Posts in the 'Contributors' Category

Ten for the Weekend: Sales, Deals and Discounts

Affiliate Disclaimer New

1. Love yoga but hate going to classes? Yoga Download is offering their Yearly Elite membership for $60 (normally $90) with code EARTH15YE until 4/23.

2. Etsy seller WonderfullyHooked2U is hooking BABs up with 20% off at her shop when you use Coupon20 at checkout. Oh, and score free shipping with code Brokebride.

WonderfullyHooked2U Mr & Mrs Hangers
Love these personalized hangers!

3. Want to show off your engagement pics? Shutterfly is knocking 50% off hard cover photo books and 30% off everything else with code 50AND30 until 4/22.

4. At Wedding Paper Divas, save 15% off program, menu, place card, table card, napkin and coaster orders of $49 or more or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code 20DAYOFAPR until 4/21.

5. Need some new glasses for your wedding day? is having a Buy One Get One sale with code B1G1 until 4/30.

6. Head to MagnetStreet where you can get 15% off + free shipping on wedding products with codeWEAA4FS until 4/27.

MagnetStreet Flat Rectangle Modern Flirtation Invitations

I’m digging this new invitation style!

7. Get your groom looking dapper with 20% off at Bonobos when you use code SPRINGSTYLE through 4/30.

8. Want some pretty wedding day accessories without spending tons? Gloss Jewelry is taking 80% off everything on the site + free shipping with code GLOSS80FREE until 4/30.

9. Being a Broke-Ass Bride has its perks, yo! Get 5% off sitewide at LunaBazaar with code BROKEBRIDE5.

10. Size 10+? We got you. Kiyonna is taking 20% off orders of $150+ with code SPRING2015 until 5/15.

Kiyonna Luna Lace Dress

The Luna Lace dress is so pretty and super on-trend!

Happy Shopping, BABs!


Five for Friday: Fabulous Etsy Finds for Your Wedding

Affiliate Disclaimer New

Happy Friday, darlings! Since you’re in the midst of wedding planning, I’m sure you know Etsy is a dearth of amazing handmade goodness, often for fairly broke-ass friendly prices. From a fun guest book to a gorgeous gown to a wine-lover’s way to commemorate marriage milestones, this week’s Five for Friday is chock-full of great Etsy finds.

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses  Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses, $98+ by RenzRags

I know BABs are into having their brigade choose their own style of dress, because one style doesn’t always work for everyone. These gorgeous dresses can come in different lengths and a whole swath of colors, and have a pretty nice price tag to boot.

Etsy EKG Heart Necklace

Heartbeat Necklace, $26 by HalalMill

Your partner makes your heart go pitter-patter, so why not show that on your wedding day? This necklace would make a gorgeous day-of accessory.

Etsy Drop Top Guest Book

DropTop Wedding Guest Book, $145+ by ACFCustoms

Yes, this one is a little spendy, but it’s an idea I have yet to see for a wedding guest book. Considering it reminds me of Connect Four (remember that game?) and will make a gorgeous piece of wall art after the big day, I’d say it’s worth a bit of a splurge.

Bohemian Lace dress

Bohemian Lace Wedding Dress, $470 by PolinaIvanova

This dress caught my eye and I’m totally digging it. The lace detail is gorgeous, it looks soft and flowy, it has built-in bra cups and it’s under $500. That’s a lot of awesome for one dress.

Etsy Marriage Milestone Wine Labels

6 Custom Married First Wine Labels, $26.99 by LabelWithLove

Calling all oenophiles! This is such a great idea — even better if the wine comes from friends and family in the form of engagement / wedding presents. Then you have a special bottle from a special person to celebrate those special milestones during your marriage.

What do you think of these Etsy finds BABs?

When Your Wedding Isn’t The Only Wedding


We got an email from a bride who has been invited to two other weddings this year, on the same day, on the other side of the country. Two. Yes, it’s definitely that time of year, not to mention that time of your life. Your wedding is not the only show in town, it’s not even the only one you have tickets to. She’d love to go to both weddings, is that possible? She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, which is an easy thing to do when everyone is on social media. Or should she just choose one? And, if so,  how does she do that?

