Posts in the 'Contributors' Category

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Ersa Atelier “Melisse” Princess-Inspired Gown ($1,000)

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Hello dear BABs! I’m Lisa, the newest Broke-Ass Bride team member, and I’ll be your tour guide today in the Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! I’m psyched to be helping out with these posts every other week!

This week’s CAI/GOI request comes from Anne, who has superb taste in gowns, I might add. She’s fallen in love with the Ersa Atelier “Melisse” gown, and who could blame her? With its frothy tulle skirt and delicate lace bodice detailing, I find myself wanting to twirl (dance, prance, float) around in it, too! (I also have an inexplicable desire to eat the gown … I swear it looks like fine spun sugar and cotton candy! YUM! This must be what Sugar Plum Fairies look like!) Anne likes sweetheart necklines, lacy sleeves, and beautiful backs.

Anne, honey, you’re in good company! Like I said, superb taste! But Anne’s gown budget is maxed out at $1,000, so the search is on!

It just so happens that the very details Anne is drawn to are also the same classic features that designers have been using to woo brides for decades. Sleeves are just beginning to make a comeback in modern wedding gowns, but if you’re looking for a princess-inspired gown like the “Melisse,” you’ll find a wide variety of unique, affordable options in vintage ’50’s and ’80’s styles, when lace sleeves and sweetheart necklines were also quite popular (and stunning!). If you find a gown that has great “bones” you can always have it altered to look more au courant, too!

Can't Afford It




Ersa Atelier “Melisse” (Collection ranges from $7,000-$12,000)

Get Over It

  Etsy Sweetheart Hollywood 03.05.15

Vintage Embroidered Lace Gown, $650 by Etsy seller Merletto

1950s Lace Tulle 03.05.15

Vintage 1950′s Lace and Tulle Wedding Dress, $198 by Etsy seller LaceAndYarn

Vintage Embroidered 03.05.15

Vintage Embroidered Lace Gown, $299 by Etsy seller Foreverus999

Princess Style Handmade 03.05.15

 Princess Style Wedding Dress with Lace Sleeves, $898 by Etsy seller bridalblissdesigns

Lace Keyhole 03.05.15

Lace Keyhole Back 03.05.15

Lace Wedding Dress with Sleeves and Keyhole Back, $898 by Etsy seller bridalblissdesigns

How gorgeous is that back!?!?

Bride of Frankenstein 03.05.15

Bride of Frankenstein Inspired Long Sleeve Lace Wedding Dress $898 by Etsy seller bridalblissdesigns

My personal favorite option for you, Anne, is a two-parter. In the 1950s (and as early as the 1920s and 1930s), many gowns were made to be worn again later as evening dresses, so they came with a removable lace overlay. I think this option could really work well for you!

First, find a plain-ish strapless or spaghetti strap gown in the silhouette and price range you love. There are tons of options with sweetheart necklines and flowy tulle skirts! Like one of these:


Dessy Ivory 1027 03.05.15

After Six Wedding Dress 1027, $275 at Dessy

Dessy 1049 03.05.15

 After Six Wedding Dress 1049, $525 at Dessy

Avery 03.05.15

Avery, $799 at Kennedy Blue

Mignon Dillards 03.05.15

Mignon Strapless Chiffon Gown, $398 at Dillard’s

BHLDN Annabelle 03.05.15

Annabelle, $260 at BHLDN

Alyce Claudine 03.05.15

Claudine Wedding Dresses Style 7003, $275 at

Then, add the BHLDN Marnie Topper! This gorgeous lace cover-up ($220) can be layered over virtually any sleeveless style gown to achieve a similar look as the Ersa Atelier “Melisse” inspiration gown. Check out that deep-v back!

Marnie Topper 03.05.15

Marnie Topper Back 03.05.15 

Marnie Topper, $220 at BHLDN

 If that topper’s not quite your style, I’ve got others!

 Celine Bolero 03.05.15

Celine Bridal French Lace Bolero Cover-Up Shrug in Ivory, $320 by Etsy seller girlwithseriousdream

Dessy Lace Top 03.05.15

Lace Top, $40 at Dessy

So Anne, I hope I’ve helped to solve your Can’t Afford It dilemma with some Get Over It wedding gowns. How’d I do at finding alternatives? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Bonus Pro tip: When ordering from an online retailer, sign up for their email updates and wait for the discount codes to come rolling in! But I’m sure you savvy BABs already thought of that. 

