Broke-Ass Category: Real Talk

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I am from Texas. Travis is from Michigan. We have different backgrounds and our own way of doing things. A year ago, we traveled to different cities to celebrate the Holidays independently of each other and it was on Christmas morning, 2015 that we decided that we would not spend another Christmas away from each other.

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Home is where the heart is. Photo Credit:  Rayna Wooden Photography

His family travels and rotates households for Christmas and it just so happens that Christmas 2016 was already planned for Atlanta, so I began to plan with my family for them to travel to Atlanta as well. For approximately 100 days —  also known as the 1st half of the year — I reminded, plotted and attempted to help them plan a seamless trip to Georgia. I kicked my efforts into overdrive after we got engaged over the summer. In my mind it was a great plan for the two families to meet over the Holidays and get to know each other before our 2017 wedding.

Fast forward to December 19th. After weeks of Holiday parties, end of the year meetings and basking in the spirit of Christmas it finally dawned on me that our families were about to meet each other … for the first time!

Lots of lessons learned and sharing is caring, so here you go:

  1. Over-communicate: I had a lot of great ideas in my head, but I didn’t share them with anyone. Oops! Next time, I will communicate early and often the plan, itinerary, dinner menu, schedule, etc. … Basically all of the stuff that was in my head that would have been beneficial for others to know 🙂
  2. Informal is Key: we planned to have Christmas dinner at a house that I don’t live in and I was a little concerned about not having all of my tools for success to properly host so I planned an informal dinner on Christmas Eve that was intimate and cozy enough for everyone to get to know each other. An added bonus was that my dad traveled with my Aunt Edna’s world-famous chicken tetrazzini all the way from Texas and lifted some of the burdens of slaving in the kitchen so that I could enjoy my guests.
  3. Delegate: mixing family traditions can be HARD! Everyone has their favorite dish that they like to prepare and/or the dish that they have been waiting all year to eat. I connected with the cooking crew a few days out (I should have done it earlier, but we already hashed that out in #1) and we mapped out the menu. Two lessons learned on this one: I wasn’t solely responsible for preparing everything which was a win; and no one person carried the weight of the grocery expenses!
  4. Movies are movies and not real life: Maybe I’ve watched one too many “Meet the Parents,” “This Christmas” and “National Lampooon’s Christmas Vacation” movies. I was just waiting for some excitement, some big political conversation or a sports team dispute but nothing happened. My 1st highlight of Christmas day was that I won my 1st Spades game. The 2nd highlight was the BEST one, the families met, they liked each other and I am looking forward to part two when we all come together for the BIG Day!

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One big happy family.

I definitely suggest a pre-meeting between the families before the wedding.  It’s a perfect way to break the ice before the celebration.

  • 10/31

    Jane B. Writes DisclaimerReal Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Credit: Carole Cohen

    The word cliché is the last word you want to use to describe your wedding. But the fact of the matter is weddings are full of clichés because they are time-honored traditions.

    Most weddings have a number of similarities since they consist of traditional elements that are largely shaped by religion, law and cultural norms. Some brides buck tradition, but even the most unconventional couples work in a few of these incredibly awesome wedding clichés.

    Wedding Sparklers

    At one time throwing rice at the bride and groom as they made their big exit was the trend. However, pictures of the couple dodging pellets didn’t make for the best photo ops. Today people are using festive wedding sparklers instead. These are specific sparklers for weddings and add a fun element as well.

    Sending a couple off in a sea of sparkles became popular about five or six years ago. That’s when people started to see specialty made, long sparklers that guests hold to create an arch of light for the bride and groom to walk through. Needless to say, this now cliché trend has staying power because the photos look amazing.

    Wearing White

    Brides are starting to branch out from wearing solely white on their wedding day, but walking down the aisle in a colorless ensemble is still the norm. Wearing a white dress isn’t really a matter of choice for most brides, but rather it’s a symbol rooted in tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840.

