Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category

Five for Friday: Bridesmaid Dresses Under $40

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

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Lily Star Sleeveless Cupcake Dress, $34.99

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Zac & Rachel Sleeveless Fit and Flare Dress, $39.99

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Chandi & Lia Sleeveless Black Sheath Dress, $29.98

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3hearts V-Back Pleated Dress, $27.99

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3hearts Lace Skater Dress, $27.99

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

Real Bride Shannon: Trials and Triumphs with Trends

I’ve always been at odds with trends. There’s just something about looking like everyone else or having something that everyone wants that never really appealed to me. And trends? Well, there all over Weddingland.

I’ve always had a style that was fairly well accepted. Call it classic or timeless or whatever you like; I just feel pretty good about my ability to pull an ensemble together, fashion or otherwise.

But y’all, I didn’t know where to begin when this whole idea of a wedding got here (even though I’m super-happy it did)!

Almost immediately, I started checking out blogs and websites and signing up for ALLLLLL the newsletters. Gradually, I started coming up with a cohesive image of what I wanted the event to look like.

I knew I wanted navy blue for the menswear and that I didn’t want the whole thing to look too … girly (?), so I shied away from pinks and lavenders. Eventually I settled on coral and peach tones because, yay, complementary colors!

And then navy and coral were everywhere.


I started pinning and dog-earring magazines, and then the Wedding Industrial Complex (who now had all of my contact information) started getting me down. All of those newsletters had a lot to say about how I was making my decisions and I wasn’t particularly happy. In just under two months of wedding planning, this was my new attitude:

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Undeterred by the banality of my selection, I soldiered on. I designed custom artwork for our wedding website. I sent out invitations to our engagement party that I put together in the color scheme. I kept looking at it and it all felt so trendy.

So. Many. Trends.

So. Many. Trends.

Far more importantly, it began to stop feeling like me, so I’m going to tell you a little secret …

It’s totally OK to change your mind!

The neat part for me was the fact that I came up with coral and navy on my own, but we changed our mind as a couple on our anniversary. Rather than buying me a bouquet, Woody took me to buy bunches of flowers so we could experiment a little with wedding decor in mind. The thing is, all those pretty peachy flowers I envisioned were missing from the selection. We started pulling shades of purple from the buckets until we had a big arm full. We headed back to his apartment to sip champagne and watch Doctor Who on DVR while we sat in the floor and played with flowers. It was heaven, as far as I’m concerned.


As we admired our work he noted that he really liked the burgundy lilies, and with the lighter purple roses, it looked really good with navy. We figured that the only coral anything we had bought was for pre-wedding festivities that had already happened and that chances were, no one would even remember, so just like that, we changed our wedding colors five months into a 16 month engagement.

Play with your own wedding palette at Magnet Street. It's fun!
Play with your own wedding palette at Magnet Street. It’s fun!

Even though our chosen colors weren’t dominating the Pinterest boards, there are still a whole lot of trends to muddle through. The first time I met you, I was showing off my DIY mercury glass bowls. Super trendy. Watercolor stationery and signage are having a moment in the bridal blogs. Don’t care. Stealing that idea. Watercolor is and has long been my favorite medium. Midcentury modern has been HUGE since Mad Men became a thing. I channeled Joan Holloway like a champ in our engagement pictures.

Engagement Session by Shaina Sheaff, Shaina Sheaff Photography, Denton, TX
Engagement Session by Shaina Sheaff Photography

The point is, don’t let the idea of a trend dominate your thinking, whether it’s following every one or working overtime to keep your big day cliche-free. When something is popular, it means it’s a hell of a lot easier to find in stores or as online tutorials. What you want and what you do should be a reflection of who you and your betrothed are as individuals and as a couple. No matter what you choose, it’s always going to be your unique and special day.

Have you been swayed one way or another by the popularity of something? How did you regroup? Let us know in the comments!

Cool Wedding-y Shizz Around the Web

Y’all know I have a love for all things sparkle, so this starry night inspired post on Brenda’s Wedding Blog put me over the moon.


Photo: Tab McCausland Photography

Headed on your honeymoon? Before you pack, read this list of 5 essential items to remember from Chic Brown Bride.

