‘nother meaning behind “dream wedding.”

Wish Upon A Wedding accepts donations in the form of cash-money and also works with their partner, Brides For A Cause, to receive donated wedding dresses that are then resold. 50% of the profits go to help couples facing terminal illnesses.

So remember when you said “yes” to the dress then you said yes to the love of your life? Save that special and beautiful dress from a boxed fate in the back of your closet and give it the opportunity to make another bride glow.

That dress brought tears to your eyes and to the eyes of your beloved.  What a beautiful legacy to your love knowing that you passed on your joy  to another couple in need.

For more information on Wish Upon a Wedding and to read the inspirational, funny, and wonderful stories about wishes they have granted, please visit their website.  To donate your dress, please visit Brides For a Cause.

Real Bride Tiffany: 99 Bottles of … Flowers?

Let’s face it, BABs. Flowers are freaking expensive. Yet so, so lovely. And one must be incredibly talented and crafty to pull off wedding decor sans flowers. Unfortunately, I am only mildly crafty and have the patience of a child when it comes to DIY-ing anything, so I knew that some of our budget would go to flowers. So, how are we going to keep our florals budget-friendly but still absolutely darn fabulous? Like this:

centerpieces
Because of our brewery wedding, beer bottle centerpieces are not only a natural choice, but they look really damn good. That slick amber glass? (Okay, and some green and clear glass for good measure.) But that gorgeous glass just beautifully pops with some greenery — add some buds and BAM! Bou have a centerpiece. 
Lucky for everyone involved in our wedding process, Justin and I enjoy enough beer to make these centerpieces happen. Best DIY ever. We HAVE to drink beer? FINE WE WILL COLLECT BOTTLES. FORCE US. We’ve estimated roughly 150 to 200 beer bottles will be necessary to make this vision happen. And because of our deep enthusiasm for the beer, we are approximately halfway to our goal. Good for the wedding, bad for our wedding diets. A necessary risk!
Drinking the beer is the fun part. The not so fun part? Removing those pesky labels. We quickly learned that not all labels are created equal. And that not all Pinterest suggestions speak the truth. The best and easiest way to remove a glued-on paper label? Soak in soapy water for hours. Literally hours. Like, the longer the better. Hopefully you aren’t in a rush and don’t need your sink.

bottles 1

Because this will be your sink … soaking away those labels for hours … and hours. I started off fancy with a vinegar concoction but now we are at just straight soap and water.

bottles 2

And TA-DA!

And if I get brave and Justin allows me to handle lighter fluid, I’d like to turn some of these into candle holders. We shall see about that one!

We definitely still have more collecting and de-labeling to do. So come on over and bring some beer!

Us with beer. Just because.

Are you crafting any part of your wedding decor? Tell us about your ideas in the comments!

Wedding Inspiration: Introducing Kristy + Que Sera Sera Themes

Hey Broke-Asses! It’s been a hot second since we’ve had a Wedding Inspiration Guru around these here parts, and Kristy was uber excited to step into the shoes of some rockin’ chicks before her. So if you’re struggling with ideas to fit in your theme, need a little extra push to realize your vision or just want to ogle some gorgeousness, come play as she helps provide the pretty! Welcome, Kristy! 

BAB3

Let’s skip the casual ice breakers and get right down to it, shall we? Kevin proposed to me a year and a half after we started dating but as a 19 year old, I didn’t have much of a plan. We knew we wanted something fun and simple after a long engagement and now, 4 years later that is still exactly what we are doing. Seeing as we are all looking for the best deals and ways to cut corners without sucking the life out of our wedding, I will be serving up my most unconventional and over-the-top ideas on a silver platter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll give you all the glitz and glamour, but for now … *insert Toby Keith’s “I Want To Talk About Me” here*. I’ll go into further detail later down the line but today, I’d like to talk to you about themes to give you a general idea of who I am behind this keyboard and maybe spark some interest of your own.

