Broke-Ass Category: Real Talk

6/19

I got engaged Memorial Day Weekend in 2016. We set our wedding date for September of the next year because September is a special month for us and it gave us about 15 months to save for our wedding. I asked all my girls to be my bridesmaids and I was locked and loaded to go. I was trying to be gracious.

Then one of my bridesmaids got engaged near Thanksgiving and set her wedding date for the following June. She only allowed herself eight months for planning. Now let’s be real, I am human and was a little hurt that she set her wedding date before mine. It felt like she was stealing my thunder and I was getting pushed to the side. Her ceremony and reception are inconveniently spaced apart because they were the only times she could secure on such short notice. There are legit three hours between the ceremony and the reception.

One of my biggest goals during our engagement was to do my damndest NOT to be a giant bridezilla. We’ve all heard horror stories about brides who go completely nuclear over stupid things like place settings, what pattern to fold napkins in, or any number of other useless meltdowns. I refused to be characterized as that bride. So I did my absolute best not to show how hurt I was at the choices she made.

When I was planning things like the shower, rehearsal or bachelorette, I made a point of asking everyone what dates would be best for their schedules. My friend didn’t check with any of her other friends when she set the date for her shower and bachelorette party. I ended up missing most of her shower because it was scheduled the same day as graduation for my Masters degree. I just started a new job that has different time off requirements than my last one. While I had her wedding dates off at my old job, her wedding falls on one of the only six days that I am required to work on a weekend at the new place. To make things even more special, her bachelorette party also fell on one of those six days, so I could go to neither. Her wedding also happens to fall on the same day my little brother graduates high school — even more precious.

I feel like a total and complete tool for missing these really important milestones in her life. It makes it look like I’m missing all of these events on purpose when that’s not the case at all. I don’t want it to be a battle of her against me, but as the days tick past it’s morphing into this. Her wedding is in a week so hopefully things go back to a bit of normalcy after this all blows over.

When she got engaged I offered to help in whatever ways she needed, including the printing of her paper things since I have a sweet color laser printer. She called Monday asking that I print up two separate batches of things, the programs and the favor tags. She sent me the files with super vague instructions that prompted me to ask her a legion of questions to make sure I had everything right. I printed 75 pages of favor tags and began cutting them out for her so she would have one less thing to worry about. I sent her a picture to show the finished product to make sure that’s what she wanted before I cut out the rest and she had a meltdown that the tags were not exactly four inches. The measurement was off by an eighth of an inch. I added border around the cutting to allow for this but she didn’t want it to look like that and asked me to stop printing.

Darling, I had already printed all of them.

I understand wanting things to be exactly perfect in every way possible, but we live in an imperfect world. If you want something to be exactly one way, please share your ENTIRE vision with me so I can make that dream a reality. Now I have a stack of wasted paper that I cannot reuse for anything.

I hate that I am losing my cool.

These are all very small things that should not matter in the end. So what if she has her wedding date first? It might be a tiny bit rude but it’s not like she stabbed me. What is frustrating me the most is that I have simply stopped talking to her because I know I am not capable of having a nice conversation at the moment.

You know the saying: if you have nothing nice to say, shut the hell up.

This bit of drama is not worth losing a friendship over. Yet, I find that I cannot stop dwelling on it. I have no idea how to handle this. So far the battle plan is to ignore her until a week or so after her honeymoon. Perhaps she will sheath her fangs and shrink down to size after bridezilla smashing a few cities. Maybe it’s me that needs a chance to shrink back down to normal size. Maybe I’m the one out there smashing cities without even knowing it.

What would you do in my shoes?

  • 6/13

    Hello fellow BABs!

    I’m back with Part 2 of my Ten Broke-Ass Bride Commandments. I know you have wedding planning and general badassery to get to; so let’s get right into it.

    Ten Broke-Ass Bride Commandments

    6. Thou Shalt Not Feel Guilty for Cutting your Guest List.

    The size of your guest list is what drives up the cost of your wedding; mo’ guests equals mo’ money and mo’ problems. Because you are on a tight budget, you try to cut your guest list, but every time you remove someone you feel guilty. If you invite Lisa, then you have to invite David because they are cousins. And you have to invite Maria because she’s your great-aunt, twice removed. UGH! It might seem cutthroat, but when you are a Broke-Ass, you can’t afford to invite everyone and their mother. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is: If you wouldn’t notice that a particular person wasn’t at your wedding, then they shouldn’t make the cut. Everyone has a couple of courtesy or obligatory invites that they have to make, but you shouldn’t have table after table filled with them.

