Broke-Ass Category: Contributors

2/20

Affiliate Disclaimer NewEtsy Cayteelynn You're Invited TinyTalk Pillow

TinyTalk Invitation Pillow available from Etsy seller cayteelynn

Ah, invitations. So simple in theory, so complex in reality. They look like innocent paper beacons of joy, but they come with a lot of, well, baggage. This is my how the invitation process of my wedding has gone down so far:

The Save-the-Dates (aka. The pre-invitation): I get this. The vast majority of our family and friends are coming from out of town and will need to book vacation time off very far in advance. Our wedding is being held on a long weekend, so advance purchase of flights and hotel rooms will save them a lot of cash. Our venue was booked over a year in advance, so once we knew the general gist of when and where, why not let everyone know with as much notice as possible?

The one issue I noticed is that by the time the STD was sent, pretty much everyone already knew. Why? Because we were excited, so we told them! It seemed a little redundant. However, still a nice gesture in theory. Keeping that in mind, however, I got the impression that for a simple “heads up” about something most people knew about, I wasn’t about to spend a lot of money or kill a lot of trees, so we elected to send them electronically. We made a personalized e-card on Paperless Post, and it cost approximately $30 total. As a bonus, the card also prompted people for their mailing addresses, which made my life a lot easier with not having to email everyone and ask for their address. 10/10, would do again.

Invitations: As for the invitations, we’re about halfway through the process. We’ve explored a lot of different options. We decided to design ours online and have them printed and mailed to us. I pinned all the pretty invites I liked on Wedding Paper Divas and Minted. Then, I asked my partner to pick his favorites. Then, I had samples mailed to us (which cost about $1 each) for IRL inspection. As a bonus, the sample package came with a coupon, in the event we did order from the company. Score!

The choices were lovely, and we’ve also narrowed it down. But man, oh man, did they come with a lot of other stuff to think about: Matching reply cards. Matching postage-paid reply envelopes. An enclosed photo print of the couple. A second page with detailed information about how to get there. Envelope liners. Customized postage stamps, addressing, return addressing. Ribbons. Confetti. Glitter. I was a little disappointed, however, that they stopped short of selecting a flock of live birds to deliver each envelope directly into each guest, then serenading softly as the guest muses over menu choices.

We’re minimalists, mind you, and very untraditional, so we don’t need most of that stuff. For one, I’ve heard using paper reply cards can be a bit of a nightmare — they get lost, people don’t write their names on them so the couple doesn’t realize who the RSVP is for, people try to RSVP for people who aren’t actually invited, having to keep track of all of them, etc. etc. Thankfully, the wonders of technology offer the lovely opportunity of the wedding website where people can RSVP digitally and the RSVPs get organized into a simple list for the couple to view. So, I’ve decided that when my invitations finally get sent, this is what they will consist of:

  • An addressed, stamped envelope
  • A customized invitation, with a link at the bottom to a wedding website which will contain all further pertinent information.

How are you handling the excess of paper invitations? Share in the comments!

  • 2/17

    Finding the love of your life and taking that next big step towards forever is a blissful time of your life, but what happens when someone you love has life experiences that are giving them a broken heart?

    caring for friends

    Whether it’s the ending of a relationship, loss of a loved one, money, job or health troubles, certain struggles can zap the celebration spirit right out of a person, even if they love you dearly and share your joy. It’s ok to feel disappointment and to go on with your excitement, but taking the time to specially care for your loved one in their time of need can make the situation better for everyone involved.

    Remember their pain is not your fault.

    You didn’t cause the pain your friend is feeling, and even though it can feel unfair to go one with your happiness while someone you love is hurting, it’s really not. They almost certainly don’t feel it is, either. Being sensitive to their needs can help dissolve any potential bitterness and may even give you a needed break from all of the weddingland craziness.

    Let them set the pace.

    Everyone reacts to tragedy differently, so don’t be shy about asking how involved they want to be and make sure they know they can change their minds. Assuming someone doesn’t want to be involved in fun trips like outfit shopping (or, in my case, anything followed by the word “tasting“) can hurt more than it helps. Extend the invitation, but be gracious if the answer is no.

    Set aside time just for them.

