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That’s the sound I made when we stepped off the plane and the Caribbean air hit my face. It’s the noise my new husband had mentioned two weeks before when he said, “I can’t wait until I hear you sigh in relief on our honeymoon and finally get to relax,” during a stressful night of wrapping up our wedding plans.


Courtesy of

Guys, it’s really, really important for you to take note of when you’re feeling super overwhelmed and stressed out, and to make time to take care of it — before and after your wedding day. I know how it can be to feel like you’ve gone in over your head and you’ll never get it all done in time. But trust me when I say that it’ll all work out, and you need to take care of yourself first.

The week before our wedding day, Steve and I set a deadline of when everything needed to get done. Like, everything. So, we decided the Wednesday before the wedding would be that day. Why? Because after more than seven years of dating, we wanted to take a step back and reflect on all of the great things we had been through in those last seven years. We were taking our relationship to the next level — new titles, new anniversary date, etc., — so we wanted to enjoy our last days being “single.”

The great part about having this deadline is that I scheduled some time to pamper myself during the day Thursday, and we made plans for a dinner date that night. We didn’t give ourselves much of a choice — we had to get everything done the night before. It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with my fiancé one last time.

The next night was our rehearsal dinner. You know what’s great about your rehearsal dinner? All you have to do is show and up and enjoy it! Or at least this was my case. My in-laws took care of everything. My only request was that it was casual and relaxed — and it was! We spent the night dining at a vineyard, and a cupcake truck even showed up at one point.


The whole crew at rehearsal dinner! Courtesy of Shanna Cattell

The 48 hours of chill time bled into the day of the wedding, which was the ultimate goal — to not be stressed out or anxious. While Steve and his groomsmen were getting shaved and bumming around at his parents’ house, us ladies were at a hotel getting our hair and makeup done with mimosas. My ‘maids were seriously THE BEST that morning. While I didn’t feel nervous at all, my stomach was doing somersaults all day long. They kept me laughing while we rocked out to vintage love songs. That’s about where my relax time ended for the day as we had some seriously partying to do!


Can we talk about how I literally stayed in bed until 2 pm? Courtesy of my new sister Katelyn Gudknecht

Now, the tricky part about marrying a school teacher in a snowy state is that you don’t know when the last day of school will be when you book your wedding. With that said, we both went back to work the week after the wedding, but not with a little breather in between. The Monday after, we slept in (a luxury these days) and then spent a day acting like tourists in our own city.

Then, came the honeymoon. AHHHHHHH. While we went back and forth on where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it, we eventually settled on going the all-inclusive route, or what I like to refer to as “turning your brain off for a few days.” We didn’t have a care in the world — as long as we had the sun, sand and each other, we were good! We ultimately came home feeling refreshed and ready for the next stage in live — being husband and wife!


We honeymooned in La Romana, Dominican Republic!

So, my advice is this: When you’re feeling like this whole wedding planing thing has no finish line, just realize that at some point, you gotta let it go and let it all happen. Your wedding day is your day, so be able to enjoy it!

  • 7/21

    Sponsored Post Disclaimer

    It’s Christmas in July! No, not really, but pretty damn close, y’all.

    David’s Bridal is having their hugest sale of the season. And by huge, we mean RIDICULOUS. For serious. From wedding dresses to styles for your entourage to all those pretty little sparkly adornments, prices are slashed across the board:

    * Wedding dresses that were originally $300-$600 are now as low as $99, with discounts of $50-$200 off David’s Bridal’s largest selection of frocks.

    * All bridesmaids dresses (except Special Value dresses, which are marked as such) are $20 off.

    * Regular priced jewelry and shoes are Buy One, Get One 50% off (heeeyyyy bridesmaid gifts)!

    * And for the extra cherry on top, all clearance accessories, shoes and gifts are an extra 40% off.

    OK, that’s a lot of info, right? And what are you supposed to do, just amble on into the store and try to figure out what’s what amid the chaos? Nah, we wouldn’t do that to you. To start, if you dug any of the dresses in this post then you’re in luck — those beauties are all game for some dollar-saving action! But I’mma go ahead an do you an even bigger solid.

    I pulled together a few favorite looks and worked with the team at David’s to pair them with accessories that (shock! gasp!) are also on sale so you can attack this awesomeness with a game plan and come out on top. Cool? I thought so.

    Gown YP3344, Necklace MNJ2905, Earring CZ108

    Gown: $774 Necklace: $50 Earrings: $10

    Style Tip: strapless gowns are perf for a statement-making necklace. Keep your other bedazzlers sweet ‘n’ simple — a pair of simple studs pull the look together without being too much.

    Gown WG3672, Blusher WPD17121

    Gown: $649 Headpiece: $79

    Style Tip: Want vintage? Get a blusher. Bonus: They’re versatile, so if you decide to slip into something shorter for the dance floor, this little baby will easily work for both outfits.