What “Both” Looks Like

So, you’re going to one ceremony and one reception, that’s the least complicated way to do it. From the time you sit down the end of the ceremony is going to be an hour. The cocktail hour, is well, an hour. And then there’s dinner, immediately afterward. And somewhere in there you’ve got to get from Wedding A to Wedding B.

So, be realistic. If the weddings are 30 minutes away from each other then you can go to both. Ceremony, hang out for 15 minutes afterward to say hello to everyone, grab an appetizer, and bail.   If your answer is, “I can probably make it in for dinner if there’s no traffic and everything starts on time,” that’s not going to work, because there will be, and it won’t. If the weddings are starting at different times, then you  should just choose one to go to.

But if it looks like it’s going to work out, your first step is to let both couples know what’s going on. That’s a meal one person doesn’t need to pay for, and one meal another does, at the pre-requite $79,95 per person, plus tax and service, you know? Most couples don’t  expect everyone to be able to make it. They would love you to come, of course, but they need to know if you are coming, at all.   You’d want the same consideration.  Keep it simple, “Can’t make it to both the ceremony and reception, but I’d love to see you, so I’d like to RSVP for x” Send them an email and send the card back . Do it both ways, not just one, and to both couples, not just one.

Choosing One

Seriously, Which one do you really want to go to?   I know, that sounds harsh. “Really want to go” meaning the one where you’re most looking forward to the most. The one that you think will be more fun. Or maybe there’s one that you have to go to, like your cousin’s, or you know, your Dad’s! If it’s not that easy, pick the one whose invite you got first. That’s a good excuse/reason, too. But you’re going to have to choose.

Choose You

You’re not going to hurt as many feelings as you think you are, so don’t twist yourself into knots trying to make everyone happy. Do what you know is best for you, especially since your wedding is coming up to. If this is going to stress you out, either psychologically or, more likely, financially, then go with the option that won’t, even if that means opting out entirely. That’s okay, too.

So, how many other weddings have you been invited to this year? How did you decide which ones to go to? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of Wedding World, visit

See you at the end of the aisle,



Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Monique Lhullier’s Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown under $1,500

Affiliate Disclaimer New

Before we get down to the business of Gown Hunting, let’s take a moment to welcome our new BAB team member, Caitlyn, who did a bang-up job on her post last week! Kudos, Caitlyn!

And now back to the fashion frenzy, reader fanfanstella had the most eloquent way of phrasing her dress dilemma. In her comment to another CAI/GOI post, she said the Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown “doesn’t come with a price tag as beautiful as the gown.” I hear ya, hon! That Chantilly lace is divine, and it has such an understated elegance in a delicate column silhouette with eyelash trim at the sweetheart neckline, so let’s get to work finding a replacement for under $1,500!

(And hey, if you weren’t already aware, we pay close attention to reader comments, so drop us a line if you need help finding that perfect gown!)

  Can't Afford It

Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown

Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown, $3,890 at ShopBop

Get Over It

Nicole Miller Jamie

Nicole Miller Jamie Gown, $1,400 at BHLDN

Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress Zappos

Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress (Style: 7439), $278 at Zappos

Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown ShopBop

Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown, $1,495 at ShopBop

Zappos Nicole Miller Nina Gown

Nicole Miller Nina Bridal Gown, $1,200 at Zappos

Watters Lucinda

Watters Lucinda, $400 at BHLDN

Lace Georgette Ann Taylor

Lace Georgette Spaghetti Strap Gown, $795 at Ann Taylor

J. Crew Brianna

Brianna Gown, $450 at J. Crew

Best bridal Prices Watters Tina

Watters Tina, Style 52138, $778 at BestBridalPrices

Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown

 Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown, rent it for $185 at Rent The Runway

Etsy IdoCouture Sheath Lace Sweetheart Silhouette

Sweetheart Lace Sheath Silhouette, $950 by Etsy seller IDoCoutureBridal

V-Neck Etsy

V-Neck V-Back Lace Wedding Gown, $500 by Etsy seller BrendasBridal

Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: The column style gown, otherwise known as a sheath style, can be curve hugging to the point of restricting movement. If you plan to break it down at your reception, do a “dress rehearsal” in the dressing room while trying on the gown. Test out a few of your signature moves so you’ll know what you’ve got to work with.  

