Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category

BAB Throwback: DIY Elegant Pocketfold Invitations From Download & Print!

It’s about time for a useful DIY around here, dontcha think? Digging through the BAB archives, I found this gem of free printables. Enjoy, darlings!

Today we’ve got a special treat from our pals at Download & Print, providers of gorgeous stationery templates for brides and hostesses the world over! Because they know BABs are DIY-friendly by nature, they are very graciously hooking us up with a  few absolutely FREE wedding invitation templates! First up we have this beautiful “Elegant Black Pocketfold Invitation”. You can download all the individual components for this invitation suite by clicking here. For the full tutorial, we’ll turn things over to the lovely ladies of Download & Print…

Wedding stationary is commonly one of the top ten wedding expenses, so if you are not afraid of a little work, I am here to show you how to trim that expense dramatically. With the free printables being offered to Broke Ass Brides, you can create an invitation set that is elegant, timeless, and doesn’t necessarily scream “DIY”!

What you’ll need to create this project:

-         FREE  printable templates

-          Black A7 Pocket available from

-          Champagne Metallic Euro-Flap envelopes from

-          Champagne Metallic Card Stock from

-          ‘Sand’ Card Stock 80# from

-          Ink jet or Laser Printer (or print at a local copy shop)

-          Paper Cutter or scissors

-          Double Sided Tape

Step #1: Open the template & add your wording

Download the template files and save to your computer. Open them in MS Word and type in your details.  To replicate the exact look in the photo use fonts Exmouth and Trojan Pro, which are available for free download.

Step #2: Print the Invitation & Insert Cards

Print the invitation, pocket cards, and belly band on the 80# ‘Sand’ card stock

Step #3: Cut Out the Cards, Belly Band, and Metallic Backer

The metallic backer is cut by using the ruler on the paper cutter, or by measuring with a standard ruler and cutting with scissors. The templates are cut by following the dotted lines on the template.

Final measurements after cutting should be:

-          Metallic Backer: 4⅞ x 6⅞

-          Invitation: 4⅝  x  6

-          Small Insert: 4¼ x 5

-          Large Insert Card: 4¼ x 6

-          Belly Band: 1½ x 10½

Step #4: Tape the invitation to the metallic backer

Place two strips of tape on the back of the invitation, each about 4” in length. You are aiming to leave approximately 1/8” of the metallic backer showing around the invitation. Eyeball the top edge and right and left sides and lower the invitation onto the front of the metallic card, pressing it gently into place.

Step #5: Tape the backer to the pocketfold

Using the same process as in step #4 … place two 4” strips of tape on the back of the metallic backer.  Eyeball the top, right, and left edges, then lower into place.

Step #6: Arrange the cards into the pocket

Stack the RSVP and accommodation cards in the pocket, with the shorter card on top.

Step #7: Seal the pocket with belly band

Score the belly band along the two dotted lines to the right and left of the name frame, or just make a nice, crisp fold with your hand.  Align the band on the pocket fold, wrap around and tape with double sided tape.


Optional Envelope Liner

If you would like to add a high class look to your off the shelf envelopes, a custom liner is an easy way to add sparkle.

Supplies you will need:

Step #8: Print and cut the liner

Open the PDF template and print onto your card stock. Cut around the liner design with scissors, and insert into an envelope with the design facing toward you.

Step #9: Center and fold

Center the liner onto the envelope, leaving an even space around the flap. Fold the liner flap down, creating a crisp fold in line with the envelope’s fold.

Step #10: Tape and close

Apply double sided tape to the reserve of the folded down liner, two strips approximately 3” long is ideal. Close the envelope flap onto the liner and press firmly to secure.

Is this invite EXACTLY what you’ve been looking for, or is it a tad too classy for your tastes? In either case, stay tuned for even more sweet invite designs from Download & Print


Words to Wed By: Love Quotes for the Geeks at Heart

The words you speak when standing at the altar with your person don’t always have to come from a serious or traditional place, as long as you’re serious about the love an commitment you share with one another. In fact, some people have a hard time being serious all together (raises hand), and some people are serious about their love for geekery — and may very well want to include their favorite quotes from the land of geek. Personally, as a huge Doctor Who fan, the inhabitants of the T.A.R.D.I.S. tend to have very profound words about their interpersonal relationships. The Lord of the Rings crew? They had to stand through thick and thin to reach their destination. In fact, many of these fantasy tales could be about love and marriage and commitment — if they weren’t, you know, about warding off Cybermen or outsmarting Orcs or smuggling any number of things across the far reaches of the universe.

