Posts in the 'The Bride' Category

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Sparkly, Illusion Neckline Marchesa Dress

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Hey there, Broke-Ass Babes! Sadly, no ladies wrote in this week about their wedding dress budget woes. So, this week, I decided to pick one of my favorite dresses from the Marchesa Fall 2014 collection (Style: B10812) and WOWZA, she’s a beaut! A trend that has become very popular in the last few years is the illusion neckline, and if you love to spend hours gazing at gowns like me, you’re sure to see this in every jaw-droppingly beautiful collection of dresses. The neckline in this Marchesa dress is especially dazzling since it’s decked out in pearls and crystals, and the hand-pleated chiffon makes this dress look effortless, yet ethereal like something a Greek goddess would get married in. Are you ready to see it? Here goes, in all of its supreme, flowy, glittering awesomeness:

CAN’T AFFORD IT

Marchesa

Marchesa $$$$ ($3001-$5000)

GET OVER IT

H&M

Sleeveless dress in airy, woven fabric with beading and rhinestone embroidery at top (Style: 66-3399) $99 at H+M.

LightintheBox

A-line Princess Scoop Sweep/Brush Train Charmeuse Wedding Dress (Style: 604656) $119 at LightInTheBox.com

UniqueVintage
White Chiffon & Stone Cap Sleeve Gown (Style: 40778) $224 at Unique Vintage

ForHer&Him
Cap Sleeve A Line Wedding Gown with Decorative Buttons (Style: 0113925) $419.99 at For Her and For Him

Etsy
Romantic  Chiffon Wedding Dress Wedding Gown $438 at Whiterose on Etsy

KathyIrelandBBP
Satin sheath with hand-beaded illusion neckline and cap sleeves (Style: KI1307) $822 at BestBridalPrices.com
MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNSwww.maggiesottero.com
An illusion tulle neckline ornamented with beaded embroidered lace drapes the bodice, culminating in a gathered skirt that flows from an empire waist. (Style: 4MC890) $988 at BestBridalPrices.com
BHLDN
This floor-skimming silhouette balances the sleekness of flowing silk with intricately beaded shoulders and bias-cut styling. Harlow gown, $1,000 at BHLDN
MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNSwww.maggiesottero.com
Accordion pleated Paris Chiffon combines with embellished illusion tulle to create this Grecian inspired dress (Style: 4MK790) $1,049 at BestBridalPrices.com.

Another option you can consider is adding a beautiful, bridal capelet to your dress. They have some amaze options from the websites above (Like THIS stunner at BHLDN ) and will give your look even more versatility. Enjoy your weekend, BAB’s! Until we meet again…

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! 

Real Bride Kate: How to Marry a Foreigner

DISCLAIMERS:

  1. My and Daniel’s K-1 visa has just been approved. The visa has been issued and is in his passport. Therefore, I can tell you that the process described below DID work for us.
  2. However, even though we have successfully completed the K-1 visa process, we are not experts. We are not immigration lawyers and do not work for any immigration services. I am only offering advice, and if you want professional, 100% certain advice – go to a lawyer or government official.
  3. This information is only applicable to a U.S. citizen whose foreign fiancé(e) is immigrating to the United States.

So, you have fallen in love with a foreigner. No? Just me? Well, if you have, let me offer some rudimentary advice on how and why to go through with the K-1 visa.

Visa JB Graffiti

What is the K-1 fiancé(e) visa?

In layman’s terms, K visas are “family” visas that allow for family members to join their relatives in the United States. The K-1 visa allows non-U.S. citizens (like my Australian Daniel) to join their U.S. citizen fiancé(s) (like me!) in the United States. The immigrant DOES NOT become a citizen with this visa.

Can my fiancé(e) and I get a K-1 visa?

Technically speaking, there are only three requirements for getting a K-1 visa.

