Broke-Ass Category: Guest Bloggers


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Real Wedding: A Sweet and Sentimental Family Affair || Photo by Andie Freeman Photography

Credit: Andie Freeman Photography

You’re about to take one of life’s most important steps with the person you love. You want your wedding day to be a perfect celebration, and a joyful starting point for your marriage. But, the truth is nothing is ever perfect. Whatever can go wrong, probably will go wrong. Avoid becoming so stressed out you don’t enjoy your big day by employing a few stress-relief techniques. If you follow this guide, you’ll be a much happier bride on the big day.

Delegate Certain Parts of the Day

For some couples, it can be difficult to relinquish control over each aspect of the wedding, especially if you’ve been envisioning this day since you were young. For others, planning might feel totally overwhelming, and it can be tempting to outsource every task to friends and families. By giving careful thought to which tasks you delegate to your wedding party, you will ensure a smooth wedding day without you or anyone else being overburdened.

Wedding Wire suggests delegating some of the small, manageable items on your To Do list, such as organizing place cards, greeting arrivals, or rounding up guests for photos after the ceremony. Think of yourself as a manager, and have a team ready to help realize your vision. Be fair with your delegations, and spread chores evenly around so no one feels too overwhelmed.

Pay Attention To Your Body

With so much to do at the start of your wedding day, it might seem unwise to take extra time for something unrelated. However, by tackling your beauty regimen you’ll feel more grounded as the day unfolds, and more equipped to handle any problems.

Be sure to schedule your hair appointment far in advance. Your nails, waxing, and exfoliating should all be done a few days before the wedding. For guys, consider any shaving, trimming or nail care of your own that needs to be done. If you schedule these activities, you’ll be less stressed and it will ensure you didn’t miss anything. You wouldn’t want to show up unshaven to your honeymoon suite.

A great idea is to make this an activity you share with your brigade. Kill two birds with one stone by making your bridal shower an at-home spa day. Do some mud masks, and take turns waxing each other’s eyebrows. Make sure you choose the best wax kit you can purchase for a special occasion.

It can also be helpful to pamper yourself as stress starts to build. You’ll be busy and filled with adrenaline; take some time for a hot shower, a facial or a manicure. Not only will this give you time to calm down and take stock of the day, you’ll feel fresh and beautiful walking down the aisle. Bridal coach Jeri Kadison tells Martha Stewart Weddings, “when times get tough, don’t think of these as indulgences. Think of them as necessities for staying well-balanced and on task.”

Take Things As They Come

There will be glitches on the big day. Your makeup might take longer than expected, your parents’ car might break down, the weather might not cooperate … Accepting early on that not everything will go exactly as planned will help you handle the hiccups calmly and gracefully when they do happen.

Don’t let schedules, mishaps and outside events determine your happiness on your wedding day. By working with your wedding party, taking care of your body and being flexible throughout the day, you will ensure a happy wedding day, no matter what happens. By committing to these stress relief practices, you’ll be able to focus on the important aspects of the big day: your future spouse, and the life you’ll build together.

  • 4/21

    Hey-o! Today we’ve got Michael from The Honeymoon Guy here to talk about how you, yes you Broke-Asses, can (wisely) use those rewards credit cards to rack up some serious mileage to get you a luxurious but low-cost honeymoon. Now, we never EVER advocate going into debt for your wedding day (work with the dollaz you’ve got, yo!) but if you’re smart with your credit and are able to make the appropriate payments, this is a really wise way to get the most bang for your buck.

    Hi, BABs!

    When my wife Patty and I returned from our around-the-world honeymoon, we got a lot of questions from friends and family on how we did it without breaking the bank. So I created The Honeymoon Guy website to provide tips and guidance to help others get a champagne honeymoon on a beer budget.  The site is useful whether you want to take an elaborate trip like ours or you’re a broke-ass just hoping for a week-on-the-beach honeymoon.

    Our honeymoon included a visit to Malcapuya Beach in the Philippines. The white sand beach was powdery, the snorkeling was spectacular and the fresh mangoes were delicious. Oh, and our flights and lodging were nearly free!Our honeymoon included a visit to Malcapuya Beach in the Philippines. The white sand beach was powdery, the snorkeling was spectacular and the fresh mangoes were delicious. And our flights and lodging were nearly free!

    For most honeymoons, the two biggest costs are lodging and air travel, in that order.  So to minimize the cost of a honeymoon while maintaining luxury, you’ll want to focus on reducing the cost of accommodations and flights.

    Frequent flyer miles, hotel points and free night awards earned via credit cards are key to doing so.  Now, that probably doesn’t seem surprising.  It may even be a letdown to read that as you’ve certainly heard of frequent flier programs and you may be thinking, “I’ve been religiously putting all my spending on a single airline-branded credit card for years and I barely have enough for a single flight.”  If so, you’ve been doing it all wrong.

