Posts in the 'Contributors' Category

Ten for the Weekend: Cold-Weather Shopping Deals for Budget Babes

Happy Friday, BABs! I think fall has finally decided to show it’s face — albeit shyly — here in North Texas … just in time, too, since all the cutest stuff seems to be on sale! This Ten for the Weekend has oodles of gorgeous and cozy fashion finds that won’t destroy your budget, but will leave you looking the bestest.

1. A super fancy dress at a quarter of the price? Yep, Rent the Runway does just that. And go ahead and score $20 off orders $75+ until 11/1 when you use code TREAT2014.

Marchesa Notte gown from Rent the Runway

I’d love to see this gorgeous Marchesa Notte dress on a fall bride (Rent for $200, retails at $1395).

2. Speaking of fashion: Ann Taylor (#duh) is offering 50% off your entire purchase with code FASHION50 utnil 10/28.Take 50% off Entire Purchase with code FASHION50. 

3. Not one to be left behind, Lord & Taylor is taking an extra 25% off women’s, men’s and kids with their Friends & Family sale until 10/26 with code FRIENDS. 

4. Stock up on cool, casual essentials with American Eagle’s 25% off new arrivals offer — use code NEWVIBES until 10/27. 

AEO Striped V-Back Sweater Dress

This striped sweater dress (with a V-back!) would be in constant rotation — with my pajamas. Erry day, y’all.

5. Cooler weather calls for sox, but not just any old sox … Save 10% on all orders from the Sox Box using code SAVE10.

6. Flaunt your team spirit at Fanatics with 15% off NCAA sweatshirts and jackets until 10/31.

7. Get a head start on holiday shopping and get home decor, cards, calendars, etc., with Shutterfly and go ahead and save 40% off while you’re at it.

8. YO, DIY BRIDES! If you’re printing your invitations at home, you need this: Comp and Save is offering $5 off your $5 order (+ you get a free wristband) until 11/2 with code 5BC5 at checkout — so stock up on ink and toner!

9. Still in denial that winter is, indeed, coming? Book a vacation with Expedia where you can save up to 55% in Los Cabos, Mexico, plus get a 20% spa discount at select resorts until 10/31.

10. Of course, the best for last: Fab.com, my own personal favorite place for all things fun, funky and design-y, is knocking 10% off sitewide (you must use this link)! Get on it!

Heart Gloves Grey Cherry by  Yastikizi

Got a cold-weather engagement shoot? These gloves would be perfect!

Happy shopping, BABs!

Five for Friday: Stunning Engagement Rings Under $1K from Mia Donna

One of the things I hear from many future BABs is that they have their hearts set on certain styles of engagement rings, but are often hard-pressed to find their favorite stunners at a price that fits their budget. Y’all, I’m here to tell you that finding your dream ring at your price point is totally doable. Longtime friend and partner of The Broke-Ass Bride, Mia Donna, is a prime example: Mia Donna has a whole gang of gorgeous engagement rings and wedding bands in the $500 to $1,000 range. This Five for Friday highlights my five faves, all under $1,000.

Mia Donna Amore Engagement Ring

Amore Vintage Engagement Ring starting at $980

Amore is definitely a classic design with a vintage feel. It’s the kind of ring that will be timeless, and always a little unique.

Mia Donna Allure Wedding Ring
Allure Wedding Band starting at $569

Not everyone is into the center-stone look, and many who work with their hands or are pretty active, the prong settings can get snagged and you could lose your stone. A pave band is a great way to incorporate the sparklez without putting your precious in peril.

Mia Donna Daci Engagement Ring

Daci Solitaire Engagement Ring starting at $795

I’ve been digging tension settings like this lately — it’s just a clean, different line than what you typically see from solitaire rings.

Mia Donna Peaches Engagement Ring
Peaches Engagement Ring starting at $973

Peaches is just gorgeous, in my opinion. I’m not usually super into the halo look, but I think this ring pulls it off quite successfully.

Mia Donna Poppy Accentend Engagement Ring
Poppy Engagement Ring starting at $894

Aside from the shorter, less protruding prongs, my favorite thing about this simple ring is the teeny bezel-set diamond in the setting base.  Sometimes it’s the little details that make it.

Which is your favorite, darlings? Anything from Mia Donna catch your eye?

