Posts in the 'ann taylor' Category

Ten for the Weekend: California Wine Club, Wedding Paper Divas, Poppin and more!

Hey-yo! Welcome to the first edition of Ten for the Weekend! I don’t know about you all, but after a long week of working, I often have a strong urge to shop when Saturday and Sunday roll around. But, being a broke-ass, I tend to wince at busting out my debit card on full-price items. So, Ten for the Weekend aims to find 10 rockin’ deals for you, on anything from wedding-related items to office supplies to kitchen goods to cute new dresses. Here we go!

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.58.16 PM

1. Poppin, one of my favorite sources for bright, fun office supplies, is offering 20-60% off select products at *Valid 4/01 – 4/30. No code necessary.

2. For all you lovers of the grape, The California Wine Club has a Buy 3 Months, Get 1 Free deal (a savings of about $53) going on for April only. Get your sip on!

3. Putting off getting your wedding underthings? Hourglass Angel is gonna help you out with that: During April, take 15%-25% off  special occasion shapewear until the end of the month!

Felina Essentials Seamless Bustier Bra 7643-Black-34C

4. Drooling over some invites on Wedding Paper Divas that you just can’t live without? Good news! Score 25% off those beauties through April 8th using code WEDAPR25.

5. For the dudes in your life, whether it be your pops, bro or husbo-to-be, a good tie wardrobe is essential. Knock 12% off any size order at Use SPRING12 at checkout. Expires 4/30/2014.

6. Minted is celebrating six years of providing the world with beautiful stationery, and wants you to join in! Get 15% off anything and everything through Monday using code 6YEARS.

Delicate Dots Foil-Pressed Wedding Invitations

7. Score some sweet style from Ann Taylor. Their bridal line is to die for! Use code SPRINGUP at checkout to get 40% off your entire order.

8. If you’re itching to add some new life to your abode, C. Wonder has got your back. Take an additional 50% off items for your home!

9. Get cute, retro styling without hurting your wallet. Enjoy 10% Off Spring Favorites at Unique Vintage using code SPRING10. Ends 4/19/14. Shop now!

10. Obv. saving the best for last: Kate Spade’s Friends and Family deal is still going on! Score any designer duds (and way cute bridal gear) for 25% off through Sunday with S14FFUS.

Get your broke butts in gear and start some savvy shopping!!!

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Gown Inspired By BHLDN’s “Ortensia” For Under $600

It’s rare that one dress embodies everything a bride wants in her wedding gown. Often we’re split between many options because of small details. Jane, on the other hand, knows exactly what she wants, but it’s twice her budget.

I would be SO grateful if you would use your amazing dress-finding skills to help me out with a sudden and major case of CAI/GOI:

I just fell in love with BHLDN’s new Ortensia gown  It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for – a flowing, floor length skirt that starts from the natural waist, a beautiful deep V neckline, pretty (but not blingy) details – but it’s double what I can afford ($1500 is my absolute maximum).

Thank you!

Jane, you did the hard part: Describing your perfect dress and including the budget. Now we’ve found some options that are less than half the budget. This way, you can add extra bling – if needed – through pretty shoes, a belt or maybe a pair of statement earrings.


Ortensia Gown ($3,000 at BHLDN)


Evelyn ($544.99 at Ruche)

Aidan Mattox Sheer-Back Ruched Gown ($475 at Neiman Marcus)

Badgley Mischka Antigua Bay Gown ($150 rental through Rent The Runway)

Sequin Bodice Chiffon Gown ($375 at Badgley Mischka)


Goddess V-Neck Wedding Dress ($550 at Ann Taylor)

V Neck Chiffon A Line Wedding Gown ($369.99 at For Her and For Him)

Be sure to check out the back of these options, Jane. Some have fantastic detail that you wouldn’t guess from the front — something I’m assuming you’d like given the inspiration. Finding the perfect dress is a tricky thing to do online – do read the return policies before ordering!

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Claire Pettibone “Versailles”-esque Gown For $1500 Or Less

Krista definitely deserves an amazing dress for her big day, but her budget is keeping her from living the couture dream.


I’m a mom. I put my wedding on hold for almost three years because our son is a regular at sick kids’ hospital and my fiancé and I wanted to focus on him and his health and put everything else on the backburner. Now that he is doing much better, the wedding plans are back on, and I’ve found a dress. I think about it in my sleep. I scour the internet in hopes of finding either a decent replica or pre-owned… It is stunning and I am irrevocably in love with it. 

I present to you the Claire Pettibone “Versailles”. I swear Claire Pettibone is the devil trying to make all poor brides cry… Help me get over it. I cannot throw $7,000 at this. That’s nearly half the budget.  


