Broke-Ass Category: Budget Concerns


Early in my engagement, literally in the first few months of adorning my new bling, I shared with friends that I planned to plant a rose garden and DIY my wedding bouquet and flowers. Of course everyone thought that I was crazy and that eventually the idea would fade as I began to make decisions and evaluate how much time I would have during the week of the wedding.

Well they were right, kind of right …

I aborted the idea of growing my own garden but secretly I held on to the idea of DIYing my flowers. I tried to do it the traditional way: I made appointments to look at florist portfolios, I invested hours in explaining my “vision” and I reviewed a pile of quotes. At the end of the day, I returned to my original DIY decision! Now I just need to narrow down where I will purchase the flowers. I did some research and explored lots of options, It’s By U caught my eye and I decided to give them a try. Once my sample bouquet arrived, I quickly discovered …

Five ways to avoid a DIY bouquet meltdown.

1. Delivery timing is EVERYTHING!  The contact at It’s By U asked me if a Saturday delivery would work and I thought that it would be perfect. I just didn’t think about the flowers being delivered to the leasing office, the FEDEX notification email landing in my inbox after the leasing office was closed and my fresh flowers sitting in the office until Monday at 10 a.m. because the office was closed on Sunday. Lesson learned! When I order my flowers for the wedding I will think about all of the potential risks and plan ahead for them. It’s very important that you get your flowers in water ASAP so that they remain hydrated.  The upside is that once I picked up the flowers, I immediately put them on water and they were still in good shape.

I immediately placed the flowers in the kitchen sink to hydrate!

2. While my flowers were soaking up some water, I began to read through all of the instructions and supplies that were included with my delivery. This is a VERY important step! If you think that you can just create your bouquet based on the pictures that you have seen on Pinterest, you may be in for a surprise. I learned everything from the way that you should cut your stems to the proper way to hold the stems in order to achieve the shape that I wanted. It’s by U covers all bases to ensure that you have what you need to be successful. The instructions were on paper, in my email inbox and on a Youtube video.

Detailed instructions from It’s By U

3. Next up, I prepared my working space. Parchment paper or newspaper is a good idea because loose stems and leaves were all over the place. I would DEFINITELY recommend laying everything out so you have all you need right in front of you. The flowers need to stay near water because you don’t want to pause while you are in the middle of the process. Also, this is not a task that should be done while watching Lifetime. I had to pay attention to the Youtube video while keeping my paper instructions nearby and there was no room for multitasking.

Setting up my space

4. Once I started to make my bouquet, I gave myself GRACE — remember this is not your day job. It’s OK if you make a mistake or two. If I didn’t like the shape or I forgot to add the berry fillers, I would just start over. Also, I could appreciate that in the instruction video, they give you a heads up that it may take two or three attempts before you make a perfect bouquet. Basically your wedding day bouquet should not be the first time you embark on this journey. I plan to pick up some flowers from the grocery store once a week and each time do a little practice session. I might even try making corsages next!

Practice makes perfect!

5. Last but certainly not least, once you are done, the #1 way to avoid a meltdown is to CELEBRATE your success! You did it! It may not be perfect but you tried. I immediately took a picture and sent it to my bridesmaid GroupMe. They were authentic and supportive and it was just what I needed to stay motivated. After I cleaned everything up, I dropped the bouquet in a vase, poured a glass of wine and put my feet up.

Not too bad for a first try!

Are you taking on any big wedding day DIYs? How are you avoiding a DIY meltdown?

  • 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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    Hi, my name is Ciji and I am a rule breaker. Now that we have established who I really am, let me tell you more about my EPIC bridal shower. A tea party just didn't seem like my kind of fun. We "brunch so hard" every weekend that a ladies brunch just didn't seem like anything special. I needed to share with my bridal shower…

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    Timelss Rings invitation from Wedding Paper Divas In the beginning there was a good idea, then the good idea was shared and people shunned it because the good idea was too modern and technologically forward ... and that's how we went from e-vites to paper invites. Siiiiigh. Since we originally didn't plan on spending money on invitations, I only looked at stationery sites longingly and for ideas.…

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  • 5/31

    Hello my fellow BABs! Greetings from Connecticut! My name is Kimberly and I am a 36 year old Database and Office manager. In addition to being the lucky mom of a fabulous 18-month-old daughter, I am also the momma of a 14-year-old grumpy pug. My fiance, Antonio, and I are planning a romantic, garden themed wedding for (hopefully) 100 guests. Our wedding will be taking place…

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    There's a growing trend to purchase a faux wedding cake and because I am not opposed to any tactic that may help with our budget, I am exploring if faux is the way to go. In addition to the cost savings, I'm open to my options after we've had not one but three subpar cake tasting experiences. It all started with a cake baker referral that was slow to…

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    So, after my slight breakdown , I'm back on track. Chris, the girls and I had a wonderful Mother's Day, we went to Busch Gardens and had a really fun, relaxing day, which I think helped my overall mood a lot. My mother came down today to help me with the kids, which is always great. I have a race on Sunday, but their dad is…

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  • 5/16

    As someone who has only seen episodes of Say Yes to the Dress in the time it takes for the channel to load and me to flip to the next channel, I was completely unprepared for wedding dress hunting. I was a "good" bride/friend and invited my mom and two besties to Charleston for the process.  I made appointments at 3 different bridal shops (Bridals by…

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