  1. You must be truly engaged to the immigrant (duh).
  2. The two of you must have met in person within the last two years (of the petition filing date).
  3. You must make above the poverty line for your household size. Or, if you are a part-time worker and do not make enough annually (like me, as a college student), you must have a co-sponsor, and the two of you together must make above the poverty line for your household size. This is to ensure that the immigrant will not become a ward of the state until s/he finds employment.

Should my fiancé(e) and I get a K-1 visa?

Making the choice to immigrate to a foreign country to be with the person you love is exciting and romantic – it is also stressful and risky.

  1. First, ask yourself all the traditional “ready for marriage?” questions. Are you certain about this person? Do you truly love him/her? All that jazz.
  2. Next, are you (as an individual) ready to have your entire relationship literally examined and picked apart, not only by the government, but by your family and friends?
  3. Is one of you really and truly willing to leave your home country (and family and friends and everything you’ve ever known) for the other person WITHOUT EVER GUILTING THEM ABOUT IT OR USING IT AGAINST THEM LATER?
  4. Can you afford it? The entire visa process (counting postage and final plane ticket) costs roughly $3,000. This cost is spread out over several months, but it is still something to consider.

Is there any way to save money?

Obviously, as Broke-Ass Brides, we’re always looking to save. Unfortunately, because most of the fees are government-mandated, there are not many opportunities to save money. Here are the few (read: only) ways Daniel and I have found to save money during this process:

  1. Don’t hire a lawyer to help you. This one is a risk. On one hand, an immigration lawyer comes with a guarantee that your I-129F petition will be accepted. On the other hand, they cost at least $1,000 and honestly, you still have to provide all the same information and do most of the grunt work. We decided to skip the lawyer, and it worked out fine, but it was a risk.
  2. Do it right the first time. Seriously, quadruple check all directions before you begin your forms. Quadruple check the forms before you mail them. If you mess up, you may have to start over from square one, and then you’ve lost your entire investment.
  3. Sign up for frequent flyer points. Daniel and I have been extremely lucky in that we have had several visits together. From the second visit, Daniel has been accumulating frequent flyer points for our airline of choice. Plus, his family and friends have contributed to those points as well. Because of this, his final plane ticket will be (close to) free. This will save us about $1,200 to $1,500.
  4. Exploit the conversion rate. Right now, the U.S. dollar is stronger than the A.U. dollar. Therefore, my money goes farther than Daniel’s does, and visa expenses are “cheaper” for me. Some people may struggle with putting up cash for their significant other, but the way we see it, this is a joint venture, and in the end, what’s mine is his and his is mine anyway.

So how do you even get a K-1 visa?

There are quite a few steps and a TON of supporting documentation, but here are the bare bones:

  1. Get engaged (again, duh).
  2. The U.S. citizen completes an I-129F petition (and sends in a ton of paperwork). This says, “Hey, Government, my fiancé(e) and I love each other. He/She’s pretty cool. Will you let him/her apply for a visa to be with me?”
  3. Once the I-129F is accepted, the foreign fiancé(e) applies for the actual K-1 visa. This says, “Hey, I’m the fiancé(e). Can I come over?”
  4. Once the K-1 visa is approved, the immigrant has six months to move to the U.S.
  5. Once the immigrant arrives, the couple has 90 days to become legally married.
  6. Once married (yeah, it’s NOT over), the immigrant applies for an “Adjustment of Status,” which makes him/her a permanent resident of the U.S. and gives him/her a “temporary green card.”
  7. After two years, the immigrant receives a permanent green card.

Again, the immigrant is NOT a citizen at the end of this process. S/he is only a permanent resident, which means s/he can remain in the United States permanently, but will not have all the rights of a citizen. Citizenship is a whole different barrel of monkeys.

How long does this take?

It depends. The I-129F petition can take anywhere from one month to one year to get approved. Ours took 1.5 months. After the petition is approved, it typically takes another three to six months to get an interview with the U.S. embassy/consulate in the foreign country. Daniel’s interview was only about 1.5 months after our approval date. At that interview, the immigrant will receive an approval or denial.

