Posts in the 'The Bride' Category

Real Bride Peach: How to be a Zen Master Bride

In speaking with a fellow bride this week (on Twitter message at close to midnight, natch), she stated, “I know you’re like Zen Master Bride, but if you need someone to hear you say unproportionally angry things, I’m here.”

Wait, what? Me? Zen Master Bride?

BWHAHAHA.

How sweet of her! But that simple message led me to ponder over why I’d be perceived as such, when it sure as hell feels like nothing I’m doing or feeling as a Bride is “Zen”.  Here’s my short and sweet advice.

Zen Bride, Broke-Ass Bride, Real Bride Peach, Bride on a Budget,

 

Made with PicMonkey

1. Don’t freak out.

I know. Seems impossible. But remaining calm and keeping a tight reign on my notorious temper has been key for me. I do whatever possible to alleviate stress in my off time, be it relaxing, reading or running and yoga. Because if the Bride ain’t happy, nobody happy. As for emotionally, I try really, REALLY hard to not take questions or comments or jabs personally. It is so difficult to do, especially for a people-pleaser like me. But realizing that these thoughts are (mostly) coming from a place of love has been invaluable. Yes, there will be drama and disappointment and stress. Just trust me when I say that rolling with the punches is far easier than exhausting yourself with a meltdown or engaging in a bloodbath.

2.  Remember your Wedding Vision.

Stick with your vision, no matter what. Now, if your vision is to have a 3-day mandatory camping excursion with 150 people in tents out in the great beyond (no kidding, this has happened in real life), you may want to rethink your ideas. Your guests will thank you for not being required to hover-pee over poison oak in the forest. But in my case, even pre-engagement, my fiance and I dreamed of a simple, intimate garden wedding in front of our nearest and dearest followed by a rockin’ meal and music. 10 months later? That’s still the forefront of our wedding in October. And by NOT getting distracted by the pressure, the Pinterest temptations or the glitz and glam of the industry, we were able to stay focused throughout all the planning on *our* vision. Is it easy? Hardly. But it’s worth it.

3. Pick your battles.

This, my friends. THIS. In the epic world of planning a wedding, there will be many battles. It is your choice entirely as to which ones you meet head-on.  If someone wants to mess with your dreamy garden wedding vision and insists that you have a destination wedding in Cabo or a cathedral church wedding, well, you have my permission to squash those ideas with a quickness. (Nicely, of course.) But when it comes to the smaller nuances, use your logical and deductive skills to decide whether or not to kick up a fuss or to roll with the curveball. Everyone is different and every wedding is different, but in the end, relinquishing *some* of your bridal control can actually be a good thing.

*And pro tip from me? If someone is insisting on adding something that will either 1. impact your budget or 2. cause you added stress and lost time or 3. both, you have every right to state that you’d be happy to think about it but that you cannot incur the costs of their idea and they will need to help with the execution.  The majority of the time, their tune will change most quickly. If not, and they are willing to pitch in AND you actually do like their idea, then let them run like the wind with it. Then you can keep doing you.

4. Let it out.

Please, please, please remember that you are human. Feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, stress are normal. If you keep it all inside, you’ll not only be miserable … you’ll also be dangerous to anyone within a 10-mile radius. This is when having trusted friends who know you, love you and can bear your pain are priceless. In private with them, let it out. (“In private” is critical. Do NOT go apeshit on your Aunt Milda.) Your friends should act as your Vault. With them, wail, scream, cry, whatever you have to do. Follow it up with a glass (or 2) of wine and a good night’s sleep and you’ll feel far better the next day.

So am I totally Zen? Hardly. But these lil’ nuggets of wisdom have helped keep me relatively on an even keel. And I hope they can help you remain as Zen as any betrothed person can be. :)

‘Til next time,

 

 

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Jimmy Choo Inspired Flats For Under $100

Hello, BABs! This week we’re going to be looking at SHOESIES again, and of course, Jimmy Choos because … duh. Liz wrote to us about these Jimmy Choo flats that are so fabulous you could wear them with some skinny jeans OR on your wedding day and they would just WORK. Liz is my kind of gal. I have never really been a heel wearing girl and I definitely can’t imagine trying to run around on one of the most important days of my life with sore feet just for the sake of fashion. No way Jose!! I love these flats because the slight heel adds a bit of sophistication so it’s not just your typical flat. So let’s help Liz out!

