Posts in the 'Shopping' Category

Five for Friday: Bridesmaid Dresses Under $40

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Sure, the Lily Pulitzer collab and it’s stoopid-fast sellout might be all the buzz surrounding Target, but the retailer is one of my favorite go-tos for picking up a cute outfit quickly and on the cheap. For Broke-Ass Brides, Target is also a great resource for pretty dresses for your crew that you can totally buy — or not feel guilty about asking them to buy. Sure, they have their own gorgeous and chiffon-filled bridesmaid line, but the retailer also carries tons of wedding worthy frocks. In classic shapes that are completely rewearable, these dresses are completely adorable and totally BAB-friendly. Here are my five favorite dresses under $40:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.23.13 AM

Lily Star Sleeveless Cupcake Dress, $34.99

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Zac & Rachel Sleeveless Fit and Flare Dress, $39.99

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Chandi & Lia Sleeveless Black Sheath Dress, $29.98

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3hearts V-Back Pleated Dress, $27.99

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3hearts Lace Skater Dress, $27.99

Which one of these affordable darlings is your favorite, BABs?

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Discontinued ModCloth Dress for Under $300

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Man, did I have a challenge for the Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! post this week! Alyssa commented on this CAI/GOI post with the following:

“Love this feature — it’s given me so many links to check out in my search for the perfect dress! Unfortunately, I’ve fallen in love with this ModCloth dress which is sadly discontinued. I love the lace and the halter top neckline. I’m trying to find something similar for under $300 !”

First off, thanks for the love, Alyssa! We love that you love BAB! Secondly, that dress is totally adorable! The floral lace in ModCloth‘s “I Do Declare!” dress is delicate and feminine, while the short length keeps if fun and flirty. The halter neckline is not something you see too often in wedding dresses (hello, strapless everything), but it lends to the retro vibe that makes this dress unique. Finding a similar dress with both lace and a halter neckline (specifically, one with light, gauzy straps) was no easy feat, but here goes!

Can't Afford It

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 3.39.11 PM I Do Declare! Dress from ModCloth, Discontinued

Get Over It c779d1585697b3aaab3f3dec1a4d9cc9 Jaunty Jive Dress, $59.99 at ModCloth

(This is currently out of stock but never fear! If you sign up, ModCloth will notify you when it’s back in action!)


7b63628e947c9f2842489042afa677cb This Blissful Moment Dress, $149.99 at ModCloth

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.37.34 AM
Hailey Logan ‘Megan’ Cutout Textured Skater Dress, Item #1011643, $89 at Nordstrom

2273491-p-4x Max and Cleo Rose Cut Out Lace Dress, SKU: #8147943, $41.40 at

31018 Mori Lee Affairs Bridesmaid Dresses, Style 31018, $174 at

3090396-p-4x BB Dakota Fenton Dress, SKU 8497261, $88 at Zappos

S9EQNDoZsE_Unique_Vintage_1950s_Style_Ivory_Midtown_Halter_Swing_Dress 1950s Style Ivory Midtown Halter Swing Dress, Item #:P10214, $59 at Unique Vintage

il_570xN.620144872_p2xu Vintage 1950s Lace Dress, $134 at PickledVintage via Etsy

il_570xN.607029077_bvcc Marilyn Monroe Inspired Wedding Dress, $245 at DyStyle via Etsy

il_570xN.470717453_ekbg Knee Length Lace Wedding Dress, $217 at LaceMarry via Etsy

il_570xN.643301738_mw8m Knee Length Halter Neckline A Line Lace Wedding Dress, Style WD022, $158 at RoseHauteCouture via Etsy

BHLDN Chloe Dress

Chloe Dress, $250 from BHLDN

ivory-dress-ML-31005-d Mori Lee Short Strapless Ivory Lace Dress, Style ML-31005, $99 at Simply Dresses

For the last dress, you could bring it to a seamstress and have them add on material to make it a halter neckline. And for $99 for the dress, you’d definitely still be under budget!