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.

Cool Wedding-y Shizz Around the Web

Have a few spring weddings to attend? Dress for the Wedding compiled some gorgeous dresses for those nearing nuptials.

This UP themed wedding on Inspired by Dis is just ridiculously awesome. The Dolly Couture dress, the sprinkle cake … and look at her ring!

Inspired By Dis Up Themed Wedding

Photo: Chris + Jenn Photos 

On Hey Wedding Lady, a husband surprises his wife with a vow renewal on a lake, a gorgeous gold gown and a freaking flower crown. Guys, take note.

You guys know I have a thing for mugs. Aisle Perfect found 10 more liquid of life (read: coffee) delivery vessels to show off your status.

Want to seriously save on your wedding flowers? Kiss My Tulle has a great step-by-step on how to makeover those supermarket bouquets.

Kiss My Tulle Supermarket Bouquet


Credit: Kiss My Tulle

One of our tried and true BAB tips is to opt for a sheetcake vs. an ornate tiered wedding cake. The BrideLink has a great tutorial for a faux tiered cake for display.

If you’ve thought about convertible bridesmaid dresses for different styles but the same color scheme, check out this post on Emmaline Bride that breaks down why it may be your best option for your gals.

For a whole ‘nother twist on bridesmaids bouquets, check out these great options on Chic Vintage Brides.

The Budget Savvy Bride offers up another one of her brilliant budget tips.

BSB Budget Tip #24Credit: The Budget Savvy Bride


Real Bride Shannon: The Shoes were Spendy #SorryNotSorry

Ok, BABs. I did a very not-Broke-Ass thing. Confession is good for the soul and all that, plus, what I did was soooo pretty.

I blew a lot of money on a pair of shoes for our wedding. At first I was kinda wringing my hands wondering how I was going to justify this expenditure to a bunch of badass, budget-savvy wedding wizards, but then I realized, there’s nothing wrong with spending some extra cash when you can. In fact, the purchase came after a long conversation with my husband-to-be about how we each deserve a splurge – a silly, just-for-us splurge.

Let’s face it: Staying strictly in budget can be really disappointing. You’re compromising; you’re settling; sometimes you’re completely doing without. It’s totally cathartic to set a little extra aside and just BLOW the money to have that one thing that is absolutely perfect, price be damned!


Seriously, do it.

Shoes were a really obvious splurge for me. About five years ago, I had an accident that resulted in my left heel and ankle shattering. Like, the specialist told me, “Your right heel is fractured; your left heel doesn’t exist anymore.” It took a massive surgery, 10 pins and a custom-made metal plate  to get the thing back together. I was told I’d be relegated to orthopedic shoes for the rest of my life, but out of sheer stubbornness, I was back in (sort of) high heels after about two years. Long story short, cheap shoes and I don’t get along. I have to have cushion and support and that usually means money.

I started hitting up the usual suspects when looking for luxe for less: Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off 5th, but I was coming up short. Actually, I was coming up tall, as in, way too tall a heel for my now struggling feet and ankles. I’ve always had a “thing” for particularly fabulous footwear, but I was getting sad and claiming, “Fabulous doesn’t come in three inches.”

One evening I was browsing my normal discount sites online and came across a new (to me) one: The Outnet. They deal in some seriously high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories, but at deeply discounted prices. As I scrolled the mid-heel formal shoes, I found it: Fabulous at Three Inches.Screenshot 2015-03-03 16.26.16

Five. Hundred. Dollars. I mean, I was under budget on my dress, venue, flowers and food, but that’s, like, a car payment.

But they were EVERYTHING I was looking for! Pearls and sparklies, ankle straps to keep them on, a heel right at three inches, and I searched online reviews and they all said Rene Caovilla makes extraordinarily comfortable shoes. Oh, bother.

Out of respect for my fiance, I had promised that I would run big purchases by him and this qualified as big. Expecting him to rein me in and encourage me to find something more affordable, I shot him a message. He didn’t balk. He didn’t cringe. He told me if I was sure, get them.

