Posts in the 'Broke-Ass Brilliance' Category

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Oscar de la Renta’s “Alicia” Inspired Gown For Under $2,000

Hey BABs. A couple of days ago the fashion world lost one of its greatest treasures, Oscar de da Renta. Without a doubt one of the greatest designers to ever live, some would argue THE greatest. He was born Óscar Arístides Renta in 1932 in Santo Domingo to an affluent family. My fabulous editor gave me the idea to do a post dedicated to him. How do I even begin to commemorate the genius of this man? He dressed four First Ladies. FOUR. Oscar de la Renta had a career that spanned over 60 years, pretty amazing considering he started off by drawing clothes for newspapers when he was just 19.  After the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain saw some of his sketches, she commissioned him to design a gown for her daughter. Eventually, that dress was on the cover of LIFE magazine. He then went to work under Cristóbal Balenciaga, another name synonymous with fashion. After that he worked for other big fashion houses like Balmain  and Lanvin. I can’t even think of anyone that hasn’t dazzled us in a de la Renta gown (proof). And then there is his bridal wear which is second to none, ever (in my opinion). Just look at his most recent creation, made for Amal Alamuddin when she married George Clooney. It’s one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve EVER SEEN. He truly understood how to make a woman look and feel beautiful and did just that for many, many brides. You will be miss, Mr. de la Renta.

www.vogue.com Amal Almuddin in Oscar de la Renta.

I chose “Alicia” from his 2014 bridal collection because of its beautiful, lace long sleeves.  It’s fall and long sleeves are definitely in right now in bridal. A certain princess really popularized this style again in 2011 when married Prince William. This dress that I chose is definitely fit for a princess. It’s made from ivory silk faille and also has an ivory Chantilly lace overlay.

“Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.” (On designing Amal Alamuddin’s wedding gown.)

Can't Afford It

Original Oscar de la Renta’s “Alicia” $$$$

Get Over It

RainingBlossoms270 A-Line Wedding Dress With Lace Long Sleeves (Style: #WD-3272) $270 at GoodCheapWeddingDress.com

SimplyBridal288 A-Line Satin Gown With Lace Overlay (Style: 80235) $288 at SimplyBridal.com

RainingBlossoms340 Mermaid Lace Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Long Sleeves (Style: WJLM-0058) $340 at Raining Blossoms

BBP1099 Net & Re-Embroidered Lace Gown With Long Sleeves (Style: 2439) $1,099 at BestBridalPrices.com

Etsy1100 Vintage A-Line Gown With Floral Lace Overlay $1,100 at EllyaBoutique on Etsy

BBP1309 Long Sleeve Chantilly Lace Gown With Matching Shawl (Style: 77959) $1,309 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1420 Alencon Lace Gown With Beaded Embroidery (Style: F161069) $1,420 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1529 Soft Tulle & Corded Chantilly Lace Gown (Style: EK1001) $1,529 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1575 V-Neck Gown With Beaded Lace Overlay & Beaded Applique (Style: 2079) $1,575 at BestBridalPrices.com

I’ve included this a lot, but BHLDN really has some pretty sashes. As well as Etsy which has tons. Send me some requests, ladies! I’m always here to help you get over that pricey gown. Until next week BABs …

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.

 

R..I.P. Oscar de la Renta 1932-2014

Oscar de la Renta at his fashion show at Neiman Marcus-  Chevy Chase, MD

Oscar de la Renta quotes:

“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”

“What women have achieved in the last 50 years, I wish men would have achieved in the last 100.”

“I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”

Real Bride Tiffany: It’s a Blur, but My Wedding Happened!

Have we really been married for 11 days already? Time sure flies when you are partying your face off and then relaxing in an island blissland for an entire week (although amongst a hurricane … ).

photobooth2

Yes, that is a JMEOWW cat on a stick. She couldn’t actually be present so it was the next best thing.

Our wedding came together beautifully — not without its stressful moments — but it truly was everything that we dreamed it would be. And I’m not just saying that to sound all lovely because you know I would tell you the truth! We peeked at the reception space before the ceremony and dear blog-gods it was EXACTLY what was in my brain. I can’t wait to see pictures.

