Posts in the 'bachelorette party' Category

Real Bride Peach: My EPIC Bridal Weekend and WeddingMix Fun!

Ever look back on a major event and wish that you had more photos/videos to capture those awesome memories? I sure do. So when it came to what I’ll affectionately call my “Epic Bridal Weekend,” I knew that I needed professional help with the documentation of all the fun details.

Enter: WeddingMix!  My fiancé actually told me about the app first, and then I learned more about them from The Broke-Ass Bride. And I’m so glad I decided to try it out!

By simply asking my bridal shower hostess to include the amazingly easy “how-to” one-pager in her Save the Date email and reminders closer to the event, I was able to ensure everyone came armed and ready with the free app and had added our event in advance. And I’m so glad that I did, because I now have some amazing videos and photos of the entire weekend that I’ll treasure for years to come!

My weekend included: a gorgeous bridal luncheon with fancy food and copious gifts, followed by a bachelorette party with a “Fifty Shades of Grey” theme! I pretty much knew what to expect from the ladies luncheon, but my Maids of Honor and BFFs kept my bachelorette plans completely secret! Not gonna lie, it drove me crazy. But they thought of everything.

The luncheon was so, so sweet and touching. I’d invited a larger group of close girlfriends and my mom for the shower. I felt so loved from the outpouring of gifts and the efforts by the hostess to make everything as beautiful as possible. Just look at the table settings!

Bridal Luncheon

After we ate (and I had cupcakes shoved in my mouth by my mom — love her), we opened gifts. Silly, naïve bride that I am, I didn’t know about the ribbon-breaking tradition that states if I tear a ribbon, it means I’m having a baby {Um, is this really a thing? – Eds,}. I tore one before I knew the rule! All of our many gifts were touching and heartfelt, but the most fun was definitely the set of two NERF guns. Because what future wife wouldn’t want to pelt her fiancé with a dart gun once in a while???

Once the shower ended, it was time to begin the evening’s shenanigans. I made the personal choice to have a smaller group of my closest girlfriends participate in the bachelorette plans. They swept me away to the Georgian Terrace — a beautiful and renowned Atlanta establishment for hosting weddings and stunning events. There, I walked into a suite that was completely decked out in a “Fifty Shades of Grey” theme — framed quotes, cutouts of my fiancé’s face posted on the wall with sayings like “I do believe you’re making my palm twitch,” fun decor, slinky sequin masks, sexy props, condoms (of course) and a gorgeous matted framed picture for my girls to sign and put their lipstick kisses on. It was amazing!! They even kept my 50Peach (as in Fifty Shades of Peach) theme going with peach and vodka shots, fresh peaches from the farmer’s market and even included not one, but TWO of my Mighty Peach Life List items for that evening. These extra touches and special efforts from my girls made my night truly memorable and so, so personal to me.

Bachelorette Party

They even went so far as to have rummaged through my closet for an outfit, brought their own extra options, dressed me, did my makeup and arranged for a stretch limo to drive us around all night! But first, they helped me check off #2 of my Mighty Life list — “Know what caviar tastes like” — which explained the bizarre requests from them about whether I had eggs and if they could boil them. I was already completely swamped with love and gratitude for them all.

And the night? It was truly EPIC.  We hopped in the limo and started poppin’ bottles of bubbly. We arrived at our “dinner reservations” and I cracked up laughing. They took me to Lips — which is dinner and a drag show! We ate and drank ourselves silly while watching these talented performers. I was nervous at first, mostly because we were seated right by the stage, but as the bubbly and rockin’ entertainment sunk in it was just fun. I was even called up onstage with the other brides-to-be in the audience and we were interviewed, then all did an … uhmmm … “special” beverage shot without using our hands. I’ll leave it at that.

