Posts in the 'affordable' Category
The Broke-Ass Bride is proud to partner with Brides Against Breast Cancer, turning gently used designer gowns into a beacon of hope in the worldwide fight against breast cancer. If you’d like to donate your gown, here’s how. If you’re in need of a gown, Brides Against Breast Cancer runs a nationwide tour of gowns, and you should most definitely check it out when it rolls into your town!
Your wedding stationery is the first impression anyone will get about your wedding: it will give them cues about what to expect from the evening (or morning, or afternoon) and how to dress appropriately. No matter what your style, from traditional to modern, rustic to preppy, black and white to bold color, you’re certain to find an invitation that suits your event and your budget at FineStationery.com.
At FineStationery.com, they’ve got designs from the most sought-after brands, like Kleinfeld Paper, Crane & Co, and Vera Wang, as well as up-and-comers like Jasmine & Woo; you’ll see designs you’ve never seen before, and won’t find anywhere else! Not ready to shop for wedding invitations yet? FineStationery.com also offers a huge selection of save the dates (including magnets!), party invitations, and couples stationery so flipping cute that I’d feel hard-pressed to actually mail it to anyone else. No matter your stationery needs, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to FineStationery.com first! Plus, this week, everyone wins: BABs can save 10% on save the dates with FineStationery.com with the code LOVE10 from now through March 31st!
This week, one lucky BAB reader will win a $125 gift card to FineStationery.com! Want it bad? You can get an easy entry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter! It’s packed with BAB-exclusive deals, contests, and the best the wedding web has to offer, and we’ll never spam ya!
Photo courtesy of bridesmaiddressaleca
I need to find navy, knee-length, one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses. The catch – under $100 and something that stores carry. My maid of honor lives out of state and wants to try it on before she buys, and I totally agree! I’ve heard too many horror stories of online dresses not fitting right! Help me, please!
Bride Seeking Little Blue Dress
I will admit that this is a little outside of my bailiwick. However, I’m attempting to tackle it anyway in the hopes that my lovely readership will chime in with their suggestions.
After copious Googling, it seems like The Dessy Group might be your best bet. I’m not sure where your MOH lives, but they have an easy-to-use store finder and tons of stores. They also sell Alfred Sung, who offers a navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dress for $99.
And now, I’m going to be annoying. I know you said you wanted it to be sold in-store. However, Target now sells bridesmaid dresses. They are not sold in stores, BUT don’t stop reading! They’re affordable (most of them are around $70) and you can return them at Target stores, no questions asked. I actually purchased one a few weeks ago. It arrived super-quick, but it was a bit too small. I went to my local Target Guest Service counter, said “this doesn’t fit”, and they took it back, no further questions, full refund. Plus, if you have a Target REDcard (which is that whole “Would you like to save 5% at Target today” script you hear whenever you shop there), shipping is free. Your MOH could order a few in different sizes, see if anything fit, then return whatever she didn’t like. And they definitely have navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dresses for less than $100.
And now, valuable readers, please chime in! Do you have any recommendations for Blue? Tell us in the comments below where she should go for her ultimate bridesmaid dress!
Angela and Jay had their beautiful wedding in January of this year, incorporating meaningful locations, the support of their community, and some Arizona flair. Seriously, how cute are these cactus favors? It goes to show that you don’t need to spend $30,000 to have a beautiful, memorable wedding day…and since their family and friends were involved throughout, they were able to start their married lives feeling truly loved and blessed.
Names: Angela and Jay
Occupations: Angela- PhD Candidate, Cultural Anthropology, Jay: Video Game QA Lead, Red5 Studios
Wedding location: Phoenix, AZ (Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and the Science and Heritage Park)
Wedding date: 01-04-14
Wedding budget: Original $3000…..Actual $5000
Approximate guest count: 100
How would you describe your wedding? Laid-back, informal, with traditional aspects
What was your favorite part of your wedding? I loved getting to talk with all of my friends and family during the reception. I just wanted it to last forever.