So did you get your Chantilly lace fix? I know I sure did! Which gown is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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.

Real Bride Julie: It’ll Be Better Before You Get Married

Love Heart Created By Clouds In Blue Sky And Building

“It’ll be better before you get married.”

This is something I’ve heard my whole life about all manners of injuries, from skinned knees to feeling heartbroken. I’m fairly certain it’s an Irish saying my grandmother brought over with her when she landed in Boston  Now I’m starting to wonder if that’ll really be the case. I’ve got a little under seven months until my wedding. Am I really going to have this all figured out by then?

I’ve been in a total fog lately and  my head is swimming. I constantly feel like I’m forgetting something and most of the time, I am. From what I’ve heard, pregnant women go through something similar. From what I’ve heard, it happens because of the hormones and stress their body is going through … not that I think I’m dealing with something as extreme as what women go through during pregnancy, but I do think that there’s something to the idea of bridal brain drain and it makes sense. Many modern couples are typically working and the idea of throwing the “perfect” wedding inundates you constantly.  Over the last few weeks as we’ve jumped full-force into planning it’s been hitting me more than ever.

A good example happened last week. I have a notebook where I keep all my wedding related notes — questions to ask vendors, daily to-do lists, and of course my (possible) new name scribbled over and over again. I set up a to-do list and then jumped into some other work I had for the day. When I came back to my to-do list around lunch time, I realized it was incomplete.

To Do List

 Um …

Yeah … I have no idea who I was thinking I’d meet with, or if it was even definitely wedding related. So there was that. Then the next day I realized the reason that my credit card payment hadn’t come out of my special wedding savings account just yet was because I had put the account number in completely incorrectly. Another time we got completely lost trying to find where the florist had asked us to park when we went to meet with her because I wrote down the most nonsensical notes ever. Yeah … that happened.

And on nearly a daily basis I find myself in the midst of a conversation with someone and suddenly totally unaware of what I was supposed to say next, what I was just saying, or any of what had been said recently by anyone in the general vicinity. This isn’t like me and it’s frustrating and a little bit scary. I don’t want to forget anything for the big day and I don’t want to overlook anything that might lead to trouble (or having to spend more money) down the road. Staying mentally sharp can be a challenge, especially when you’re dealing with so many moving parts like florists, caterers, DJ’s and even guests. It’s a little bit overwhelming but I’ve come up with a few different things to deal with it all:

  • Write things down!  The second I sit at my desk at work in the morning, I open to a new page of my notebook and I jot down anything that comes into my head throughout the day. I don’t always know what my notes mean but I usually can decipher what’s going on. I also keep good notes when I’m on the phone with vendors, or in vendor meetings. It might be helpful to develop a shorthand that you share with your fiance. Maybe even keep a key to it in the notebook. handy dandy My notebook! Nothing magical here. Just something I picked up while grocery shopping but it’s definitely been a lifesaver.
  • Use your phone to its fullest extent.  You’re carrying a supercomputer around with you every day. Take notes there, even quick voice memos if it’s easier. Google things.  Screenshot decor ideas you like and go through your pictures nightly to check out things you may have liked throughout the day. Screenshots Here’s an example of my personal screenshots … some wedding related, others not so much but it’s kind of like a snapshot of what I thought was important throughout the day.
  • Set up a special email that both you and your fiance have access to and check it regularly. This was hands down the best thing we did in our planning process thus far. We set up a Gmail … which means we also have a Google calendar which we use to set up vendor meetings and keep track of each others schedules (and we push these items to our calendars on our phones so we’re synced up). We also have use of Google Drive, which is where our guest list and other wedding docs reside. Knowing that we have all this information in one place where we can both access it at any time takes a lot of weight off of both of our shoulders. It also simplifies the process of reaching out to vendors. It makes communication with everyone flow much more easily.
  • Take a time out. When you feel like you’re losing focus because you’re trying to focus too much, take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, watch a movie, meditate, pray, do some yoga, go out for ice cream, whatever works best for you. For me, I take an hour and I work out. It helps me to stop thinking for a bit and think better when I come back to everything. I’m able to collect my thoughts without feeling the urge to act on any of them immediately.