After Lips, we had some time to kill before the final stop, so we went to Wet Willy’s for a quick boozy/slushy drink. I got the Peach, of course. Then our limo driver whisked us away to the final stop — 10 high! 10 high is a super fab karaoke bar that boasts a LIVE band that backs up the singers. And my girls, bless them, knew that #1 on my Life List was to sing Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene” at karaoke. They had called months ahead of time and the band learned the song just for me to sing it! WOW.  I won’t lie, I was a bundle of nerves to do it. But that’s why it’s a Life List — even though it was scary, I wanted to make myself do it … and kick some butt in the process. And I did it! It was surreal to be onstage in a room full of strangers, with my girls in the front row videoing and singing along! SO MUCH FUN.


Everything my girls did to make the night special for me was amazing — the personalization with Peach/50 Shades, tackling Life List items, the crazy-cool limo all night and especially the framed picture that is now hanging in my bedroom as a reminder of how loved I am … epic, epic weekend. And most of all, I love that WeddingMix made it easy for us to capture all the moments so that I’ll have my cherished memories to revisit. Many thanks to them for helping me keep these precious memories of my amazing weekend. They’ve graciously created a short video mashup of my epic weekend for you. Enjoy!

And of course, we’ll be using the app and cameras for our wedding! We’ll just email and/or include the one-pager instructions in our welcome bags. Easy peasy. I can’t wait for my wedding video!!

Trust this bride-to-be … go check them out. You won’t be sorry.

Till next time,


Real Bride Kate: A Bachelorette Just My Speed

Wow, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms! My wedding is this Saturday, September 27th! On one hand, I entirely believe it, as I have been planning this day for almost a year. On the other hand, even with all the planning and wedding talk, it really snuck up on me.

I will admit – I’m really over the idea of this wedding. I am ready to end the planning, which has basically become like a fourth (yes, fourth!) job. I am sick of answering the same questions over and over (Yes, there will be dinner and dancing. No, I’m not nervous.). And mostly, I just want to be married and enjoy my new life with Daniel.

All this stress and annoyance has really been doing me in, and let me tell you, my bachelorette party could not have come at a better time.


For my party, my four best friends, Sam, Jess, Teresa and Devin, took me out to Kansas City. We got manicures at Polished, had dinner at the gorgeous Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza, did a wine tasting at Cooper’s Hawk and finished up by meeting Daniel and a few of the guys at Ernie Biggs, a dueling piano bar.

I cannot emphasize enough how perfect this night was for me. In fact, let me tell you the reasons why it was so great, so that you can use them as inspiration for planning your favorite bride’s soiree.

1. It tackled a to-do list item

I’m super busy. I work three jobs and am attempting to cultivate a professional writing career. Planning this wedding is a huge time-suck for me. Therefore, I was so relieved when my friends took me for manicures. It crossed a very important and very time-consuming item off my to-do list in the best way possible – spending time with friends.

2. It pampered me

Have I mentioned that I’m busy? I have a horrible habit of never taking time to relax and spoil myself. Well, if getting manicures wasn’t pampering enough, my friends also took me out to a delicious dinner. Eating a lovely dinner and gorging on fancy pastries was a great way to unwind and reward myself for all my hard work. Of course, the amaretto sours didn’t hurt either!

3. It got me the right amount of tipsy

I’m not a huge drinker. However, I do enjoy my wines and getting a little tipsy on special occasions. By going to a wine tasting, my friends and I were able to get a nice buzz, while still feeling classy and not having to pick only one “poison.” What I most want to emphasize here is that bachelorette parties don’t have to be a sloppy drinking fest. If your bride is more of a wine tasting, get-a-little-giggly drinker, don’t take her out to a crazy bar. Also, keep in mind what the other guests/bridesmaids are like in the alcohol department. Sometimes, a calmer way to drink is more comfortable for everyone.

Wine tasting

4. I got to dance and enjoy music

I HATE clubs. I hate ear-shattering rap/dub-step/whatever-they-call-it music and rubbing up against sweaty, horny people. A dueling piano bar, where I got to sit in a chair, hear a wide range of music and dance on a spacious floor was perfect for me. Always keep in mind what kind of experience will be fun for your bride. She might love music, but what kind of music does she want to hear, what kind of dancing does she want to do? Always keep the party at her tempo.

