Posts in the 'Guest Bloggers' Category

DIY or DIE: Modern Geometric Table Numbers


Why hello again!
It has been a little while …
And I’ll be damned if I didn’t suddenly develop an all-consuming lust love for geometry since we last hung out.
Not to mention a serious crush on a certain little piñata.


It started innocently enough …
A few week ago I decided to try my hand at making a modern geometric monogram, which led to a few arrows (there’s a pun there somewhere, right?), which led to these table numbers and soon I will have an entire styled shoot on my hands. Or a wedding. Or a graduate degree in mathematics. Or a very bright scrap yard.


But before I get even more carried away, I thought I should pop over here and share the graphic goodness with y’all Broke-Asses.


These geometric table numbers are super simple, crazy cheap, and supremely satisfying once you rip the tape off, and see all those perfectly straight little lines making all those perfectly adorable little triangles. Best of all, this technique is easily applied to a whole host of other wedding projects! And as you can probably surmise from my prolific experiments, it might be a little addictive.
Consider yourself warned.

So are you ready to transform a few 2x4s?
First, here’s the visual of what you will need for this project:


Just a few notes: Originally I was going to use 2x4s, but once I was at Home Depot, I decided to splurge and use 3/4” birch instead. This came out to about $1 per block. I cut my birch to 6” tall at home, using a hand-saw and a mitre box, because The HD employees were too grumpy to be bothered that day. I think you could have your mom ‘n’ pop store do the cuts, be more patient than me at the Home Depot, or do what I did. You have options. Not pictured above: Regular 1” painters tape which comes in handy for centering your numbers and taping off the block edges.

Okay. That’s it. Ready. Set. Sand.


I think these free-standing little numbers are a fantastically fun way to add a pop of color to your tables, while helping direct your guests where to sit. They would also be a great modern wedding prop and would be an adorable way to display your wedding date in engagement photos, wedding photos or as decor in your venue.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your tape and get busy!
OR grab this discount code (GEOCRAZYBAB) and pay me to color inside the lines while you keep your paws clean!

See y’all next time!

Ask Heather: Bridal Shower Timing and Folks Who Assume They’ll Be Invited to the wedding

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Image courtesy of Thecupcakelicious

Dear Heather,

How soon is too soon to have a bridal shower? A year? Six months? All of my bridesmaids will have to travel to the city where the shower is being held.


Dear Rebecca,

In part, this depends on how long of an engagement you’re having. Obviously, if your engagement is only five months long, that will somewhat limit when you can have your shower! Based on your question, though, I’m going to assume your engagement is fairly long.

In general, most bridal showers are about 1-3 months prior to the wedding, but I’ve definitely seen some happen as far out as six months beforehand. I wouldn’t stretch it all the way out to a year. Part of the fun of bridal showers is that they help ramp up the excitement for the wedding day, and if it’s too far out, some of that thrill will have died down for the guests. I also wouldn’t wait until too close to the wedding, so attendees don’t have to travel twice – once for the shower and once for the wedding – in a short time span.

In addition to worrying about how far in advance the shower can happen, also take into consideration anything that might affect people’s availability, the biggest of which are holiday weekends. And realize that, no matter how much deliberation you put into choosing a date, some folks won’t be able to attend.

Dear Heather,

How do I handle friends who haven’t made the guest list but very clearly assume they will be attending?


Dear 50Peach,

This will be the fastest answer I’ve ever had to compose, because Offbeat Bride just tackled the issue of uninvited folks RSVPing, as well as loving ways to tell people they aren’t going to be invited, and I agree with everything they said. The one thing I’ll stress — in addition to being gentle but firm in your response to these folks, be flattered! Apparently they think your wedding is going to be so fantastically awesome that they really want to come!

How about you? How far in advance did you have your bridal shower? And did you have anyone who wrongly assumed they’d be invited? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below!

Ask Heather: Seating Chart Drama and a 3-Hour Wedding

Seating chart

Jennifer Yin via Flickr Creative Commons

Dear Heather,

How do you handle a seating chart with multiple family situations and conflicts making it mind numbingly hard!?