Between our itsy-bitty-teeny-weeny budget and our lack of traditional values, our theme has mostly been left up to venues. It took (I kid you not) approximately 150 different quotes and six visits before we found our destined location. However, before that, our wedding has seen themes from a destination wedding, to vintage, modern, over-the-top-fancy, country and now to simply “Love.”

Kristy Venue

Every wedding day is filled with love (dur) so although it may not seem like a thing – or maybe I just made it one, whatever, it’s a thing now, okay? – it works for what we wanted out of our wedding. All we truly wanted at the end of the day was for our guests to have a blast singing karaoke (oh yes, there will be karaoke), dancing all night and laughing until they pee their pants. Alright … not literally, but you get the idea. Kevin and I have many passions and aside from a shared love of music, most of them are polar opposites. Settling on one idea to represent both of our laid-back and easygoing attitudes seemed much more difficult than we anticipated. I like bling, he likes gaming. I like country, he likes medieval. I love twinkly lights and he likes alcohol.

When we found our location, everything just simply fit together like puzzle.

OUR VENUE This is it!

Twinkly lights surround ¾ of the seating area, you can sing your heart out on a stage with a city horizon backdrop and dance with your glasses of alcohol from the bar to the side. They have given us complete free range to go wild with the added bonus of being a turn-key venue. There will be a candle tree on each table, dessert will be served on a vinyl record-looking plate and we are allowed to bring in a gamer’s dream of a wedding cake. So yes, without giving too much away (since some of our guests may read this), you will walk in to see a little bit of everything and it may look cluttered but … Kev and I don’t live in a box, so why constrict our wedding to one? Our wedding will allow all the little stars that we love to shine, including our guests. So love … love the theme to my big day.

After bouncing back and forth from A to Z myself, I’ve gathered a ton of ideas from all different genres which I hope will either tickle your fancy or inspire your creativity.

How do you envision your big day? What is it that inspired you to choose the theme to your wedding? 

Kaykisses!

Real Bride Jess: Cake, Cake, Cake!

Vendors are terrifying. In a perfect world I would just have a friend that was a caterer, a friend that was a florist, a friend that was a DJ, etc. Unfortunately that’s not my situation. I, like most brides, have to rely on the good people of yelp (and like minded websites) and the recommendations of my venue and friends.

How I feel when going around in circles with 50 different vendors.

That being said there were two vendors that I didn’t even have to think about: Photographer — thanks Suzanne at SheWanders for being so bomb; and cake. As a little kid, my family and I used to go to VG’s for donuts every weekend. Michael calls me a “doughnut snob” because I don’t think anything compares to a VG’s raised crumb doughnut. VG’s also made all of my childhood birthday cakes. That being said, there was no question in my mind that if I could have VG’s make my wedding cake I would.

Last weekend I picked up my flavor samples — marble cake with vanilla frosting, one with raspberry and Bavarian cream, and the other with chocolate mousse filling.

Now let me say a couple of things that reinforce why I love VG’s:

1. They give you two 7” round taster cakes for free. This meant that my whole entire family got to taste the cake and I even had leftovers to bring into the office.

2. The flavors were AMAZING. I don’t usually like fruit filling (many of the tasters felt the same way) and only got the raspberry because my mom wanted to try it, but we all loved it! The cake itself was super moist and tasted great four days after I first got it when I brought it in to work.

3. They totally worked with my out-of-town difficulties. Since I live in LA and VG’s is in San Diego, I couldn’t really do an in person consultation, but they work great via e-mail & actually respond to me in a timely manner.

4. They don’t want to charge you a million dollars. Their quote was similar to what my parents paid for their wedding cake 25 years ago.

The bottom line: VG’s is fantastic. It’s one less vendor that I have to stress about, and that makes it a tiny bit easier to deal with the rest of the craziness.l

Yes, this is actually a cake made by VG’s. Isn’t it fabulous?