5. I got to see my groom

After being long distance for almost two years, I don’t like to be away from Daniel. I know, it’s pathetic, but we’re still in that honeymoon post-move, pre-third-round-of-immigration-paperwork stage. Therefore, the fact that our parties were on the same night was great. The boys got to hang out at an arcade and bar hop, we girls got to visit the salon and indulge our palates, and then we all got to hang out and enjoy some music.

Real Bride Kate: A Bachelorette Just My Speed

Of course, the fact that Daniel brought me a stuffed Pikachu he won at the arcade may have strengthened my enjoyment at seeing him that night.

In short, my bachelorette party was fantastic. I had a phenomenal time with my best friends. They succeeded in planning the perfect night for me, and I truly believe that, if you take note of this formula, you can plan to perfect night for your bride, too! Thanks again, ladies!

Real Bride Peach: MOH 101- How to Fulfill Your Maid of Honor Duties

My very dear friend Nette was married this past weekend and wow, was it fun! Since I’m a Real Bride here on The Broke-Ass Bride, I thought it would be cool to do a post from the “other side”.” Like, how to be a rockin’ MOH (Maid of Honor) to your BTB (Bride to Be) without breaking the bank. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 5.05.11 PM

Make her laugh. My BTB and I are both complete and total idiots by nature. But even so, it’s crucial to keep her laughing at those moments when she’s becoming stabby about the reception tents. A few things I did:

  • Send her booze and chocolate with a silly note.
  • Take her to the movies or to get a mani-pedi together.
  • Arrange a “no-wedding-talk” night out with girlfriends. And booze.
  • Have inside jokes that only you and she understand. We wound up with hashtags like #f***ingcupcakes, #makesmestabby and #twentypercentmyass. (The latter = The RSVP estimated “no” rate. When in actuality, her RSVPs are: Yes – 107  and No – 3. Commence. panic. attack.)
  • Make secret Pinterest boards. Trust me, pinning the wedding outrageousness that exists in that black hole of the Internet onto a board titled “OMGNO.” brings hours of entertainment. Like this.


I’m a RAINBOW. via Etsy

For the love, be available. Planning a wedding is a lot. Therefore, if you’re the MOH, do your BTB a solid and have your phone nearby at all times. Answer it. Text back promptly. You are her support system: good or bad, 10 a.m. or 3 a.m., East coast or West coast time. The only thing this “costs” you is time and she’s worth it! Helpful hint: Set her ringtones to something distinctive. If her text noise is a clown horn that goes HONKYHONKY and her ringtone is an annoyed duck who QUACKQUACKQUACKS until you answer, you’re sure to know when she’s reaching out to you! Plus, it cracks you up.

Real Bride Peach | MOH 101

Make her cry (in a GOOD way). Amidst the stress of planning and inevitable drama that comes along with it, remember that at the very base of things you love your BTB and her future hubby. Happy tears are a great thing. Here are some mushy things to do:

  • Randomly send greeting cards to keep her spirits up. Mix it up with the funny, cheesy and sappy.
  • Take a few things from her Pinterest boards that are affordable and buy them for her. Things like a possible wedding day nail polish or binder rings to contain all the greeting cards or a potential cake topper? So sweet to receive when you aren’t expecting them. Just be sure to offer the disclaimer that she’s not obligated to use them — you just wanted to get them for her.
  • Surprise her by showing up. If your MOH lives far away, knock her socks off and be there when she least expects it. I RSVP’d “no” to my BTB’s engagement party and then plotted with her fiance and BFF to show up in person the day before. The surprise appearance made her cry happy tears and I’m SO glad I was there with her.

Real Bride Peach | MOH 101

  • Make your gifts count. I’m not saying to go rogue and buy her a Prada bag. Although it would certainly have a wow factor, she’s probably going to want you to stick with what she’s actually registered for. However, considering your close bond with your BTB, it’s very acceptable to give a sentimental gift that you know 100% will bring more meaning than cash or cookware.

Thoroughly Bachelorette her! Considering the bachelorette festivities are the bulk of your MOH duties prior to the big day, you are advised to be prepared.