Dear Shelby,

You have two main strategies here: (1) Seat people wherever the hell you want and assume that they are grown-ups and can handle themselves for a single day; (2) Knock yourself out and do your absolute best to cope with various family drama. I will warn you right now: No matter which strategy you choose, you will piss someone off. The key: Don’t let this bother you. Weddings breed craziness. Don’t get sucked into it.

Since you’ve written to me, I’m assuming  you’ve decided to not go with Option 1. My suggestion: Post-It notes in many different colors. Use one color for the drama-free folks. Use different colors for each “warring faction.” Seat like with like and use the non-drama folks as buffers. Do a sweetheart table so you don’t have to deal with offending folks who aren’t seated at the head table. Put as many tables equidistant from the sweetheart table as possible, so you don’t have to deal with Uncle Jack complaining about how Aunt Jane was seated closer to you than he was. And use table names rather than numbers, so Phyllis can’t throw a fit that Margaret’s table number was lower, and therefore better, than hers.

Again, you’ll likely make someone angry. Know that you did the best you could and if they can’t put their differences aside for one meaningful day in your life, they can suck it. So neener.

Dear Heather,

My ceremony and reception are both at the same garden, and I only have three hours to do everything. We’re doing a buffet, and this amount of time doesn’t include set-up or clean-up. How do I fit it all into a few hours?


Dear Tiffany,

That’s a fairly tight amount of time, which will make sticking to a timeline absolutely critical. First off: Make sure you start your ceremony when you’re scheduled to start it. Brace yourself, though, as guests will inevitably be late. Unfortunately, those folks will just end up missing part of the ceremony. I’d also suggest doing a first look, so you can get most (if not all) of the posed pictures out of the way prior to everything starting. This will obviously need to be done offsite, but this isn’t the end of the world. You’ll get plenty of non-posed onsite shots during your shindig.

Twenty to 30 minutes is probably a fair amount of time for a garden ceremony, assuming you aren’t doing a bunch of readings or an elaborate unity ceremony. You’ll likely need to cut the cocktail hour down to a cocktail half-hour. This leaves you with about two hours to go. Appoint someone to emphatically shepherd guests from the cocktail area to the reception, and have your wedding party announced as soon as possible. Trust me: Once you start entering, people will get their butts into their seats. If you can skip toasts, that’s great. Otherwise, do them while folks are in line for the buffet. Ideally, guests would be seated for toasts. Realistically, you’re on a timeline here!

Obviously, you and your spouse should be first in line for the buffet, or someone should have already put your food-laden plates where you’ll be sitting. If you can, have multiple buffet stations, since this will cut down on waiting time for your guests. As soon as you and your spouse are done eating, segue into the cake cutting. Yes, some folks will still be eating while you’re cutting your cake. That’s okay. Right after cutting the cake, move into your first dance and parent dances. After a couple of songs where the dance floor is open, do your bouquet and garter tosses. This will hopefully leave about a half-hour of dancing after the official traditions are done.

I’d also suggest doing some sort of no-host party after the reception is over. My husband and I went to a local bar after our reception had ended, and there’s nothing quite like walking into a bar wearing a wedding dress. This also has the advantage of continuing the party without you having to pay for it. Our guests were thrilled to have somewhere “official” to go, and my husband and I were happy to have somewhere we could go, have one drink, then head back to our hotel and collapse.

How about you? Did you struggle with your seating chart? How did you eventually make it work? And what sort of timeline would you use if you only had your venue for three hours? Let us know in the comments below!

BAB Classics: Ask Liz: The Wedding Things You Just Can’t Do

Food and money. Man, oh, man. Isn’t that the broke-ass life? You always try to have enough of both, but what about when you’re trying to throw a big ol’ party? That’s where the stakes get raised, and some good, timeless advice from erstwhile BAB team member Liz, of Silver Charm Events, swoops in to soothe the nerves.

Dear Liz,

My fiance and I LOVE a good party. We have budgeted for 150 guests at our wedding, but there are more than 150 people that we want to celebrate with us. The long and short of it is: we cannot afford to feed everyone. We are having a great local cover band, and we would like to send out secondary invitations for those acquaintances to join us, after dinner has been served at the reception. Is is tacky to ask an additional chunk to come at 8:00 for dancing and drinks but not the ceremony and dinner? How should we word those invitations so as not to offend anyone?