7stems

Pictures from Seven Stems Floral Design via Instagram

We laughed a lot. We cried a good amount. We made others laugh and cry as well, as were our intentions. We’ve gotten so many wonderful comments about our ceremony and how special and personal it was, which is absolutely heartwarming. We did our best to personally greet and thank all of our 91 guests and I think we did a decent job. I know there are some that we missed and I hope they didn’t take it personally!

The ONLY downside to having an unplugged ceremony/wedding is waiting for the professional pictures. But having the comfort of knowing that your guests were fully present with you during the most special moments of your life? TOTALLY WORTH IT.

1st dance

When people tell you, “It will all be a blur!” they are actually — and unfortunately — right. It will all actually become a blur. And not because you were drinking too many delicious Belgian pale ales. But because you begin taking photos three hours before your ceremony begins and next thing you know — albeit 8 hours later — you are running across the street (barefoot) to the hotel trying to teach your husband how to work a corseted dress and get the damn thing off you (so you can rinse your feet off in the shower, ya pervs). Your dress will be filthy and ripped a little. Your husband will be hammered. The marriage certificate will be missing (your wedding coordinator will most likely have it).

But you will be the happiest you’ve ever been and it is all totally worth it.

On Marriage: 16 Things My Husband is Usually Doing Wrong (According To Me)

Guys, our On Marriage posts are usually pretty serious and talk about you know, like real stuff in regards to your relationship. But then I found this post on HuffPo and realized that well, I couldn’t not share it, because: awesome.

Eric and Erica's Real Wedding -- Photo by Persimmon Images

 

Photo by Persimmon Images

Like most loving, decent, kind and patient spouses, I don’t like to rag on my husband. I really don’t! But sometimes, his actions make me question if he is, in fact, watching an episode of The Office in his head instead of being marginally invested in whatever else he is doing. Like having a conversation with his wife or caring for our two tiny humans, for example.

I love my husband dearly. I’d marry him again if I could. Sometimes I wonder how we even found each other in this crazy, mixed-up world. In fact, I’d make a list of all the things he is doing right, but it would be too long and too gushy and I’d lose my street cred. Even so, I’ve had to practice patience over the last five years of my life as a spouse and a mother because though raising little ones is tough, I think co-parenting (and co-existing under the same roof at all times) might be even tougher.

Since my partner (for life, ahhh!!… still gets me) also happens to be such a good sport (remind me to add that to the “things he’s doing right” list), here are 16 things my husband is usually doing wrong (according to me):

1. Not answering questions. I talk. He doesn’t answer. I talk louder. He still doesn’t answer. I talk REALLY loud and he says, “Geez, why are you screaming?”

2. Not having breasts and therefore not being able to do the midnight feeding, the 2:30 a.m. feeding OR the 5 a.m. feeding.

3. Moving too slowly. This typically pertains to when bedtime is looming, when we have anywhere to be at a specific time or when one of our kids is about 30 seconds away from a huge meltdown. Enter: Slow mo.

4. Looking at his phone so much you’d think there was a real-life naked woman in there who talks to him and doesn’t leave a trail of breastmilk wherever she goes.

5. Coming home with 60 percent of what was on the grocery list and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t.

6. Two words: Selective. Hearing.

7. Two more words: Fake. Pooping.

Click here to continue reading  16 Things My Husband is Usually Doing Wrong (According To Me) on The Huffington Post.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore. This autumn has felt the most fall-ish for me, and I’m crushing hard on the colors. So, #duh, I’m throwin’ it back to this great post from 2011 that’s still totally rad today.

It’s not really feeling like fall here in Los Angeles. The farmer’s market is still stocked with fresh summer berries, the days still feel long and hot, and the flowers are still in bloom. But today on a walk I noticed a few leaves on the trees beginning to change. So since I can’t really enjoy all of fall in LA, I’ve been enjoying it on Pinterest! Fall weddings provide the perfect combo of bright fall colors and comfort foods! Enjoy these fall wedding inspiration photos I’ve been loving!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall I’m loving all of the colors in this photo. Makes me miss the Midwest.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Mums and fall floral colors look especially bright when paired with the yellow billy balls and orange clementines!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Layers of spiced cake with frosting only on the inside give this cake a rustic look. And the sugared fruits and leaves add a playful element!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Centerpieces are a breeze for fall weddings. Grab some branches of leaves and spray paint them gold! Such an easy and simple DIY. Put them in a vase and you’ve got a simple and elegant centerpiece.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Send your guest home with one of my favorite fall treats! Yum!

