Posts in the 'Contributors' Category
The last week has been the first test of our vows — our ability to look beyond our own sphere of stress and lighten the burden for the other. The wedding took up so much of our life for over a year, and after our honeymoon, we had to figure out what to do with our spare time and how to fill in the newly empty gaps. Exactly a month after the wedding, we found ourselves adopting a second dog. A dog that wasn’t trained; she has taken up every single minute of time and ounce of patience we both have. She’s already a fantastic little girl (and is fast asleep at my feet as I write), but the first few days were pretty touch-and-go. The dog we adopted together before the wedding was a little older, and already pretty much trained, so he took significantly less work. It’s been so interesting to take a step back and observe our differing parenting styles, and learn from the other person’s strengths and mistakes. It’s also been really nice to have those vows to reflect on, when things get a little insane.
So what does this really have to do with weddings, you ask? Well, my advice is to make some solid plans for yourself, once it’s all over. The post-wedding blues were REAL. It took me at least two weeks to feel back to my normal self, but I still haven’t fully relaxed into every day life. If you take a honeymoon right after (or even if you don’t), try to take an extra day or two to just be at home together before you have to go back to work. I think that would have helped center us before we had to dive back into real life. But after that, you gotta get right back on that horse.
My biggest regret so far is thinking that I could take some time off from my exercise routine. I was so excited to not have to worry about my dress that I gained back the few pounds I lost right away, and I lost my progress in my endurance and strength-training. My parents also asked me last weekend what my hobbies are now that I’m done with the wedding, and I honestly didn’t have an answer for them. Granted, between working full-time and grad school part-time, friends, pets and blogging, there’s not much actual free time left over, but I wish I’d not let wedding planning become my hobby. I definitely feel a little adrift, on top of not feeling physically on top of my game anymore.
Instead of rediscovering the little things that made me happy and whole, I dove right back in to a big project — the dog. While I’m so thrilled about her, and her training progress in the last week, I just wish I’d thought a little more about my post-wedding plans, and actually scheduled some things to look forward to upon our return to everyday life. Maybe then I wouldn’t have felt as big of a gap? I haven’t even seen but one of my bridesmaids since we got back from our honeymoon! So a few weeks before your wedding, take some time out and think about what you love to do. Buy tickets for a show, plan a girls’ weekend, schedule guitar lessons or dance classes — something to get you back to feeling like YOU, instead of just BRIDE. You’re Bride You for a very short period of time, compared to the rest of your life. And if you do decide to get that pet, adopt, don’t shop!
Our first family portrait, courtesy of the continuous self-timer on our camera.
For those married BABs out there, did you find yourselves in a similar spot? How did you cope? Tell us in the comments below!
With our wedding day fast approaching, we’ve started to pay more serious attention to our registries. As a second time bride, I can’t emphasize the following enough:
REGISTER FOR THE WAY YOU LIVE.
From bridal websites and magazines to the consultants in the stores who take advantage of your excitement over holding a scanner gun, there is a lot of pressure to register for a particular type of item. But after the dust settles and all the wrapping paper has been pitched, you’re the one who has to store all of those items in your home.
Now, if you really are someone who has fancy formal dinner parties on the reg, more power to you. But if you’re not, don’t feel like you have to register for formal china and Waterford crystal. Instead, consider registering for high quality everyday items, like a bigger and/or nicer set of dishes, enough wine glasses for your whole crew, or a set of silverware that is nice to hold but also doesn’t need polishing.
Most of your guests will be happier knowing they’ve gifted you something you’ll actually lose. And if Grandma really wants to buy you something traditional, she’ll find a way no matter what you register for. But isn’t storing one ridiculous crystal bowl easier than storing the whole set?
Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! It’s been a crazy week around here, what with the awesomeness of the David’s Bridal sale, summer being her all-too-tempting-to-play-hooky self, the return of Ask Liz and so much more. When things get a little insane, I tend to fall down the rabbit hole of the Internet, and all too often find myself daydreaming about pretty dresses, fun home stuff and accessories … always accessories. Fab.com, one of my go-to resources for amazing design-centric decor, has a wedding shop. And nestled within that wedding shop is a great selection of jewelry and accessories, amazing for you or your crew. Here are five of my favorite finds, all under $100:
Ugh, Herkimer diamonds. These rough-cut diamonds are specific to an are of New York, hence the name. I’ve been ogling a ring on Etsy forever with a Herkimer diamond, but I think this pretty bracelet would do juuuuust fine for a wedding day and all the days beyond.