 

 

Can't Afford It

OriginalChoo Jimmy Choo Finlay Square-Toe Flat In Silver (Style: #86966077) $236 at Nieman Marcus

Get Over It

6pm2 Blue Bridal Collection By Betsey Johnson (Style: #8347807) $24 at 6pm.com

6pm Man-Made Reptile-Embossed Flats (Style: 8330462) $27.99 at 6pm.com

Modcloth Dessert Dash Flat In Silver $30 at ModCloth

TBDress2 Silver Fish Print Point Toe Flats (Style: 10970842) $44 at TBDress.com

UniqueVintage Silver Glitter Mila Flats (Style: P1411) $52 at Unique Vintage

BestBridalPrices Touch Up Shoes (Style: Tamara 415/416) $54 at BestBridalPrices.com

There come in gold, too!

TBDress Sexy Ballet Dance Flats (Style: 10543365) $61 at TBDress.com

Bluefly

 Silver Leather Metallic Finish Ballet Flats (Style: 323134402) $75 at BlueFly

So, whaddya think, Liz? I hope this helps you out. I know the right shoes can pull an entire look together. Let us know if you need help getting over any other awesome accessories for your special day. Until next week, BABs!

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.

BAB Throwback: What Not To Wear – Wedding Guest Fashion

As a wedding guest, the dress code has a tendency to be tricky. You want to read between the lines and give it your best go without having to consult a fellow nuptial-goer for fashion advice, but sometimes it can just be plain confusing. BAB tackled this issue way back in 2011 and while there seems to be a bit less rigidity these days (can guest wear white if the bride is wearing pink? Martha says yes.), many of the old tropes still apply. So here’s a refresher from the Broke-Ass archives!

I’m switching gears a bit this week to discuss something that comes up over and over on wedding forums and blogs — what to wear as a wedding guest.

Wedding Guest Fashion: What Not to Wear Source

Nowadays, finding something to wear as a wedding guest is almost as stressful as finding your own wedding dress! There are so many etiquette rules, so many stipulations and so many vague dress codes (“festive casual?” “dressy resort?”) that it seems that guests can never figure out which fashions are appropriate for someone else’s wedding.

There are no hard and fast rules, but I’ve been to a lot of weddings and I’ve gotten a feel for these things. So, here is my advice for what a women should and should not wear as a wedding guest.

DON’T wear white or ivory. It wouldn’t bother me personally, but it’s frowned upon in general, and some brides get so upset that they actually ask women wearing white to leave the wedding. As ridiculous as that may sound, it’s better to avoid the situation altogether. There are a ton of other colors out there — choose one of them!

DO dress for the venue. If the wedding is on a lawn or on the beach, those strappy jeweled stilettos might not be the best idea. You might want to consider flats, kitten heels or wedges instead. Or if the wedding is in a fancy hotel ballroom, you might not want to wear a casual sundress with flip flops.

DON’T wear the same exact color as the bridal party, at least not intentionally.

DO dress comfortably. I think that anyone who subscribes to the “fashion before function” philosophy is glutton for punishment! You’re going to be wearing this outfit for several hours — why would you want to suffer in a dress that’s too tight or shoes that pinch? Nowadays, it’s easy to find clothes and shoes that are stylish and comfy!

DON’T wear anything that’s too flashy and/or revealing. This is a wedding, not a nightclub. The bride’s great-aunt has no desire to see your butt cleavage. Trust me.

DO keep in mind that some houses of worship have dress codes. For example, one is not supposed have bare shoulders in a Jewish synagogue. If you’re unsure about ceremony dress codes, feel free to ask the bride, groom or their families. And you could always bring a wrap or pashmina with you just in case.

DON’T dress for the wrong time of day. A slinky LBD would be inappropriate for daytime, and a pastel floral sundress wouldn’t quite work for evening.

DO remember that if you have to ask “Is this appropriate?” it probably isn’t. But also remember that even if you make a screaming fashion faux pas as a guest, it’s not the end of the world. All eyes will be on the bride, not you!

What rules do you follow when dressing for a wedding?

-Dana F.