Words to Wed By Love Quotes for the Geeks at Heart


“Star Wars” Han and Leia rings available at Amazon

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater. – Haldir, “Lord of the Rings”

I’m your density. I mean … your destiny. – George McFly, “Back to the Future”

I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. – Arwen, “Lord of the Ring”

“It’s not enough to just live. You have to have something to live for.” – Commander William Adama, “Battlestar Galactica”

“You know when sometimes, you meet someone so beautiful – and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick; but then there’s other people. And you meet them and you think, ‘Not bad, they’re okay,’ and then when you get to know them… Their face just sort of becomes them, like their personality’s written all over it, and they just – they turn into something so beautiful.” — Amelia Pond, “Doctor Who” 

“I am of sound mind. The man next to me is the one I want. You asked me, I’m answering, yes I love that man of mine.” — Lydia Deetz, “Beetlejuice”

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure.” – Gandalf, “The Hobbit”

“I came across time for you. I love you. I always have.” Kyle Reese, “The Terminator”

“Our lives are different from anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.” – The Second Doctor, “Doctor Who”

“You’re mine and I’m yours. And if we die, we die, but first we’ll live.” Ygritte, “Game of Thrones”

“Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do, then I should warn you — you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past. Aliens from the future. The day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime!” – The Ninth Doctor, “Doctor Who”

Do you have a favorite geek quote that should be added to this list? Tell us in the comments!

Real Bride Katie: Planning for My Own Halloween Wedding

Hey everyone!

I’m so excited to report that things have gotten much better since my last post. The biggest and best news is that we set a date! We were getting very frustrated over the decision, which was really hard at a time of year when we’re both very busy anyway. I was even having stress dreams over it, and it is *WAY* too early in the planning process for that nonsense! We found out that the couple at the venue we wanted had confirmed their booking for 10/24, and my little sister informed us that she wouldn’t be able to attend on 10/31 either. Fed up, I made two mood boards, one for 11/7/15 and one for 10/10/15, and told Andrew to decide. He chose 10/10, and now the contract is dropped off and the deposit is paid (thanks to a lovely gift from his parents). What a load off!

Of course, 10/10 isn’t Halloween, but since our decorations are up well before October 1st every year, we’re usually deep into the spirit and we have no issues incorporating it into our wedding. We feel like it’s a win all around — we get Halloween inspired decor, no one expects to be in costume, no one has a trick-or-treat issues and all the must-have people can attend.

We decided with very little time to spare, too. Now, in addition to looking at things from the awesome post Christen made me, I get to shop Halloween clearance this weekend! Saturday will be the biggest day, because a lot of stores drop prices right away on 11/1. I’ll also be checking in throughout the week for items that are just on the Nice To Have list to get deep discounts. Here are my top 3 wants:

3. Non-Orange Pumpkins


Our colors will be a range of purples, grays, black and ivory. No orange allowed! But we still want to incorporate pumpkins. I will be looking for some like this one from Target to include. We will also probably get some real white pumpkins next year. {Psst! Katie! Check out these silver pumpkins – Eds.}

 2. Spiderweb Table Accents


Maybe not this one specifically, but lacy spiderweb table runners seem like the perfect accent for a Hallowedding table! These are also usually super reasonable, so it’s a great little decor boost with minimal budget impact.

1. Crow Lanterns


These lanterns are my number one goal for the whole trip. The orange backing is removable, so I plan to replace it with purple and have the bridesmaids carry these down the aisle instead of traditional bouquets (though I will probably have the florist embellish them a little bit). I’m a little worried because the closest Target to me is already sold out, but one of the great things about living in the city where Target is headquartered is that we’re even more saturated than everywhere else! I’ll search the whole metro if I have to!

What’s on your Halloween shopping list?

Get Inspired: Gore-geous Details for a Hallowedding

With Real Bride Katie‘s heart set on a Halloween wedding, and the spooky holiday staring us down at the end of the week, it seems like the right time for a great Halloween wedding — er, Hallowedding — style board. Rather than go with the standard black-and-orange approach, I glammed it up the morbid black with some dark purple and added a little glistening gold, so it still exudes the classiness of a wedding but with a darker feel appropriate for this spooky spectacle.