I placed the order and after a UPS delivery debacle that rivaled the saga of the engagement ring (delayed delivery, wrong address), I finally had them!


They fit perfectly and lived up to the promise of comfort. Once I got them on my feet, I didn’t care that I spent a lot. They really were everything I was looking for, and they made me feel FABULOUS!


They even have glitter soles! Silver. Glitter. Soles! I’m in heaven.

So I could have settled for something a 10th of the price. I could have used that money to buy slightly more expensive wine or a couple extra kinds of cheese, but as much as I love both of those things, eh, they’re not going to make me squee the way these shoes did. It might be a wasteful expense to some, but I really, really, really love shoes, specifically these shoes. And I’ll wear them again. I’ll wear them on the honeymoon; I’ll wear them for anniversary outing. Let’s be honest, I’ll wear them in the bedroom!

The point is, you’re going to be making a lot of “us” decisions and a lot decisions to cater to your family. I think it’s healthy to do something just for you – just remember your partner deserves the same privilege. If someone criticizes you, who cares?! You march down that aisle in your gorgeous shoes or your new diamond earrings or cheers your family with pricey champagne or kick off your Chucks before you attack a bounce house in your wedding wear! It’s your wedding, so treat yo’ self!



Add the Cool Couple Factor with Sunglasses by Promovizion

Sponsored Post Disclaimer

Add the Cool Couple Factor with Sunglasses by Promovizion

I’m kind of a huge fan of a bride and groom rocking sunglasses on their wedding day. Now, not necessarily during the ceremony or during some of the more sweet, serious moments, but certainly while hanging around at cocktail hour and of course on the dance floor and photo booth because, … #duh.

Even better? When said sunglasses are pimped just for you by our homies at Promovizion. Whether you want full-lens coverage or just a subtle nod on the legs, they’ve got shades that won’t make you throw shade. And you’ll save some cash when you order in bulk, so that’s pretty rad.

Add the Cool Couple Factor with Sunglasses by Promovizion

Guys, if you’re having a beach wedding, a farm fete or are just planning on being outside a bunch on your wedding day, stock up on these bad boys. Yes, we usually advocate edible or drinkable favors, but as a girl with a vast collection of sunglasses garnered from conferences, fairs, events and more, I can hardly say sunglasses aren’t useful.

Personalize these bad boys with your wedding deets, colors — yes even metallic and light-up — and Promovizion will have them to you in no time … seriously. Promovizion‘s turnaround is 24-48 hours. Can’t make up your mind? It’s cool. They’ve got on-site designers to help find the right pick for you.

Add the Cool Couple Factor with Sunglasses by Promovizion

Promovizion also has rad customized shirts, perfect for a bach party or to distinguish your bridal brigade during the rehearsal dinner and other pre-wedding festivities.

You guys already are the cool kids, why not solidify your awesome status with Promovizion shades that fit the bill?

Boob Love: The BABC Tour is Coming Your Way in March

The Broke-Ass Bride is proud to partner with Brides Against Breast Cancer, turning gently used designer gowns into a beacon of hope in the worldwide fight against breast cancer. If you’d like to donate your gown, here’s how. If you’re in need of a gown, Brides Against Breast Cancer runs a nationwide tour of gowns, and you should most definitely check it out when it rolls into your town! 

Brides Against Breast Cancer

New to BABC this year is a gown giveaway during the VIP portion of the show (y’all, this also usually includes food and bubbles, so … you know, there’s that). They’re testing it out at a few different shows, highlighted in bold below. A little birdie told me there are tons of other goodies in store at each show, plus the opportunity to meet with some amazing vendors in your area. Give the boobs some love and hunt for your gown at BABC!