We’re big fans of marbling around here, and this pouch is no exception. It’s also available in a pretty blue, but I’m totally digging the pink and lime combination on this one.
Which of these gorgeous accessories catches your eye? Any fun weekend plans? Tell me in the comments below!
Yes, “Ask Liz” is back for the rest of the summer. If you have a burning wedding question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The team knows where to find me.
Photo: Lucky Photographer
We had a small ceremony a few weeks ago, and we’re sending out our wedding announcements now. We don’t want anyone to send us gifts, how do we word that on the announcement?
No Swag, Please
Okay, so wedding announcements are a little different from wedding invitations. Traditionally, you’re not supposed to mention gifts on your invites at all — it’s rude to tell your guests that you expect them to get you something. This is why you put your gift registration on a separate card, or on another page of your wedding website. Never shove the gimme-grabbing in people’s faces. If you don’t want gifts, you can write something cute like, “No gifts, your presence is present enough” on a card or website, which, to be honest, causes my teeth to ache a little bit. I’m a bigger fan of not putting registration info in either, at all. If someone asks where you’re registered, you tell them that you don’t want gifts, just guests (wince). Odds are, a few people won’t read or notice the omission, and will end up giving you cards with cash or checks in them. And the only response to that is “Thank you.”
But, since you’re sending wedding announcements, instead? Don’t mention gifts at all, unless someone asks, in which case you tell them, “No, we don’t want/need gifts, but thank you!” Always end with a thank you.
Our wedding is in two weeks and we’re really struggling with how to seat people. The tables fit 10 people and we have 125 guests. Are there any “rules” for who should sit where?
Ooh, most of the time I stay away from seating arrangements, because you know your guests, and their various relationships with each other, and I … don’t. No one has an easy time doing it, though, if it’s any consolation. Start with who absolutely cannot be at the same table with each other — divorced couples, divorced parents, known mortal enemies, etc. Let’s call them the problem children. Put them at separate tables. Move on to your family and wedding party. Do you want your wedding party all at one table ,or is it okay if they are scattered around? Remember, couples and other family units should sit together. So, by now you have five or six tables of people who should and can spend an evening together, so just fill it in. Go over it at least three times (sorry), if you’re not sure, ask whoever whatever questions you need to in order to make it work , try not to overcompensate for the problem children. You can’t make everyone happy. Once you’ve got the table seating down, work on where each table should go in relation to all the others. It’s not uncomplicated, but it’s definitely doable.
How’s your guest seating going? Are there more problem children than you thought? Let me know if you any questions or tips of your own in the comments below.
And if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, come over to www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Happy Thursday, folks! It is hot, hot, hot and humid in my neck of the woods these days, but you know what else is hot? Today’s CAI/GOI gown request from bride Catie. She commented on this post with the following:
“I have been in love with Julie Vino for quite some time! Nothing compares to this dress but I couldn’t fathom spending 10,000 dollars. I love a line gowns because of the flow and ease. The detail of these dresses are impeccable but yet so simple! Help me!!! Would like to find something like this for less than 3,000!”
The dress she is talking about is Style 603b from the 2014 Fall line. It is gorgeous! The gown features a flowing A-line skirt with train and a lace bustier corset top with spaghetti straps. Julie Vino is so good at designing gowns that are sexy, but not over the top. The 603b gown, in particular, is beautifully balanced with its long flowing skirt and detailed and somewhat revealing bustier. Julie Vino knows what she is doing, but with that knowledge comes a decidedly un-Broke-Ass price tag. Not to worry, Catie, I’m on it, with dress alternatives below that are actually even lower than your $3000 max budget. Let’s do this!
You could also try pairing separate skirt and top pieces. I’ve suggested an ivory skirt and two tops below from BHLDN that would pair nicely. Just be sure your top and skirt are the same or coordinating shades of white or ivory.
Lastly, you could also purchase a corset top from the lingerie/shapewear section of your favorite store. Obviously, you’d be looking for something with a little more coverage than normal for this to work. (We don’t want Grandma passing out from witnessing a nip slip. ) But there is shapewear out there that could totally be rocked as a wedding top, and many look very much like the top of your favorite Julie Vino gown above. A suggestion:
Well, Catie, what do you think? I’ve given you a lot of different options in a variety of price points. I hope there’s a dress or skirt/top combo out there that gets you the Julie Vino look for less. Good luck and happy shopping!
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.