Down to the Count

Make ‘em fit, or leave ‘em out. Anything else is asking for trouble.
(Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Dear  Down,

Not to be harsh, but I don’t really see that going over very well. Basically, you’re saying that you don’t like them enough to invite them to your wedding and pay for their meal, but just enough to hang out with them when it’s going to cost you less money. It’s not what you mean, but it’s definitely what you’re saying. And I don’t know if you sent Save the Date cards to them, too, but if you did, eyebrows are definitely going to rise, just like their expectations did.

So, what to do, what to do? A couple of things, I think. Figure out how much each additional person would cost you, and look at the various pieces of your budget to see where you can make some cuts to accommodate. One step down for your meal, or one less appetizer? Stick to beer and wine and a specialty drink? Don’t go top shelf on the liquor? I don’t know what you’re doing now, but there are almost always places where you can cut and still be comfortable with what you’re getting.

And, realistically? Not everyone is going to be able to attend, anyway. I’m not the biggest fan of B-listing potential guests, mostly because it’s a lot of work, but try and make it work for you. Send your invitations out early enough to the 150, and then for every “No” you get, send one out to the B list.

But, I would definitely do a budget check, first.

The only other option is to not invite them, period. And, yes, this means that you won’t have everyone you want at your wedding, but most couples face that reality, sooner or later. You’re really not doing them, or yourself, any favors by sending out a half invite. Invite or do not invite. There is no “try.”

“That’s so funny! Together, we spent over $3,000 to be in our friend’s wedding!”

Dear Liz, 

 I am a bridesmaid in my childhood best friend’s wedding. I knew I’d have to shell out some bucks, but I had no clue how much I was expected to spend… until now. She’s had an engagement party, a bridal shower, a honeymoon shower, and now her two-day destination bachelorette party is coming up. I told the Maid of Honor that I wasn’t sure I could go if it’s going to cost me more than $300. She has already booked the hotel, but every time I ask her for the total amount I am expected to shell out, she dodges my questions. This has happened three times, so far. It’s getting to be frustrating. I’d hate to cancel last minute on it, but she really won’t communicate with me. Plus, it’s a surprise for the bride, so I can’t talk to her about it. I also have to have a minor surgery a week before this shindig. I don’t want to jeopardize my recovery process by going on this weekend trip, either. My question is, do I stay or do I go? I feel that I will risk the friendship of not only the bride, but also the Maid of Honor (who is another childhood friend) if I didn’t show up. I wasn’t at her bridal shower (same day as my grandma’s 90th birthday party) so I feel obligated to go to this bachelorette party. Yet at the same time I don’t know how I will be physically after this surgery, and I do not want to go broke because of this bachelorette weekend. If I do not go, how do I break the news to the maid of honor? This is really stressing me out!


Bridesmaid Bummer

Dear Bummer,

Bottom line? You can’t go. I’m really sorry, I know you want to celebrate with your friend, I know you’re worried about your relationship with her and your other friends. But you will be a week out from SURGERY, and if you’re talking about a “recovery process”, then it isn’t that minor. Not only is it a really good excuse, it’s a really good reason. Plus, it’s not going to help your stress level, before or after surgery, if you’re worried about how you’re going to cope, financially.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive. The last time I was one, about 4 years ago, it cost me over $1,000, and I see girls in my weddings spending that and more. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of my friend’s day, as are all the other bridesmaids I’ve met and known. I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth it. But, that’s not a small amount of money — it just isn’t — and that should be taken into consideration.

So, how to tell the MOB? Tell her that you’re having surgery the week before, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel after it, or what you’ll be physically able to do. So, you can’t go. If you think you can pull it, give her $50 – $100 to buy a round of drinks at the party, or figure out how to get it to the bride, with your name on it.