Are you having a fall wedding? What is your inspiration? Let us know!

Budget Wedding Myths That Need to Die

Last week on Facebook, a friend of mine, who’s also a wedding planner, linked to a blog about a $6,000 wedding. It was on her personal page, and it definitely wasn’t one of her weddings – that’s well below her usual clients’ budgets.  She wasn’t posting it because of  the budget, at all, she was focusing on the potential griminess of the Doritos bar the couple created. Yes, these are the sort of conversations we vendors have while amongst ourselves. We also talk about shoes a lot, but that’s a discussion for another day. Anyway … Budget Wedding Myths that Need to Die It was a very cute hipster wedding in a loft in Brooklyn. The bride wore Converse and a $300 dress, of course. The groom wore a bow tie and tight pants. It really did look like a lot of fun, and I personally, would be all over that Doritos bar.

But  $6,000 for a 100-guest wedding?

Photographer? $2,400.

Their clothes and accessories? ~$1,500.

The loft? They found it on Airbnb, $1,100 for 3 days

Rentals? $860. Metal chairs, uncovered plastic tables, and a small stage. I’m not judging, this is what they had, per the pictures.

Servingware? ~$300 Dinner?

Not included in the breakdown, because they got a, and I quote, a “huge” discount from a caterer friend.

Dessert: Ditto.

Videography? Ditto.

DJ: Ditto.

Appetizers from Whole Food? Also not on the budget breakdown.

The bar? Not even mentioned.

Decorations: DIY, pom-poms, spray-painted bottles with flowers in them, put together by family and friends.

Material costs, even? Nope.

At this point, I was gritting my teeth. Basing the actual cost of this wedding on prices in L.A., which are significantly cheaper than New York? At least $10,000-$15,000 is missing from this budget. Which is just … GRRRR … NOT FAIR.

And not helpful. Because, come on, you guys. Why don’t you have friends who are caterers, bakers, videographers and DJs? Why can’t you rent a loft from  a company that, in my experience, is fairly adamant about not renting for large private events? Why can’t you spend two days setting up and a whole day breaking down for your ceremony and reception ? Don’t you have space to spray paint 50 mason jars and store the flowers to fill them? Why come you can’t figure out how to only spend $6,000 — or less — on your own wedding?

The Myth of the Budget Wedding is that if it’s this cheap and easy for them, it should be just as cheap and easy for you, too.  But, trust me, this wedding was not that cheap, and definitely not so easy. I give the bride credit for acknowledging how lucky they were to have those hook-ups, though, I really wish they’d been more upfront about what they spent and how much they saved. Actually.

Is it possible to have a fantastic wedding for $6,000? Of course it is. But you need to have realistic expectations about what’s possible, what stuff costs, and how much time and energy you have or are willing to put in. Is it worth it? It will be. So, what do you think? Do you find these myths as frustrating as I do? What are you doing to realistically stay on budget, yourself?  And, if you’d like to find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Real Bride Kate: Question Everything and Be Yourselves

Okay, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms, my time as Real Bride Kate is drawing to an unfortunate close. However, before I fill out the Real Wedding questionnaire and check out from the site, I wanted to impart my ultimate piece of wedding planning wisdom.

I began to title this piece: “Question Everything and Be Non-Traditional.” However, I quickly realized that this advice was highly excluding and didn’t get at the heart of what I really wanted to say. So, here it is again, let it soak in:

Question everything and be yourselves.

wedding elements

Most people know that I studied English in university, but less people remember that I also studied sociology. If sociology taught me anything, it was that everything we do in life we do according to set patterns created by our cultures. Of course, there is room for free will in this, but think about it. Our society (for the purposes of this article, I mean Western society) has a set schema for how a wedding should go.