 

On Marriage: The Lie and The Truth About Marriage

 

Often times, when we’re in the throes of wedding planning, we forget what’s on the other side of the tulle, peonies, Champagne and sparklez. We forget that there have been fights, anxiety, uncertainty … and there will be more of those. Because marriage takes sweat, fortitude, compassion and sometimes fear. As this post from Momastery points out, sometimes we lose the butterflies, and it takes work to get them back.
marriage-450

 

The Way We’re Told It Goes:

  1. Meet The One
  2. Fall In BUTTERFLY Love, Have all the Feelings
  3. Date, Accept Proposal
  4. Have a Wedding: AKA YOU’VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!
  5. You’re done! Congrats, Cinderella! All that’s left now is: Happily Ever After!!!!!

The Way It Has Worked For Me:

  1. Meet A Special One
  2. Fall in Butterfly Love, have all the feelings
  3. Date
  4. Have a Wedding – AKA Cross the STARTING LINE.
  5. You’ve begun. Shit gets real.  Grocery shopping and children and assembling furniture and navigating each other’s families and demons and other confusing, terrifying things keep happening. Slowly understand that marriage is not what you thought it would be and your husband is not who you thought he’d be and additionally you are not who you thought you’d be.
  6. Notice there are no more butterflies. Panic like bloody hell. Understand with mounting dread that LIFE has killed the butterflies and this must mean you have “fallen out of love.”
  7. Look into separation.
  8. Start to learn how horribly difficult it will be to get unmarried for you and everyone you love and also – HOLY CRAP IT COSTS A LOT. Try to locate a path of less resistance. Search for some solution that is less emotionally and physically and mentally and financially expensive. It’s often not LOVE that makes us stay- but the expense of leaving. AND THAT’S OKAY.
  9. Ask for help. Meet with experts, talk to wise people, read good books. Mostly, Be still and listen for The Next Right Thing in the quiet.
  10. Wait. Keep waiting. Make no decisions except what to do EXACTLY RIGHT NOW. Sit with the pain. Sit with the struggle. Sit with the uncertainty. Resist the relentless urge to deflect the pain, run from the pain, numb the pain with food- booze -work –future tripping- unkindness- false certainty -busyness or any other Wisdom Killer.  Just Be Still and Wait.

- Continue reading here.

Real Bride Peach: Weddings, Too, Take a Village

Real Bride Peach | It Takes A Village

Via Pinterest

I bet a lot of brides out there are like me: self-sufficient, independent, strong and insistent upon handling everything herself. It isn’t a matter of being too stubborn to accept help. In it’s purest form, it all boils down to the fact that we understand our vision better than anyone and it just makes the most sense to take care of everything yourself. And besides, who really wants to be a burden on anyone? Right? Who’s with me in the “I’VE GOT THIS.” mentality?

That all sounds well and good. That is, until we get hit by the Great Wedding Steamroller of planning, organizing, details, bookings, money, photo shoots, appointments, family drama, dress angst, etc. and we find ourselves face-deep in a pint of Häagen-Dazs, trying to cope with the sheer amount of chaos.

Just me? Hope not. Listen up.

Here’s the revelation all brides-to-be should have:

PEOPLE WANT TO HELP YOU. THEY LOVE YOU. SO LET THEM.

Read that again. (Yes, I’m bossy.)

Whether you are planning your own wedding or have already lived to tell the tale, most of you out there understand the massive amount of effort it takes to pull off a wedding (big OR small). And in the same way the saying goes that “It takes a village to raise a child,” we should all remember that it takes a village to plan a wedding. So please, ladies (and gents), do not be ashamed or embarrassed to accept offers for help. Don’t be too stubborn or insistent on your own self-reliance to turn down extra hands or someone’s time and willingness to contribute. Yes, you may need to stand firm with your vision and set your boundaries clearly as you delegate, but let’s face it … we are not superheroes. 