What are the tricks you used to afford all the guests you want? And, what do you think about Bummed’s predicament? 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 my website at

See you at the end of the aisle,


StyleFile: KnotsVilla’s Guide to Shimmer and Shine

Guys guys guys! As we continue the hunt for our new Wedding Inspiration Guru (application period closes June 20!), Gee from KnotsVilla approached me about making a broke-ass style board featuring metallic sheen — and y’all know I can’t turn my back on some shiny stuff. So without further ado, here’s Gee!
Hi Broke-Ass Brides and guests!
It’s a pleasure to be showing one of my style boards to you today, which obviously, is a broke-ass style board! As I began working on this board, “affordability” was on the top of the list; my goal was to send you off to a wedding event looking fabulous without breaking the bank.This metallic and black semi-formal look was what I came up with, and I’m totally loving it.

I can see a bride rocking this look to her rehearsal dinner, or a guest (who is bold enough to wear metallic)  to a wedding. Either way, this look is sure to turn heads and make people gasp when they hear it’s all under $150.00!

This board is one of those where I really can’t pick a favorite item because in my mind, it all should be worn together. However I have to say, nothing says “less is more” like a plain metallic dress accessorized just right. Hey Brides and Guests, enjoy this stylish Broke-Ass Wedding Look.

Get this look here: Kenneth Cole New York Virida Dress for $61.99 | Topshop Assorted Glitter bangle Pack for (approx) $14.23 | Pink Stone Stud Earrings for (approx) $10.88 | Black Twist Lock Spike Clutch for $12.95 | Michael Anotonio Lovina Colorblock Sandals for $39.95

Total cost (approx) = $140.00

Still keeping the metallic look in mind, here are some other stylish broke-ass metallic dresses you may like – all under $100.00;


Get these Dresses here: BB Dakota Barker Metallic Brocade Dress for $62.99 |  Christian Siriano Can’t Be Tamed Dress for $40 (Rent) | London Times Women’s Cap Sleeve Tulip Skirt Sheath Dress for $40.00

Thanks again to Dana and Christen for having me talk with Broke-Ass Brides and Guests about Metallic Wedding fashion, hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

About the author: My name is Gee, blogger based in Canada and editor of the Wedding blog, KnotsVilla. My passion for weddings came after I planned my own and since blogging had always been of interest to me, a wedding blog seemed like the right direction. KnotsVilla is all about helping, inspiring and educating brides about their wedding planning. In my free time I love to tweet and instagram wedding pretties.

What do you think, BABs? Would you rock these looks? Which piece is your favorite? 

On Marriage: Rewriting Your Love Story

Y’all, speaking from experience, marriage is tough. And there are times when it doesn’t work, maybe because it wasn’t “meant to be” (I don’t really know what this means, other than fate/destiny/a flying spaghetti monster may have had some sneaky upper hand in my decisions as a lonely, confused mid-twenties female) or maybe because of our own action — or lack thereof — leading up to and through the course of it ending. But there are some, like this writer (originally posted on BlogHer), who staged a battleground in the name of love. Not all love stories are happily ever after … but unhappily ever after doesn’t have to be the only other option. You can be proud of the fight, even if you’re not proud of the reason(s) behind it. And sometimes the result is even more worth anything you may have been able to dream up.

all that we fought for Flickr Creative Commons. Credit.

I didn’t grow up dreaming of my wedding day, so there were no preconceived ideas of what my love story would look like. Marriage was something that most people chose to embark on at a time in their lives when they wanted to build equity, and by that I mean have babies. People got married once they had achieved great jobs, expensive furniture, and ran out of things to do on a Friday night. That all turned out not to be true. I wasn’t going to be one of those ladies who marries an executive in her early 30′s with a destination wedding, and the merging of padded bank accounts. I was going to be the nineteen year old that calls her parents six months after leaving home with the news that I was marrying my twenty year old boyfriend…‘You remember, that guy we had dinner with when you visited me? Brown hair…tattoos…Dad? Hello?’

Although I realize that it doesn’t matter what order things happen in, I liked that we got engaged and married without a shot gun. Most people assume that a nineteen year old gets married after seven months of dating because she’s got a surprise on the way. We were just in love, and I was proud of that. I was really into our whirlwind story of romance on the high seas, forbidden courtships, and grand gestures. I was also incredibly naive, immature, and lacked the skills necessary to be successful in marriage. I’m pretty sure the Sailor would offer up a “ditto” if he were sitting here. It didn’t take long before we experienced, and survived, lying, cheating, financial dishonesty, and a number of other hurdles. Our sweet story of young love looked more like a soon-to-be statistic.