The bride wears a white dress and carries flowers. The groom wears a suit (typically black). The couple is married by a religious or civic official. They exchange rings and vows. They cut a fancy cake. They have a first dance and the bride dances with her father. It goes on and on. You all know the drill.

bouquet

So, here is my challenge to you as you plan your wedding. For every single decision, no matter how minute, ask yourselves:

Why are we doing this? And do we truly want this?

Once Daniel and I did that, nearly every notion of a “traditional” wedding fell apart. As you can see from the pictures throughout this post, we broke or reworked a lot of traditions and shocked our families.

I wore red. All the bouquets were made from book pages. Daniel wore grey and donned a pocket square instead of boutonniere. We were married by a close friend without a speck of religion in our hand-fasting ceremony – which we wrote as a trio. We didn’t exchange rings, as Daniel already wore his as an engagement band. The cake we cut had the Batman symbol plastered on top. I danced with my dad to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Real Bride Kate and her father have matching tattoos from the TV show "Supernatural."

 

My dad and I have matching tattoos from the tv show “Supernatural,” whose unofficially theme song is “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Some people reacted negatively. For instance, my grandmother asked me – in front of my entire bridal party and the photographer – if I was wearing red because I wasn’t a virgin. She just could not believe that I simply wanted to wear my favorite color instead of the color Queen Victoria wore a bazillion years ago.

However, most of our families and friends were overwhelmingly, even surprisingly, positive. Throughout the night, we were bombarded with compliments. People adored my unique dress – “Red is your color, Kate!” They appreciated the cake – “Batman is so bad ass!” They marveled at the ceremony – “I’d never seen anything like that before. That hand-fasting, that was so unique and cool!” And even better, they got the point – “Your wedding was so you guys in every way.”

Let me repeat that: “Your wedding was SO YOU GUYS in every way.”

Now, if you ask me, that’s the best compliment a bride and groom can receive.

feet

Again, let me implore you to question everything. Do you really want to wear white? Do you really want that venue? Why are you having a bouquet toss? Why are you doing the Chicken Dance? (Side note: we did neither.)

And again, let me beg you to be yourselves. If you are a traditional couple, that is fantastic! Live it up! But, if you have been feeling queasy about wedding planning and notice some light bulbs going off as you read this, follow that instinct!

Don’t worry about what anyone else will think or whether or not the day will feel like a “real wedding.” Trust me, if you stay true to yourselves and only do what you honestly and direly want to do, your guests will love it and you will not regret it.

This is your day to celebrate your love! It should be as uniquely and beautifully you as the love you share.

 

Ten for the Weekend: Stock up on Essentials and Wedding Gown Sale Alert for SoCal Brides

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ll be traveling to Charlotte, N.C., in the morning for a meeting with some of our partners and to see a friend, and Dana and Paul are officially on the second leg of their epic honeymoon tour, chilling in a great hotel in Seoul. But I’d never take off without leaving you with some great deals and discounts to help you kick your weekend off right. From Anthro to Tradesy and a super awesome deal on wedding dresses for those of you in the Southern California area, this Ten for the Weekend has got the goods to make your wallet happy.

Ten for the Weekend: Stock up on Essentials and Wedding Gown Sale Alert for SoCal Brides

1. I know I know, Halloween isn’t even here yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on Thanksgiving cookware. Sur la Table is having a sale on various essentials — from roasting pans to immersion blenders to spiral slicers.

2. Man, there are few things better than a good dress sale, but one of those few things is a discount on already well-priced items. Boohoo.com is knocking 15% off their dresses until 10/19.

3. You know what costs a lot? Wedding stationery. You know who’s taking $40 off orders of $99+ for new customers? Wedding Paper Divas, that’s who (when you enter WPD40 at checkout until 10/28).

Wedding Paper Divas Enchanting Forever Invitations

I’m loving these “Enchanting Forever” invites.

4. Discounts on discounts are a great thing, y’all. BCBG is taking an extra 30% off final sale items. Now that doesn’t suck.

5. Designer shoes and accessories and getting to feel like one of the cool kids? That’s how Cole Haan rolls with their 30% off Friends and Family deal until 10/21.

6. Need to stock up on basics? Anthropologie is having a 30% sale off select sweaters, tees and pants for a limited time.

7. Guys, have you checked out Dessy’s sale section? They just added three different styles of twist wrap dresses, as well as a whole gang of accessories. Go on, get on it!