  • Make damn sure that what you’re planning is something she’d be comfortable with! Yes, think strippers and gyrating male genitalia. You best be sure she’s okay with that possibility, or you maaaaay wind up with a very awkward evening to salvage. Because nothing says weird more than unwanted wang.

Yes. These would be penis party hats.

Yes. These would be penis party hats.
  • Communicate with the BTB. If you want to surprise her, that’s fine. But she will require essential details like where to be when, whether she needs to take a day off work and what she needs to wear.
  • I cannot stress this enough: know that it’s workYou will have to corral people and RSVPs and cash-money and future Mother-In-Laws. There may be spreadsheets, contracts with restaurants/bars and possibly hurt feelings. This all comes with the territory and if you can’t sign up for that much stuff, don’t be afraid to ask for help! I did. Not ashamed.
  • On the financial side, throwing a bachelorette shower and/or getaway weekend can mean that the costs add up quickly. Yes, you will have to foot some of it as the MOH, but this doesn’t mean you have to go bankrupt. For the BTB’s lingerie shower much of the decor was DIY or borrowed, we cooked our own food, bought booze from Costco and it turned out amazingly! So don’t hesitate to ask invitees if they could bring an appetizer or a bottle of wine. They love her and want to help, too. 

DO NOT put her to work. Your task is to make sure that she is taken care of, from engagement to “I DO.” Her jobs should not involve helping you make 50 white tissue paper pom-pom balls the night before her shower because you ran out of time. Have your poop in a loop.

Don’t be one of those people. The BTB has enough on her plate without her own MOH asking a bazillion questions or worrying for her or freaking her out over a potential what-if about her wedding planning. Vent elsewhere or keep your lips zipped. Go with me on this.

Befriend her friends. Chances are you may have known the BTB since you were in rompers, but how well do you know the rest of her wedding party? As her MOH, be receptive to hanging out with them and establishing some semblance of comfort before the big day. I was touched to hear that my BTB’s favorite moment of her bach weekend was seeing the new and awesome friendship I now have with her close friend, Pearl. It matters. Make the effort.

Expect the unexpected and be prepared to step up.  In the months leading up to and especially on the day of her wedding, you will have no idea what curveballs are coming your way. Just remember that it’s your job to make sure she is protected from it. Anyone tries to screw with her? Be prepared to chuck some chairs or throw some elbows. Not really, but you get my drift.

Have you ever been a MOH? What did you learn from the experience? 

Perhaps I’ll do a followup soon on how being a MOH went on the big day! :)

Till then,

Ask Heather: Bronx Wedding for $8000 and Parties for A Second-Time Bride

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Photo courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Dear Heather,

Our wedding is this coming August, 2014. Due to a job loss, our financial situation has changed majorly. I  have a venue – Maestro in the Bronx, NY – which  I love. I’m on a minimal budget of $8,000 and postponing isn’t an option. My venue, which comes with a videographer, eats up most of my budget and I’m downgrading my video package to raw video, but that’s only because I can’t break my contract with my videographer; they have already threatened me with legal action if I want to cancel, which would mean I’d have to pay 25% of our $6000 for no services. They got us when we first got engaged and offered us a free 3-day hotel stay and cruise gimmick, and I didn’t know to read the whole contract. This was obviously a hard lesson to learn. I tried cutting the guest list but I really have to find another option. My fiance proposed to me at my church school site, so I must invite not my whole congregation, but a good size. No offense to our church, but we just got our church building, and I wouldn’t have it there because there’s no drinking or playing mainstream music allowed. It’s not the wedding I imagine; I want to party. My dress is under $500. I have a friend taking my pictures for $400, a DJ for $600 and a make up artist for $75 each. I have to pay for my two of my bridesmaids because they want their faces done, too. Thank the lord my maid of honor said she would do her own. I’m paying for that because I can’t do the bridal luncheon or the spa day they wanted and they are on their own with their hair. I have no idea what I’m going to do for transportation and no family to ask for a loan. I’m doing the centerpieces and invitations on my with my Cricut cutting machine; It’s small, but it will have to do. I have a bunch of scrapbook paper and more craft supplies, so I want to use what I have and hope people will take them as favors. I haven’t even figured out how I’m going to have a cake and so many other things I’m sure I am leaving out. I so wanted this to be a day of love, but it seem to be turning into what one of my bridesmaid said that hurt my feeling so much: “You’re going to have a tacky wedding with all this arts and craft stuff you’re doing. It’s going to look like you had your students put together your wedding.” If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