Ask Liz: Self-Catering Rules

Ask Liz: Self-Catering Rules

 

Photo: Andrea Chesley

Dear Liz,

How to do your own food (with a bit of help from willing friends/family) for your reception??? Food item suggestions and logistical tips especially!

Signed,

Self-Serving

Dear Self-Serving,

Funny thing is, I  talked to someone this morning who catered his own wedding, and he did not have fun with that.  Logistically, it’s a nightmare. You have to buy the food (for 100 people), then store the food before you can cook the food (for 100 people), wherever that’s going to be. Then you have to figure out when you’re going to cook the food (for 100 people) before or in between getting ready to get married, getting married, and whatever you have to do after you get married – take pictures, talk to your guests, and generally enjoy your wedding without worrying about the food. Plus, how you’re going to serve it, where you’re going to serve it, and who is going to serve/monitor it? A buffet will not relieve you of that responsibility. And, even if it’s for less than 100 people, you still have to figure out when and where you are going to do all these things. It’s not less work, it’s definitely not less stress, it’s just less food.

So, the first thing you need to do, way before deciding on a menu, is address each of the above points, every single one. When, where, how and who? And, remember that everything is going to take more time than you think. And everything takes longer if you have less people to manage it.

Menu? Keep it as simple as possible. No more than two entrees, no more than two side dishes, plus a salad. Stick with stuff you already know how to make, or that you and your family and friends can (and will) practice cooking before your wedding. Good but simple food. Not a lot of chopping, not a lot of ingredients, not a lot of steps.

Hey, you asked.

It’s doable, but obviously, I’m not recommending it! If you’re trying to save money, there are tons of restaurants – probably some of your favorites -that will cater less expensively. If you want to serve a particular dish, you can make that and add it to the buffet. But, if you are determined to do it yourself, don’t ignore everything you’re going to have to do in order to pull it off.

Does anyone reading have any experience catering their own wedding, or helping someone else do it? If you’ve got something to add, let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit  www.silvercharmevents.com.

 

See you at the end of the aisle ,

 

 

Liz

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Oscar de la Renta’s “Alicia” Inspired Gown For Under $2,000

Hey BABs. A couple of days ago the fashion world lost one of its greatest treasures, Oscar de da Renta. Without a doubt one of the greatest designers to ever live, some would argue THE greatest. He was born Óscar Arístides Renta in 1932 in Santo Domingo to an affluent family. My fabulous editor gave me the idea to do a post dedicated to him. How do I even begin to commemorate the genius of this man? He dressed four First Ladies. FOUR. Oscar de la Renta had a career that spanned over 60 years, pretty amazing considering he started off by drawing clothes for newspapers when he was just 19.  After the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain saw some of his sketches, she commissioned him to design a gown for her daughter. Eventually, that dress was on the cover of LIFE magazine. He then went to work under Cristóbal Balenciaga, another name synonymous with fashion. After that he worked for other big fashion houses like Balmain  and Lanvin. I can’t even think of anyone that hasn’t dazzled us in a de la Renta gown (proof). And then there is his bridal wear which is second to none, ever (in my opinion). Just look at his most recent creation, made for Amal Alamuddin when she married George Clooney. It’s one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve EVER SEEN. He truly understood how to make a woman look and feel beautiful and did just that for many, many brides. You will be miss, Mr. de la Renta.

www.vogue.com Amal Almuddin in Oscar de la Renta.

I chose “Alicia” from his 2014 bridal collection because of its beautiful, lace long sleeves.  It’s fall and long sleeves are definitely in right now in bridal. A certain princess really popularized this style again in 2011 when married Prince William. This dress that I chose is definitely fit for a princess. It’s made from ivory silk faille and also has an ivory Chantilly lace overlay.

“Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.” (On designing Amal Alamuddin’s wedding gown.)