Hallowedding Style Board Decor at top: Plum Purple Block Printed Square Paper Lantern, $12.95 at Luna Bazaar | Black 15-Inch Tissue Paper Pom-Pom (striped design), $2.75 at Luna Bazaar | Black Little Classic Hurricane Lantern, $5.50 at Luna Bazaar | Bats and Cats Paper Lantern String Lights, $19.75 at Luna Bazaar | Gild Gold Paper Hand Fan, $1.70 at Luna Bazaar | Small Gold Mercury Glass Trinket Box (pumpkin design), $14.75 at Luna Bazaar

Attire from left: Maximum Shine Black and Gold Sequin Maxi Dress, $88 at Lulu’s | Shortcake Story Dress in Purple, $54.99 at ModCloth | Odette Dress, $430 at BHLDN | Craft Cocktails Dress, $59.99 at ModCloth | Irina Dress, $330 at BHLDN

Shoes from left: Eoweriri in purple, $89.99 at | Head of the Sass Flat in Black, $34.99 at ModCloth | Fleur Those About to Walk Heel by Poetic License, $139.99 at ModCloth

What do you think of this spooktacular styleboard, darlings? How would you style a Hallowedding?


Real Bride Meg: When Pinterest Can Be Your BFF and Your Worst Enemy

Raise your hand if you had a wedding board on Pinterest before you were engaged. Is it possible you made one before you were in a relationship?!

Ladies (and gents), the wonderful, whimsical world of Pinterest can be just that — a fantasyland when it comes to wedding planning. If you are just starting to plan out your wedding day, I feel that it is my duty to tell you to take caution! Your wedding day will not — I repeat, WILL NOT — go as smoothly or beautifully as your Pinterest board makes it out to be. It just isn’t realistic. I tell you this because I care about you, but I won’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Let’s start with the bad side of Pinterest — there is a lot of DIYing involved. For the budget-minded bride, this seems like the most logical route to take. Yes, making things yourself can be a lot cheaper than buying them, and yes, craft stores love sending coupons. But, DIY is very time-consuming, and as Broke-Ass Brides, you’re working hard for your money!

Here’s a reality check: you can’t do it all. For starters, not everyone has the talent to pull off their Pinterest finds. Not only that, but if you take a look at your wedding board right now, I bet you’ll find tons of DIYs you want to do between now and your wedding. I don’t think I need to tell you how precious your time is when planning a wedding. Be realistic and take on what you can. You’re the only one who will notice if something you pinned isn’t on the cake table.

paper flowers


Photo courtesy of Pinterest via

A perfect example of what can turn into a DIY nightmare are paper flowers. I plan on sprinkling a few into my own decor to save a couple of bucks, but I’m also aware of how much time it takes to make them look how you want.

Now, let’s focus on the good side of Pinterest. In my opinion, it is the best tool for organization and ideas, especially when you’re in the very beginning stages of wedding planning. I think it is such a great tool for organization that I’ve started making individual (secret) boards for each part of my wedding, from wedding day looks to ceremony readings and floral arrangements.

And yes, it’s also good for DIYing — in moderation. While I use Pinterest less for DIYing and more for keeping track of my ideas, I have found some really cute table decoration ideas that I’ve altered to my own liking.


Pinterest’s version of a bar decoration. Photo courtesy of Pinterest via


My version of a Pinterest bar decorationDIY– made to match our personalities (and hobbies). Photo courtesy of Meg

My advice is this: every 4-6 weeks, go through your wedding board and weed out whatever you don’t like, or don’t think you need anymore. You’ll have more realistic expectations about how much time you can make for your DIY projects, and in the end, you won’t end up with more than makes sense. With that said, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your bridesmaids may be dying to get involved somehow, so reach out to them and have a DIY day. It will totally take some of the stress away and be a great way to bond.

And when all else fails, visit Etsy or Aftcra. It will definitely be a bit pricier than doing things yourself, but if it’s something you truly want on your wedding day, you’ll find that it’s worth it when you’re less stressed and/or in a time crunch. More to come on that!

Where are you finding your wedding inspiration? How do you manage your Pinterest time?

Ask Liz: Self-Catering Rules

Ask Liz: Self-Catering Rules


Photo: Andrea Chesley

Dear Liz,

How to do your own food (with a bit of help from willing friends/family) for your reception??? Food item suggestions and logistical tips especially!