$8000 Bronx Wedding

Dear Bronx,

For the majority of weddings, venue and catering take up 50% of the total budget. I’m hoping that the $6000 you’re paying for your venue covers catering. If not, you’ll likely be better off paying the 25% penalty and walking away from that venue, or it will decimate your budget. For all the other folks out there – read your contracts carefully!!! I cannot possibly stress this enough. Bronx learned her lesson; please learn from her.

You say you cannot cut your guest list, but I sincerely doubt that’s true. You should invite people you genuinely want to be there. Don’t feel required to invite obligatory guests. You might end up hurting some people’s feelings, but odds are, most folks will understand. Weddings are expensive, and each guest can add a sizable amount to an already small budget.

You mentioned being worried about favors and your cake. Don’t bother with favors if they’re going to impact your budget. I don’t know anyone, ever, who has left a wedding saying, “Man, that would have been an awesome event, if only they’d given out favors.” As for your cake –  get a sheet cake from a local grocery store. They’re often quite good, and way cheaper than going with a bakery and getting an official wedding cake.

I’d also consider dropping the DJ and just going with an iPod. It will be more work for you, but it’ll also save you that $600. I just coordinated a wedding recently that used a laptop and a set of speakers, and it was fabulous. When people requested songs, if we didn’t already have them, we could just download them from YouTube. I also wouldn’t worry about providing transportation. Your guests and wedding party can probably figure out how to get themselves from Point A to Point B.

And now, your bridesmaids. First off, they are not entitled to you paying for their hair or makeup. If they want to have their makeup professionally done, they can most definitely pay for that themselves. Second, they are also not entitled to having a bridal luncheon or spa day, so do not feel guilty about not providing that for them. If you can afford it, anything nice you can do for your ladies is great, but that’s only if you can afford it!

As for your bridesmaid who called your wedding tacky … I want to use substantially angrier language, but I’m going to be all polite and simply say please ignore her opinion. I have been to plenty of weddings with handmade decorations, and I have consistently loved them! It adds a really personal touch and shows that you put a lot of love into the day.

Dear Heather,

I’m on my 2nd wedding, and people keep asking if I’m having a bridal shower or bachelorette party. Is it common to have another, or is it usually foregone?

I’m a Bride Again

Dear Again,

Normally, a 2nd wedding doesn’t include a bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, if you want to have them and have people who want to throw them for you, I say go for it! Two of my friends got married last year and it was a 2nd wedding for both of them. The bride didn’t want a shower, and I was bummed! We did end up doing a low-key dinner for her bachelorette party, but I would have loved more ways to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.

Some folks might get all judgmental if you have additional celebrations for a 2nd wedding. Those people are just mean. If you are truly concerned about their opinion, though, you could consider doing a “no gifts” shower, if you’re worried about looking gift-grabby.

And now, I’m going to hop on my soapbox about 2nd weddings, because I just cannot resist. Some people get all cranky about 2nd weddings, about how they aren’t “real” and blah blah blah. This is nonsense. Second weddings involve people who have already been married, been through the life-altering, decimating experience of divorce, and have the courage to try again. They’ve loved, had that loved ripped away, but care about this new person so much that they’re willing to risk that pain all over again. I think they’re brave. So there, society!

What do you think, lovely readers? Any suggestions for Bronx on how to cut costs? Have you ever learned your lesson from not reading a contract thoroughly? And how about Again? Would you have a shower and bachelorette party for a 2nd wedding? Are you like me, and always looking for a reason to celebrate? Let me know in the comments below!

Partner Love: Put Your Pre-Wedding Bash In Good Hands With Hangover Weekends

ATTN: All you maids of honor and best men! Wondering what to do for your bestie on their last big night of singledom? Well, if you’re in the U.K., you can put your pretty little head to rest and hand over the responsibilities to Hangover Weekends.