Where can I get more information?

  1. Always check out the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services first.
  2. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (U.S. Dept. of State) also has a helpful guide.
  3. Another great resource is Visa Journey, which explains the entire K-1 visa process with handy dandy step-by-step guides and timelines.

Visa Love

I know it’s overwhelming. I know it seems ridiculous and crazy. But, trust me: if you really love someone and cannot live without him/her, it’s worth it! If nothing else, now you know why this international bride-to-be has way too much on her plate to pick out flowers just yet!

And to you other international couples, best of luck!

Real Bride Jess: Registries … aka Buy Us Presents

Wedding registries are hard. Everyone’s telling you “don’t forget anything!” “register for more than you need!” “don’t forget China!” “you can always return it!”

Why can’t I just register for the things I want? Neither Michael nor I drink coffee so we really don’t need a coffee maker. My parents have used their wedding China maybe one time, so I probably don’t need wedding China, can’t I just get regular cute dishware? I do see the use of those “things most brides forget to register for” lists, I like to look at those lists! But I don’t think I’m a bad bride for ignoring the item Espresso Machine or Fondue Pot.

What I love about this day and age is you can basically do all of your registering online. The one thing I did want to do in person was register for sheets. I wanted to feel them & make sure that I wasn’t going to receive some thin sheet sized cardboard, but rather cloud-like perfection.

Now I thought this was going to be easy: go in, say you have a registry & would like to add to it, they give you a scan gun, boom. False. You have to sit down, they have to give you paperwork, they discuss your registry & why you don’t have certain things. I felt like I was being interrogated by undercover cops. And THEN (this part was actually the most scarring) someone has to go with you and scan what you want! You’re not even trusted to handle a scanner. The reason for this, I’m sure, is to make suggestions as to what else you should register for and drive up the amount of money guests will hopefully spend. I did succeed in only shopping for bed-related things, but she did win and get me to register not just for sheets but also for fancy pillows,a comforter and a quilt.

Will I be glad to possibly have these items: yes. After I recover from my bitchy resentment will I be glad I went to the store to feel the sheets: yes.

Ok, whining over.

I do have a confession: I am a registery-o-holic. I have four registries. I just like options! I registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Target and Anthropologie. You want to know something else? If four registries is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

 

Ask Heather: Bronx Wedding for $8000 and Parties for A Second-Time Bride

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Photo courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Dear Heather,

Our wedding is this coming August, 2014. Due to a job loss, our financial situation has changed majorly. I  have a venue – Maestro in the Bronx, NY – which  I love. I’m on a minimal budget of $8,000 and postponing isn’t an option. My venue, which comes with a videographer, eats up most of my budget and I’m downgrading my video package to raw video, but that’s only because I can’t break my contract with my videographer; they have already threatened me with legal action if I want to cancel, which would mean I’d have to pay 25% of our $6000 for no services. They got us when we first got engaged and offered us a free 3-day hotel stay and cruise gimmick, and I didn’t know to read the whole contract. This was obviously a hard lesson to learn. I tried cutting the guest list but I really have to find another option. My fiance proposed to me at my church school site, so I must invite not my whole congregation, but a good size. No offense to our church, but we just got our church building, and I wouldn’t have it there because there’s no drinking or playing mainstream music allowed. It’s not the wedding I imagine; I want to party. My dress is under $500. I have a friend taking my pictures for $400, a DJ for $600 and a make up artist for $75 each. I have to pay for my two of my bridesmaids because they want their faces done, too. Thank the lord my maid of honor said she would do her own. I’m paying for that because I can’t do the bridal luncheon or the spa day they wanted and they are on their own with their hair. I have no idea what I’m going to do for transportation and no family to ask for a loan. I’m doing the centerpieces and invitations on my with my Cricut cutting machine; It’s small, but it will have to do. I have a bunch of scrapbook paper and more craft supplies, so I want to use what I have and hope people will take them as favors. I haven’t even figured out how I’m going to have a cake and so many other things I’m sure I am leaving out. I so wanted this to be a day of love, but it seem to be turning into what one of my bridesmaid said that hurt my feeling so much: “You’re going to have a tacky wedding with all this arts and craft stuff you’re doing. It’s going to look like you had your students put together your wedding.” If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