What did you splurge on? The reception venue. We met on NYE 4 years ago at a bar owned by my husband’s friend. The venue is RIGHT behind it, so we both wanted to celebrate our marriage there, even though it was pretty expensive for our budget. It didn’t include much. It had a small catering kitchen and tables and chairs we could use. I also spent $444.00 on my wedding gown. I felt guilty for this, since Jay was wearing a suit he already owned. I REALLY wanted a simple white dress, off the rack. But I couldn’t find anything I liked. My mom made me go to a David’s Bridal one day and I found something that wasn’t too shiny and fancy for me. I hoped to sell it…but, then a friend burned a cigarette hole in it, and I spilled my beer on myself. I’m sure someone would still buy it…
What did you save on? Everything else!! The cake/cupcakes were made by my best friend from high school. I won a few bottles of champagne in an online contest. I cut out all the paper flag decorations with my mom. My brother bought decorations off Craigslist from a woman who had similar colors for her wedding (candles, cake plates, lights, lanterns). I bought all the servingware (bowls, trays, and tongs) at a dollar store. I didn’t want flowers at first, but my mom wasn’t having that. So I found 10 bouquets at Costco for $100. They doubled as bouquets for the bridespeople and table decorations. We gave small cacti as favors (only 50 of them) and my friend purchased them for me at cost ($1 per cactus) from his cousin who runs a nursery. We decided a build your own sandwich bar would be good instead of a caterer. It was very simple. We had sliced cheese, turkey and roast beef with condiments. We bought bolillo rolls from a Mexican bakery which was cheaper than the same rolls at Costco. I made three grain/pasta salads that were very very inexpensive. One was quinoa, one was a pasta salad, and one was Israeli couscous. The biggest saving was the alcohol. My husband’s friends who own the bar gave us free beer and wine! We also received free coffee due to a mixup at the coffee house. That was a nice surprise!
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have done two things differently. First I would have managed time better. We were married in a church service and since my husband is not Catholic, we didn’t have the full ceremony. In fact it only took 30 minutes. We had no idea it would be that quick! This meant that our guests had to wait about 2 hours between our ceremony and the reception. Since our reception was only a block from the church, most of our guests just headed to our friends’ bar for food and drinks. We had to set up the wedding while they did this. We decided to set up our own wedding to save money (of course!). Since we were early, the young men we had hired to set up the tables hadn’t gotten started yet. Everyone was stressed out and working hard. They wouldn’t let my husband or I do much, which was nice, but also frustrating.
The second thing I would have done differently is I would have hired a day-of coordinator. I would have just asked an old friend and paid her $50 or something. That way she could have fielded the 10,000 questions everyone had for me that day. The questions freaked me out because I really wasn’t very picky about how everything looked, but of course no one believed that. Most of the questions were related to the decorations.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? We had a few challenges. The biggest challenge was money. We don’t have a lot and everything really added up. I was in Washington teaching for the Summer and Fall semesters right before the wedding. So not only did Jay and I not get to see each other, but all of my planning was done through email and phone calls. I didn’t even see the church until the rehearsal dinner. Luckily we were familiar with the reception venue.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?
1.Our families really care for us. When we needed help purchasing something they always came through and just gave us money. We didn’t abuse this privilege, however.
2. I wouldn’t have bought so much food. Lots of our friends who said they were coming didn’t show, so there were too many sandwiches. Also, we had made sure to tell people that we were only serving light food, and during that 2 hr break between wedding and reception, lots of our guests ate dinner. My mom ended up donating bread to a soup kitchen which was great, but it would have been better for us not to spend the money in the first place.
3.I also learned that dancing is not as important to other people as it is to me. I spend what seemed like weeks and weeks creating our playlist. It was nuts. I went from slower dancing at the beginning to all out party music at the end when everyone would have been drunk. Well, The only dances that happened were our first dance and the father/daughter dance. Everyone else just used the wedding as a way to catch up with old friends and family, which was lovely, but not what I had envisioned. I wish I’d not cared about the music so much.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
1. Seeing friends and family that I hadn’t seen for years. I have lived in CA and WA for the last 4 years, so I’m out of touch with a lot of my Phoenix peeps. My husband is the same way. It was nice to have everyone together.
2. The cake and decorations! I really loved what I did. Yes it was simple, but it reflected us. We aren’t flashy people. I was really proud about the money I saved.
3. The help we received from friends and family. They worked so hard and the night of the reception I felt really very guilty for it. I saw my mom running around putting lunch meat on platters and making a veggie tray. My bridespeople and other friends all helped immensely with various food and decorations. It made me feel awful at the time, but everyone says it wasn’t a problem and that they had a good time. Also, it made me feel very loved.
4. Wine and beer! Not only was it free, but it helped both me and my fiance loosen up a bit.
5. Getting to celebrate our commitment to each other in front of all our friends and family. Although Jay and I have been committed to our relationship for a while, it felt good to share that with everyone else. Everyone was really happy for us, and that felt great!
Top 5 least favorite?
1. I didn’t like the music at the wedding ceremony, but it wasn’t a big deal. It was just boring church music that didn’t really fit the wedding.
2. My fiance was nervous and I didn’t know how to cheer him up. He didn’t smile once during the service and his hand was sweaty when I met him at the altar. I felt like I was failing him by not creating a happy wedding. He finally loosened up at the reception after we cut the cake….. about 3 hrs in…
3. I don’t have a picture of my parents walking me down the aisle.
4. Friends and Family who said they were coming that did not show up.
6. We only paid for a 3 hour reception. I wanted it to last at least 2 hours longer into the evening. We did all move over to the bar, but my fiance and I didn’t stay as late as our guests. I guess that was probably a good thing!