Specialising in planning for a hen and stag weekend in Newcastle, Nottingham and Brighton, Hangover Weekends takes control by offering a wide variety of accomodation and tons of activities, including paintball fights, spa weekends, cocktail-making sessions and pretty much anything else your wildest dreams can conjure.

With over a decade of experience, Hangover Weekends will make sure you have the time of your life as you bid adieu to your singledom. Don’t have a heap of cash-money to blow on one or two big nights out? No worries,  Hangover Weekends can figure out some fun to fit any budget. So put on your dancing shoes and bid farewell to pre-married life!

Win This + Weekend Wrap-up: Sparkle and Shine With Tanks From The House of Bachelorette!

I’m either getting ready in the “Future Mrs. ___” tank or The House of Bachelorette’s “I’m Getting Married, Bitches” hoodie. I haven’t decided.

How cute are these before and after personalized rhinestone tanks? SUPER CUTE is the correct answer! Not only does The House of Bachelorette offer these sweet tanks, they have everything you could possibly need for a proper hen party from pretty to provocative, from tiaras to titillating games! Skip  the skeezy shops where the clerks eyeball you up and down when you plop an armload of doe night goods on the countertop–when you shop online, you can be in your house and The House of Bachelorette at the same time. The House of Bachelorette offers free shipping on orders over $69, has a different item on special every single day, AND offers free printables to help you have the best party ever! This week, one lucky BAB will win a set of personalized before and after tank tops from The House of Bachelorette. Want a free entry? Subscribe to our newsletter!

Plus, this week EVERYONE wins: The House of Bachelorette is offering all BABs $5 off an order of $25 or more with the code: BrokeBride to help you get your bachelorette party rocking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before we check out for a nice loooooong weekend, we just want to share a few fantastic deals from the BAB community:

Looking to gather all of your photos in one place? Have your guests download the Wedding Snap app–it’s an online album where you can collect unlimited photos and videos, and can later download them or even order prints! You can get a free trial with the code:BrokeassBride2013! PLUS, the first 20 brides to use this special coupon code can get 15% off the app itself: BrokeAss0524.Are you looking for a gorgeous, exceptionally eco-friendly wedding gown that won’t murder your wedding budget? Right now you can get 20% off wedding dresses bought direct from Celia Grace (order must be placed by June 30th). Just mention coupon code HASASTORY20 when you place your order via email or phone. These wedding dresses are Fair Trade and made of sumptuous eco silk–be sure to check out Celia Grace’s stunning bridal collection! (Orders must be placed with a 50% down payment by Sunday June 30th. Offer only good for orders placed directly with Celia Grace, not at trunk shows or in stores. 20% discount off the list price of the wedding dress only, not accessories or shipping.)

Teacup Bridal, creator of gooooorgeous fabric bouquets that you’ll love and cherish and be able to keep forever, is offering BABs 10% off through June 30th with the code BROKEASS! You only have ten more days, so get on it!

Heart and Sola creates amazing preserved flower and sola wood bouquets–and BABs can have theirs for 10% off! If you want to buy something from their Etsy site, convo them and mention Broke Ass Bride and they’ll create a reserved listing for you reflecting the discount, or if you want a custom bouquet, mention BAB on the contact form on their website and they’ll make sure to hook you up!

Check. It. Out. At Pantora Bridal, you can save $125 off of your wedding dress by being part of our gang with the code BAB13–and if you’re ordering flower girl dresses, sashes, or headpieces, you can save 20% with the code BROKEASS13! SWAG.

Fabulous designer of custom couture gowns Nina K.L. is offering BABs an amazing deal: 20% off your order when you mention BAB *and* a free lingerie bag!

Happy Friday, BABs!

Ask Liz: The Wedding Things You Just Can’t Do

Got a question for Liz? Go to the contact page, and let us know what’s up!

