Broke-Ass Category: Guest Bloggers


Affiliate Disclaimer NewLongtime Broke-Ass Bride friend Georgia Hardstark emailed us recently about sharing her fun, funky, tradition-eschewing, $16,000 wedding. In the true spirit of The Broke-Ass Bride, Georgia and her husband had the wedding they wanted — at the venue they loved, in the clothes they adored, with the decorations they actually gave a shit about — and all within their budget and paid for the wholeshebang for their 105 guests themselves. Here’s how Georgia recommends having the wedding that’s right for you. And a huge shoutout to Timony Siobhan for the wonderful photos!

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony SiobhanI have never been a traditional person. For one thing, I never thought I’d get married, so planning a wedding was a clean slate for me. I knew I didn’t want it to be “fussy,” and the only reason I was OK with it being “tacky” was because we got married at The Madonna Inn, which is charming because of its tackiness. I didn’t want to spend a ton on a dress, which I ended up buying from ModCloth, or on invitations, which we did online for about $100, or on flowers, which were picked out and bought the night before from the local florist. Basically I didn’t want a wedding to put Vince and I in debt, as we were paying for the whole thing ourselves.

What I did want was for our wedding to reflect mine and Vince’s quirky, laid-back personalities, and for all the guests to have an incredible time. Considering I’ve been told that guests are still finding glitter from the DIY photo booth in their clothes three months later, I’d say we achieved it.

Here are six ways I shirked tradition to make sure our wedding fit our style and personalities:

1. I Didn’t Have A Wedding Party

Having a bridal party seemed like a cruel thing to do to my friends, what with making them buy ugly dresses, throw me multiple parties and forcing them to do menial DIY labor leading up to the wedding. Aside from that, having a bunch of people flanking Vince and I at the altar seemed devoid of intimacy and more about honoring our friends instead of the bond Vince and I were celebrating that day.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony SiobhanI spent the whole morning with my closest girl friends: one doing my hair, another snapping pics and a couple others putting together my bouquet. They helped me set up the banquet hall to fit my vision, and the whole time we laughed and listened to Katy Perry and pounded coffee. It was freaking awesome. When it was time to walk down the aisle I already felt so blessed to have the best friends in the world. Total wedding day bonus.

2. I Walked Myself Down The Aisle

Having my father, whom I love dearly, walk me down the aisle seem archaic and didn’t celebrate the strong, independent woman my parents raised. I’m in my 30s and haven’t lived with my parents or relied on them financially for over 15 years, so having them “give me away” irked the feminist inside me.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

So I walked my damn self. I did hug my mom and dad when I passed them on my way to the altar, and I also had a father/daughter dance, which I hadn’t been planning to do before deciding to walk myself. We danced to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” as a nod to the music we listened to on road trips when I was a kid. Later my dad said the dance was “awkward and fun … just like our relationship.” Spot on.

3. I Did My Own Makeup

What I wanted on my wedding day was to look like the best version of myself. As someone who’s on camera for a living, I’ve had my makeup done more times than I can count. Professional makeup looks amazing on camera and in photos, but in person, it can look garish and overdone. Plus makeup artists will back me up when I say that the “natural” look takes almost as much makeup as glam does.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

So I called over my favorite makeup artist for a lesson, hit up Sephora for a consultation, spent half the GDP of a small country on products, and the day of the wedding I did my makeup myself. The biggest things I concentrated on were a good concealer for under my eyes and to even out my skin, great eyeshadow technique and my expert fake lash applying skillz (ask a makeup-savvy friend to do this if you suck at it).

OK and in interest of full disclosure, a bit of Botox and a lil Juvaderm helped give me a well-rested look. This is SO not necessary, but I felt I needed just a bit of help. Just be sure to do a test run months before the wedding to confirm that you like it, and get the actual procedure at least a month before your big day.

4. I Cherry Picked Traditions

I’m Jewish in tradition, not religion, and Vince is equally devoid of all things non-secular. He was surprised to hear that I still wanted to steal a few traditions from Judaism, but what is a party without a Hora? And you don’t get many chances in life to be lifted in a chair by your strongest family and friends. Plus, smashing a napkin-wrapped glass right after the ceremony is super fun, and has the added bonus of meaning the past is the past, and life starts now.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

Even if you want some religious aspects to your wedding, that doesn’t mean you have to do them all. Pick the ones that actually have meaning to you and make you feel a closer spiritual connection to your future spouse and to your family. And feel free to tweak the ones you pick and even make up new ones!

5. We Had Our 2nd Favorite Person Marry Us

Vince being a comedian and both of us having a ton of funny, creative friends gave us a huge pool of potential people to officiate our wedding, which honestly made it harder rather than easier. Do you pick your best friend? His best friend? If you pick the latter will it piss off the former? If you pick your cousin and then find out he recently had an affair does that doom your own marriage?*

*true story

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

Instead of choosing from our pool of friends and family, we choose a guy whom we both really liked, is super funny and comfortable on stage, we aren’t that close to, has a great marriage and had officiated before. He got to know us over a few dinners, and we got to know his lovely wife and their love story. He was the perfect person to marry us, and I can’t imagine having a better ceremony thanks to his wit and sincerity.

6. I Chilled The F*ck Out

Listen, things are gonna go wrong the day of your wedding. I promise. It was literally pouring rain the entire day of our wedding. Our photographer was late and a few of our more wild friends dropped LSD before the ceremony. As I walked down the aisle I was trying to hold back the tears so it all came dripping out of my nose and when I got to the alter I realized I didn’t have a tissue so I had to stop the wedding and ask for Vince’s pocket square which I proceeded to soak with snot. Someone stole a bottle of vodka from the bar and poured it into the non-alcoholic punch and even though I purposely didn’t invite little kids to the wedding, suddenly the party was awash with tiny fingers poking the cake and trashing the photo booth set up.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

But guess what?! It was awesome! All of it. If you accept that things aren’t going to go perfectly, as it tends not to in life, you’ll be much more likely to roll with the punches. Grasp the perfect moments and pause them in your head because those are the things you’ll want to recall when the day is over and you have the rest of your life to think about it. Unexpectedly high-fiving my 6-year-old nephew on my way to the alter, the unplanned but perfectly timed tossing of my bouquet to my best friend when it was time to read my vows, seeing Vince the first moment I walked into the ceremony and how awestruck I was that this was real; I was really getting married, and to the best person I’ve ever met!

Hold those little things close and let the other stuff be funny stories you tell after the fact and when you’re giving advice to friends planning their own wedding. Ideally this will be the only wedding you ever have, so make sure you hold it close to your heart and enjoy it. But maybe ask your friends save the LSD for the after-party.

A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

Thank you, Georgia, for sharing your fun wedding story with us! And a huge congratulations!

Catch more of Georgia’s fun and funny life adventures by following her on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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    Jane B. Writes Disclaimer

    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.

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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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  • 9/19

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