I hope one of these dresses is the one for you, Alyssa! The shorter length means they’re not only good alternative wedding dresses, but great options for showers, reception dresses, or (for as low as $41.40, WHAT!?), I’d justify wearing one on the couch whilst eating pizza just because. Broke-Ass Brides can be fancy pizza eaters too, you guys. Good luck with your search and happy shopping!

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.

Real Bride Elissa: Dealing with Accessory Regret

A few weeks ago I wrote about how excited I was about my customized wedding dress – it’s very unique and very me. I also found some gorgeous, comfortable low wedges (and then bought two more pairs in other colors for work, if that says something), the perfect dangly earrings, a matching belt, and a really fantastic feathered, sparkly hair clip for the reception. I can’t wait to put everything together on the big day … except my veil. I really, really dislike the veil I bought, and it’s non-refundable, non-exchangeable, and, unlike the rest of my bridal ensemble, non-Elissa. I tried it on when I initially bought my dress, and loved the way it coordinated with the ribbon belt I put on in the store. The salesgirl told me it was the only one left (in hindsight a sales tactic), and I got caught up in the thrill of the find. I never even looked at the pricetag – it was such a simple veil, one narrow layer of tulle, how bad could it be? It ended up being $80, and even though I felt in my gut that wasn’t a good price, I let the WIC get the best of me and plunked down my credit card.

So now, almost a year later, the look of my dress, and my bridal look altogether, has changed so drastically from what I envisioned when I bought the veil. I so wish I’d saved this piece for last, or at least shopped around a bit more, because now I’m feeling stuck. Buying another veil is certainly easy enough, but I’m feeling guilty about essentially wasting $80, especially since I’ll likely only be wearing the veil for an hour or two.

Option One: Get over myself and wear the darn veil. It’s really not that bad, but it’s just not what I’m envisioning for my day. I feel like it’s kind of plain, cheaply constructed, and doesn’t add anything, but chances are strong that I’ll be caught up in the joy of my wedding day and not care anymore.


Option Two: Like a proud BAB, try and get crafty and re-configure the veil I have. One of the styles I’m leaning toward is an oversized birdcage. I have plenty of tulle to play with on my current fingertip option, but the ribbon edging on it may prove tricky, and I could ruin it altogether. I wouldn’t be able to either wear it or re-sell it, and will have truly wasted the $80.

veil etsy

The Mabel Birdcage Veil from Etsy

Option Three: Get over myself and buy a new veil. My bridesmaid Emily made a great point: yes, I’m only wearing it for two hours on my wedding day, but I’ll be wearing it for the rest of my life in photos. Why tinge them with any kind of regret? With this option, I can try and sell my current veil on a site like Tradesy or OnceWed.

Even if I decide to go this route though, I still can’t even settle on a style – I just know it has to be different than the one I have. I’ve trolled Etsy for days, and visited a few other bridal salons (including one who tried to sell me a five-foot-long piece of plain ivory tulle for $650). Do I go retro with the oversized birdcage, that shows off the detail on my dress? Classic and dramatic with a chapel length and blusher that can romantically blow in the wind? Or compromise with a full, two layer cascading elbow length, like the one below? I also can’t bring myself to spend more than $50 on a new one, as there are SO MANY other places I want to spend that money right now (like … an awesome meal on our honeymoon).


I know I have to make a decision ASAP, so that I have plenty of time to order the new one if that’s the route I choose. I also know this is such a silly problem to have, but it does feel good to rant about it. And if nothing else comes from this, I hope another bride reads this post and thinks twice about impulse-buying something non-returnable, a year before the wedding!

Have you had any accessory regret? How did you deal with it?

Real Bride Katie: Tackling the Chub Rub

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I’ve told you all about the trials and tribulations of hunting for – and then deciding to have someone create – my dream wedding dress.

But now, with just one more fitting left before we go from muslin mock-up to actual dress, it’s time to talk about what goes underneath the dress.