$8000 Bronx Wedding

Dear Bronx,

For the majority of weddings, venue and catering take up 50% of the total budget. I’m hoping that the $6000 you’re paying for your venue covers catering. If not, you’ll likely be better off paying the 25% penalty and walking away from that venue, or it will decimate your budget. For all the other folks out there – read your contracts carefully!!! I cannot possibly stress this enough. Bronx learned her lesson; please learn from her.

You say you cannot cut your guest list, but I sincerely doubt that’s true. You should invite people you genuinely want to be there. Don’t feel required to invite obligatory guests. You might end up hurting some people’s feelings, but odds are, most folks will understand. Weddings are expensive, and each guest can add a sizable amount to an already small budget.

You mentioned being worried about favors and your cake. Don’t bother with favors if they’re going to impact your budget. I don’t know anyone, ever, who has left a wedding saying, “Man, that would have been an awesome event, if only they’d given out favors.” As for your cake -  get a sheet cake from a local grocery store. They’re often quite good, and way cheaper than going with a bakery and getting an official wedding cake.

I’d also consider dropping the DJ and just going with an iPod. It will be more work for you, but it’ll also save you that $600. I just coordinated a wedding recently that used a laptop and a set of speakers, and it was fabulous. When people requested songs, if we didn’t already have them, we could just download them from YouTube. I also wouldn’t worry about providing transportation. Your guests and wedding party can probably figure out how to get themselves from Point A to Point B.

And now, your bridesmaids. First off, they are not entitled to you paying for their hair or makeup. If they want to have their makeup professionally done, they can most definitely pay for that themselves. Second, they are also not entitled to having a bridal luncheon or spa day, so do not feel guilty about not providing that for them. If you can afford it, anything nice you can do for your ladies is great, but that’s only if you can afford it!

As for your bridesmaid who called your wedding tacky … I want to use substantially angrier language, but I’m going to be all polite and simply say please ignore her opinion. I have been to plenty of weddings with handmade decorations, and I have consistently loved them! It adds a really personal touch and shows that you put a lot of love into the day.

Dear Heather,

I’m on my 2nd wedding, and people keep asking if I’m having a bridal shower or bachelorette party. Is it common to have another, or is it usually foregone?

I’m a Bride Again

Dear Again,

Normally, a 2nd wedding doesn’t include a bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, if you want to have them and have people who want to throw them for you, I say go for it! Two of my friends got married last year and it was a 2nd wedding for both of them. The bride didn’t want a shower, and I was bummed! We did end up doing a low-key dinner for her bachelorette party, but I would have loved more ways to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.

Some folks might get all judgmental if you have additional celebrations for a 2nd wedding. Those people are just mean. If you are truly concerned about their opinion, though, you could consider doing a “no gifts” shower, if you’re worried about looking gift-grabby.

And now, I’m going to hop on my soapbox about 2nd weddings, because I just cannot resist. Some people get all cranky about 2nd weddings, about how they aren’t “real” and blah blah blah. This is nonsense. Second weddings involve people who have already been married, been through the life-altering, decimating experience of divorce, and have the courage to try again. They’ve loved, had that loved ripped away, but care about this new person so much that they’re willing to risk that pain all over again. I think they’re brave. So there, society!

What do you think, lovely readers? Any suggestions for Bronx on how to cut costs? Have you ever learned your lesson from not reading a contract thoroughly? And how about Again? Would you have a shower and bachelorette party for a 2nd wedding? Are you like me, and always looking for a reason to celebrate? Let me know in the comments below!

