Broke-Ass Category: Contributors


Affiliate Disclaimer NewI made my first wedding craft!!! It was a lot of fun, and it helped to get me excited again about the wedding! When you spend the first part of your engagement trying to come up with a budget, venue, and all that goes with it, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. We have been through our fair share of ups and downs as I stress myself out about money and waffle over what seems to be the insurmountable task of having an affordable wedding. The marriage — that’s what I’m excited about, so recently we decided to invest in our house and make it a better place to spend our married days together. Then we will have the wedding at home. Now that we have made a final decision, we can start working toward making it happen.

I had a much needed girls day last weekend that was spent with a fellow budget bride making wedding crafts. I decided that my project would be bridesmaid proposals for the ladies I love. I wanted to make some cute boxes that had a few treats and something personalized, but I also needed to make six of them and I just couldn’t spend a lot of money right now.

bab heather

I have two bridesmaids that are under 21: my daughter and my soon to be sister-in-law. For them, I decided to make a box with bath products and chocolates. I bought two mason jars with lids at Dollar Tree for $1 each. I personalized them with an oil-based paint marker. I filled each jar with bubble bath, added some bath bombs, candy, and a note.

Bridesmaid proposal box for underage bridesmaids

For my lovely ladies who can drink, I made them personalized stemless wine glasses, added some wine, chocolates, and a note.

Bridesmaid proposal box for bridesmaids

I had been stressing that the boxes and materials were going to blow my budget. I found the photo storage boxes at Michael’s on a door buster deal for $2 each! I also found two coupons that they allowed me to use together. I bought seven boxes (in case I messed one up), four Sharpie oil paint markers, two packages of card stock, gold spray paint (didn’t use), and after my coupons it cost me $36 for the materials, the cost of the contents was not too much per box, so I am super excited about the outcome!

Did you DIY proposals for your crew? Share them in the comments!

  • 7/22

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    Ring Security Polo Shirt by TheKnottedPalm

    Ring Security Polo Shirt, $22+ by Etsy seller TheKnottedPalm

    Will your ring bearer be the only security at your wedding?

    Hey guys, keep your advice questions coming!

    Dear Lisa,

    My MIL says I need to hire security for our wedding reception, but I don’t really want to pay extra for security and it’s a squeeze for our budget, plus I think it would offend our guests. Do I have to do it?

    Thanks a million!
    Fearless BAB


    Dear Fearless,

    Any unexpected and/or un-fun expense is an unwelcome one. Often couples don’t think about wedding security until late in the game, so when it pops up, it can be an unpleasant surprise. Many couples have never even heard of using security for weddings, but it is quite common in the U.S., depending on your region, venue and the size of your wedding reception. And truly, most guests don’t think twice about it, especially if they’ve ever been to large events or concerts, so I don’t think you have to worry about that angle.

    Pros of Hiring Security

    1. It might be required. It sounds like your venue might not require security, but that’s the first thing to check: Does your venue require security? If so, do they provide it? (and at what cost?) If your venue requires you to have security, then yes, you definitely have to pay for the service. It’s not exactly a “pro,” but it’s a really good reason to do it. Sometimes security is built into the rental fee for a venue so you may not even be aware that you’re getting the service, but if not, always ask if it’s provided and/or required.

    2. It’s their job to have your back. If your venue doesn’t require you to have security, you might still want to consider it. Events can get out of control quickly and without warning, even in groups of the best-natured people (due to high emotions and sometimes free-flowing alcohol over many hours), and you’d be surprised how handy a security officer can be under those conditions. And regardless of your own guests’ behavior, there’s always a slim chance for wedding crashers or uninvited guests, who might cause a ruckus or even steal from the gift table (it happens, y’all). Security officers can shut that down swiftly, sometimes without you ever knowing about it. The point is, security is there as much to protect you, your family, and your guests as they are there to keep guests from getting out of hand.

    3. You can stay out of the drama. Say the unlikely does happen, and a couple of your guests (or even family) get into it, or someone spontaneously acts on a really bad idea. You’ll never have to get in the middle or break a sweat, because security will take care of it — and they are highly trained in doing so.

    4. You’ll barely notice they’re there. Unless there’s a reason for them to jump in and save the day, most professional security officers will be discreet and you might even forget they’re there. Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: Say thank you to your security! Security officers work long hours in a thankless job. If you’re able, it’s a kind gesture to offer them a cup of coffee, some water or even food or cake. 

    What Security Won’t Do

    There are exceptional stories out there about security officers going above and beyond the call of duty (and I’ve met my fair share: one such officer even helped my staff to clean up at the end of the night!), but in general, don’t expect your security officers to be your wait staff, step in to do the job of any of your vendors, hold your hair back or look the other way if you’re the one getting out of control.

    As a wedding planner, I always recommend security to my clients who are holding weddings anywhere but their own back yards (and even then it might be worth it). But I’m a Type-A planner in every sense of the word, and I tend to plan for the worst case scenarios as well as the best possible outcomes. If you’re comfortable without a security guard and it’s not required by your venue, then go ahead and nix that line item from your budget!

    – Party on!


    Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 7/21

    Eve Gown from Rue de Seine

    Today's CAI/GOI request is for a lovely Rue de Seine look-alike. Reader Emily commented on this post asking for help finding a gown similar to the New Zealand designer's "Eve" from the Young Love and Nomadic Love collections. Emily says she is addicted to Rue de Seine designs, and who can blame her?! Rue de Seine gowns are soft, feminine, and romantic. The "Eve" gown…

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    And that's okay! We're a little over two months out from our wedding, so Russel and I decided to check out the progress at our venue this past weekend. It was actually a triple-duty trip to Amish country -- we worked on our invitations, stopped by the fairgrounds, and spent QT with my parents. Our summer has been insanely busy, so we haven't been able…

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    There are places in my life that I feel so connected to by memories and experiences that they almost take on a life of their own. My parents' house (where Matt and I currently call home as we save to buy a house of our own) is like that. The campground where we got engaged, where I'm writing this from currently on a surprise trip…

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  • 7/18

    Real Bride Amy enjoys her Bridal Shower

    This past weekend, I had my bridal shower! I was pretty excited about an opportunity to celebrate with my friends. Like all things, I had to do something a little bit nontraditional. Since I'm not having a formal bridal party, there was initially some question over what the shower plans would be, but I have great friends, so a group of my would-be bridesmaids planned…

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    Mixbook Photo Book Cover

    It's been a hot second since we've done a good Five for Friday around here, and I'm switching it up a little this week. Mixbook recently gave me the opportunity to put together my own hardcover photo book (because I got married, y'all) and I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you my top five reasons why I'm super stoked I went this route…

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    Hayley Paige Ginger 1604

    Hey BABs! Got your heart set on a lacy, long-sleeved gown? Reader Steph does: Do you have any suggestions for a "can't afford it, get over it" on the Ginger gown from Hayley Paige? I love it but shouldn't spend more than $1,200 on my dress. The sweetheart lace bodice with sheet sleeves and lacy appliques is stunning! Let's see what we can find! Hayley…

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  • 7/13


    Oh hey, we're married!  It's been a little over a month since we tied the knot, and things are getting back to normal. The first thing that people asked us when we returned from our mini-moon was, "how does it feel like to be married?" And honestly, we both say that nothing really feels all that different ... I just have a new last name…

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