Above all else … keep calm and carry on. Freaking out about things and getting mad at yourself for feeling out of it will only make you stress more. It’s a vicious cycle. If you find ways to calm yourself, you’ll find that you might even come out of the fog a little bit. When you find yourself feeling lost, take a deep breath and say to yourself “It’ll all be better before I get married” and guess what? It actually will, eventually.

Real Bride Meg: Up Close and Personal

As you may recall, I interviewed a few of my favorite former brides just a few weeks ago, one of them being a bridesmaid of mine. She said something that I’ve been thinking about ever since.

“Personalization, ‘made to order,’ catered to you = big bucks. There are ways to bring in your wedding theme or your personal touch without adding monograms to everything.”

Like every other money-saving DIY wedding, just about everything is personalized — as in we’ve put a lot of our own blood, sweat and tears into our wedding day, and make every effort to not pull out our wallets.

FullSizeRender (1)

We learned a hard lesson about how personalized items can add up after having these napkins done for our engagement party.

The beginning — and most important — part of our day is still a work in progress, but it’s getting there! Little by little, we’ve been piecing together a combination of ceremony templates found on the Internet, readings from several different sources (re: books we grew up with), and even considered writing our own vows. We decided to skip that last part to avoid the inevitable emotional messes we’d become in front of 230 people. Just because we’re not digging deep into our souls to come up with a few sentences to say to each other doesn’t mean our vows aren’t personal. We found some material that means something to us. There is a lot of great stuff out there!

Another way we’re keeping things personal — the drink selections. Yes, beverages are very important to this bride and groom … and their friends and families. We have bridal party members in the Philly beer industry, so it was a no-brainer for us to go local. It’s our way of supporting them and showing our love for the city that made us fall in love. In addition, Steve is a homebrewer and so are some of our guests. They all plan on making something personal for our special day, and I can honestly say that I’m not only dying to taste them, but can’t wait to hear what names they come up with!

Our decor has been one of my favorite — yet sanity-stealing — part of putting our personal touch on things. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re going with a vintage travel look since we’re a couple of old souls who like to go different places, and I’ve even shared a few of my decorating DIY woes. With that set aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed thrifting for old books, bottles, globes, clocks, etc., in the last few months … and I’m not even done yet!


While I scramble to get the finishing touches on my own decor, enjoy this photo of what I hope our wedding day looks like. Courtesy of Mily Photography

And finally, the big piece (drumroll) … MUSIC! Our personal touches include a string trio who are all graduates of our beloved Temple University (aka where we met!) during the ceremony portion of the day, and my mom’s brothers playing hand-picked selections during cocktail hour. While reception bands can tend to get pricey, we opted for a DJ for when it’s time to dance. We’ve had a ton of fun going through the music packet, from choosing a classic song to end the night to our entrance song of “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates (because they’re other famous couple who met at Temple, #duh) — but there is still one huge, very personal missing piece — our first dance song. That’s right, we don’t have one yet … and it’s killing me. We’ve read through every “a first song dance for everyone” list and we’ve heard our fair share of ideas, but not one song that we’ve come across really means anything to us. Are we thinking about it too much? Maybe, but it’s something that will remind us of our favorite day every time we hear it. That is personal.

How are you adding personal touches to your wedding day?

Get Inspired: A Teal and Persimmon Vintagey Wedding Style

Affiliate Disclaimer New

We’re pretty pumped about Real Bride Elissa‘s very vintage color scheme. Her pretty palette takes shades of cool green-blue and contrasts them with warm orange and red for a sweet look that screams for some retro-feeling style. We’re thinking demure A-line gowns and lovely lace for your best girls with plenty of punchy accessories that give a nod to traditional looks without being generic. One of my favorite parts about these colors is that they’re, like, whoa-flexible. Brighten it up during warmer months, or go with the richer, more muted hues when it’s cool. Either way, you can channel your inner Joan Holloway with these swell shades that are anything but boring. Screen shot 2015-04-13 at 8.05.15 PM