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I didn’t have any bad advice, just a LOT of judgement from others. When you tell people that you are getting married, suddenly everyone has an opinion on things. (tablecloths, flowers, food, “You HAVE to have the Chicken Dance!”, etc.) That was a little annoying at first, then a lot annoying. Also, I really thought that our relationship would somehow grow deeper at a profound level after getting married. It didn’t. I still feel the same love for him that I felt before the wedding. Although there are times when I think “Wow, that was a whole fiasco, wasn’t it? Getting married in a church when neither of us are religious, having a fancy white dress, registering for gifts, etc. I can’t believe he loves me SO much that he would do it all and not complain once.”
The best? A few friends told me “Do what you want and try not to listen to other people.” and “This is about a marriage, not about a wedding.”
Any other bits of wisdom? Just have fun on your wedding day! Soak it all in and try to remember everything. Smile and say thank you as much as possible. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Venue (4 hour rental, includes a $500 refundable deposit): $1645.00
Security (We had to hire an off-duty cop for the venue.): $120
Marriage License: $107.00
City Fees (sound permit, alcohol permit): $38.00
Food,cups/napkins (Costco, regular supermarket, Mexican Bakery): $423.00
Sparkbooth (only 5-6 guests used this…I could have skipped it.): $55.00
Stereo speaker rental (we borrowed a few from friends too): $80.00
Vistaprint invitations w/postage(we emailed most people but sent out 60): $61.50
Dress (David’s Bridal): $444.99
Shoes/Veil (DSW Outlet and Claire’s Workshop ): $52.30
Church marriage prep: $350.00
Hair (The Root Salon)$65.00
Bouquet (made by a friend who does this as a small side business): $100.00
Rings (I used my grandmother’s but it needed a few prong repairs. I traded in some gold to help pay for that. We bought a stainless steel one onAmazon for Jay for the ceremony. He got a tattoo of his ring because he doesn’t like jewelry): $210.00
Hotel room for wedding night ( Sheraton Phoenix Downtown ): $112.00
Free items: Cake/cupcakes, alcohol, tables/chairs were included with rental, extra help setting up was a gift from BIL’s girlfriend, Church fees were paid by my parents (because they wanted the church wedding), Coffee (there was a mix-up at the coffeeshop, so we got it for free!), and FIL paid for the rehearsal dinner.
Brides Against Breast Cancer is an amazing charity that we’ve partnered with–they accept new and used gown donations, which they then send on roadshows across the country to sell to brides like you for an average price of $600! They also do “Run and Renew” 5K events as fundraisers, and every year, they raise around a million dollars for those impacted by cancer. Incredible, no? If they’ve got an upcoming event in your area, you should definitely check it out! PLUS, our very own Christen will be volunteering at the Jacksonville show, so definitely come and say hi!
The Nationwide Tour of Gowns upcoming schedule:
Run and Renew upcoming schedule:
|Wildwood, NJ||5K Run & 1 Mile Fun Run||October 4, 2014||Memoreys by Morey’s Piers|
I found my dress! If there is one part of planning a wedding that makes it feel real, I’d say that is up there. I had never even been dress shopping with anyone before (and I’ve been in quite a few weddings), so it was definitely a little overwhelming. Having seen far too many episodes of Say Yes the Dress, I planned my entourage very carefully. My mom, littlest sister Ali, and my friend and bridesmaid Cassie all accompanied me. I figured I had a more mature perspective, a teenage hipster’s perspective (Ali is 16), and someone who sees me on a day to day basis.
We had appointments at two different shops, a chain store and a small, local boutique. I will admit, I had a lot of preconceived notions about how I thought my experience would go. For the past year I have worked for a small business owner, and have come to appreciate the hard work and detection it takes. The small shop was also where my other sister got her wedding dress, so I know my mom really wanted me to find something there as well. I had no idea what I was looking for, and was more than willing to put my fate in the consultant’s hands.
Our first appointment was at the bridal chain store. We were the first appointment of the day, and my consultant, Heidi, was friendly and knowledgeable. She asked me a lot of questions about my fiancee, my venue, and what kind of look I was going for. I told her that I was getting married in a 1920’s theatre, so I was going for a vintage-y, Gatsby-esque look. She pulled three dresses to start, and from there was able to pull more styles that I liked. I tried short dresses, long dresses, sleeveless dresses, and dresses with sleeves. She showed me dresses that I would have never thought to try, and even though she was working another appointment at the same time, I would have never known it with how attentive she was. All the dresses she had me try were all under my $850 dress budget. At the end of the appointment, there was one dress that I was in love with. It was comfortable, beautiful, and very much “me”. It was also on sale for $399. Not wanting to make any spur of the moment decisions, we told the shop that we would be back after lunch.