Don’t worry Krista, lots of BABs fall victim to the Claire Pettibone lust trap! Consider checking out this post or  this post for more dresses inspired by the same designer. Those picks were inspired by a different designs, of course, but you never know if one of those options might be your next dream dress. Then we have the following dresses, of course, chosen to match your inspiration.


Claire Pettibone Versailles ($7,000+ through Claire Pettibone)


Divine Downpour Gown ($1,300 at BHLDN)

Alexandria Gown ($749.99 at Ruche)

Rose Petal Spaghetti Strap Wedding Dress ($750 at Ann Taylor)


Carolina Lace Wedding Dress (£550 at Phase Eight)


Tulle Gown with Lace Applique and 3D Flowers ($1,100 at David’s Bridal)

Straps Sweeatheart A-Line Tulle With Flowers ($255 at Lemandy Wedding Dress via Etsy)

Cap Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Lace Gown ($950 at David’s Bridal)

Falling in love with couture often means zeroing in on a detail you love best then trying to match that. You could always add a gold sash, for example, to a dress that has the appliqués in the amazing inspiration gown. Also, often times Etsy shops have wonderful sample sales. If you shop for your size on Etsy, you could find beautiful gowns like the Lauren from Natural Bridals.

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} An Inbal Dror-Inspired Bridal Gown For $2,100 Or Less

Adri has designer dreams but of course, not the designer budget. She actually loved a whole collection of dresses from Israeli designer Inbal Dror.

I found these Inbal Dror dresses and I’m in love with them. Could you please help me find some similar ones at a $2,000-$2,500 price range?


After an email follow up, Adri sent me the two dresses that really struck her fancy. Particularly she was attracted to the lingerie-like look at the top, the interesting sweetheart neckline and the playful use of lace. Such details, she said, seemed to draw her eye to the model’s face. She’s also expressed an interest in fit n’ flare style dresses. This request was fun and really specific – I definitely banked a couple extra CAI/GOI hours this week!


Inbal Dror dresses (In the $5,000 neighborhood)


Theia Beaded Strapless Mermaid Gown ($1,995 at Neiman Marcus)

Strapless A Line Wedding Gown with Layered Skirt ($379.99 at For Her and For Him)

Mermaid Style Wedding dress with Corset back ($1,500 at All Things Luvly via Etsy)


Amanda Bridal Gown ($1,245 at Nicole Miller)

Crepe De Chine Halter Bridal Gown ($1,200 at Nicole Miller)

Sophia Kokosalaki Agnes Pleated Crepe-Jersey Gown ($2,100 by Net-A-Porter)

There’s also the option of going with multiple pieces. Ann Taylor has a Chantilly lace bustier for $250 with a couple of skirt options that will keep the whole ensemble to $600 before taxes. Adri was kind enough to send me a photo of her in the current front runner, and it was beautiful. Are there BABs out there with other options for her to consider?

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Wtoo “Olivia” Gown-Inspired Wedding Dress for Under $800

“Budget” has always been a word I kind of hate. It really kills the joy of shopping for, well, anything. But of course, it’s a very important factor when it comes to BAB weddings.

I fell in love with the Wtoo Olivia gown in oatmeal. I went to try it on and absolutely love it. I have been trying to find a used one to buy, but they are still out of budget. Do you have any ideas of similar looks I could try? I can’t seem to find anything like it. Thanks!!!

After chatting with our BAB, it turns out her magic number is $800. There’s always an opportunity to have fun on a budget. This is no different. As always, the key is being open-minded when it comes to all the little details…


Wtoo Olivia Gown ($1,344 at Best Bridal Prices)



Nicole Miller Keyhole Goddess Gown ($630 retail, $100 rental at Rent The Runway)


Reem Acra Florence Gown ($3,000 retail, $400 rental at Rent The Runway)

Taffeta Ball Gown with Layered Tulle Skirt ($299.99 at David’s Bridal)

Badgley Mischka Strapless Lace Gown ($715 at Shopbop)

BCBG Max Azria Magnolia Strapless Gown ($523.60 at Shopbop)

Silk Strapless Vintage Wedding Dress ($550 at Ann Taylor)

Tulle Ball Gown with Asymmetrical Draped Skirt ($699.99 at David’s Bridal)

The color is the hardest thing to really match up. Not all these options hit that hue right on the head, but we play around with a palette that goes from white to peachy pink to a golden, movie star hue. Hopefully there is something in here that catches your eye!

Confessions Of A $10K Bride


Liz As A Young(-ish) Bride.

Oh, Lord, here we go.

