Posts in the 'bachelorette party' Category

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?



{Partner Intro} Grab All Your Shower, Party, and Wedding Favors From!

There’s a lot of ways to reward the ladies in your life – you know, the gals that are gonna hold the tiny bouquets, host your bridal shower, and plan your bachelorette party. Sure they’d love lots of hugs, a few sincere “thank you” cards, etc. etc. But do you know what people really love? Favors. And not the chintzy, plastic tokens that usually get conveniently left behind when the night’s winding down. You wanna give your bffs a little gift that’ll make them remember how truly awesome that evening was. has a wide range of adorable, quality favors that hit that sweet spot of meaningful, yet affordable gift giving.

Check out these super cute “Lucky Elephant” candleholders! They’d be ideal bridal shower favors for Bollywood-themed shower or bachelorette party.  Or if you wedding is going to be a circus-themed fete, they double as placecard holders! Or, if your besties are planning a sophisticated, Parisian-inspired bridal shower, might we suggest these “Evening In Paris” silver finish favors?

Or maybe your only bridal shower theme is BOOZE? We can’t say we blame you…and of course, has a wide selection of champagne flutes, bottle stoppers, even eco-friendly bamboo coasters! Personally, we’re quite partial to these Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses:

Whether you’re shopping for favors for a bridal shower, a wedding, or any celebration, can hook you up with tasteful mementos for any occasion. And we’ve saved the best news for last – most of their best-selling favors are under $1.50 each! They’ve definitely earned the Broke-Ass stamp of approval, AND they’re showing BAB readers some love with an exclusive offer – get 15% off any order of $50 or more when you use the discount code “BAB15″.


Our Woo Girls Who Art in Heaven

When this post goes live, I’ll probably still be sleeping off my bachelorette party. I am writing from the night before my bachelorette party, though, with hope in my heart and excitement in my belly. So as I lay me down to rest, I pray my party is the best:

Our Woo Girls Who Art in Heaven
A Prayer on the Eve of my Bachelorette Party

[Advantage Bridal]

May I get drunk, but not too drunk. Sub-prayers:

  • I would rather not turn into a crying mess of “I’m so sorry for [transgression from college years]! I love you sooooo much!”
  • I would also like to not become physically ill.
  • A hangover is OK, though. I have purchased pre-emptive Gatorade.
  • I would like my memories intact. Because I intend to make some memories.

May I not be the drunkest one there. Or god forbid the only drunk one. For saddest is the Woo Girl who Woos alone.

May I make it through the daytime winery-visit portion without spilling any vino on the borrowed white dress I will be wearing.

May I pull off the little black dress I have planned for the evening bar-hopping portion, despite my fears that a little black dress is too boring for words no matter how rocking the underlying bod may be.

May my feet not hurt despite my unreasonably-tall shoes.

And despite all the dancing I wish to do? And may some of that dancing happen on a bartop or at least a table?

May I fight off DrunkFace and manage to look cute in photographs even into the more slurred hours of the evening.

May the people I meet on the South Side [for the non-Pittsburghers, the South Side is the clogged storm drain of the city collecting a filmy puddle of under-dressed women, Ed Hardy enthusiasts, and Blue Curaçao] be skeevy in the blog-worthy stories way, not the “I need to file a police report” way.

May I run into another Bachelorette Party and have a bonding moment, but also clearly be having more fun than they are.

And Woo Girls, most of all, may I have fun? And may all my bachelorette-ettes also have fun? Let it be a great party.

Oh, and one more thing:  May I be spared from penis-shaped novelty items, generally.

What are your hopes for your bachelorette party?


Dildo Weekend, Phase 2: Dinner And Dancing

When we left off after phase 1, we gals processed upstairs to find the fantastic limo I’d arranged, waiting for us to move the party on in! I found Mike through Craigslist, proposed a price, and he accepted! Let that be a lesson to you broke brides who think you can’t afford limo service, y’all. We paid $200 (including gratuity and stocked bar) for 6 hours of safe, reliable, clean service!*

We hopped in and Furburger got to work poppin’ the champagne.

Then dancing ensued…..

And some more suspect behavior followed…. ladies, don’t mix birth control with scotch!

When we arrived at Tokyo Delve’s Sushi Bar, they weren’t quite letting folks in yet, so we lapped the block a few times in the limo and killed some time knocking down a few beers, in preparation for…….

SAKE BOMBS! If you haven’t had a sake bomb yet, you’re in for quite an experience. Let me educate you on the way of the bomb, y’all.

Step 1: fill up your beer glass from the mini keg (note the bad aim brought to you by several bombs already imbibed)…..

Step 2: fill up a sake cup and balance it precariously on your chopsticks above the beer.

Step 3: when the waiters chant “Sake Bomb Sake Bomb, when I say sake, you say Bomb!” you pound your fists on the table until your glass tumbles into the beer.

Step 4: CHUG! Sounds nasty, right? Well, it actually tastes quite good, and goes down deceptively smooth. Which leads to….

Step 5: dance on your chair with wild abandon!

Tokyo Delve’s is a great time for so many reasons, but my favorite is the N’Sync dances that the staff do while you’re eating.

“Bye Bye Bye”

MaPo getting a handful!

Awww, the whole crew. Well, almost… wait, where am I?

Apparently, I was in the bathroom. Booooo. So much for a group photo. I wish I would have peed five minutes later so I could have been in that great shot!

MaPo and her fan club :)

As you can imagine, we were in quite a way after this dining experience. Perfect timing, because our next stop was Jumbo’s Clown Room – an “exotic dance club” which basically means non-nude poledancers. We couldn’t take any photos in there (not surprising) but I will say its very clean and fun. The girls that dance there are extremely talented, and the crowd delightfully unskeevy. Some girls do fun theme-y outfits, too, which is always interesting.

Join us next time for our final installment, phase 3: Karaoke! You’ve already had your teaser there, so just hang on for more photos worthy of blackmail status.

*locals, feel free to contact me for limo contact info.