Can't Afford It

Original Oscar de la Renta’s “Alicia” $$$$

Get Over It

RainingBlossoms270 A-Line Wedding Dress With Lace Long Sleeves (Style: #WD-3272) $270 at GoodCheapWeddingDress.com

SimplyBridal288 A-Line Satin Gown With Lace Overlay (Style: 80235) $288 at SimplyBridal.com

RainingBlossoms340 Mermaid Lace Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Long Sleeves (Style: WJLM-0058) $340 at Raining Blossoms

BBP1099 Net & Re-Embroidered Lace Gown With Long Sleeves (Style: 2439) $1,099 at BestBridalPrices.com

Etsy1100 Vintage A-Line Gown With Floral Lace Overlay $1,100 at EllyaBoutique on Etsy

BBP1309 Long Sleeve Chantilly Lace Gown With Matching Shawl (Style: 77959) $1,309 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1420 Alencon Lace Gown With Beaded Embroidery (Style: F161069) $1,420 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1529 Soft Tulle & Corded Chantilly Lace Gown (Style: EK1001) $1,529 at BestBridalPrices.com

BBP1575 V-Neck Gown With Beaded Lace Overlay & Beaded Applique (Style: 2079) $1,575 at BestBridalPrices.com

I’ve included this a lot, but BHLDN really has some pretty sashes. As well as Etsy which has tons. Send me some requests, ladies! I’m always here to help you get over that pricey gown. Until next week 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.

 

R..I.P. Oscar de la Renta 1932-2014

Oscar de la Renta at his fashion show at Neiman Marcus-  Chevy Chase, MD

Oscar de la Renta quotes:

“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”

“What women have achieved in the last 50 years, I wish men would have achieved in the last 100.”

“I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”

Real Bride Tiffany: It’s a Blur, but My Wedding Happened!

Have we really been married for 11 days already? Time sure flies when you are partying your face off and then relaxing in an island blissland for an entire week (although amongst a hurricane … ).

photobooth2

Yes, that is a JMEOWW cat on a stick. She couldn’t actually be present so it was the next best thing.

Our wedding came together beautifully — not without its stressful moments — but it truly was everything that we dreamed it would be. And I’m not just saying that to sound all lovely because you know I would tell you the truth! We peeked at the reception space before the ceremony and dear blog-gods it was EXACTLY what was in my brain. I can’t wait to see pictures.

7stems

Pictures from Seven Stems Floral Design via Instagram

We laughed a lot. We cried a good amount. We made others laugh and cry as well, as were our intentions. We’ve gotten so many wonderful comments about our ceremony and how special and personal it was, which is absolutely heartwarming. We did our best to personally greet and thank all of our 91 guests and I think we did a decent job. I know there are some that we missed and I hope they didn’t take it personally!

The ONLY downside to having an unplugged ceremony/wedding is waiting for the professional pictures. But having the comfort of knowing that your guests were fully present with you during the most special moments of your life? TOTALLY WORTH IT.

1st dance

When people tell you, “It will all be a blur!” they are actually — and unfortunately — right. It will all actually become a blur. And not because you were drinking too many delicious Belgian pale ales. But because you begin taking photos three hours before your ceremony begins and next thing you know — albeit 8 hours later — you are running across the street (barefoot) to the hotel trying to teach your husband how to work a corseted dress and get the damn thing off you (so you can rinse your feet off in the shower, ya pervs). Your dress will be filthy and ripped a little. Your husband will be hammered. The marriage certificate will be missing (your wedding coordinator will most likely have it).

But you will be the happiest you’ve ever been and it is all totally worth it.

On Marriage: 16 Things My Husband is Usually Doing Wrong (According To Me)

Guys, our On Marriage posts are usually pretty serious and talk about you know, like real stuff in regards to your relationship. But then I found this post on HuffPo and realized that well, I couldn’t not share it, because: awesome.

Eric and Erica's Real Wedding -- Photo by Persimmon Images

 

Photo by Persimmon Images

Like most loving, decent, kind and patient spouses, I don’t like to rag on my husband. I really don’t! But sometimes, his actions make me question if he is, in fact, watching an episode of The Office in his head instead of being marginally invested in whatever else he is doing. Like having a conversation with his wife or caring for our two tiny humans, for example.

I love my husband dearly. I’d marry him again if I could. Sometimes I wonder how we even found each other in this crazy, mixed-up world. In fact, I’d make a list of all the things he is doing right, but it would be too long and too gushy and I’d lose my street cred. Even so, I’ve had to practice patience over the last five years of my life as a spouse and a mother because though raising little ones is tough, I think co-parenting (and co-existing under the same roof at all times) might be even tougher.