    This is just a good practice in general, but loved ones going through a rough patch or all-out heartbreak really deserve the extra attention. Help out by taking care of a need — whether a daunting chore or a fun night out — and focus your energy on them, rather than wedding plans.

    Show up for the big things.

    The mean curveballs life can throw often come with life-altering events that are an excellent opportunity to show your support: medical treatments, funerals, an unexpected move … stopping your day to be there may sound like a given, but it goes a long way to someone in need of that support.

    Honor their requests for discretion.

    When you’re going through a time of personal trouble, one of the hardest things can be to keep positive while well-meaning outsiders ask questions. If your brother is going through a divorce or your best friend lost her job, they may not want to share the details with the people they meet through parties and get-togethers that sometimes accompany an engagement. Unless they ask you to pass on their regrets to others, keep the bad news within their circle and allow them to put on a happy face if that’s what works best for them.

    Be mindful of money troubles and help where you can.

    This is especially true for people in the wedding party. It’s no secret that being a part of the wedding can rack up some serious dollar signs, so whether their expendable cash is simply lacking or their money troubles are rooted in outside trouble, look for ways to keep costs down. Besides, choosing budget friendly options for wedding attire and party destinations never hurts!

    Be prepared to let them off the hook.

    It’s never easy to back out of a commitment, so if it gets to that point, understand they’re likely as disappointed as you are. Give them time to heal and look for other fun ways to bond and celebrate the special relationship you have. Being flexible lets them know how important they are to you and spending time together is a good reminder for you that even though times might be difficult for them, they still care about you and your happiness.

    Have you run into a sticky situation while planning your wedding? Need some advice on how to handle it? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 2/15

    ModCloth At a Rosette Time Dress

    We're all about finding fab frocks for less, and we're always super thrilled to get an amazing deal. Whether it's your priority to not spend a ton of dollars on your dress because you think you'll only wear it once and you'd rather allocate the cash to something that lasts longer (hello, photography!) or you're boot-scootin' it to the courthouse -- big party be damned!…

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    2/14

    Real Bride Ciji's Invitation

    Invitations are just one of those things on my list that are not super important. At least they weren't important in the beginning. Of course, slowly but surely as I started to confirm my wedding vision my thoughts started to shift. I naturally began to consider foil cut designs, envelope liners and beautiful calligraphy until I realized that these extras were costly and time was…

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    2/13

    398667_142154549269195_1366726814_n

    Greeting lads and ladies, its that time of year again -- Valentine’s Day. As a newly engaged couple, this is probably one of your least stressful romance holidays. You’ve already got the ring, so there is no sitting on the edge of your seat and quietly hoping. One huge hurdle down, but here’s the clincher: you’re planning a wedding and broke as church mice. Wedding…

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  • 2/10

    Etsy TamarasTreasureTrove Hair Cut and Shave Sign

    Vintage Sign available from Etsy seller TamarasTreasureTrove Shaving. It can be kind of a pain in the ass, but we have to do it. Even if you have a beard, there’s some maintenance that needs to be done. For your wedding day, I’d 100% recommend you have a professional barber clean you up, but not all of us have that kind of time or cash.…

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    2/9

    Pallas Couture Edythe front

    Today’s CAI/GOI request is for a look-alike dress of "Edythe" from Pallas Couture's 2010 collection. Reader CircusorBust commented on this post with: "I love these posts! They have helped me so much. The gown I am trying to find an alternative to is Edythe by Pallas Couture. I am trying to find something under $400. Any kind of dress that is similar to this in style I…

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    2/8

    bachparty

    I am totally married and stuff, but I just realized I never filled you guys in on my amazing bachelorette party. For shame! My bestie/bridesmaid Adrienne went above and beyond and made it the perfect day. It's such a fantastic feeling to know your friends just get you and want to celebrate with you. I love sports. Other than the whole marrying Russel thing, my…

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  • 2/7

    challengeaccepted

    Now that we're introduced, let me tell you about some details of our wedding! There were two reasons that I hesitated when it came to starting the wedding planning adventure: 1) When I Googled "how to plan a wedding" (yes, I seriously did that), the one big thing that every site said we "must" do was figure out a budget. Money is gross. Budgeting is…

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