Winning Wednesday: Let ModCloth Doll You Up for Your Rehearsal Dinner

affiliate disclosure

finished collage
There are few things that Team Broke-Ass loves more than ModCloth. From the prices to the styles to the superfun apartment swag, it’s almost like they’ve crawled inside our brains and set up shop. And that love only increased when ModCloth decided to start pimping some ridiculously gorgeous wedding wares. Swoon x 1000! It’s a problem.
So, obviously, when the chance came to share this mad obsession with you, our darling Broke-Ass Brides, we jumped at it. And since the ModCloth-BAB love seems to be so mutual, they’re not just trying to put you in a dress and call it a day. NOPE. ModCloth is tossing a $150 gift card your way to outfit you fully for your rehearsal dinner. I mean, haven’t you spent money on enough things already, without having to take a whole ‘nother outfit into consideration? With a v. large portion of their dresses falling well under $100, you’ll have enough left over to get some sweet new kicks and beautiful baubles, which should help you kick your bridal style into full gear!

Each method earns you an entry, so get to clicking so you can score this rockin’ $150 gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what outfit would you rock for your rehearsal dinner, BABs?

Real Bride Elizabeth: Family Matters

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 Sisters!

I am extremely close with my family. Of my three younger siblings, it’s difficult for me to think of three people I would rather hang out with. I was convinced that all the horror stories I heard from friends about family members going crazy during the wedding planning process would not happen to me — no way, no how. Then my younger sister, Tegan, got married. There wasn’t too much drama, but there was a tense moment the night before the wedding when Tegan told my cousin she would prefer she not wear a white, lace dress to the ceremony. No brainer, right? What followed on that wedding eve consisted of my aunt telling my sister she was a spoiled brat who had never been told no (if you know my parents, you would know this is laughable) and Tegan dissolving into tears.

Still, my naïveté persisted and lasted until my engagement bubble was rudely burst, all by family members. I am still four months out, so I am sure there will be more, but I’d like to present you with the top three most dramatic moments in my planning so far, ranging from “Excuuuuuuse me?” to “WTF?!?!?”

1. My mother (would the list be complete without a mother-of-the bride moment?)

My mom has made it clear from Day 1 that she is not happy with my choice to get married in North Carolina instead of my hometown in Wisconsin. My fiancee has a majority of his family and friends in North Carolina, and mine are scattered all over the US. Plus, I’ve always wanted a destination wedding but didn’t have the budget to pull off Mexico, so this was a happy medium. Every couple weeks I get a text or a call along the lines of, “Why are you getting married in North Carolina again???” She tries to pull everything from the tradition card (I’m not that traditional, so doesn’t bother me) to the fact that a lot of my extended family won’t be able to make the trip (that’s the point!) to try and get me to change my mind. Deposits have been made, appointments set, there’s so going back at this point.

2. My aunt

I heard through the family grapevine that one of my aunts had confided in many family members that she was on “Team Ex,” and was not pleased that I was marrying Bryce because she didn’t think he was “as fun” as my ex. Well, that’s pretty offensive to both me and my groom-to-be. Yes, my ex was a nice guy overall, but there were definitely reasons I called it off. And while he may have been more outgoing and extroverted around my family than Bryce is, I’m the one marrying him, so it really matters how we interact with each other, right? If you like my ex so much, why don’t you marry him?

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 At the end of the day, you don’t remember all the drama that happened before the wedding.

3. My other aunt (the same one that threw the white dress fit at my sisters wedding, shockingly)

This one definitely takes the cake. After we got back from North Carolina, we headed to Wisconsin to see my family there and celebrate the good news. My aunt and cousins were there as well, and everyone seemed really happy for us. However, I woke up the next morning to a text from my aunt asking if I was sure my fiance was straight. OK, I admit, I can somewhat understand this. Bryce loves Beyonce, shopping and watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” When I met him, the thought that he was gay did cross my mind. When we started dating, one of my friends was convinced I was his beard. At this point in our relationship, I’ve dotted my t’s and crossed my i’s.  I assured her I had the situation under control, but she continued to tell me that “many” of my family members have expressed the same concern. I think what bugged me more was the fact that all these family members were lip-flappin’ about my personal life!