Sometimes, I feel like pulling out my hair when it comes to wedding planning. There are days, or even just hours at a time where the whole thing feels insurmountable and like I can’t get it all done in the time I’ve allotted myself. Other times, I feel a complete zen. Whatever will be will be. We’re going to figure out solutions. The right vendor will present themselves when we’re ready to find them. It occurs to me that as long as we get married, nobody will care if everything is perfect or not anyway. I had a day recently that was split between the two and it made me think a lot about where all the pressure I was feeling was really coming from.
It started out with me emailing back and forth with my bridesmaids about their dresses. The dresses themselves have been picked out for a while now. The question became where to order them from. There were two shops in question: One did alterations in-house; The other was $10 less but everyone would have to find their own seamstress to take care of their dress. I didn’t want to be too pushy and end up with the label of “Bridezilla” but I also feared being too wishy-washy. If the decision wasn’t made soon, my ladies would be walking down the aisle in whatever old thing they had laying around. With every email sent and received I couldn’t help but feel like my every response was being judged. My head was telling me everyone thought I was an idiot, or maybe they just thought I was a jerk. I was sure texts were going back and forth about my incompetence. I was frustrated. I was just trying to do the best by everyone to make sure they were saving as much money as possible because let’s be real, I’m not the only Broke-Ass involved in this wedding!
Later that same day, my mom and I picked up my 9-year-old niece from day camp. When we got back to my house we started talking about the wedding. She sat on the couch searching through a bridal catalogue. “You don’t need these … You don’t need this … or this … or this,” she said pointing at various decor items that she thought were superfluous. If she said it about something I did plan on including, I explained why and she accepted my explanation and moved on to the next item. She asked questions, and I didn’t feel nervous about answering. My oldest nephew (who is older than me by a few years … woohoo big families!) got married a few months back, and so she told me all the things she really liked about his wedding. They weren’t extravagant things. They were things like getting to sit with the people she liked, pretty color schemes and the fact that there was a box where people could share “ideas” (advice) with the bride and groom. It was super relaxing to be able to talk about the wedding with someone who was excited about the little things, but also really honest about how she felt about everything. If I were to call myself a Bridezilla, chances are she’d find herself picturing a dinosaur in an ivory gown.
The “design” my niece came up with during our conversation. Short and sweet just like her!
This isn’t really about who I’m talking to though. My ‘maids and my flower girls all care about my wedding somewhat equally. Sometimes, the stories we create in our heads are much harsher than what is actually going on. I can cook up all sorts of crazy things for myself at times: Everybody thinks you’re high maintenance, or everybody thinks you’re a pushover. Everyone is trying to hijack your day. Nobody cares about your wedding and finds the whole thing to be a total annoyance. The people you’re thinking these thoughts about most likely love you very much. That’s why they’re part of your day. In turn, you likely love them very much as well and that’s why their opinion of you means so much. If they’re questioning you, maybe it’s because they have more experience. Maybe it’s because they have less experience and think you’ll have better answers than they will. Maybe they’re even just looking to see what’s up. Talking with adults comes with certain expectations, some founded and others unfounded. Maybe that’s what sets them apart from talking to kids.
The secret of wedding zen might not be dealing solely with children as I plan out my special day. It could be more about leaving my assumptions and concerns about what people are thinking about me at the front door. I’d probably be better off taking people at face value instead of letting my insecurities come alive and run wild through my mind. I need to push issues that mean something to me and not sweat the issues that don’t. These insecurities don’t serve me any purpose except to separate me from those I love and create unnecessary stress surrounding a day that’s supposed to be about coming together and being happy. Even if people really are thinking any of those things, does it serve me, my sanity or my wedding to acknowledge it? In most situations, not really.
At the end of the day, we picked a bridal boutique and got the ball rolling on ordering dresses. One day, I was freaking out that we wouldn’t be able to get our act together, and literally the next we were all set. My freaking out was for naught. It all came together in the end anyway, with the help of the people I love enough to ask to stand next to me at the altar, and a few new ideas from one of the kids that will be tossing flowers all over the place.
How have you managed your wedding freak outs? Have you received any sage wisdom from an unexpected source? Share in the comments!
That’s the sound I made when we stepped off the plane and the Caribbean air hit my face. It’s the noise my new husband had mentioned two weeks before when he said, “I can’t wait until I hear you sigh in relief on our honeymoon and finally get to relax,” during a stressful night of wrapping up our wedding plans.