Overland Park, KS March 6 – 7, 2015 St. Andrew’s Golf Course
Chicago, IL March 6, 7 2015 Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
Emeryville, CA March 7, 2015 Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Birmingham, AL March 8, 2015 Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel
Raleigh, NC March 13 – 14, 2015 214 Martin Street
Vancouver, WA March 14 – 15, 2015 Westfield Vancouver
Tallahassee, FL March 15, 2015 Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown
Baton Rouge, LA March 15, 2015 Renaissance Baton Rouge
Daytona Beach, FL March 21, 2015 The Plaza Historic Beach Resort & Spa
San Antonio, TX March 21 – 22, 2015 Holiday Inn San Antonio-Riverwalk
Denver, CO March 27 – 28, 2015 History Colorado Center
Tyler, TX March 27 – 28, 2015 Magnuson Grand Hotel and Conference Center Tyler
Miami, FL March 28 – 29, 2015 Double Tree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center
Asbury Park, NJ March 28 – 29, 2015 The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
Oklahoma City, OK March 28 – 29, 2015 Renaissance Convention Center Hotel & Spa
Temecula, CA March 29, 2015 Mount Palomar Winery

Real Bride Meg: It Pays to Be Patient

We’re all here for the same reason. We all want to find the best ways pinch pennies while planning our weddings, because let’s face it: Anything with the word “wedding” tacked onto it is going to cost you a lot more than it normally would. My current favorite instance of this is transportation options. When I hear the words, “These are our wedding rates,” it makes me feel sick to my stomach.

bb877597343463c61847feda89f725a9 2

Lucky for my wedding budget, I’ve always been the bargain shopper. When I walk into a store, my first move is to go straight to the clearance rack. The same goes for wedding planning. I held out on a few things hoping a good sale would come along, and I was on point for a few of those things!

Dress Shopping

It didn’t take me long to get a clear image of how I wanted to look on my wedding day, and that image included something very specific about the dress I’d wear. Like any new bride-to-be, I started pinning pretty photos of dresses … and then I did some research on prices. The dress that Pinterest made me fall in love with was tens of thousands of dollars. TENS OF THOUSANDS. Back to the drawing board …

Thanks to BAB’s “Can’t Afford It? Get Over It!” column, I was able to find more affordable bridal lines. I waited and waited for one affordable line to come out with that one specific feature I was looking for, and there it was — The One! After two separate appointments, I bought the first dress I tried on.

At the same time, I found the ideal accessory to go with my dress, and in true bargain hunter fashion, I waited to buy it. About a year later, I got an email about a major sale. 40% off — sign me up!

image1 (1)

Disclaimer: this is not “The One.”

Suit Shopping

Remember those to-do list items I had missed, and that little Valentine’s Day date at Macy’s I told you about? It literally paid for us to wait to buy Steve’s suit. We could not have lucked out any more with the sales we hit up that weekend!

Macy’s has a reputation for having some amazing deals, so Steve and I knew that’s where we would go to find his wedding day look. Upon further research, I found out they were having a President’s Day sale, their “wear red for women’s heart health” promotion (buy a $2 pin, save 20%), AND we opened a Macy’s credit card … for another 20% off every purchase that day. What was originally a $550 suit ended up around $200 for my budget-savvy groom. Steve immediately told his groomsmen to head to Macy’s that weekend to take advantage of the same offers, and they did! Seriously, perfect.


Ladies, he’s taken.


Next to cutting the guest list, invitations were my next biggest nightmare. I know, I know. What’s the big deal about a few pieces of paper? For starters, it is so gosh. darn. expensiveI had such a hard time justifying the prices of invitations that it got pushed wayyyy back on the to-do list. After about four months of pinning and deleting and pinning again and customizing, I finally found invitations that I could deal with — design and price-wise. How? Like I said, all it takes is some patience. After finding a simple and elegant design, I waited a few days to order them. I wound up coming in about $50 under my invitation budget, thanks to another amazing sale!

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.55.21 AM

My point exactly. Courtesy of

These are just some of the recent examples of how my patience has paid off, but with crunch time in full swing, it’s getting harder to wait in order to save. With that said, you can trust that I am fully equipped with coupons when I walk into Michael’s for DIY projects, I always inform my ‘maids of dress and accessory sales that pop up in my inbox, and I even have my eye on Groupon Getaways for honeymoon destinations (a little late on that one, too).

The moral of the story here is to learn how to love it or leave it. Don’t even look at dresses and accessories you know you can’t afford! As for the necessities (like invitations, bleh), get a good idea of what you like and keep one eye open for sales. Your wallet will thank you for being patient!