Throughout all this drama, I have chosen to take the words of my homegirl RuPaul to heart: What other people think of you is none of your business. This has become my mantra throughout the wedding process, and will keep me going until I walk down the aisle. This is my wedding, and I’m doing it the way I want, with the person I want.

Stadium Proposals: What it Takes to Pop the Question in a Ballpark

YOU GUYS. It’s baseball season. And I freaking LOVE baseball (go Red Sox!!). When I was younger, I always thought it would be super rad to be proposed to atop the Green Monster at Fenway … though age and my opinion of public proposals have changed that a bit. However, ballpark proposals are still a dream come true for many baseball-lovin’ brides-to-be. But, they certainly don’t come cheap. The Huffington Post ran this nifty graphic the other day which was put together by the folks at Swimmingly, breaking down the cost for each stadium. Turns out the Pittsburgh Pirates won’t loot you of all your skrilla but there’s no dodging the huge price tag at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ field. Here’s the full breakdown:

2014 ballpark proposals

Even though it certainly takes a pretty penny at some of these parks, apparently all proceeds from proposals go to charity. Swimmingly breaks down what’s included in each package here.

What’s it take to pop the question at your favorite team’s stomping grounds? How do you feel about a proposal at a major league ballpark?

Ask Heather: My MIL Has Kidnapped Our Rehearsal Dinner!

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Photo courtesy of Torley

Dear Heather,

Any advice for a bride who isn’t looking forward to the night before her wedding? My parents are paying for the wedding, so my future in-laws graciously offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner. We told them all we wanted was something relatively casual and with decent food–everything else was up to them, unless they wanted our input (they don’t live where the wedding is, so we were trying to be helpful here). They asked us for advice and we provided what we thought were a range of reasonable options.

Well, the rehearsal dinner is less than a month away, and I’m dreading it. My FMIL has rejected every single place of input we provided–every restaurant (around 50 of them over 6 months!), every idea, and every menu item. Planning this rehearsal dinner has taken more time and mental energy than the wedding itself, and it isn’t even the rehearsal dinner we want! Eventually the FILs decided they wanted something formal but not expensive, so it’s at a place that is kind of weirdly formal but with famously not-so-great food. And it is going to be a long, formal, multi-course affair, which is the opposite of what we wanted.

FMIL won’t even let us know what the menu is—in fact, she won’t send us the final menu, guest list, or even the dress code–which is now pissing my family off. The invites haven’t even gone out yet, and it’s in less than a month. I know my FMIL is fairly disorganized and tends to plan things last minute, but she has rejected every offer of help. Distressingly, she has also hinted that we will “find out when we get there” to several questions. I’m very concerned that she is planning some kind of surprise or series of surprises. I cannot stress this enough–I hate surprises, which she knows–but she is a fan of them.

I know most of my concerns are pretty petty, but I’m bummed out. I know that FILs are paying and that they get final say, which I have no problem with, but I had really hoped that at least one thing in the evening would be representative of SO and I as a couple. Instead it is going to be, according to FMIL, “their family’s party.” I’m also really concerned about possible surprises–SO has told his mother repeatedly that we do not want this, and her reaction is to tell him that “he doesn’t know how to plan things anyways” and then to act hurt that he doesn’t trust her. Any advice for getting through the evening? So far my plan is “grin and bear it.”

Oh, and as of last week, FMIL has also indicated that she would like to throw us another party 3 weeks after the wedding in her hometown so that their family and friends can have a party too. She was planning on telling us “later,” when things were already planned. I can’t even.