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Justin Alexander Inspired Gown For Under $500

Hey BABs! This week is exciting because we’re helping the wonderful Real Bride Emma all the way in the jolly old England! She is one of our very own (and very awesome) columnists here at The Broke-Ass Bride! She wanted to get married in something simple, “perhaps in lace” she thought. Then she tried on a Justin Alexander gown and fell in love. Well, it’s definitely not simple and not in this lovely bride-to-be’s budget.  No worries, though. You know I got you covered! Justin Alexander is a leading and award-winning designer label of couture wedding dresses and bridal gowns. And yes, I have probably said this before but his dresses are what wedding dreams are made of. I really want to help her find something beautiful so here we go!

 

Can't Afford It

Original Justin Alexander (Style: 8711) $$$ His dresses range from $1,350-$2,850

Get Over It

JJsHouse2 Taffeta & Tulle Ball Gown With Ruffle Lace Beading Sequins (Style: 002040675) $200 at JJsHouse.com

JJsHouse Taffeta Ball Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Lace Beading Flowers (Style: 00600680) $226 at JJsHouse.com

TBDress3 Ball Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Floor Length Chapel Flowers (Style: 08882467) $227 at TBDress.com

TBDress2 Gorgeous Ball Gown With Flower Embellishments (Style: 0195419) $230 at TBDress.com

TBDress Ball Gown With Lace Up Sash & Flowers On The Train (Style: 10898445) $250 at TBDress.com

DreamProm Ball Gown With Watteau Train Flowers (Style: 301789775) $250 at IDreamProm.com

DreamProm (2) Ball Gown With Flower Embellishments (Style: 301735368) $253 at IDreamProm.com

SimplyBridal2 Romantic A-Line Gown With Flower Embellishment & Lace and Organza Skirt (Style: 80009) $342 at Simply Bridal

Pssst! This gown is call “Emma.” Serendipitous, no?

DavidsBridal Tulle Ball Gown With Pick Up Skirt (Style: CWG435) $399 at David’s Bridal

This dress was originally $950….HELLO!

SimplyBridal Sleeveless A-Line Taffeta Dress With Chapel Train (Style: 80843) $450 at Simply Bridal

Well, Emma, I know how much you loved this gown and every bride should be able to get married in something she absolutely loves.  I hope was able to find something to give you that same “WOW” moment. There are lots of beautiful ball gown options out there for you, lady, that won’t cost you a small fortune. Let me know what you think! Until next week, BABs …

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.

BAB Throwback: Heather & Chris’ Elegant, Misty Mountaintop Wedding Affair

BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore, and some feature the Real Weddings you’ve read about in our book, “The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide.” Because we’re firm believers that photos help tell the story, we want to help you match the blog post to the Sample Budgets from Real Brides found in the book (p. 194-223).

Heather and Chris’ wedding was originally posted 1/17/13 and appears on page 212 of the book.

Ladies and gents, today we’re SO pleased to feature the wedding of our fabulous contributor Heather (our resident “Can’t Afford It/Get Over It” maven), and her adorable new hubs, Chris. You can tell from these pics (and her regular blog posts) that Heather has excellent taste and fab personal style — and she absolutely brought both to her wedding day. Heather and Chris opted for a time and cost-saving wedding package from a gorgeous golf course in Burlingame, CA, which is half an hour outside of San Francisco. Metro area weddings can be twice the price of this beautiful celebration, but Heather and Chris have graciously provided us with an extensive wedding budget breakdown that shows how they pulled off a wedding with 120 guests for around $20K. So without further ado …

Your names: Heather Murtagh, Chris Vega

Occupations: Reporter at the San Mateo Daily Journal, Vice President for a San Francisco-based R&D startup, respectively

Wedding location: Burlingame, CA

Wedding date: Aug. 31, 2012

Wedding budget: $20,000 (But we went a bit over)

Approximate guest count: 120

How would you describe your wedding? Short reception, big party

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Heather: The moment we first saw each other. We decided to see each other before the wedding so we could get some of our wedding party photos done before getting things started. The photographers set up a moment where Chris had his back to me and turned around to see me. He was so happy I actually thought he was drunk. He wasn’t. It was very sweet.

Chris: The time we spent together, the alone time.

What did you splurge on? Alcohol. We wanted to have an open bar for longer. And we really wanted to have a big party. We succeeded.