Courtesy of someecards.com
Guys, it’s really, really important for you to take note of when you’re feeling super overwhelmed and stressed out, and to make time to take care of it — before and after your wedding day. I know how it can be to feel like you’ve gone in over your head and you’ll never get it all done in time. But trust me when I say that it’ll all work out, and you need to take care of yourself first.
The week before our wedding day, Steve and I set a deadline of when everything needed to get done. Like, everything. So, we decided the Wednesday before the wedding would be that day. Why? Because after more than seven years of dating, we wanted to take a step back and reflect on all of the great things we had been through in those last seven years. We were taking our relationship to the next level — new titles, new anniversary date, etc., — so we wanted to enjoy our last days being “single.”
The great part about having this deadline is that I scheduled some time to pamper myself during the day Thursday, and we made plans for a dinner date that night. We didn’t give ourselves much of a choice — we had to get everything done the night before. It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with my fiancé one last time.
The next night was our rehearsal dinner. You know what’s great about your rehearsal dinner? All you have to do is show and up and enjoy it! Or at least this was my case. My in-laws took care of everything. My only request was that it was casual and relaxed — and it was! We spent the night dining at a vineyard, and a cupcake truck even showed up at one point.
The whole crew at rehearsal dinner! Courtesy of Shanna Cattell
The 48 hours of chill time bled into the day of the wedding, which was the ultimate goal — to not be stressed out or anxious. While Steve and his groomsmen were getting shaved and bumming around at his parents’ house, us ladies were at a hotel getting our hair and makeup done with mimosas. My ‘maids were seriously THE BEST that morning. While I didn’t feel nervous at all, my stomach was doing somersaults all day long. They kept me laughing while we rocked out to vintage love songs. That’s about where my relax time ended for the day as we had some seriously partying to do!
Can we talk about how I literally stayed in bed until 2 pm? Courtesy of my new sister Katelyn Gudknecht
Now, the tricky part about marrying a school teacher in a snowy state is that you don’t know when the last day of school will be when you book your wedding. With that said, we both went back to work the week after the wedding, but not with a little breather in between. The Monday after, we slept in (a luxury these days) and then spent a day acting like tourists in our own city.
Then, came the honeymoon. AHHHHHHH. While we went back and forth on where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it, we eventually settled on going the all-inclusive route, or what I like to refer to as “turning your brain off for a few days.” We didn’t have a care in the world — as long as we had the sun, sand and each other, we were good! We ultimately came home feeling refreshed and ready for the next stage in live — being husband and wife!
We honeymooned in La Romana, Dominican Republic!
So, my advice is this: When you’re feeling like this whole wedding planing thing has no finish line, just realize that at some point, you gotta let it go and let it all happen. Your wedding day is your day, so be able to enjoy it!
It’s Christmas in July! No, not really, but pretty damn close, y’all.
David’s Bridal is having their hugest sale of the season. And by huge, we mean RIDICULOUS. For serious. From wedding dresses to styles for your entourage to all those pretty little sparkly adornments, prices are slashed across the board:
* Wedding dresses that were originally $300-$600 are now as low as $99, with discounts of $50-$200 off David’s Bridal’s largest selection of frocks.
* All bridesmaids dresses (except Special Value dresses, which are marked as such) are $20 off.
* Regular priced jewelry and shoes are Buy One, Get One 50% off (heeeyyyy bridesmaid gifts)!
* And for the extra cherry on top, all clearance accessories, shoes and gifts are an extra 40% off.
OK, that’s a lot of info, right? And what are you supposed to do, just amble on into the store and try to figure out what’s what amid the chaos? Nah, we wouldn’t do that to you. To start, if you dug any of the dresses in this post then you’re in luck — those beauties are all game for some dollar-saving action! But I’mma go ahead an do you an even bigger solid.
I pulled together a few favorite looks and worked with the team at David’s to pair them with accessories that (shock! gasp!) are also on sale so you can attack this awesomeness with a game plan and come out on top. Cool? I thought so.
Style Tip: strapless gowns are perf for a statement-making necklace. Keep your other bedazzlers sweet ‘n’ simple — a pair of simple studs pull the look together without being too much.
Style Tip: Want vintage? Get a blusher. Bonus: They’re versatile, so if you decide to slip into something shorter for the dance floor, this little baby will easily work for both outfits.
Style Tip: Though small, a little clip with a dash of sparkle is a good way to add some pizazz to your hair without rocking a veil. The flower clip complements the beaded floral applicque bodice. Throw on some arm candy and you’re all set!