    7. Thou Shalt Include Your Fiance in Your Planning.

    More likely than not, your fiance doesn’t want you to drag him to every craft store and flower shop you visit. He doesn’t care about centerpieces, flowers or table linens, and he probably answers every request for input with a “huh.” As a result, you may decide to avoid frustration by not asking for his help, but don’t give up on him. Wedding planning won’t become a source of stress between the two of you, if you can find something that will appeal to him. For example, if your fiance is handy, maybe he can build the wedding arch out of PVC pipe. Does your fiance have an artistic bent? Great, he can design your wedding invitations. He’ll be relieved you aren’t asking him to do something completely foreign to him, and you’ll be relieved that you don’t have to throttle him with your wedding binder.

    8. Thou Shalt Think Outside the Box.

    A huge budget-killer that couples often take for granted are all of those traditional wedding “must-haves” that you do or get because you think you “have to.” Ummm … no. Why should you have to spend $50 or more on a book that is going to collect dust on your bookcase just because everyone says you “need” a guest book. If you aren’t a traditional type of bride feel free to think of creative alternatives that are more your style. If cost is the bigger issue, take an ax and cut it right out of your budget. You are the bride, and you’re calling the shots. Repeat after me: “If I don’t want it, I don’t need to waste time or money on it.”

    9. Thou Shalt be Organized.

    Being organized, whether you are a broke-ass bride or a princess bride, is fundamental. It’s the air that breathes life into your wedding planning. Websites like The Knot and Wedding Wire have tools that will help you stay organized. Furthermore, these apps will help you maintain your sanity and keep your inner bridezilla at bay. If you need something more tangible, you can buy or make a wedding planner. (Hint: That link also has a bunch of worksheets you can download for free!) It doesn’t matter if you use an app, a binder, or a stone tablet, just stay organized. You’ll thank me later.

    I have several planning binders, including one for just my DIY projects.

    10. Thou Shalt Enjoy Thyself.

    Finally, in the whirlwind of planning, budgeting, and crafting, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your engagement. Cozy up on the couch with your fiance and a glass of wine, and talk about all of the wonderful things you will do together as man and wife. Go out with your bridesmaids for Taco Tuesday and have a gabfest over half-price margaritas; talk about the wedding or trade online dating horror stories. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, or what you do, so long as you have fun with the people that you love and who love you.

    I’ll catch ya next time. Keep on being badass!

    What rules have you set for yourself during wedding planning?

     

     

     

  • 6/12

    Wedding countdown chalkboard available from Etsy seller LavishLilLuxuries Earlier this month, it was the one-year anniversary of the day he proposed. Not to sound cliche, but I cant believe how much time has flown since then. We've also hit the three-month countdown until the wedding and that is an incredibly exciting and yet terrifying feeling. While we have all of our gotten our vendors booked, deposits…

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    6/6

    Keepsake box from Etsy Seller mariaallenboutique Tradition recommends a bride have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue as she goes down the aisle. I’ve been throwing tradition to the wind all Willy Nilly the entire time but this one gives me pause. Four items -- how hard can that be? Famous last words. Obviously the something new is easy enough. Essentially everything I’m wearing is…

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    5/30

    Novelty socks available from Etsy seller shopsockprints As I may have mentioned already, my partner, bless him, has been wonderfully supportive and helpful throughout the entire process of planning our wedding. This has transpired despite my occasional failures to delegate, as I wrote about in my last post. He’s also been extremely chill about pretty much everything that’s been suggested. Whereas, his list of must-haves…

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  • 5/15

    To do notepad available from Etsy seller marrygrams Here's the thing: I've been gifted with a degree of creativity and innovation, however, I'm really, really bad at delegating. With a project as colossal as a wedding, this is not a good thing. I'm pretty sure if I try to micromanage every little thing, I'll be so busy that I wont have time to enjoy one…

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    5/9

    An older person once told me that you shouldn’t marry someone unless they were your best friend. At the time I didn’t really understand what he meant, but I think I have a better idea now. Michael and I have been going out for almost eight years now. We’ve fought as fiercely as siblings at times. We’ve laughed so hard we cried and cried so…

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    5/8

    So, I'm not going to lie, I've done very little planning during the past couple of weeks. I finally was able to mail out our save the dates, and the verdict on our choice was very positive, which made me happy. My next meeting with Cathy (our venue coordinator) is in July, where I'll give her the first half of the payment for the wedding…

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