What did you save on? We went with a venue that offered a package deal. That was really helpful in keeping costs in check as well as for planning. Also, my dress was much cheaper than we originally budgeted thanks to a going-out-of-business sale at Priscilla of Boston.

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We would have gotten a videographer.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Gathering contact information was difficult at first. Other than that it wasn’t too difficult. We went with a location that offered package deals. That made things much easier.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone wants to help, they just need to know how.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

Heather’s list:

The first time we saw each other

Spending 30 minutes after the ceremony alone taking pictures. It was really nice to have that time to

ourselves. Turns out we giggle a lot when left alone.

Having so many friends and family together in one place.

My brother marrying us! It was so personal. He took it very seriously but also got in some jokes, which is what we wanted. There was a moment when he got really emotional; thinking about it gets me emotional. But my favorite part was when he said to Chris, “You may now kiss my sister.”

The after party! We went to our favorite local bar after with a smaller group of people. It was so much fun. The owner knows us and was very sweet by letting us stay late and providing free drinks for the bride.

Chris’ list:

Heather – she showed up.

My groomsmen were awesome.

Great supportive family and friends.

Photographers were great.

Venue and DJ were great.

Top 5 least favorite? (We failed and only came up two each… I guess that’s a good thing.)

Heather’s list:

Some people had attitudes on the big day. It was hard to not let that get to me. But ultimately no good would have come from focusing on it.

Our venue had a new person on hand to coordinate on the day. We made it work, but it was an inconvenience. Everything did work out though and we’d still recommend them highly.

Chris’ list:

The hangover.

Delta canceling our honeymoon flight multiple times the morning after.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? …

The best? It’s your day. Enjoy it.

Any other bits of wisdom?

Heather: We both were a bit bummed when everything – wedding and honeymoon – was done. It was like there was nothing big to look forward to after having a year of so much activity. It was weird to get back into the swing of non-wedding planning life.

Chris: Remember to savor the moment. It goes by so fast. Also, if you can, get away on a honeymoon right after. It will give you time to enjoy the high of your new marriage.

Heather & Chris’ wedding budget breakdown:

Venue: Crystal Springs Golf Course - $14,028.23

Food/Drink: Included in our Venue fee — We opted for a lower per person package cost then added on additional hours of a open bar. In total we covered the cost of three hours of bar and had a cash bar for two hours.

Attire/Accessories: Dress – $700 from Priscilla of Boston during their going-out-of business sale. Spent $150 on alterations. Bought Badgley Mischka shoes through Rue La La’s Sunday sale for $50 with tax and shipping. Rented Chris’ tux for $120 from Men’s Wearhouse.

Flowers: Flowers for the reception were included in the package. Paid $936.36 for the bouquets from Rosedale Floral Design – one for the bride and six for the bridesmaids; 10 boutonnieres and two corsages for our moms.

Décor: We really didn’t do much in terms of decor except add votive candles and little hershey kisses on the table. We had enough children for a kid’s table. So I went to the local dollar store and grabbed $15 worth of stuff. It was actually a total hit and hilarious to watch the kids decide who got what.

DJ/band/entertainment: Our DJ was included in our venue package.

Photography: Paid $2,706.25 for the Kermit and Miss Piggy package from Chasing Glimpses Photography, which included: 6 hours of photography at your wedding and nearby locations, Two photographers, 2500+Photos Taken, 6 hours on Site; 20 hours Post production, 75 photos in a modern flush mount photo album, Private 60 days Online Gallery for viewing, sharing, and purchasing DVD of approximately 500 of the best images of your wedding day. All images are enhanced, retouched, if necessary, for beautiful reproduction. We ended up with a DVD of 850 photos. Also, the girls were willing to stay an extra hour with no notice when I realized we hadn’t really gotten some shots during the reception.

Videography: Didn’t do it, but we regret that.

Cake: A delicious cake from Burlingame Cakery was included in our venue package. It was delicious and super easy to get put together. I emailed a photo of the cake design I liked and tried all the combinations. I think Chris liked this part of the planning the best.

Favors: $130 — I made our favors. I’m a huge supporter/volunteer of Make-A-Wish. Using scrapbooking paper, I put together little paper favors that asked people to “Make-A-Wish for the Bride and Groom.” Each had a $1 coin attached. We asked people to either put the coin in a vase near the door or make a larger donation. Anything collected we donated. In the end, we donated $310 to the Greater Bay Area Chapter.