Dear Liz,

My fiance and I LOVE a good party. We have budgeted for 150 guests at our wedding, but there are more than 150 people that we want to celebrate with us. The long and short of it is: we cannot afford to feed everyone. We are having a great local cover band, and we would like to send out secondary invitations for those acquaintances to join us, after dinner has been served at the reception. Is is tacky to ask an additional chunk to come at 8:00 for dancing and drinks but not the ceremony and dinner? How should we word those invitations so as not to offend anyone?


Down to the Count

Make ’em fit, or leave ’em out. Anything else is asking for trouble.
(Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Dear  Down,

Not to be harsh, but I don’t really see that going over very well. Basically, you’re saying that you don’t like them enough to invite them to your wedding and pay for their meal, but just enough to hang out with them when it’s going to cost you less money. It’s not what you mean, but it’s definitely what you’re saying. And I don’t know if you sent Save the Date cards to them, too, but if you did, eyebrows are definitely going to rise, just like their expectations did.

So, what to do, what to do? A couple of things, I think. Figure out how much each additional person would cost you, and look at the various pieces of your budget to see where you can make some cuts to accommodate. One step down for your meal, or one less appetizer? Stick to beer and wine and a specialty drink? Don’t go top shelf on the liquor? I don’t know what you’re doing now, but there are almost always places where you can cut and still be comfortable with what you’re getting.

And, realistically? Not everyone is going to be able to attend, anyway. I’m not the biggest fan of B-listing potential guests, mostly because it’s a lot of work, but try and make it work for you. Send your invitations out early enough to the 150, and then for every “No” you get, send one out to the B list.

But, I would definitely do a budget check, first.

The only other option is to not invite them, period. And, yes, this means that you won’t have everyone you want at your wedding, but most couples face that reality, sooner or later. You’re really not doing them, or yourself, any favors by sending out a half invite. Invite or do not invite. There is no “try.”

“That’s so funny! Together, we spent over $3,000 to be in our friend’s wedding!”

Dear Liz, 

 I am a bridesmaid in my childhood best friend’s wedding. I knew I’d have to shell out some bucks, but I had no clue how much I was expected to spend… until now. She’s had an engagement party, a bridal shower, a honeymoon shower, and now her two-day destination bachelorette party is coming up. I told the Maid of Honor that I wasn’t sure I could go if it’s going to cost me more than $300. She has already booked the hotel, but every time I ask her for the total amount I am expected to shell out, she dodges my questions. This has happened three times, so far. It’s getting to be frustrating. I’d hate to cancel last minute on it, but she really won’t communicate with me. Plus, it’s a surprise for the bride, so I can’t talk to her about it. I also have to have a minor surgery a week before this shindig. I don’t want to jeopardize my recovery process by going on this weekend trip, either. My question is, do I stay or do I go? I feel that I will risk the friendship of not only the bride, but also the Maid of Honor (who is another childhood friend) if I didn’t show up. I wasn’t at her bridal shower (same day as my grandma’s 90th birthday party) so I feel obligated to go to this bachelorette party. Yet at the same time I don’t know how I will be physically after this surgery, and I do not want to go broke because of this bachelorette weekend. If I do not go, how do I break the news to the maid of honor? This is really stressing me out!


Bridesmaid Bummer

Dear Bummer,

Bottom line? You can’t go. I’m really sorry, I know you want to celebrate with your friend, I know you’re worried about your relationship with her and your other friends. But you will be a week out from SURGERY, and if you’re talking about a “recovery process”, then it isn’t that minor. Not only is it a really good excuse, it’s a really good reason. Plus, it’s not going to help your stress level, before or after surgery, if you’re worried about how you’re going to cope, financially.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive. The last time I was one, about 4 years ago, it cost me over $1,000, and I see girls in my weddings spending that and more. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of my friend’s day, as are all the other bridesmaids I’ve met and known. I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth it. But, that’s not a small amount of money – it just isn’t – and that should be taken into consideration.

So, how to tell the MOB? Tell her that you’re having surgery the week before, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel after it, or what you’ll be physically able to do. So, you can’t go. If you think you can pull it, give her $50 – $100 to buy a round of drinks at the party, or figure out how to get it to the bride, with your name on it.