We headed to the small boutique, very optimistic about what we would find. I don’t remember my consultant’s name (Megan? Molly?), but she was very friendly and made me feel comfortable right away. However, she was not very proactive in what she showed me. She basically walked me around the shop and showed me where the low price, mid-range, and high-price dresses and told me to pull what I wanted. To my dismay, none of the dresses I liked were under my budget, and they were all very similar looking. I only tried on four dresses, and narrowed it down pretty quickly to one that I could see myself in. It was beautiful, but out of my price range and a little poofier than I would have liked (as my mom said, I am not her “poofy” daughter). The consultant did her best to work with my budget, but even with a few discounts, the dress alone would be close to $1,000. Yikes.
We decided to hash it out over lunch, and after sending pictures to my fiancee’s family and my sister in Chicago, I made the executive decision to go with the dress from the chain store. When all was said and done, I ordered the dress, undergarments, veil, and headpiece-all for $750! My sister’s mother-in-law is a seamstress, so I’ll be able to get my alterations done for a reasonable price as well. I felt really good leaving with a dress I loved that fit well with my venue, I knew I would be comfortable wearing, and was under my budget. Such a good feeling!
If I could leave you with any advice, it would be to go with your gut and do what feels right to you, your personal style, and your budget. While I liked the dress from the boutique, I knew there were other parts of my wedding that I would rather spend my money on. Happy shopping!
After the wedding is all said and done, photos are one of the few things you walk away with, so it only makes sense that you’ll want to have those babies in a beautiful album on the coffee table, ready for anyone who happens over to your home to ogle. Unfortunately, lots of couples end up with sticker shock when they price out said albums. Never fear: Libby James has got your back. Libby James is a professional color lab and industry-leading album manufacturer, so that modern design you wanted? They have it. Luscious covers? They have it. The best quality paper? They have it. And they’ve got it all at a price that won’t make you weep into your hanky. How do they do it? By being one of the big guys and cutting out the middleman markup, Libby James can sell albums at a fraction of the price of other companies, with an average turnaround time of only two days. So splurge! Get a larger size! Add a few more page spreads! Upgrade to a leather cover or a velvety soft matte cover! And take comfort in the fact that you’re getting the best quality for the best price possible…which is the best of both worlds.
This week, one lucky BAB will win a 10×10 Libby James 20 page Diamond Wedding album! Want it bad? Get an easy entry by subscribing to our newsletter! It’s jam packed with the best deals, steals, and contests from throughout the web, and we’ll never spam ya!
Hi everyone! I’m super excited to introduce myself as a contributor to the Broke-Ass Bride team!
My name is Jess & I’m getting married in August at the Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, CA. My fiance, Michael, and I have been together for three and a half years; we got engaged at the end of September.
As far as the proposal goes, I ruined it for myself a little bit. Michael was in LA for two weeks for job training & asked me (on like, Wednesday) to come up for the weekend, to which I of course replied: no. I had to work that weekend, weekends were when I made the most money anyway (I was waiting tables), plus, what a waste of time and money to drive two and a half hours each way for just one day!
To which he replied: it would mean A LOT to me if you would come.
…Which kind of gave it away.
The proposal itself was super fun: we went to Santa Barbara, did some wine tasting, had dinner on the pier & then went down to the beach where he proposed!
Let’s talk wedding! What’s my wedding inspiration? I would call it “laid-back vintage” (you can check out my Pinterest to really understand). My color palette is lavender, mint, and yellow and the whole thing is at the botanical gardens- I basically want it to be the most kick-ass garden party ever.
I’m super duper excited to be blogging for Broke-Ass Bride & can’t wait to plan my wedding with you!
A reader wrote in recently that she’d been struggling to find the perfect dress…until she saw it walk down the carpet at the Golden Globes on Sarah Hyland. Perfect, except for the color and the couture pricetag, that is.
Let’s see what we can do–we’re looking for something with a bateau neckline, a dropped waist, and some frothy goodness at the bottom!
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Georges Hobieka Couture, $$$
GET OVER IT
Satin and Tulle Gown (For Her & For Him, $269)
Ksenia’s A-Line Bateau Chapel Appliques Wedding Dress (TBDress, $188)
Knee length satin tulle dress inspired by Audrey Hepburn (Light in the Box, $149)
Side draped sheath/column bateau floor-length chiffon wedding dress (Light in the Box, $127)
Skinny white belt (Amazon, $10.99)
Bateau necklines are definitely on the rarer side–there were exactly two dresses at David’s Bridal with a bateau neckline when I did my search! But if none of these alternatives tickle your fancy, I’d suggest talking with a trusted tailor–I’ll bet they’d be able to come up with something a little more spot-on. I hope this helped!
If YOU have a dress, shoe, accessory, or other wedding accoutrement that you need help getting over, hit us up!