I wasn’t going to say anything, I really wasn’t. But then I saw another blog post about a couple that had a $10,000 wedding. I had one myself, so I’m drawn to these stories like a moth to a flame. How did they do it? How did they get more bang for their buck with a budget wedding? Was it the same way I did? Well, no.

You, too, have seen this story before. They got married in her grandpa’s barn in Nebraska, with centerpieces made of flowers from his mother’s garden, and had a luncheon buffet for 250 catered by the local barbecue joint that her uncle owns. His grandmother made the cake. The bride wore her mother’s altered wedding dress (altered by her mother) and the groom pulled out the suit he wore for his high school graduation. And since they saved so much money on their wedding, they were able to hire the best wedding photographer in Lincoln, for the princely sum of $800. Nebraska, you know.

See what I mean? Not everyone has these options. In fact, most people don’t.

I had this conversation with another wedding pro a few months ago. A $10,000 wedding for 100 guests is a very popular goal these days. $100 per guest seems extravagant, even. If you don’t include renting the venue. Or feeding them what usually comes to a three-course meal. With a bar. Oh, and tax and tip (known in the Wedding World as the “service charge”). I want to be clear so I don’t get yelled at: A $10,000 wedding is totally possible, but there’s work and patience involved in order to make it happen. Everyone’s two favorite words, right?

So, how did I do it?

When you’ve got a limited amount of money to spend, the first thing you need to do is decide what’s really important to you.  There were just a few things that I wanted at my wedding: Having our families and best friends on the face of the planet there. I wanted to wear a strapless fluffy princess dress. Bouquets of Black Magic roses. Black bridesmaid dresses. And Zane and I both wanted to eat steak. And that was pretty much it. I figured it would be at a hotel, because most of the weddings I’d attended had been in hotels , and I wasn’t really particular as to which one. The only other weddings I’d been to were in historic buildings in D.C. and as we all know,  L.A. doesn’t have any of those (I was so young).

We had a lot of  “Options You May Not Have”, the first being that this was almost seven years ago, when stuff was a little bit cheaper. The second is that I’d been an event planner since Clinton’s first term in office, so I knew what questions to ask to get the answers I needed. In the interest of full disclosure, there were only 50 guests at our wedding, which meant less money spent on invites,  and way less money spent on dinner.  We got married the weekend after Valentine’s Day, in the middle of winter, and our venue (ironically, an historic art-deco hotel ) was eager to give us a great deal in order to book it.  I found a bakery at a bridal show that only charged $2.25 per slice.  My father in-law owned a candy-distribution company, and we asked him if we could have a big batch to put in little Chinese take-out boxes and give away as favors. He was delighted, and one of my favorite memories is watching everyone open up their boxes and start trading candy with each other.

Options that you do have? I rented my wedding dress and my veil. I got my shoes on sale at Macys. I found the bridesmaid dresses at Windsor Fashions for $50 each (no, they didn’t wear them again). I walked down the street from our apartment to the closest flower shop and asked for very simple, one-flower type arrangements and bouquets.  My wedding rings are a vintage set from the ’40s that Zane bought in D.C., and I went to the local jewelry district in L.A. to have a solid gold band hand-made for him for $300, which would be somewhere between $400-500 today.

But it took time to find all of these things, and I lucked out on a lot of them. Sunset Tower was on my way to work, and I must have passed it about 50 times before I looked up one day, wondered how much it would cost, and called. Same thing with the florist, and same thing with the dress rental place. So, note to you: If there’s a possible option, don’t assume it won’t work. Ask.

So, what “other options” do you have to meet your wedding budget goals? Where have you lucked out so far?

This Week’s Wedding Deals

Ann Taylor Brings The Pretty

Ann Taylor Brings the Pretty

Another clothing store is jumping into Wedding World, so say Thank You. Ann Taylor is bringing the pretty with a new line of gowns, starting at only $300.

Nobody does it like Feterie

DIY Wedding Stationery Engines, Activate!

Feterie, bringer of all stationery both modern and lovely (like this one below), is participating in the two week-long Paper Carnival. Each day of the carnival features a new and fabulous stationary store, and you know etsy always has the deals. Go to the Paper Carnival’s Facebook page to get started. I’ve already “liked” it, how about you?

Project Wedding is holding a Budget Savvy contest and dishing up big-ass Amazon gift cards for the most creative broke-ass entries – up to $500! So what are you waiting for? PS: you’re welcome! is offering an exclusive discount to Broke-Ass Bride readers, for 25% off a Photo Book purchase. Enter the code brokebride at checkout to receive the discount. The offer is valid until July 31st, and has a maximum savings of $100.

Happy Fourth of July and I’ll See You At the End of the Aisle,