Wedding stuff is all kinds of pretty — and mighty special — but today’s request from reader Yuki is a prime example of how easy it is for the wedding expenses to add up. Yuki fell in love with a $350 headpiece:
Hello! I was hoping you might run a Can’t Afford It? / Get Over It! column on the Bluebell headpiece from BHLDN! It’s so gorgeous, but $350 for a headband is steep! Do you have any ideas? Thank you!!! Yuki
Hey Yuki! I hear ya! The Bluebell Halo headpiece is an art nouveau-inspired floral and leaf design (spot on for 2016’s botanical wedding trend, as seen here and here) dotted with crystals and pearls. And hey, the Bluebell was designed by a fellow Ohioan, artist Debra Moreland! (O-H…!)
So pretty! And no doubt a gorgeous and lighter-weight alternative to the more ostentatious tiara while still the perfect accessory for almost any hairstyle. I’ve rounded up a few similar options for under $100 (with a bonus option at the end) — and I won’t judge if you want to wear one of these on non-wedding days, too! 😉
If you’re feeling crafty, grab a hot glue gun, a store-bought headband or a length of thick satin ribbon, and some crystal or pearl accessories from your local craft store or Etsy. Arrange the embellishments on the headband, starting from the center point of your design and moving outward. Place a drop of glue on the headband where you want to place the bling, then hold it in place (carefully, so as not to burn your fingers on the hot glue!) a few seconds or until the glue cools a bit. Depending on your selected raw materials, you could easily make a headband like this for under $10-$15 (not including hot glue gun and glue — though small glue guns can run as low as $5 or less). If you prefer visuals, here’s a good tutorial.
Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: When hunting for bridal accessories be sure to check out accessory stores in malls and online — especially around prom season, when crystal, pearl, and super-shiny accessories are in abundance! Craft stores are also great sources for affordable pre-made wedding accessories or easily assembled kits.
What do you think, Yuki? Has the Bluebell Halo met her match in any of these bridal headpieces? I’d love to hear what you choose in the comments below! Thanks again for submitting your question!
Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.
*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
Occupations: Development Coordinator for a community revitalization non-profit; high school Spanish teacher
Wedding location: Pearl S. Buck Estate, Perkasie, PA
Wedding Budget: $25,000 **
Number of Guests: 207
Wedding Date: June 20, 2015
How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding had a little bit of everything. We had some traditional elements, but also did things our own modern way. For example, we had very traditional vows, but I wore a blush dress. We didn’t toss anything at the reception, and our table numbers were clocks. It was a modern day wedding with a vintage feel. When people ask how it was, I say, “magical!”
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Having every single person we love all in one place for 6 hours. It was so incredible to have people from different families and different parts of the country mingling together because they all had one thing in common — us! And of course, it was great to have them all witness the second we became husband and wife.
What did you splurge on? Photography — worth it!
What did you save on? Our family was heavily involved in the day, so our flowers, cake(s), our officiant, and some decor was done (mostly) as in kind gifts!
Is there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have worried less about the small details a lot sooner than I did. I realized I was the only one who would notice if something was missing, but the day of, I didn’t even notice.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? Narrowing down our guest list. It truly pained us to not be able to invite everyone! I think our original count was somewhere around 275, and we wound up having 254 invitations go out.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? There was definitely a time when I wondered if 18 months of planning was really worth it. I decided to take a few weeks off right around the holidays — I didn’t do any DIYing and barely even spoke about it. It was nice to step back to regroup and reflect on the things that are really important about a wedding.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
Our guests. For real, though.
All of the speeches– they were on point!
The weather — 80% chance of thunderstorms all day, but not a single drop!
Having a husband to take home with me at the end of the night, and every other night for the rest of my life!
Top 5 least favorite?
Fearing the threatening weather. So stupid.
Not eating enough cake and ice cream.
That it had to end at some point.
That’s it. Couldn’t have asked for a more magical day.
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? “Are you sure you want to do this?” or “There’s still time to back out.” I heard these sentences way too many times. It’s supposed to be the happiest day of my life — do we have to put a damper on it?!
The best? “Are you having fun?” My aunt (mother of the flower girl) was with me when I was getting ready. She looked at me and said those words because someone said them to her on her wedding day. Of course, your natural reaction is to say, “Yes!” but you really do have to stop, look, see and feel all of the great things around you that day. Take it all in, ladies and gents!
Any other bits of wisdom? This is going to sound cliche and repetitive, but seriously, just take it all in. I heard this bit of wisdom multiple times, even before we were planning a wedding. So, I just remembered what everyone said and truly absorbed every second I possibly could, so much so that when I was walking down the aisle with my dad, I said, “Hey, guys!” to our guests like it was just any other day.
Right after we were done with our dinner and everyone else was just finishing up, we left the reception so we could walk back in and experience everyone and everything happening in that moment. We got some weird looks, for sure, but it was so nice to take a few seconds to appreciate everything you have.
There are so many people coming to see you, so many emotions going around, and so many life events happening all in a very short amount of time. It can be overwhelming if you let it. Those few short hours will go by in a flash, but they are all happening because of you and your groom. After all of the time you put into planning, you deserve to enjoy — and remember — it!
Eds Note: It’s not unusual for weddings to go over-budget. It happens often, just as many weddings can come in under-budget. Our goal here at The Broke-Ass Bride is not to have a competition over who spent the least on their wedding, rather to share with couples that a beautiful, meaningful wedding celebration is possible on any budget. It’s important to keep in mind that the size of the guest list and the geographic location have a huge impact on the dollars spent. Please be kind when commenting, as every wedding is different. Hateful, disrespectful and intolerant comments will be deleted.
Projected Budget: $25,000
Hair & Makeup: 150
Food & Drinks: $16,000 (the real budget killer — too many people to feed!)
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