I’m not particularly blessed in the boob department, so the top half was easy. My lovely seamstress agreed to make me a bustier, because I am a hard-to-fit bra size and with a fitted sweetheart bodice, the wrong strapless would be a disaster. Who hasn’t spent a day yanking up an ill-fitting bra? #buzzkill

With that problem neatly solved, I turned to the bottom half.

My journey with self-love and body positivity has been long, frustrating, and full of ups and downs. But at this point in my life, I’m in a really good place of love and acceptance, and I do a lot of talking about body positivity.


 Via Pretty Pear Bride

Consequently, I wasn’t super into the idea of shapewear. It can feel really uncomfortable, and it made me feel weird to try to force my body into a shape that it isn’t. Besides, I don’t know about you, but Spanx aren’t exactly my idea of sexy underwear!


After much soul searching, I decided that I was okay with the idea of wearing some simple shapewear to create the look that I want for my wedding day. I ended up feeling much the same as I do about makeup: I’m adamant about the idea that my face should be acceptable in the world in its natural state, and that I shouldn’t feel like I need to wear makeup to leave the house, and I don’t, about 85% of the time. But I also shouldn’t feel bad about the times I want to express myself and ornament myself through the use of makeup. Makeup and clothing and hair color and all those kinds of things should, in my opinion, be about self-expression, art and comfort, not making yourself acceptable to others. Having made my peace with the idea of wearing shapewear, I set off on an Internet journey to find the right ones.

My goals were to find something that:

1) Would prevent the dreaded chub rub;

2) Would create a smooth line from the bustier down to where my dress flares out to create a trumpet silhouette;

3) Wouldn’t flatten my butt (because when you’re blessed/cursed with a big booty, you either resign to hating it, or you learn to see it as an asset) and;

4) Would perhaps look just a little less like granny panties than what Bridget Jones has going on above.

Three and 4 on that list knocked out just about every shorts or tights type item, and so I decided to divide and conquer.

To smooth my lower stomach without flattening my butt took me on a really bizarre trip around the Internet, as I Googled all kinds of keywords until I realized that “butt lifter” was the magic phrase.

  200 via Giphy

I chose a simple option from Love My Bubbles that wasn’t too ugly and promises to smooth my front without flattening the back. Here’s hoping it works!  derriere-lift-hiphugger-nude-main To solve the chub rub option, I came across a product called Bandelettes. They were kind enough to offer me free samples of their products in return for an honest review. Bandelettes are elastic lace bands that go around your thighs to prevent chafing. They’re basically the tops of thigh highs if you cut the stockings off, though in my opinion, the fabric is much softer and more comfortable.

I wore my Bandelettes for about 15 hours straight, which is probably longer than I’ll need to wear them on the wedding day.

When I first put them on, I felt like I had a bit of a left shark situation, because one leg was perfect and the other just kept rolling up.

200 (1)

via Giphy

It turns out that they just need to be put on carefully. After I went to the restroom and adjusted them, smoothing the lace over the silicone strips, they didn’t move again. Fifteen hours with no chafing or rubbing at all. I was in heaven!

I really enjoyed wearing Bandelettes. They solve the chub rub problem without the heat that comes from tights or leggings, which is going to come in really handy in the coming months. I’m keeping my white ones in the package for the wedding day, but I’m excited to rock the black ones under my maxi dresses all summer. And the bonus is that they’re really pretty cute!


At $15, you really can’t get any more broke ass than that!

How are you tackling your smoothing, shaping and chafing dilemmas, if at all? Are you concerned about chub rub?


Ten for the Weekend: Sales, Deals and Discounts

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1. Love yoga but hate going to classes? Yoga Download is offering their Yearly Elite membership for $60 (normally $90) with code EARTH15YE until 4/23.

2. Etsy seller WonderfullyHooked2U is hooking BABs up with 20% off at her shop when you use Coupon20 at checkout. Oh, and score free shipping with code Brokebride.