Who doesn’t love a great bubble bath? Classic Bride Blog has a rad DIY for bath fizzies.

BHLDN for under $500? You know Kiss My Tulle is is all over this bitch with a list of  favorite frocks for very few dollars.

BHLDN under 500

Dying to show off your new relationship status? Knotsvilla has 5 hot ways to rock your title.

Hey Disney darlings! In honor of Earth Day today, Inspired by Dis has an earthy Disney styleboard up.


I’m loving the Idaho Wedding Collective flirty inspiration shoot featured on Love, Inc.

Always the bridesmaid? Be the best one EVARRRRR with these tips from Bridal Musings.

Prepping for your e-shoot? Aisle Perfect has tips to help coordinate your outfits for your engagement session.

Finally, our girl Budget Savvy Bride has another amazing budget wedding tip for you.




Real Bride Emma: The Little Things Can Make a Big Impact

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When it comes to weddings, it’s easy to feel like you have to wow people with grand gestures. But some of the most effective and memorable things I’ve seen at weddings (and on Pinterest!) have been simple and small — but well thought out.

Here’s a few I’d like to share with you:

1) Insta-face seating plan

I recently attended a beautiful wedding with loads of brilliant details, including an absolutely genius seating plan. The bride and groom had found lovely photos of all their guests and pinned them to boards under their table numbers. Not only did it make everyone smile to see which photos they had picked, but it also made introductions at the table much easier.


While this isn’t the actual one from the wedding, this one from MadeSquare is pretty close!

2) Sowing the seeds of love

Favours can hard to get right, and as a BAB I would fight to the death for your right not to bother with the darn things. That being said, I went to a wedding a few years ago where all the guests were given flower bulbs to plant. I loved this idea — simple, inexpensive, but something that can provide joy long after the wedding day. Nice.

Beau-Coup Seed Bombs

Personalized wildflower seed bombs from Beau-Coup

3) The kids are alright

Kids at weddings: Another potential minefield. But if you do decide to go for it, you’ll make everyone’s life easier if you can find a way to provide games/distractions for them. I have seen people give kids little gift bags full of sweets and toys, which has always been welcomed by the parents (and the other adults sharing the table!). Pinterest has some really cute ideas for cheap and cheerful ways to keep little-uns quiet, including loads of free printable colouring pages for the little darlings.

Saying i Do Kids Wedding Activity Book

Amazon has a plethora of wedding-themed coloring and activity books, too.

So there we go, a couple of sweet ideas that don’t have to break the bank.

For now, Am Dram Bride – out.

Free Gorgeous, Rustic Printables from Hoopla House

Hey, BABs! Spring has sprung and it’s time for another batch of FREE (!!!) printables from our homies over at Hoopla House. These gorgeous pieces perfectly complement Hoopla House Creative’s Rustic Revival invitation, which are totally perf for a backyard wedding, garden soiree or farm fete. All you need is these PDFs, a printer and your desired card stock and BOOM! Gorgeous little extras that won’t break the bank.


Click here to download the Rustic Revival Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs

Click here to download Rustic Revival Bridal Shower Bingo


Click here to download Rustic Revival Favor Tags HH-Rustic-Revival-Bridesmaids

Click here to download Rustic Revival Bridesmaid Card

Click here to download Rustic Revival Maid of Honor Card
HH-Rustic-Revival-Name-Banner HH-Rustic_Revival-TV-Banner

Click here to download Rustic Revival banner

(customizable with Thank You or your names!)



Rustic Revival Invitation and Save the Date, available on Hoopla House Creative‘s Website and customizable with colors and card stock. Starts at around $1.30 per invitation.

Rustic Revival not your style? Check out our other free printables from Hoopla House Creative!

Five for Friday: Fabulous Etsy Finds for Your Wedding

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

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

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

Etsy EKG Heart Necklace

Heartbeat Necklace, $26 by HalalMill

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

Etsy Drop Top Guest Book

DropTop Wedding Guest Book, $145+ by ACFCustoms

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

Bohemian Lace dress

Bohemian Lace Wedding Dress, $470 by PolinaIvanova

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

Etsy Marriage Milestone Wine Labels

6 Custom Married First Wine Labels, $26.99 by LabelWithLove

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

What do you think of these Etsy finds BABs?