Veil, Top: $299.95 Veil, Bottom: $49.95 Gown: $449
Style Tip: Want to ooze that bridal feeling on your big day? Grab a veil. mid-length tulle style with a pencil edge (bottom) is soft and subtle while a longer cathedral-length amps up the drama. Try on various styles to see what works best for you.
Necklace: $10 Veil: $129.95 Gown: $649
Style Tip: Gold + jewel tones = holy regal, Batman! However, the metallic hue also works well with neutrals and pastels. So, of course, gold wins. Shoe, Top: $59.50 Shoe, Bottom: $59.95 Dress: $79.99
Style Tip: If your crew is donning something bright, metallic shoes and accessories are probz the way to go. In styles of their choosing but in one shimmery hue, they’ll look coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. Plus, um, can we talk about that knuckleduster clutch?
Style Tip: Let your crew customize their look — you pick the frock, they get the say over how they accessorize. Perhaps gift them with a gorgeous clutch that will complement their styles.
Well, Broke-Asses, what are you waiting for? Get thee to David’s Bridal and save some skrilla on your wedding day goodies!
Which of the above looks is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!
Call me crazy, but I am doing my own makeup for my wedding — and I am excited about it! I am a kid in a candy shop at Sephora. I love finding new products and trying new trends. I find it therapeutic to sit down at my dining room table with my light up mirror and apply my makeup for a night out. I’m no professional but I because of my love of doing up my face, I decided to do my wedding day makeup myself. I have had my makeup done professionally as a bridesmaid for past weddings and $100 later I walked away a bit disappointed. It looked good but I was never wowed.
After doing a lot of Pinteresting and some trial runs, I have decided on a daytime smokey eye look with a red lip. Here are a list of my favorite products that I will be using on my wedding day.
– Primer – Make Up For Ever Step 1 Base Matifiante Skin Equalizer (Travel Size $16)
Great for a summer wedding to keep your skin looking even and matte.
– Concealer – L’Oréal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Concealer ($10)
Covers under eye dark circles and de-puffs. I even use it as a regular concealer for the rest of my face.
– Foundation – Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (1.01 oz $43)
This stuff was designed to use in front of high definition cameras for TV and Film. Since I will be in front of a camera all day long on the big day I am going to need this.
– Bronzer – Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer ($28)
Hoola and I are in a long term relationship. I love it because it doesn’t have that sparkly junk in it like other bronzers do and it looks really natural.
– Blush – NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30)
This blush is a cult classic. It gives a small amount of shimmer to make your cheekbones pop.
– Setting Spray – Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix (4.22 oz $30)
Its like hairspray for your face…except its not sticky and gross.
– Eye shadow Primer – Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20)
If you want your eye makeup to look good and stay put for an extended period of time you got to use this stuff.
– Eye Shadow – Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette ($25.99)
This palette has 12 colors ranging from black to champagne. I can do a ton of different smokey eyes with it including my daytime gold smoky eye for the wedding.
– Eyeliner – Maybelline Master Kajal Cream Kohl Eyeliner ($6.99)
Great to line the lower and upper waterline without destroying your eye.
– Liquid Eyeliner – L’Oréal 12 Hour Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($6)
THIS IS THE BEST LIQUID EYELINER EVER. PERIOD. END OF STORY. But seriously you can make cat eyes galore with ease. I can even apply it on the train in the morning.
– Mascara – Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System ($35)
I have stubby lashes so I treasure this stuff. It comes with two tubes. The first is the mascara which is great by itself. The second is a small white tube with tiny nylon fibers in it. You brush on the mascara, then the nylon fibers and then the mascara again. You can repeat the steps to create bigger and better lashes. It looks amazing!
– Faux Lashes – Ardell Duralash Individuals in Flare Medium Black ($4)
Ardell Brush on Lash Adhesive ($2)
I never liked strips of lashes. It always looked way too fake. That’s why these little puppies are great at creating a believable “yes they’re real and fabulous” look.
– Lip Mask – Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lip Mask and Balm Duo ($23)
Yeah it sounds weird but this stuff gets your lips soft for an even application of lipstick. Its especially important if you plan on using longwear lipstick.
– Lip Stick – NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ($26)
I don’t get how they make this lipstick stays on your lips so well and for so long. Seriously, you can wear this stuff and eat sloppily and not have to reapply. It’s amazing and worth every penny. I will definitely be wearing this on my wedding day.
Are you planning on doing your own makeup? What’s your go-to regimen look like? Tell us in the comments below!