Invitations/printing/postage: My friend designed the invitations and RSVPs. I work at a newspaper. After I asked the publisher about a printing contact,  he offered to cover the cost as a gift. We spent $91.75 on postage. Our Save the Date was a video made by a friend who is starting a side business. Check it out here!

Hair and make-up: $120 for a friend who is also starting a business. She did a test and also bought new makeup on the wedding day which I kept for touch ups.

Wedding bands: $600, we got simple bands and ordered them through a family connection who works in the jewelry industry.

Bridal party: Necklaces for the girls, personalized on etsy. $85

Coordinator/planner: Didn’t use one.

Officiant: My brother got ordained online for free.

License: $40

Other: $500 for rehearsal dinner. We hosted it at Chris’ grandfather’s house, which was less than a mile from the ceremony site. We hired a local taco vendor to come and make food. Then we took advantage of a local winery’s case sale for the booze. We ended up with lots of leftovers.

Also, we spent $310 on hotels over two nights. We did stay local but wanted to be separate on the day of the wedding. We let our siblings, who couldn’t really afford the hotel, crash at our apartment and stayed at the hotel on our wedding night.

Total: $21,792.44

Thanks so much to Heather and Chris, for sharing their big day with BAB, and special thanks to Chasing Glimpses Photography, for providing the gorgeous wedding photos! 

Five for Friday: Wedding-Worthy Frocks to Rent for Under $100

We talk a lot about buying pretty dresses around here, but sometimes that’s not in a person’s budget or on their list of must-purchase items, due to skepticism of throwing down hefty bills for a dress they’ll presumably only wear once. What we don’t mention a whole heap is renting your dress. Renting is often a considerably cheaper alternative, thanks to companies like Rent the Runway (or, for bridesmaids, Little Borrowed Dress) and you can get super hot designer duds for a fraction of the price, plus you don’t have to fuss or fiddle with alterations, which help jack up the cost considerably. So, for this week’s Five for Friday, here are five schamazing wedding-worthy dresses you can snag from Rent the Runway, all for under $100. Now that’s some Broke-Ass savings, yo.

Florence Gown

Reem Arca “Florence” gown, $70 (Retail: $3000)

Rita Gown Catherine Deane “Rita” gown, $80 (Retail: $2450)

Rolling In The Glitz Gown

Badgley Mischka “Rolling in the Glitz” gown, $80 (Retail: $650)

Snow Mountain Maxi

Yumi Kim “Snow Mountain” maxi dress, $100 (Retail: $385)

Noir Timeless Love Gown

Nha Khanh “Noir Timeless Love” gown, $80 (Retail: $1200)

I would looooovvveee if someone were bold enough to rent that last one and then share their wedding day pics with BAB. You guys, picking just five was so tough (because of gowns like this and this), but I’m so madly in love with the idea that you can wear a favorite or top designer for your wedding day, and not have to shell out  all your hard-earned skrilla to make it happen, nor are you stuck with a gown that you have no idea what to do with and ends up just chillin’ in a closet for all of eternity.

Would you consider renting a dress for your wedding day? Did any of these beauties strike your fancy? Tell me in the comments below!

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Elie Saab’s “Louisse” Inspired Dress For Under $1,500

Hello my BAB’s! I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend filled with plenty of sparklers! Summer sure is flying by. We’ve been getting lots of requests from you ladies which is so awesome. This week we’re helping a BAB get over this very lovely gown from the 2014 collection of Elie by Elie Saab for Pronovias. I have spent many days just staring at Elie Saab dresses, trying to lift my jaw off the floor because they’re … perfect. He started designing wedding dresses over 30 years ago and every collection is more beautiful than the last. There are always some beautiful, intricate details that make his gowns really stand out.

 

Can't Afford It

ElieSaab Elie Saab’s “Louisse” $8,800 at Pronovias

Get Over It

JJsHouse V-Neck Floor Length Chiffon Charmeuse With Ruffle Lace Beading (Style: 017019722) $176 at JJsHouse.com

*Comes In Ivory, too.