    Way back in the day, wearing white on your wedding day signified a woman’s purity. In other words, it represented virginity that would soon be a distant memory (although it probably already was). Despite the newfound acceptance of pre-marital sex, the vast majority of wedding dresses are still white. Today, most brides simply consider the color to be symbolic of the event, not their virginity.

    A Whimsical Veil

    Most brides have no idea why veils are part of wedding day attire, but they wear them anyway. Maybe it’s because we have so few opportunities to show off fancy headgear these days.

    If brides knew the real reason why this tradition was started, they certainly wouldn’t consider a veil to be a necessity. Veils were first worn by ancient Greeks and Romans who thought it would protect a bride from evil spirits that were jealous. We’re not sure who was putting evil spirits on the guest list, but we’ll gladly take advantage of our one opportunity to rock a veil.

    Towering Wedding Cakes

    Really you only need one reason to splurge on a huge wedding cake – it’s delicious. Another reason couples still make cake a feature of the reception is because guests expect it. You can always save a little on the main course if you provide guests with a huge chunk of wedding cake at the end.

    There’s also the cake cutting tradition that isn’t possible without something to cut. Just be sure to get a few pointers from the baker before the wedding. Towering cakes have been known to topple over or collapse because they were sliced into at the wrong spot. Another delicious tradition that isn’t possible without a cake is freezing the top tier and eating it on your one-year anniversary.

    June Nuptials

    June has been a popular month for weddings since calendars were first created. These days it’s a top pick because the weather is relatively nice, and it’s easier for families to travel since kids are out of school. Originally, Roman couples got married in June because Juno was the goddess of marriage and childbirth.

    A DJ That’s Obsessed With Classic Jams

    After you’ve been to a handful of weddings it starts to seem like there’s a DJ manual that guides the music selection. At first, you tap your foot lightly to the familiar tunes and settle in for the typical wedding reception playlist. But after a few glasses of Champagne, you find yourself out on the dance floor.

    That’s why classic jam DJs are so great. Even if the setlist is a little dated, guests young and old know the music. The songs are classics because they’re awesome to dance to, and that’s the DJ’s top priority.

    Today a lot of brides are bucking tradition and doing their own thing, which we fully support. But if you enjoy certain wedding traditions there’s no reason to feel pressured into avoiding them so your ceremony doesn’t come off as cliché. Embrace the traditions and put your own twist on them so they’re more meaningful and special.

    christen
  • 10/28

    dinosaur centerpieces

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    10/14

    Cash Wallet by BlackArrowStudio

    Cash Wallet, $56 by Etsy seller BlackArrowStudio I've been wracking my brain to come up with some truly epic wedding advice for you, BABs. This being my last advice post for The Broke-Ass Bride for the moment, I'm feeling some (self-imposed) pressure to get it right! 😉 I hope you enjoy it, and remember that you can always reply in the comments or email BAB directly…

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    10/12

    Amy-Rick-Teaser-16

    So we did it! We're officially married! We had a beautiful, although a bit chilly, day in Vermont, but it didn't rain or snow, so I'll take it! It's been almost two weeks now, and I've had some time to reflect on the experience. Here's some advice for the brides-in-planning out there. Photo courtesy of Joel Boucher of Boucher Visuals People always say it goes…

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  • 10/3

    BAB Heather Shotgun wedding

    Cake topper available from Etsy seller MissSarahCake As I walk through my day at work where only a select few people know that I am pregnant, I get asked at least 2-5 times a week about my wedding. “When's the big day?”  “Have you found a dress?” “Where are you getting married?” “What are your colors gonna be?” After finding out that I am growing…

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    9/30

    Marathon Runner Cake Topper by Clayphory

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    9/19

    Real Bride Heather: Bump in the road

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  • 9/13

    13177374_10100639576620300_3840863019021462614_n

    For as long as I can remember, there have been people in my life using 12 step programs to improve themselves and their circumstances. Some were battling addictions, and others loved those that were battling addiction. Whatever their individual case might be, these programs helped bring clarity and some kind of peace to otherwise chaotic life situations. Through those people and their experiences, I've become…

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