WonderfullyHooked2U Mr & Mrs Hangers
Love these personalized hangers!

3. Want to show off your engagement pics? Shutterfly is knocking 50% off hard cover photo books and 30% off everything else with code 50AND30 until 4/22.

4. At Wedding Paper Divas, save 15% off program, menu, place card, table card, napkin and coaster orders of $49 or more or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code 20DAYOFAPR until 4/21.

5. Need some new glasses for your wedding day? is having a Buy One Get One sale with code B1G1 until 4/30.

6. Head to MagnetStreet where you can get 15% off + free shipping on wedding products with codeWEAA4FS until 4/27.

MagnetStreet Flat Rectangle Modern Flirtation Invitations

I’m digging this new invitation style!

7. Get your groom looking dapper with 20% off at Bonobos when you use code SPRINGSTYLE through 4/30.

8. Want some pretty wedding day accessories without spending tons? Gloss Jewelry is taking 80% off everything on the site + free shipping with code GLOSS80FREE until 4/30.

9. Being a Broke-Ass Bride has its perks, yo! Get 5% off sitewide at LunaBazaar with code BROKEBRIDE5.

10. Size 10+? We got you. Kiyonna is taking 20% off orders of $150+ with code SPRING2015 until 5/15.

Kiyonna Luna Lace Dress

The Luna Lace dress is so pretty and super on-trend!

Happy Shopping, BABs!


Five for Friday: Fabulous Etsy Finds for Your Wedding

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Happy Friday, darlings! Since you’re in the midst of wedding planning, I’m sure you know Etsy is a dearth of amazing handmade goodness, often for fairly broke-ass friendly prices. From a fun guest book to a gorgeous gown to a wine-lover’s way to commemorate marriage milestones, this week’s Five for Friday is chock-full of great Etsy finds.

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses  Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses, $98+ by RenzRags

I know BABs are into having their brigade choose their own style of dress, because one style doesn’t always work for everyone. These gorgeous dresses can come in different lengths and a whole swath of colors, and have a pretty nice price tag to boot.

Etsy EKG Heart Necklace

Heartbeat Necklace, $26 by HalalMill

Your partner makes your heart go pitter-patter, so why not show that on your wedding day? This necklace would make a gorgeous day-of accessory.

Etsy Drop Top Guest Book

DropTop Wedding Guest Book, $145+ by ACFCustoms

Yes, this one is a little spendy, but it’s an idea I have yet to see for a wedding guest book. Considering it reminds me of Connect Four (remember that game?) and will make a gorgeous piece of wall art after the big day, I’d say it’s worth a bit of a splurge.

Bohemian Lace dress

Bohemian Lace Wedding Dress, $470 by PolinaIvanova

This dress caught my eye and I’m totally digging it. The lace detail is gorgeous, it looks soft and flowy, it has built-in bra cups and it’s under $500. That’s a lot of awesome for one dress.

Etsy Marriage Milestone Wine Labels

6 Custom Married First Wine Labels, $26.99 by LabelWithLove

Calling all oenophiles! This is such a great idea — even better if the wine comes from friends and family in the form of engagement / wedding presents. Then you have a special bottle from a special person to celebrate those special milestones during your marriage.

What do you think of these Etsy finds BABs?

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Monique Lhullier’s Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown under $1,500

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Before we get down to the business of Gown Hunting, let’s take a moment to welcome our new BAB team member, Caitlyn, who did a bang-up job on her post last week! Kudos, Caitlyn!

And now back to the fashion frenzy, reader fanfanstella had the most eloquent way of phrasing her dress dilemma. In her comment to another CAI/GOI post, she said the Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown “doesn’t come with a price tag as beautiful as the gown.” I hear ya, hon! That Chantilly lace is divine, and it has such an understated elegance in a delicate column silhouette with eyelash trim at the sweetheart neckline, so let’s get to work finding a replacement for under $1,500!

(And hey, if you weren’t already aware, we pay close attention to reader comments, so drop us a line if you need help finding that perfect gown!)