    Here’s why: Banks that issue credit cards know that a key to their business is getting new accounts.  They offer incredibly lucrative bonuses such as two free nights at any hotel in their chain worldwide (total value often exceeding $1,000) or even 100,000 frequent flier miles, just for signing up for a new card.

    By taking advantage of these offers, Patty and I were able to honeymoon in Maui, Tokyo, the Philippines and South Africa and almost all of our lodging and flights (many in business/first class) were free!

    You can do what we did – strategically earn such large signup bonuses that you can nearly eliminate the main costs of your honeymoon.

    Here are a few specific tips to get started:

    • Once you’ve determined your desired honeymoon location(s), survey the airlines that fly to/from your desired destination(s) and the lodging options.  You’ll want to look for hotels owned by companies like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, etc. as they have rewards programs.  Note that these brands do have some all-inclusive properties.
    • Research the rewards programs for the relevant airlines and hotels to determine the number of frequent flyer miles and rewards points you’ll need.  Then search the Internet or visit my site to find the best credit card signup bonuses for the relevant rewards program.

    Andaz Maui Lobby View

    With free night awards from credit card signup bonuses you can stay at hotels such as the Andaz Maui, shown here, or even at all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica, Cancun and Los Cabos!

    • Sign up for the credit cards with the best bonuses and be certain to meet the promotion requirements.  Some cards may have minimum spending requirements which can seem intimidating at first but there are various ways to time-shift your purchases, use the cards to pay your rent or mortgage, or “manufacture spending” to meet the requirements.
    • Realize that both you and your fiance can get the same credit card.  For example, if a card offers a signup bonus of two free nights at any hotel, by both getting it you can earn four consecutive nights at a luxurious hotel for free!
    • Keep track of your credit card signups using a spreadsheet.  You can create your own or simply download a free spreadsheet I created.
    • Divide and conquer.  If you’re taking the lead on the wedding planning, let your fiance take the lead on the honeymoon planning. That way the tasks are split evenly-ish and everything gets done!

    With the miles, points and free night awards you earn, book your dream honeymoon!

    One key note: Though many people may think so, having a lot of credit cards does not hurt your credit score and in many cases it will actually increase your credit score in the long run (see my Credit Score page for further explanation).

    With just a few hours of research – a fraction of the time you’re devoting to wedding planning – you can save thousands of dollars and elevate your honeymoon from standard to unforgettable.

    For many more details, tips and guidance check out The Honeymoon Guy or contact me directly at or via Facebook.

  • 2/23

    One thing I see over and over again are couples who have issues with a vendor’s performance, and don’t quite know how to proceed. For instance, I just heard about a wedding photographer who has not delivered prints for a wedding that happened two years ago. Can you imagine? Here are the steps I suggest you take when you have a conflict with your vendor,…

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    I believe that it’s not enough to simply survive planning your wedding, you should thrive and feel like a Boss while you're doing it.  Here are five wedding planning habits to start practicing now that will help. Let’s start with the money, first: 1.Multiplication. Avoid sticker shock that every couple goes through, and  remember that you are buying in bulk. For example, Chiavari chairs  for  $10…

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    Real Bride Kate's  Aussie fiance, Daniel Gullotta, used to work in fine jewelry and was kind enough to provide our readers with insider's tips on how to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to wedding jewelry. This guide is the next best thing to having him with you when you go shopping! And when it's all said and done, don't forget to get…

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  • 12/5

    Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I found out that the current number of Mrs. Coopersmiths would soon be increased by one  -- my husband’s little brother got engaged. Yay! But then I looked at the calendar again and frowned. Two weeks before Thanksgiving. Seven weeks before New Years. Here we go. The best part of the Holiday season is the number of chances you'll have to spend…

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    Confession: I suck at writing thank you notes. It wasn't something that was a thing, really, as I was growing up -- I suspect my mother wrote them for me. Though, admittedly, this is NO excuse for not extending appreciation for someone else's graciousness. I've recently been trying to change my stubborn ol' ways (30 does that to you, y'all) and I found that if…

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    Image courtesy of Larry Donoso Dear Heather, Is, "where the heck do we even start?" a sufficient question? Jessica Dear Jessica, Absolutely! I suggest starting with the trifecta of guest list, venue, and budget, as all of them directly impact the other in non-negotiable ways. The absolute first thing I recommend doing is making an all-inclusive, "if we get to invite absolutely everyone we want,"…

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  • 9/18

    DIY or DIE: Terrarium Centerpieces

    Have you guys heard of PopShop? Well, it's a really cool little design fair where you can browse around for arts and crafts and other goods, as well as get your mitts dirty with a little DIY craftiness of your own. This weekend, PopShop Houston is hosting a Handmade Weddings event, where you can get down with some rad crafts with a wedding-y slant, find other…

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