Since my partner (for life, ahhh!!… still gets me) also happens to be such a good sport (remind me to add that to the “things he’s doing right” list), here are 16 things my husband is usually doing wrong (according to me):

1. Not answering questions. I talk. He doesn’t answer. I talk louder. He still doesn’t answer. I talk REALLY loud and he says, “Geez, why are you screaming?”

2. Not having breasts and therefore not being able to do the midnight feeding, the 2:30 a.m. feeding OR the 5 a.m. feeding.

3. Moving too slowly. This typically pertains to when bedtime is looming, when we have anywhere to be at a specific time or when one of our kids is about 30 seconds away from a huge meltdown. Enter: Slow mo.

4. Looking at his phone so much you’d think there was a real-life naked woman in there who talks to him and doesn’t leave a trail of breastmilk wherever she goes.

5. Coming home with 60 percent of what was on the grocery list and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t.

6. Two words: Selective. Hearing.

7. Two more words: Fake. Pooping.

Click here to continue reading  16 Things My Husband is Usually Doing Wrong (According To Me) on The Huffington Post.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore. This autumn has felt the most fall-ish for me, and I’m crushing hard on the colors. So, #duh, I’m throwin’ it back to this great post from 2011 that’s still totally rad today.

It’s not really feeling like fall here in Los Angeles. The farmer’s market is still stocked with fresh summer berries, the days still feel long and hot, and the flowers are still in bloom. But today on a walk I noticed a few leaves on the trees beginning to change. So since I can’t really enjoy all of fall in LA, I’ve been enjoying it on Pinterest! Fall weddings provide the perfect combo of bright fall colors and comfort foods! Enjoy these fall wedding inspiration photos I’ve been loving!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall I’m loving all of the colors in this photo. Makes me miss the Midwest.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Mums and fall floral colors look especially bright when paired with the yellow billy balls and orange clementines!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Layers of spiced cake with frosting only on the inside give this cake a rustic look. And the sugared fruits and leaves add a playful element!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Centerpieces are a breeze for fall weddings. Grab some branches of leaves and spray paint them gold! Such an easy and simple DIY. Put them in a vase and you’ve got a simple and elegant centerpiece.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Send your guest home with one of my favorite fall treats! Yum!

Are you having a fall wedding? What is your inspiration? Let us know!

Budget Wedding Myths That Need to Die

Last week on Facebook, a friend of mine, who’s also a wedding planner, linked to a blog about a $6,000 wedding. It was on her personal page, and it definitely wasn’t one of her weddings – that’s well below her usual clients’ budgets.  She wasn’t posting it because of  the budget, at all, she was focusing on the potential griminess of the Doritos bar the couple created. Yes, these are the sort of conversations we vendors have while amongst ourselves. We also talk about shoes a lot, but that’s a discussion for another day. Anyway … Budget Wedding Myths that Need to Die It was a very cute hipster wedding in a loft in Brooklyn. The bride wore Converse and a $300 dress, of course. The groom wore a bow tie and tight pants. It really did look like a lot of fun, and I personally, would be all over that Doritos bar.

But  $6,000 for a 100-guest wedding?

Photographer? $2,400.

Their clothes and accessories? ~$1,500.

The loft? They found it on Airbnb, $1,100 for 3 days

Rentals? $860. Metal chairs, uncovered plastic tables, and a small stage. I’m not judging, this is what they had, per the pictures.

Servingware? ~$300 Dinner?

Not included in the breakdown, because they got a, and I quote, a “huge” discount from a caterer friend.

Dessert: Ditto.

Videography? Ditto.

DJ: Ditto.

Appetizers from Whole Food? Also not on the budget breakdown.

The bar? Not even mentioned.

Decorations: DIY, pom-poms, spray-painted bottles with flowers in them, put together by family and friends.

Material costs, even? Nope.

At this point, I was gritting my teeth. Basing the actual cost of this wedding on prices in L.A., which are significantly cheaper than New York? At least $10,000-$15,000 is missing from this budget. Which is just … GRRRR … NOT FAIR.