How embarrassing.

Head over to BlogHer to continue reading “Rewriting Your Love Story.”


BAB Classics: Ask Liz: Alcohol and Office Guests

In light of the multitude of questions The Broke-Ass Bride has received as of late regarding alcohol and your reception, specifically how much, we’ve decided to bring back this classic post by Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events. Plus, you get the bonus of etiquette surrounding inviting your office crowd!

Beer for Everyone! Seriously.                         (Courtesy of One Love Photography)

Dear Liz,

Our wedding is next weekend, and we’re providing the alcohol. We’re just serving wine and beer for 100 guests, but how much should we get?


Bar Verklemptkeeper

Dear Bar,

More than you need. But start here: On bottle of wine per two people per hour; two beers (bottle or keg pour) per person per hour. I use Martha Stewart’s calculator, and it hasn’t let me down, yet. But let’s talk about  “hours” for a minute. Hours and ice. If you’re shutting down the bar early to assure that your guests get home alive, my recommendation is to buy enough alcohol to cover that last hour, anyway. Better to have too much than not enough. You can always return what you don’t use – ask your bartender not to open any bottles before he or she pours them.

Ice. Ice melts, which is only one of the things that drives me nuts about nature. Martha calls for one pound of ice per person per hour, but  if using for both cooling and pouring, I’d get another half pound.  Ask your bartender to go a little easy on the ice, too.


Dear Liz,

I work in an office setting and I am getting married in 42 days, I want to give out invites but I don’t want anyone to be offended if I don’t personally invite them, so I was going to just give one to the office staff as a whole rather than personal ones. What do you suggest?


The More the Merrier

Dear Merrier,

Ooh, that sounds like a fantastic idea! Probably the best way to keep of track of who’s coming is to send out email invitations, through e-vite or pingg, or one of those. Not sure what Emily Post (or Martha) would say about that, etiquette-wise, but I’m down with it.


So, what do you peeps think? Would you send a wedding e-vite to your office guests, or give them all an individual one? Are you inviting anyone from work at all? Let’s talk about it in the comments…


See you at the end of the aisle,

Ask Heather: A Same-Sex Couple Wants to Get Married, But They Live in Denver

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Image courtesy of Acts of the Apostasy

Dear Heather,

My fiance and I are a same-sex couple. We live in Denver, Colorado. If we get a marriage license elsewhere, can we hold the ceremony here?

Confused by US Laws

Dear Confused,

Like you, I am also confused by the weirdness of U.S. state and federal laws regarding same-sex marriage, which is why I contacted the lovely Kathryn Hamm, President of for this one. Thankfully, she agreed to act as a guest columnist this week! And now, here’s Kathryn!


Kathryn Hamm, President of Congratulations on your engagement! This is truly an exciting time nationwide as so many same-sex couples are now able to enjoy marriage equality in their home states. (Currently 17 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.)

As you are most likely aware, your home state of Colorado presents its own interesting legal landscape. In 2013, couples in Colorado became eligible for Civil Unions — a relationship status that grants many of the same benefits as marriage, but is not considered to be the same as marriage. Thus, though same-sex couples have access to the benefits of civil unions in Colorado, they do not have access to the same federal rights (including tax programs and other benefits) to which other same-sex couples who have married in one of those 17 states or DC have access.

From a legal standpoint, you would, like so many other couples, benefit from traveling to a marriage equality state. (Only 46% of same-sex couples who got hitched in 2012 married in their home states!) But, just as the federal government doesn’t recognize Civil Unions as marriage, neither does Colorado recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

Quite the conundrum! It’s really no surprise that almost all of the remaining non-marriage equality states currently have cases winding their way through the courts. For same-sex couples and their many allies, resolution on this inequality can’t come quickly enough!