What are the tricks you used to afford all the guests you want? And, what do you think about Bummed’s predicament? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of wedding world, visit my website at

See you at the end of the aisle,


{Partner Love} Add Some Sexy Sizzle To A Bachelorette Bash

Adam & Eve

Ladies, these are the days when anything goes for your bachelorette bash. Want a prim and proper afternoon tea? Go for it. Looking for something a little more … sexy? No need to bring in the male strippers. Why just ask for lingerie when you can ask your favorite ladies to get you something to help spice up your life in the bedroom?

Adam and Eve sex toys run the gamut from completely discreet to scandalously outrageous and everything in between. From the famed Rabbit to smaller buzzy buddies, your girls have a wide range of options to leave you giggling at the party and blissed out in the bedroom.

You may be a little shy to go get your own secret pal, but surely you have a gutsy girlfriend who has no qualms about bestowing you with a helpful bedroom aid. And hey, no need to fly solo with your new toys…your partner may want to get in on the action, too!

Adam and Eve also offers a range of lingerie and other accessories to help keep life interesting between the sheets. Don’t be shy, your sexy spouse-to-be is sure to thank you…over and over again.

{Real Bride: Katie} Girls’ Weekend in Manhattan!

This past weekend, the three, local bridesmaids met me in Manhattan for a few fun-filled days of food, sightseeing, and tap-dancing men. We celebrated everything from the impending end of my single days, to a 25th birthday….and it was fantastic!

The whole weekend was conceived when we found out that a tween favorite of our youth would be coming to Broadway for a limited engagement. Can you guess where I’m going with this? I’ll give you a big clue:

Photo via 


EEEEE, it’s Newsies The Musical! Seriously, raise your hand if you developed a lifelong Christian Bale crush while dancing around to “Seize the Day” in your bedroom as a kid (raises hand).

Okay, now before you get mad at me……I know a weekend in Manhattan is a crazy, expensive, indulgence. However, my parents had given me a gift certificate for my birthday (thanks again, parents), which I had been saving for the perfect ocassion. Since I didn’t want the bridesmaids to go broke either, we shared the gift certificate, which brought the ticket price down to $70/ticket.

Two of the bridesmaids were coming up from Philadelphia, and I live an hour outside of the city now, so we also decided to spring for a hotel room. I booked a discounted room in Chelsea through Priceline Name Your Own Price, and the location couldn’t have been better. We were within walking distance of Penn Station and Times Square (which saved us money on cab/subway fare), but I’m not sure that I would do the Priceline Name Your Own Price thing again. I’m glad that I tried it out in a city that I know really well, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t specify a room with 2 double beds. Of course we ended up with a room with 1 bed, so I ended up putting together a makeshift bed on the floor with extra pillows, which was actually surprisingly comfortable. On the whole though, I thought the entire Name Your Own Price process was kind of annoying.

However, that little setback didn’t dampen our spirits…..or our excitement over seeing a rag-tag group of newsboys take on Joseph Pullitzer (as expressed through song and dance, of course). Newsies totally delivered, and we had a great time picking out the So You Think You Can Dance stars in the cast. I’m not going to lie though, the whole atmosphere was a little Bieber Fever-esque, but I think that only added to our enjoyment of the tween cult classic. Plus, we discovered that drinking is allowed in the theater, so one of the bridesmaids enjoyed a refreshing Jack and Coke throughout the second half of the performance.

Pre-show excitement! 

After the show, we headed down to Restaurant Marc Forgione in Tribeca for dinner, and OMG it was delicious! Two of the lovely ladies shared the chicken under a brick, which was basically a skillet filled with chicken and potatoes swimming in chicken fat. Definitely not on the pre-wedding diet plan, but we definitely did not care.

Devouring the chicken  

More of the amazing food…. 

Afterwards, we headed over to the Brandy Library for a very classy nightcap, and one of the bridesmaids had this super cool whisky tasting flight:

I can’t say enough great things about girls’ weekend, and I’m so glad that we decided to spend our money on delicious food and tap-dancing men instead of novelty straws and nightclub covers. Absolutely worth every penny!

Did anyone else do something fun, and a little unconventional to celebrate the end of bachelorette-hood?