And not helpful. Because, come on, you guys. Why don’t you have friends who are caterers, bakers, videographers and DJs? Why can’t you rent a loft from  a company that, in my experience, is fairly adamant about not renting for large private events? Why can’t you spend two days setting up and a whole day breaking down for your ceremony and reception ? Don’t you have space to spray paint 50 mason jars and store the flowers to fill them? Why come you can’t figure out how to only spend $6,000 — or less — on your own wedding?

The Myth of the Budget Wedding is that if it’s this cheap and easy for them, it should be just as cheap and easy for you, too.  But, trust me, this wedding was not that cheap, and definitely not so easy. I give the bride credit for acknowledging how lucky they were to have those hook-ups, though, I really wish they’d been more upfront about what they spent and how much they saved. Actually.

Is it possible to have a fantastic wedding for $6,000? Of course it is. But you need to have realistic expectations about what’s possible, what stuff costs, and how much time and energy you have or are willing to put in. Is it worth it? It will be. So, what do you think? Do you find these myths as frustrating as I do? What are you doing to realistically stay on budget, yourself?  And, if you’d like to find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Real Bride Kate: Question Everything and Be Yourselves

Okay, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms, my time as Real Bride Kate is drawing to an unfortunate close. However, before I fill out the Real Wedding questionnaire and check out from the site, I wanted to impart my ultimate piece of wedding planning wisdom.

I began to title this piece: “Question Everything and Be Non-Traditional.” However, I quickly realized that this advice was highly excluding and didn’t get at the heart of what I really wanted to say. So, here it is again, let it soak in:

Question everything and be yourselves.

wedding elements

Most people know that I studied English in university, but less people remember that I also studied sociology. If sociology taught me anything, it was that everything we do in life we do according to set patterns created by our cultures. Of course, there is room for free will in this, but think about it. Our society (for the purposes of this article, I mean Western society) has a set schema for how a wedding should go.

The bride wears a white dress and carries flowers. The groom wears a suit (typically black). The couple is married by a religious or civic official. They exchange rings and vows. They cut a fancy cake. They have a first dance and the bride dances with her father. It goes on and on. You all know the drill.

bouquet

So, here is my challenge to you as you plan your wedding. For every single decision, no matter how minute, ask yourselves:

Why are we doing this? And do we truly want this?

Once Daniel and I did that, nearly every notion of a “traditional” wedding fell apart. As you can see from the pictures throughout this post, we broke or reworked a lot of traditions and shocked our families.

I wore red. All the bouquets were made from book pages. Daniel wore grey and donned a pocket square instead of boutonniere. We were married by a close friend without a speck of religion in our hand-fasting ceremony – which we wrote as a trio. We didn’t exchange rings, as Daniel already wore his as an engagement band. The cake we cut had the Batman symbol plastered on top. I danced with my dad to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Real Bride Kate and her father have matching tattoos from the TV show "Supernatural."

 

My dad and I have matching tattoos from the tv show “Supernatural,” whose unofficially theme song is “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Some people reacted negatively. For instance, my grandmother asked me – in front of my entire bridal party and the photographer – if I was wearing red because I wasn’t a virgin. She just could not believe that I simply wanted to wear my favorite color instead of the color Queen Victoria wore a bazillion years ago.

However, most of our families and friends were overwhelmingly, even surprisingly, positive. Throughout the night, we were bombarded with compliments. People adored my unique dress – “Red is your color, Kate!” They appreciated the cake – “Batman is so bad ass!” They marveled at the ceremony – “I’d never seen anything like that before. That hand-fasting, that was so unique and cool!” And even better, they got the point – “Your wedding was so you guys in every way.”

Let me repeat that: “Your wedding was SO YOU GUYS in every way.”

Now, if you ask me, that’s the best compliment a bride and groom can receive.

feet

Again, let me implore you to question everything. Do you really want to wear white? Do you really want that venue? Why are you having a bouquet toss? Why are you doing the Chicken Dance? (Side note: we did neither.)

And again, let me beg you to be yourselves. If you are a traditional couple, that is fantastic! Live it up! But, if you have been feeling queasy about wedding planning and notice some light bulbs going off as you read this, follow that instinct!

Don’t worry about what anyone else will think or whether or not the day will feel like a “real wedding.” Trust me, if you stay true to yourselves and only do what you honestly and direly want to do, your guests will love it and you will not regret it.

This is your day to celebrate your love! It should be as uniquely and beautifully you as the love you share.