LightInTheBox V-Neck Charmeuse Court Train Wedding Dress (Style: 01538210) $250 at LightintheBox.com

BHLDN Full Ball-Gown Skirt With Delicate Lace, Tulle & Crystal Embellishments (Style: 30369367) $380 at BHLDN

UniqueVintage Beaded Ruched Bodice & Cap Sleeves Are Embellished With Exquisite Crystals (Style: P4672) $538 at Unique Vintage

AnnTaylor A-Line Gown With Lace Cap Sleeves & V-Neck With Lace Inset (Style: 325062) $750 at Ann Taylor

HouseofBrides A-Line Gown Gown Made In Royal Duchess Satin & Tulle Overlay (Style: BL083) $776 at HouseofBrides.com

BestBridalPrices Crystal Beading Trims The Embroidered Lace On Organza (Style: 5202) $1,049 at BestBridalPrices.com

BestBridalPrices2 Crystal Beaded Embroidery & Alencon Lace Appliques On Net With Wide Hemline (Style: 2616) $1,180 at BestBridalPrices.com

I hope I was able to find some other dresses you can love just as much. Let us know what you think! Until next week, BABs …

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 Tiffany: And We Have A Honeymoon!

Yes, the most exciting thing to happen to us re: wedding planning lately was booking our honeymoon! ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS!

Like all of our wedding related ventures thus far, we wanted to be conservative in our honeymoon spending.  My parents kindly offered a (free!) week in their timeshare, which we took them up on. HOWEVER. That thing about timeshares is that they are not a guarantee. We had to exchange one of their San Diego weeks for a Hawaii week and have been waiting for something to happen since January. JANUARY YOU GUYS. It is truly a miracle that I made it to July without my brain exploding due to lack of honeymoon planning.

So we chose a date (July 5th) and if we didn’t hear from the timeshare by then we would book on our own. SO WE DID. We are going to Kauai, y’all!

By Adam Keller via Wikimedia Commons
I will be covered in mosquito bites, but I will kayak to these falls. I will.

Beforehand, I spent many solid hours browsing VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) because there are amazing deals but also it is basically like walking in a stranger’s house which is oddly fun for me. Once I internally decided that we did not want to risk getting a 1970s kitschy condo for our romantic honeymoon, we both started browsing hotels.

Originally, I wanted to stay on Kauai’s north shore — the romantic hideaway side of the island. Very quickly I discovered this was not in our budget. Because I am not one to do what every one else does, there was no way we would stay on the south shore. So we chose the east shore and found a lovely hotel that has all of the things that matter to us — proximity to beach, comfy bed, good Yelp/Trip Advisor reviews, and a killer happy hour. Maybe that last bit is important to just me …

We did book everything through one travel site (Expedia), but made sure to browse for better deals just in case! Here are some tips to help you honeymoon without breaking the bank:

  • Set a budget and stick to it. Because when I say things like, “oh $600 more isn’t that bad!” it actually really is that bad.
  • Get a fantastic guide book and explore your options early. The Hawaii Revealed series has always been a fave and we Amazon Primed that baby so we could decide which part of the island to stay on.
    • We are also using this to strategically and financially plan all of our excursions. Because if I don’t plan it now, I won’t be able to relax then. I sense another spreadsheet coming on …
  • Use rewards or earn rewards! I am a firm supporter of Ebates because even if I only earn $1 IT IS STILL $1. In addition to Ebates we used a credit card that will earn us rewards (sometime in the next century probably).
  • Find free excursions! My Pinterest and other Internet research has already begun. Mama wants to spend our $$ on mai tais not overpriced excursions!

Source
“Free” is my middle name.

Justin has never been to Hawaii and I’ve never been to Kauai. This is going to be an excellent adventure!

Have you been to Kauai? What would you recommend?

Hey Four-Eyes! Pump Up Your Bridal Look with Your Glasses

Hey, Broke-Asses, remember this teaser you saw on our social media pages? Well, the time has finally come!

rivet and sway teaser

As a two-decade member of the glasses-wearing community, I often struggle with whether to wear my specs or shove my contacts into my eyeballs. And there are a lots of times that I would really rather wear my glasses, but they just don’t quite go with what I’m wearing — and those times are usually fancier occasions. Granted, my glasses right now are in shambles — broken, smudged, scratched, taped and re-taped — so they aren’t really appropriate to wear anywhere except to the kitchen to get myself a beer. But if I did have a pair that was appropriate for an audience beyond that handsome guy of mine and my kitties, I’d rock the hell out of them.