My Rehearsal Dinner Isn’t Really Mine

Dear Dinner,

I will never quite understand why weddings tend to bring out the crazy, and I suspect there are plenty of BABs out there who feel your pain. I’m so, so sorry your rehearsal dinner isn’t turning out to be what you hoped it would be. Unfortunately, at this point, I don’t think there’s a whole lot you can do about it, other than adopt a zen attitude and just go with it. Normally, I would suggest having your fiance talk to his mother, but you’ve already done that. I’d also suggest trying to compromise, but that doesn’t seem to be something that’s in your FMIL’s bag of tricks. If there happens to be a family member of FMIL who is on your side, you could ask that person to talk to her and hopefully make things at least a little bit better. Perhaps that person could mention that the venue she’s chosen isn’t exactly known for its fine cuisine, or that you’re serious about not liking surprises. But it sounds like FMIL has her plan and she’s sticking to it.

With that in mind, rather than discussing the details, which FMIL clearly doesn’t want to talk about, focus on the logistics. There are certain pieces of information that you absolutely have to have. Don’t offer to help her with any of this. Simply state that you need the following questions answered or tasks completed. Period. At some point (really, really soon), guests need to receive their invitation. You need to know the menu, just in case there are food allergy issues. And you need to know the dress code, so you don’t show up in something totally inappropriate. When it comes to the various surprises FMIL likely has in store for you, just view them as the price of admission to marrying your fiance. Once the two of you are married, you become family, and every family has their own weirdness. Trust me.

Now, in regards to the rehearsal dinner you truly wanted – while it wasn’t exactly the same, my MIL wasn’t thrilled that we weren’t inviting her entire side of the family to our Friday rehearsal dinner. My husband and I made this decision because we were paying for everything ourselves and inviting all of her family would have literally doubled our guest list, and we just couldn’t do it. We ended up having a “no-host” dinner on Thursday with just his family, which was a win-win. We got to see everyone, but didn’t have to break our budget. Perhaps you could do something like this on the day before your FIL’s dinner. It could be super-casual, maybe even a potluck, and only minimally financially impact you and your fiance. I’m envisioning something like a small gathering at your house/apartment, or a BBQ at a local park. If your FMIL questions why you’re doing it, simply explain that you wanted a more casual setting to chat with your guests, and leave it at that.

As for that after-the-wedding gathering – I’m with you. “I can’t even.” I don’t know how far away your FMIL’s hometown is from where you live right now, so I don’t even know if your attendance is feasible. Either way, planning an event without notifying the guests of honor in advance is ill-advised, as you obviously know. Let your FMIL know that you appreciate the sentiment, but based on your schedules as a couple, you and your fiance have to know when this party is going to happen, to ensure you can even attend. Try to get her to talk over the logistics of this party. And then, go home and have a glass of wine/bottle of beer/Xanax with your fiance.

Was your rehearsal dinner planned by your FILs? Did you have any input? How did it go? Let us know in the comments, or just commiserate with your crazy family stories and help Dinner feel less alone!

Do you have a burning question for Heather about your wedding day? Email info@brokeassbride to submit your quandary.

Five for Friday: Stay Wonderfully Warm on Your Wedding Day with a Wrap

Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! This week, we got a super special request from a super specialer (yup, making up words here, folks) bride-to-be: My former roommate from way back when, who is getting married in a very amazing location needs something to keep herself warm and cozy for her fall nuptials. So, she hollered at yours truly with a mission to find a toasty wrap or shawl for her usually chilly self that would greatly compliment the long-sleeved short antique-y dress she plans on donning. So, Kate, here’s what I found … and I know you would rock the hell out of any and all of these. Bonus: All ring in at under $80!

Carlotta Wrap, BHLDN $78

Carlotta Wrap, BHLDN $78


Daydream Confetti Shawl, Ruche $28.99

Daydream Confetti Shawl, Ruche $28.99


Pashmina Shawls, The Dessy Group $30.00

Mandy Boucle Tassel Shawl, Boohoo.com $32
Mandy Boucle Tassel Shawl, Boohoo.com $32

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Alpaca Wool Winter Shawl Wrap, Amazon $49.99

Whaddya think, Kate? Any of these make you fall head over heels? How are the rest of you Broke-Asses staying warm on your wedding day?