Dear Self-Serving,

Funny thing is, I  talked to someone this morning who catered his own wedding, and he did not have fun with that.  Logistically, it’s a nightmare. You have to buy the food (for 100 people), then store the food before you can cook the food (for 100 people), wherever that’s going to be. Then you have to figure out when you’re going to cook the food (for 100 people) before or in between getting ready to get married, getting married, and whatever you have to do after you get married – take pictures, talk to your guests, and generally enjoy your wedding without worrying about the food. Plus, how you’re going to serve it, where you’re going to serve it, and who is going to serve/monitor it? A buffet will not relieve you of that responsibility. And, even if it’s for less than 100 people, you still have to figure out when and where you are going to do all these things. It’s not less work, it’s definitely not less stress, it’s just less food.

So, the first thing you need to do, way before deciding on a menu, is address each of the above points, every single one. When, where, how and who? And, remember that everything is going to take more time than you think. And everything takes longer if you have less people to manage it.

Menu? Keep it as simple as possible. No more than two entrees, no more than two side dishes, plus a salad. Stick with stuff you already know how to make, or that you and your family and friends can (and will) practice cooking before your wedding. Good but simple food. Not a lot of chopping, not a lot of ingredients, not a lot of steps.

Hey, you asked.

It’s doable, but obviously, I’m not recommending it! If you’re trying to save money, there are tons of restaurants – probably some of your favorites -that will cater less expensively. If you want to serve a particular dish, you can make that and add it to the buffet. But, if you are determined to do it yourself, don’t ignore everything you’re going to have to do in order to pull it off.

Does anyone reading have any experience catering their own wedding, or helping someone else do it? If you’ve got something to add, let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit


See you at the end of the aisle ,




BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore. This autumn has felt the most fall-ish for me, and I’m crushing hard on the colors. So, #duh, I’m throwin’ it back to this great post from 2011 that’s still totally rad today.

It’s not really feeling like fall here in Los Angeles. The farmer’s market is still stocked with fresh summer berries, the days still feel long and hot, and the flowers are still in bloom. But today on a walk I noticed a few leaves on the trees beginning to change. So since I can’t really enjoy all of fall in LA, I’ve been enjoying it on Pinterest! Fall weddings provide the perfect combo of bright fall colors and comfort foods! Enjoy these fall wedding inspiration photos I’ve been loving!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall I’m loving all of the colors in this photo. Makes me miss the Midwest.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Mums and fall floral colors look especially bright when paired with the yellow billy balls and orange clementines!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Layers of spiced cake with frosting only on the inside give this cake a rustic look. And the sugared fruits and leaves add a playful element!

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Centerpieces are a breeze for fall weddings. Grab some branches of leaves and spray paint them gold! Such an easy and simple DIY. Put them in a vase and you’ve got a simple and elegant centerpiece.

BAB Throwback: Falling for Fall

Send your guest home with one of my favorite fall treats! Yum!

Are you having a fall wedding? What is your inspiration? Let us know!

Budget Wedding Myths That Need to Die

Last week on Facebook, a friend of mine, who’s also a wedding planner, linked to a blog about a $6,000 wedding. It was on her personal page, and it definitely wasn’t one of her weddings – that’s well below her usual clients’ budgets.  She wasn’t posting it because of  the budget, at all, she was focusing on the potential griminess of the Doritos bar the couple created. Yes, these are the sort of conversations we vendors have while amongst ourselves. We also talk about shoes a lot, but that’s a discussion for another day. Anyway … Budget Wedding Myths that Need to Die It was a very cute hipster wedding in a loft in Brooklyn. The bride wore Converse and a $300 dress, of course. The groom wore a bow tie and tight pants. It really did look like a lot of fun, and I personally, would be all over that Doritos bar.

But  $6,000 for a 100-guest wedding?

Photographer? $2,400.

Their clothes and accessories? ~$1,500.

The loft? They found it on Airbnb, $1,100 for 3 days

Rentals? $860. Metal chairs, uncovered plastic tables, and a small stage. I’m not judging, this is what they had, per the pictures.

Servingware? ~$300 Dinner?

Not included in the breakdown, because they got a, and I quote, a “huge” discount from a caterer friend.

Dessert: Ditto.

Videography? Ditto.

DJ: Ditto.

Appetizers from Whole Food? Also not on the budget breakdown.

The bar? Not even mentioned.

Decorations: DIY, pom-poms, spray-painted bottles with flowers in them, put together by family and friends.

Material costs, even? Nope.

At this point, I was gritting my teeth. Basing the actual cost of this wedding on prices in L.A., which are significantly cheaper than New York? At least $10,000-$15,000 is missing from this budget. Which is just … GRRRR … NOT FAIR.