When you first get engaged, everything is very exciting and swirly-love-emotions and happiness. The actual details of the planning seem a million miles away. (Remember this engagement post I did? If not, go read!) But then as time hurtles rapidly toward your big day, you come to realize that even though you CAN handle everything on your own, it doesn’t mean that you should have to. And where at first you were hesitant to delegate any small task, you begin to realize that no one wants to “take over” your vision. It isn’t about you relinquishing control. It IS about allowing those who care about you to help plan this very large, very elaborate party.

In recent weeks, I have had the privilege of experiencing both sides of the giving coin. You see, I’m currently the Maid of Honor for my friend Nette. Her bachelorette weekend was a few weeks ago and her wedding is very soon, YAY!!! I cannot tell you how much fun it was to spoil her rotten, take her out on the town and yes, embarrass her just a little bit. That’s my job as a MOH, right!?!? But in all honesty, the single thing that has given my heart the most joy is seeing how much our support, love and outpouring of help means to HER, that we would treasure her so much.

Seeing her gratitude and emotion really resonated with me and tripped my heartstrings. Because it made me realize that accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It’s an acceptance of love.

So put your parents to work with the out-of-town guest bags. Ask your siblings to be on airport shuttle duty that weekend. Let your MOH be the ringleader of the bridesmaid dress purchases. Or just let a friend treat you to a mani-pedi as a way to relax for a damn second.

Because I promise you, it doesn’t make you any less of a Broke-Ass Badass Bride to let yourself be loved by your people.  

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Sparkly, Illusion Neckline Marchesa Dress

affiliate disclosure

Hey there, Broke-Ass Babes! Sadly, no ladies wrote in this week about their wedding dress budget woes. So, this week, I decided to pick one of my favorite dresses from the Marchesa Fall 2014 collection (Style: B10812) and WOWZA, she’s a beaut! A trend that has become very popular in the last few years is the illusion neckline, and if you love to spend hours gazing at gowns like me, you’re sure to see this in every jaw-droppingly beautiful collection of dresses. The neckline in this Marchesa dress is especially dazzling since it’s decked out in pearls and crystals, and the hand-pleated chiffon makes this dress look effortless, yet ethereal like something a Greek goddess would get married in. Are you ready to see it? Here goes, in all of its supreme, flowy, glittering awesomeness:

CAN’T AFFORD IT

Marchesa

Marchesa $$$$ ($3001-$5000)

GET OVER IT

H&M

Sleeveless dress in airy, woven fabric with beading and rhinestone embroidery at top (Style: 66-3399) $99 at H+M.

LightintheBox

A-line Princess Scoop Sweep/Brush Train Charmeuse Wedding Dress (Style: 604656) $119 at LightInTheBox.com

UniqueVintage
White Chiffon & Stone Cap Sleeve Gown (Style: 40778) $224 at Unique Vintage

ForHer&Him
Cap Sleeve A Line Wedding Gown with Decorative Buttons (Style: 0113925) $419.99 at For Her and For Him

Etsy
Romantic  Chiffon Wedding Dress Wedding Gown $438 at Whiterose on Etsy

KathyIrelandBBP
Satin sheath with hand-beaded illusion neckline and cap sleeves (Style: KI1307) $822 at BestBridalPrices.com
MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNSwww.maggiesottero.com
An illusion tulle neckline ornamented with beaded embroidered lace drapes the bodice, culminating in a gathered skirt that flows from an empire waist. (Style: 4MC890) $988 at BestBridalPrices.com
BHLDN
This floor-skimming silhouette balances the sleekness of flowing silk with intricately beaded shoulders and bias-cut styling. Harlow gown, $1,000 at BHLDN
MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNSwww.maggiesottero.com
Accordion pleated Paris Chiffon combines with embellished illusion tulle to create this Grecian inspired dress (Style: 4MK790) $1,049 at BestBridalPrices.com.

Another option you can consider is adding a beautiful, bridal capelet to your dress. They have some amaze options from the websites above (Like THIS stunner at BHLDN ) and will give your look even more versatility. Enjoy your weekend, BAB’s! Until we meet again…

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!