Ten for the Weekend: Sales, Deals and Discounts

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

1. Calling all geeks! ThinkGeek is taking 30% off all apparel until 3/1 when you use code DRESSUP.

2. Rue La La has some stellar deals right now, complete with winter close-out gear starting at $20 and some Kate Spade NY goodies.

3. BAB favorite has an ongoing list of 100 featured deals. You should probably always be checking them.


 I heart this print ($27)

4. Calling all craft beer fans! At Craft Beer Club, get $10 off prepaid Gift membership of 3 months or longer and an additional $25 off prepaid 12 month gift membership with bonus gifts included with code iSave10.

5. Get your save the dates at 25% off at Wedding Paper Divas until 3/3 with code SAVE25MAR.

6. Get your groom all gussied up and save 20% off at Bonobos as a new customer until 3/2 with code SPRINGSTYLE.


Hellooo, handsome!

7. Start thinking summery thoughts and stock up on swimwear. Target’s buy one, get one at 50% off women’s swimwear (online only) ends 2/28.

8. Play ball! Fanatics is still gearing up for baseball season with MLB gear marked down up to 40% off.

9. Gloss Jewelry’s February sale ends tomorrow! Get 65% off + free shipping with code LOVE65.

10. Stock up on pretty underthings at True & Co and get 40% off until 3/2 with code TOOMUCH40.


Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

For you brides that got engaged over the holidays and are looking at a wedding this summer, you’ve very likely starting to put your feelers out for invitation styles that you enjoy. As I’ve sat browsing through some of the new styles this season, I keep finding myself drooling over bright, bold and beautiful designs. Eye-catching jewel tones and simple but striking patterns make a statement without being overly dizzying. Here are my five favorites for this week’s Five for Friday:

Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations


In Bloom Wedding Invitation, 50 for $140 at Love vs. Design
Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations
Minimal Mod Wedding Invitations, $2.34 each at Minted
Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations
Circular Geometric Wedding Invitation, $4.50 each or for digital file for at-home printing by RubyMayDesigns at Etsy
Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations
Deep Romance Wedding Invitations, $144.50 for 50 at Wedding Paper Divas
Five for Friday: Bold and Beautiful Wedding Invitations
Floral Watercolor Invitation, $1.50 each at MagnetStreet

Do you like these bold designs, BABs? Which is your fave?

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Sottero & Midgley Inspired Gown For Under $800

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Hello BABs! It’s that time of the week again where I make someone’s wedding dress dreams come true!  This week we’re helping Nickie who had a few dresses in mind and finally narrowed it down to the lovely Sottero & Midgley gown, “Simone.” This gown features gorgeous swarovski crystals, something Maggie Sottero is known for. Nickie, I know you had some other gowns in mind, too. I actually did a post about that BHLDN, “Onyx.”  Now let’s help you get over this dress!

Can't Afford It

SOTTERO and MIDGLEY “Simone” by Sottero & Midgley $2,899

Get Over It

Etsy380Mermaid Gown With Lacy Open Back & Sweetheart Neckline $379 at ThingsInLove on Etsy

BHLDN400Lace Gown With Sheer Chiffon Crossing The Bodice (Style: 30924260) $400 at BHLDN

Etsy425Hand Beaded Flower Applique Lace Gown $425 at Lace Marry on Etsy

BBP438Strapless Sweetheart Beaded Tulle Over Lace Gown (Style: 97012) $438 at

Ruche550Mesh Overlay With Silver-Toned Beading (Style: 38466) $550 at Ruche

BBP598V-Neck Gown With Cap Sleeves Embellished With Silver Tones (Style: 82112M) $598 at

BBP630Lace Tulle Gown With Chapel Train (Style: 11583) $630 at

BBP798Lace & Tulle Gown With Cap Sleeves (Style: 78844D) $798 at

BHLDN800Embroidered Gown With Gold Thread & Cap Sleeves (Style: 31167885) $800 at BHLDN

I hope I was able to help you Nickie! I know that last gown is a little splurge-worthy but it’s just so purty I had to include it AND it’s actually a $2,400 Jenny Yoo gown so, it’s quite a bargain.  Treat yoself 2015!!! Let us know if we can help you with any other aspect of your wedding planning. Until we meet again, 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.