8. Call all beer lovers! Craft Beer Club is skimming $10 bucks off when you gift a membership of 3 months or more this holiday season (until 12/31) when you use code iSave5.

9. Do you guys know Tradesy? You should. It’s like, the greatest consignment store / thrift shop, ever. Like, serious designer duds, but previously worn / used (gently), and therefor cheaper than normal. And right now Tradesy is having an accessory sale. So you know, do it.

10. SoCal Brides, this one’s just for you! Unique Vintage’s real, actual brick-and-mortar store in Burbank is having a real life sample sale this Sunday. Check out our Pinterest board for a sampling of the gowns on sale!

Unique Vintage 10/19 Sample Sale in Burbank, CA

 

Happy shopping, darlings!

Five for Friday: Spooktacular Frocks for Halloween

Are we sick of that play on words? Maybe? I don’t know. Puns. I dig ‘em. Anyway, since we’ve had oodles of convo surrounding Halloween weddings this week (I mean, you saw the HP Lovecraft-inspired shoot, right?), it seemed appropriate to find some great dresses for this haunted holiday, whether you’re hitting the parties or are planning your own eerie I Do’s — and all of them are frightfully budget-friendly at under $100!

Take Me There Black Long Sleeve Lace Dress - Lulu's

Take Me There Black Long Sleeve Lace Dress, $56 at Lulu’s The Body Eclectic Dress - ModCloth
The Body Eclectic Dress, $89.99 at ModCloth
Red & Black Lace Annabella Wiggle Dress - Unique Vintage
Red & Black Lace Annabella Wiggle Dress, $60 at Unique Vintage

Unique Vintage’s site has this styled in Dia de los Muertos style, with fabulous sugar skull makeup. I die.

Black Long Sleeve Bats Print Dress - SheInside
Black Long Sleeve Bats Print Dress, $17.59 at SheInside What a Spangled Web We Weave Dress - ModCloth What a Spangled Web We Weave, $94.99 at ModCloth

(Guys. The sparklez!)

How do you like these boo-tiful (sorry) dresses? How will you be dressing up for Halloween?

Ask Heather: What Are Our Other Registry Options?

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.04.53 PM

Image courtesy of cb4me

Dear Heather,

I’m helping my daughter with her wedding details. She and her fiance are 31 and 40 years old and have been living together for several years, so they don’t need the normal registry items like a toaster, a blender, towels, etc. They are hoping to buy a home together and maybe some larger pieces of household furnishings. Is a money tree an option? If so, how do you set it up and does it need to be attended at the reception? What about cards, or a gift basket? How do you address this issue in an invitation? Are there other options? I look forward to your input. Thank you.

Jlee (older generation mother-of-the-bride that got toasters!)

Dear MOB Jlee,

I’ve somewhat addressed this issue in a few previous columns, but I think it’s worth it to tackle it again, since it seems to be an ongoing issue with BAB readers.

When it comes to registering for a wedding, there are many, many options. Speaking of not getting a toaster, BAB did a post a while back about PresentValue, which is a way to ask for monetary gifts rather than more traditional items. Other options include Hatch My House and Traveler’s Joy, a honeymoon registry. Even with these types of registries, though, I would still have a more typical registry, since there are some guests who simply prefer to give an actual gift rather than money. I have faith that your daughter and her fiancé can come up with some material items they could use. Personally, I’m of the opinion that one can never have too many towels, and spare bedsheets are always useful. They could also register for upgraded versions of items they already have.

In regards to letting folks know where you’ve registered, it’s typical to include this information with shower invitations, since the whole purpose of a shower is to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts. You can also have a wedding website and include registry information on it, with the URL for the website printed on the wedding invitations. And simply letting close friends and family members know where the couple has registered also works.

As far as having a money tree, I’m not a huge fan of setting one up at the wedding reception. It looks a bit too “gift grabby” in that setting. Instead, I would have a basket or box for cards, and a table for those folks who bring the gift to the wedding rather than sending it to the couple in advance. Doing a money tree at a bridal shower, though, would be far more appropriate.

Are you planning on doing a money tree? Did you use a cash registry website? If so, what was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!