So what are two brides or two grooms to do? Although I fear I’m the Debbie Downer of the wedding industry, I always advise couples to start first with consulting with an LGBT family lawyer and a CPA to determine the legal and financial consequences of one’s choices while we remain in murky relationship status. You might be surprised about what you learn about the rights as a couple you would or wouldn’t have.

The legal landscape overview aside, please allow me to more directly answer your question: if you get marriage license out-of-state, can you have the ceremony in Colorado? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

Ultimately, if you want to get legally married, you will need to apply for a license and find an officiant in a marriage equality state and undertake what I like to call a legal elopement (eloping and marrying away from home for the sole purpose of getting legally wed). From there, you can then return home and have the wedding ceremony (and reception, if you wish!) just as you would like to have it. There will be no license to sign and nothing to file in Colorado, but you can celebrate your union without it.

Some couples in a similar situation have decided to do exactly what you have proposed, but they might have the ceremony out-of-state and then do a reception back home in lieu of a ceremony. And, of course, there are those who have decided to have the wedding (a ceremony and reception) without pursuing the legal status — for now! — since it’s not legal in their home state.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your fiance. Just be sure to consider the legal and financial implications of upgrading your marital status federally, while also keeping in mind the waiting periods and requirements for getting an out-of-state marriage license. Finally, in whatever shape it takes, be sure that you design the wedding you most desire (and can afford!) so that you can celebrate your life-long commitment in style in the company of your friends and family.

About Kathryn Hamm
Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@gayweddingscom) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire, Inc., and president of She lives with her wife and young son in Arlington, VA and, in 2013, celebrated twenty years of togetherness with her wife by getting legally married in the District of Columbia.


It’s Heather again! Thank you so, so much to Kathryn for tackling this question. She obviously did a far better job than I could have done! If you’re also totally confused by same-sex marriage issues, I strongly recommend you check out her website. Freedom to Marry also has a helpful graphic depicting the national landscape. And for any wedding professionals in the house, there is a gay wedding certification course just waiting for you to enroll in it.

DIY or DIE: Concrete + Gold Leaf Centerpiece Ideas


Hey you lovely Broke-Asses!

Wait! Is that really how I get to address y’all?
I think I’m gonna love this gig.

So let’s get right to it. I’m Tabitha and I like to make things from scratch.
Pretty things. Edible things. Cheap things. Awesome things.
And since I’m not currently planning a wedding, I was thrilled that Dana agreed to let me inflict my crafty ways on you folks. Muahaha. *Cue villain music.*


So are you ready to get crafty, the Broke-Ass way?
All you need are a few cheap and easy supplies, a little elbow grease and some wine.


Okay, okay … I admit it might take a lot of elbow grease to get these beauties out of their molds, but nothing that requires a gym membership. Just pour yourself a second glass of wine.


If easy and fancy had a love-child it would be these concrete containers. Which, are totally perfect for centerpieces at your wedding. They take very little skill (hoarding containers counts, right?) cost next to nothing (the 80 lb. bag of concrete costs $5.18!) and are sure to add some high-end industrial charm to your broke-ass shindig.

Be warned: they do take a few days to make from start to finish, but most of that is drying time, leaving you plenty of time to procrastinate other wedding related activities.
I promise.

So are you ready to get crafting?


A few tips and tricks:

In step four when you glue the shape in, if it’s a number/letter it should be glued in backwards. That is to say, if you hold the mold up out in front of you and use your super powers to look through the mold from the outside, you should be viewing your number/letter correctly. When you look down into the container, it will be backward.

Wanna keep these after your wedding and plant succulents in ‘em? Or plant succulents in ‘em for your wedding centerpieces? You should probably drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage using a masonry drill bit once they’re completely dry. That’s it, easy peasy!


Lovely meeting you all and I hope you enjoyed this little project! Let’s hang out again soon around these parts and get our hands dirty. (apologies, too many westerns). I’ll actually be traveling for the next few weeks, so if you have any questions about this project, you can email me at: You can also come visit my blog Winston and Main and/or  feel free to jump* in my suitcase as I eat my way across Japan on instagram.

See ya soon!

*metaphorically of course, I need all the room I can get in my suitcase for shoes!