    Gown WG3532, Headpiece 35986C001, Bracelet 9721


    Headpiece: $19.95 Bracelet: $12 Gown: $499.99

    Style Tip: Though small, a little clip with a dash of sparkle is a good way to add some pizazz to your hair without rocking a veil. The flower clip complements the beaded floral applicque bodice. Throw on some arm candy and you’re all set! Gown V9409, Veil 850, Veil WPD17939


    Veil, Top: $299.95 Veil, Bottom: $49.95 Gown: $449
    Style Tip: Want to ooze that bridal feeling on your big day? Grab a veil.  mid-length tulle style with a pencil edge (bottom) is soft and subtle while a longer cathedral-length amps up the drama. Try on various styles to see what works best for you.
    Gown KP3696, Veil V390, Necklace 80018 Necklace: $10 Veil: $129.95 Gown: $649


    Style Tip: Traditional and timeless, pearls are a gorgeous option without the bling overload. They add a little shimmer without blinding anyone and are a very classic bridal accessory. Bridesmaid in Sangria F15530, Headband H22490, Shoe Feliz


    Headband: $8.99 Shoe: $49.95 Dress: $139.95
    Style Tip: Gold + jewel tones = holy regal, Batman! However, the metallic hue also works well with neutrals and pastels. So, of course, gold wins. Bridesmaid F16004 in Petal, Shoe Andrea, Shoe Savannah in Begonia Shoe, Top: $59.50 Shoe, Bottom: $59.95 Dress: $79.99

    Style Tip: Blush is an ever-popular color for your brigade. Go with the sweet and feminine look by pairing a light pink frock with gold, or make a statement and go bold. Bridesmaid F15749 in Marine, Bracelet 10034318BR, Earring 10034316Er

    Dress: $149.95 Earrings: $19.95 Bracelet: $25.95

    Style Tip: Pull together a coordinating look by adding baubles in a color palette that matches their dresses. The two tone accessories here only help enhance the dark blue dress. Bridesmaid F15711 in Apple, Bracelet J8007B, Earring 70503124

    Dress: $129.95 Bracelet: $30 Earrings: $15.95

    Style Tip: A short ‘n’ flirty dress gets a glamorous makeover with some serious #sparklez. Skip the necklace with an illusion neckline, and opt instead for earrings and a bracelet. Bridesmaid F15701 in Begonia, Handbag Dazzle, Shoe Jazz

    Bag: $49.95 Shoes: $79.95 Dress: $99.95

    Style Tip: If your crew is donning something bright, metallic shoes and accessories are probz the way to go. In styles of their choosing but in one shimmery hue, they’ll look coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. Plus, um, can we talk about that knuckleduster clutch?
    Bridesmaid F1555 in Horizon, Bag Mayan

    Dress: $69.99-$79.99 Clutch: $29.95

    Style Tip: Let your crew customize their look — you pick the frock, they get the say over how they accessorize. Perhaps gift them with a gorgeous clutch that will complement their styles.

    Well, Broke-Asses, what are you waiting for? Get thee to David’s Bridal and save some skrilla on your wedding day goodies!

    Which of the above looks is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

    The Broke-Ass Bride
  • 7/21

    Real Bride Laura: Gettin' My Face On

    Call me crazy, but I am doing my own makeup for my wedding — and I am excited about it! I am a kid in a candy shop at Sephora. I love finding new products and trying new trends. I find it therapeutic to sit down at my dining …

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    Amy trying on V-neck styles

    I’ve been dreading dress shopping for months, but after much prodding from friends, I caved, suited up in some Spanx and headed to David’s Bridal. I know David’s is a great budget friendly option, but based on some previous experience with their dress quality and hearing lots of customer …

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    Chi Touch 2 Touchscreen Hairdryer

    Guys, it’s not very often I’d advocate spending big bucks on something … unless I really, truly think it’s worth it. And every once in a while, I stumble across something in the beauty realm that really, truly knocks my socks off and if you’ve got the money to throw …

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  • 7/17


    Photo: Beautiful Day Photography

    I’ve coordinated three backyard weddings so far this season, with two more to go until Labor Day. Backyard weddings are conveniently located, they’re pretty, and you certainly can’t beat the venue fee. But along with the usual issues they can have, I’m noticing a brand new …

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    Halo Bridal Ballgown H7905

    Happy *almost* Friday, BABs! Today we have an international search for the perfect ballgown. Bride & BAB reader Lily says:

    I’m really struggling to find a ballgown style that ticks all the boxes. I’m chasing something with a sweetheart neckline, and a huge, full tulle skirt with a v-shaped Disney-princess-esque …

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    Real bride shannon justin alexander wedding gown

    The nastiest question too many newly-engaged brides hear is, “How much weight are you planning to lose?” Um, are you saying I NEED to lose weight? What if I don’t plan to lose any? What if I plan to put a little on? It should be out of bounds, but …

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  • 7/15



    Photo: Zach & Jody

    You covet those tattered Cons you’ve had since your first show. And yes, you just can’t part with those New Balances you wear every weekend. And we know you can’t even fathom having to replace your dress/work shoes (the sole is still mostly intact, so …

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