And not helpful. Because, come on, you guys. Why don’t you have friends who are caterers, bakers, videographers and DJs? Why can’t you rent a loft from  a company that, in my experience, is fairly adamant about not renting for large private events? Why can’t you spend two days setting up and a whole day breaking down for your ceremony and reception ? Don’t you have space to spray paint 50 mason jars and store the flowers to fill them? Why come you can’t figure out how to only spend $6,000 — or less — on your own wedding?

The Myth of the Budget Wedding is that if it’s this cheap and easy for them, it should be just as cheap and easy for you, too.  But, trust me, this wedding was not that cheap, and definitely not so easy. I give the bride credit for acknowledging how lucky they were to have those hook-ups, though, I really wish they’d been more upfront about what they spent and how much they saved. Actually.

Is it possible to have a fantastic wedding for $6,000? Of course it is. But you need to have realistic expectations about what’s possible, what stuff costs, and how much time and energy you have or are willing to put in. Is it worth it? It will be. So, what do you think? Do you find these myths as frustrating as I do? What are you doing to realistically stay on budget, yourself?  And, if you’d like to find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,


Real Bride Kate: Question Everything and Be Yourselves

Okay, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms, my time as Real Bride Kate is drawing to an unfortunate close. However, before I fill out the Real Wedding questionnaire and check out from the site, I wanted to impart my ultimate piece of wedding planning wisdom.

I began to title this piece: “Question Everything and Be Non-Traditional.” However, I quickly realized that this advice was highly excluding and didn’t get at the heart of what I really wanted to say. So, here it is again, let it soak in:

Question everything and be yourselves.

wedding elements

Most people know that I studied English in university, but less people remember that I also studied sociology. If sociology taught me anything, it was that everything we do in life we do according to set patterns created by our cultures. Of course, there is room for free will in this, but think about it. Our society (for the purposes of this article, I mean Western society) has a set schema for how a wedding should go.

The bride wears a white dress and carries flowers. The groom wears a suit (typically black). The couple is married by a religious or civic official. They exchange rings and vows. They cut a fancy cake. They have a first dance and the bride dances with her father. It goes on and on. You all know the drill.


So, here is my challenge to you as you plan your wedding. For every single decision, no matter how minute, ask yourselves:

Why are we doing this? And do we truly want this?

Once Daniel and I did that, nearly every notion of a “traditional” wedding fell apart. As you can see from the pictures throughout this post, we broke or reworked a lot of traditions and shocked our families.

I wore red. All the bouquets were made from book pages. Daniel wore grey and donned a pocket square instead of boutonniere. We were married by a close friend without a speck of religion in our hand-fasting ceremony – which we wrote as a trio. We didn’t exchange rings, as Daniel already wore his as an engagement band. The cake we cut had the Batman symbol plastered on top. I danced with my dad to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Real Bride Kate and her father have matching tattoos from the TV show "Supernatural."


My dad and I have matching tattoos from the tv show “Supernatural,” whose unofficially theme song is “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Some people reacted negatively. For instance, my grandmother asked me – in front of my entire bridal party and the photographer – if I was wearing red because I wasn’t a virgin. She just could not believe that I simply wanted to wear my favorite color instead of the color Queen Victoria wore a bazillion years ago.

However, most of our families and friends were overwhelmingly, even surprisingly, positive. Throughout the night, we were bombarded with compliments. People adored my unique dress – “Red is your color, Kate!” They appreciated the cake – “Batman is so bad ass!” They marveled at the ceremony – “I’d never seen anything like that before. That hand-fasting, that was so unique and cool!” And even better, they got the point – “Your wedding was so you guys in every way.”

Let me repeat that: “Your wedding was SO YOU GUYS in every way.”

Now, if you ask me, that’s the best compliment a bride and groom can receive.


Again, let me implore you to question everything. Do you really want to wear white? Do you really want that venue? Why are you having a bouquet toss? Why are you doing the Chicken Dance? (Side note: we did neither.)

And again, let me beg you to be yourselves. If you are a traditional couple, that is fantastic! Live it up! But, if you have been feeling queasy about wedding planning and notice some light bulbs going off as you read this, follow that instinct!

Don’t worry about what anyone else will think or whether or not the day will feel like a “real wedding.” Trust me, if you stay true to yourselves and only do what you honestly and direly want to do, your guests will love it and you will not regret it.

This is your day to celebrate your love! It should be as uniquely and beautifully you as the love you share.