Which got me thinking about wearing glasses with a wedding dress, and I immediately turned to the Internetz to see what I could dig up on the subject. And here’s the thing guys — brides in glasses is a relatively untouched subject when it comes to wedding world. Sure, there are a handful of photos out there, and even a couple of other blog posts, but it’s largely uncharted territory, especially when it comes to more formal looks and less Zooey Deschanel quirky-esque (but I looooooove her). You want to look good, I assume, and you don’t want to be blind. And there are a holy butt-ton of grooms in glasses. Also surprising was that BAB staffers all rock the specs, but we hadn’t broached this subject on the blog. Huh.

Challenge: Accepted. I got in touch with the now-defunct Rivet & Sway (who have joined up with Glasses.com — stay tuned at the bottom of the post for a killer offer) to find my inner glasses-wearing bridal beauty. As part of their former at-home try-on program, they worked with me to find five pairs that worked with my style preferences and noggin shape, then shipped me the frames.

With the help of Bliss Bridal Salon in Fort Worth and the unbelievably beyond amazing ladies at DFW-based photography studio The Purple Pebble, we tackled the idea of glasses as a bridal accessory — another pretty thing that just so happens to be super functional — for any bridal look.

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Ball gowns and a bold frame with a subtle cat-eye? I felt so freaking glamorous in this look, even if the gown did weigh a bajillion pounds.

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This Watters dress with the illusion neckline and gorgeous lace detailing was like a a pillowy cloud for my body. I’ve never worn something so gorgeous and so comfortable at the same time. And the green tortoise-shell glasses were a perfect complement for a garden party-inspired look. GUYS: I would get married in all of this, and I’m pretty sure I told my cohorts that at least 15 times. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so comfortably gorgeous in my life.

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The girls at The Purple Pebble got in on the action, too, since we all have different body and face shapes. As much as I would have loved to try on ALL THE GOWNS, in the interest of keeping it real, I was stoked to have their help.

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Isn’t Ally adorable? These more streamlined frames worked to add a little extra oomph and perfectly complemented the lacy, curve-hugging trumpet gown she rocked.

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Megan’s look is so classically retro with the lace sleeves, the adorable fascinator and tortoise shell glasses. And homegirl rocked the hell out of it!

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For a more modern look, I was squeezed into a strapless sheath with purple undertones and a big purple sash to match the wire-rimmed purple frames and topped off with a beaded ribbon and fingertip veil for my ‘do. Man, this look had a legit va-va-voom factor going on!

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I had so much fun with these two and the whole experience in general.

Whether contacts just aren’t an option for you for whatever reason, or you legitimately feel more comfortable and “you”-ish in your specs, that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to the same ol’ pair on your wedding day. I mean, all the rest of you is going to be a more stylized version of your normal self, so why shouldn’t your peeper pals?

So, how do you find the specs that’ll make you feel extra special? Glasses.com has a really rad 3D virtual app that allows you to virtually try on prospective frames and a rockin’ team of stylists to help you find the right look. Think about this: You could go get your hair and makeup trial done, and then go home to “try on” frames that will complement your wedding day look. That’s pretty freaking cool, and super helpful, since you won’t be left guessing if it all works together.

Glasses.com, whose frames range from about $60 all the way up to $500 designer brands, also offers free lenses (!!!!) and a 30-day money back guarantee — so if you’re not quite stoked with how they look when you’re all dolled up, send ‘em back to exchange for another pair. And if you’ve shopped with Rivet & Sway and were devastated when they shuttered, Glasses.com is currently offering any Rivet & Sway customers $25 off any order over $100. Because they’re awesome like that.

I’d like to throw out a super huge thanks to Wendy at Bliss Bridal Salon and Michelle, Ally and Megan at The Purple Pebble (Hey DFW-area Broke-Asses, Megan and Ally have prices that are pretty BAB-friendly. You should probably check them out.)

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Also, a super duper huge shoutout goes out to my girl Liz who was super sweet and transported my non-driving ass to Fort Worth for this adventure.

Will you be wearing your glasses on your wedding day?