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

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

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

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

  Can't Afford It

Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown

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

Get Over It

Nicole Miller Jamie

Nicole Miller Jamie Gown, $1,400 at BHLDN

Faviana Lace Scoop Neck Dress Zappos

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

Theia Sweetheart Strapless Lace Gown ShopBop

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

Zappos Nicole Miller Nina Gown

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

Watters Lucinda

Watters Lucinda, $400 at BHLDN

Lace Georgette Ann Taylor

Lace Georgette Spaghetti Strap Gown, $795 at Ann Taylor

J. Crew Brianna

Brianna Gown, $450 at J. Crew

Best bridal Prices Watters Tina

Watters Tina, Style 52138, $778 at BestBridalPrices

Nicole Miller Lace Fantasy Gown

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

Etsy IdoCouture Sheath Lace Sweetheart Silhouette

Sweetheart Lace Sheath Silhouette, $950 by Etsy seller IDoCoutureBridal

V-Neck Etsy

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

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

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

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.

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

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

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


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

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

Real Bride Meg: Up Close and Personal

As you may recall, I interviewed a few of my favorite former brides just a few weeks ago, one of them being a bridesmaid of mine. She said something that I’ve been thinking about ever since.

“Personalization, ‘made to order,’ catered to you = big bucks. There are ways to bring in your wedding theme or your personal touch without adding monograms to everything.”

Like every other money-saving DIY wedding, just about everything is personalized — as in we’ve put a lot of our own blood, sweat and tears into our wedding day, and make every effort to not pull out our wallets.

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We learned a hard lesson about how personalized items can add up after having these napkins done for our engagement party.

The beginning — and most important — part of our day is still a work in progress, but it’s getting there! Little by little, we’ve been piecing together a combination of ceremony templates found on the Internet, readings from several different sources (re: books we grew up with), and even considered writing our own vows. We decided to skip that last part to avoid the inevitable emotional messes we’d become in front of 230 people. Just because we’re not digging deep into our souls to come up with a few sentences to say to each other doesn’t mean our vows aren’t personal. We found some material that means something to us. There is a lot of great stuff out there!

Another way we’re keeping things personal — the drink selections. Yes, beverages are very important to this bride and groom … and their friends and families. We have bridal party members in the Philly beer industry, so it was a no-brainer for us to go local. It’s our way of supporting them and showing our love for the city that made us fall in love. In addition, Steve is a homebrewer and so are some of our guests. They all plan on making something personal for our special day, and I can honestly say that I’m not only dying to taste them, but can’t wait to hear what names they come up with!

Our decor has been one of my favorite — yet sanity-stealing — part of putting our personal touch on things. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re going with a vintage travel look since we’re a couple of old souls who like to go different places, and I’ve even shared a few of my decorating DIY woes. With that set aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed thrifting for old books, bottles, globes, clocks, etc., in the last few months … and I’m not even done yet!


While I scramble to get the finishing touches on my own decor, enjoy this photo of what I hope our wedding day looks like. Courtesy of Mily Photography

And finally, the big piece (drumroll) … MUSIC! Our personal touches include a string trio who are all graduates of our beloved Temple University (aka where we met!) during the ceremony portion of the day, and my mom’s brothers playing hand-picked selections during cocktail hour. While reception bands can tend to get pricey, we opted for a DJ for when it’s time to dance. We’ve had a ton of fun going through the music packet, from choosing a classic song to end the night to our entrance song of “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates (because they’re other famous couple who met at Temple, #duh) — but there is still one huge, very personal missing piece — our first dance song. That’s right, we don’t have one yet … and it’s killing me. We’ve read through every “a first song dance for everyone” list and we’ve heard our fair share of ideas, but not one song that we’ve come across really means anything to us. Are we thinking about it too much? Maybe, but it’s something that will remind us of our favorite day every time we hear it. That is personal.

How are you adding personal touches to your wedding day?