1. Decorative Spring Rectangle Wedding Invitations, tarting at $1.70 each for 100 at MagnetStreet 2. Christian Michele Lace Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress, $850 at edressme 3. Red Asiatic Lilies, $89.99 for 50 stems from Bunches Direct 4. Milly Sophia Lace Shift Dress, $45 to rent at Rent the Runway 5. Nha Khanh Red Lace Dahlia Dress, $100 at Rent the Runway 6. ML Monique Lhuillier Isabella Dress, $30 to rent at Rent the Runway 7. Glitz Teal Rhinestone Earrings, $9 at Lulu’s  8. Kate Spade New York Turquoise Ilexa Shoe, $131.20 at 9. Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer in Fire, $25.50 at Sephora 10. Set of 3 Turquoise Vintage Glass Bottles, $8.40 at Luna Bazaar 11. Contessa Centerpiece, $46.99 at Bunches Direct

Do you have a style in mind, but don’t know where to start? Let us know how we can inspire you in the comments!

Real Bride Laura: Music to My Ears

I guess my fiancé and I are a little bit hipster: We brew our own beer and kombucha; we adopt old shelter dogs; we get our coffee from the local coffee bean roaster; and we’re vegetarians. Good indie and alternative music is also important to us so coordinating the entertainment for our wedding made us nervous. I found it hard to find a DJ that fit our style and budget. I was scared of booking an over the top greased up MC with a gold pinky ring who played the Chicken Dance and the Electric Slide!

430979_807333719819_1977921532_n The most hipster picture I have of us.

After browsing DJs on Google in my area I was overwhelmed and surprised how expensive they were! Plus it was hard to grasp the personality and style of the different DJs via the Internet and phone. What ended up helping me choose our DJ was attending a wedding expo. They had tons of different entertainment vendors with a variety of styles and prices. Plus almost all the vendors were offering a show discount to book their services from attending the expo. I was able to talk face-to-face with over a half-dozen different DJs. I ultimately booked with one them a week later and saved 20% off the regular price. Plus I got the ceremony music fee waived!

Now to the fun part: I am currently working on the music to play for the ceremony as well as “Play” and “Do NOT Play” list for the cocktail hour and reception. To do this, I created a private playlist on YouTube named aptly named “Wedding Songs” to share with my DJ. You could probably do this on Spotify as well. One of my favorite artists on my playlist is the Vitamin String Quartet. They arrange rock and pop songs to be played with string instruments which gives songs you know and love a classical, ethereal tone. One of my favorites is their cover of Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are”. Doesn’t it sound so beautiful?? I included some romantic indie songs such as “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes, “The Tourist” by Radiohead, “Welcome” Home by Radical Face and “Part One” by Band of Horses. I also collected some fun dance songs from Jay-Z, Rhianna and some 90’s pop of course! The YouTube has been super helpful in curating my perfect wedding playlist.

Are you going with a band, DJ or doing your own music? How have you been building your playlist?



Real Bride Amy: Who Makes the Cut?

As I mentioned, I’m trying to keep my wedding small as one way to save money. I want my guest list to be more “want tos” than “have tos.”  There are inevitably a few in the “have to” category, mostly extended family. Another perk of having a wedding at a bit of a distance is that it weeds out those that care from those that just want a free meal. Even though my wedding is over a year away, I’m sending save the dates out soon. Since it is a destination, we want people to be able to plan for the trip.  I’m also hoping if things come up, people will let me know in advance so I’ll have a better idea of my numbers when it’s formal invitation time. So now, I have to decide who is really invited — who’s in and who gets cut. Real Bride Amy: Who Makes the Cut?

Spreadsheets for dayz!

Determining who’s in and who’s out is probably one of the hardest parts of planning. Over the past 6 months, the list — er, lists — has been constantly changing. There are definite A-listers, a B-list composed of the “have tos” and the”‘invited, but not sure they will comes,” then the “if we have room” C-list, and the final “I just can’t decide” group. Perhaps, what is even harder is that the people that I want to invite seem to be more understanding of my desire to keep the list to a minimum than those that aren’t on the list. Plus, I’m already arguing talking to my mom about all the people that she apparently planned to invite.

So where do you draw the line without going from 50 people to 200? And how do you break the news, if necessary, to those that don’t make the cut?