  Can't Afford It

Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown

Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown, $3,890 at ShopBop

Get Over It

Nicole Miller Jamie

Nicole Miller Jamie Gown, $1,400 at BHLDN

Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress Zappos

Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress (Style: 7439), $278 at Zappos

Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown ShopBop

Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown, $1,495 at ShopBop

Zappos Nicole Miller Nina Gown

Nicole Miller Nina Bridal Gown, $1,200 at Zappos

Watters Lucinda

Watters Lucinda, $400 at BHLDN

Lace Georgette Ann Taylor

Lace Georgette Spaghetti Strap Gown, $795 at Ann Taylor

J. Crew Brianna

Brianna Gown, $450 at J. Crew

Best bridal Prices Watters Tina

Watters Tina, Style 52138, $778 at BestBridalPrices

Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown

 Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown, rent it for $185 at Rent The Runway

Etsy IdoCouture Sheath Lace Sweetheart Silhouette

Sweetheart Lace Sheath Silhouette, $950 by Etsy seller IDoCoutureBridal

V-Neck Etsy

V-Neck V-Back Lace Wedding Gown, $500 by Etsy seller BrendasBridal

Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: The column style gown, otherwise known as a sheath style, can be curve hugging to the point of restricting movement. If you plan to break it down at your reception, do a “dress rehearsal” in the dressing room while trying on the gown. Test out a few of your signature moves so you’ll know what you’ve got to work with.  

So did you get your Chantilly lace fix? I know I sure did! Which gown is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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.

Kiss My Tulle’s Top 5 Places to Buy a Dress for your Elopement

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We asked our darling, wonderful and #rad friend Cris at Kiss My Tulle to pop by with a quick guest post on her top 5 places to shop for your elopement dress. KMT focuses on super budget, mostly rural weddings and is so freaking full of killer information for those of you operating with a tiny amount of dollars. Be sure to check out her series on wedding inspiration based on your state!

One of the easiest ways to save money on your elopement is to find a deal on a cute, short dress. Not only are they adorable but generally, the more informal dresses cost MUCH less than their full-length counterparts. Here are my top 5 places to buy a dress for your elopement:


ModCloth // Target // Etsy // BHLDN // J. Crew

Are any of you considering a cute dress for your elopement?

Get Inspired: A Teal and Persimmon Vintagey Wedding Style

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We’re pretty pumped about Real Bride Elissa‘s very vintage color scheme. Her pretty palette takes shades of cool green-blue and contrasts them with warm orange and red for a sweet look that screams for some retro-feeling style. We’re thinking demure A-line gowns and lovely lace for your best girls with plenty of punchy accessories that give a nod to traditional looks without being generic. One of my favorite parts about these colors is that they’re, like, whoa-flexible. Brighten it up during warmer months, or go with the richer, more muted hues when it’s cool. Either way, you can channel your inner Joan Holloway with these swell shades that are anything but boring. Screen shot 2015-04-13 at 8.05.15 PM

1. Decorative Spring Rectangle Wedding Invitations, tarting at $1.70 each for 100 at MagnetStreet 2. Christian Michele Lace Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress, $850 at edressme 3. Red Asiatic Lilies, $89.99 for 50 stems from Bunches Direct 4. Milly Sophia Lace Shift Dress, $45 to rent at Rent the Runway 5. Nha Khanh Red Lace Dahlia Dress, $100 at Rent the Runway 6. ML Monique Lhuillier Isabella Dress, $30 to rent at Rent the Runway 7. Glitz Teal Rhinestone Earrings, $9 at Lulu’s  8. Kate Spade New York Turquoise Ilexa Shoe, $131.20 at 9. Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer in Fire, $25.50 at Sephora 10. Set of 3 Turquoise Vintage Glass Bottles, $8.40 at Luna Bazaar 11. Contessa Centerpiece, $46.99 at Bunches Direct

Do you have a style in mind, but don’t know where to start? Let us know how we can inspire you in the comments!