I love long letters from our readers. It gives me a better idea of what to look for. Val definitely delivered – here’s what she said:
Hi there ladies!
I recently got engaged and I’m on the hunt for a cheap-ass BUT BEAUTIFUL gown. There are two styles I am strongly gravitating towards and so far I have not found any cheap options similar to these. If you girls could help me out, it’d be so great! My wedding is going to be at a campsite, it has a rustic, wooden dining hall, and we’re opting for a lot of DIY RUSTIC decor. That being said I want a dress that is “flowy”, not one of those static, hard corsets or A-gowns that look super stiff. The styles I think define me best in regards to wedding gowns are “boho”, “gypsy” and “greek goddess”. I’d prefer straps and sleeves over strapless but I’m willing to see strapless options if they fit the style. Please let me know if you can help a girl out, I can’t afford these but I would love to get over them with some fabulous cheap options!
Val is looking to spend no more than $600 and has two obsessions – a designer whose dresses go for between $4,000 to $14,000 or a dress a bride custom designed for herself. (That’s a crazy DIY project, right!?) Unfortunately the last one isn’t an option because Val found out that she doesn’t do custom designs. Below, I’ve included a couple dresses our BAB likes. There are a variety of details in which she’s interested.
Last week, I introduced 5 new ways to accessorize your bridal look. A couple readers commented on the suggestions, expressing their distaste for equating “broke” with “hippie.” Admittedly, a few of the looks I picked out could be seen as being a tad granola. Sure. I’ll concede that. But regardless of taste, these comments got me thinking:
The point of this blog, to me at least, is that you can be broke as a joke and still manage to have the wedding you want and the life you want… you just have to be resourceful and creative about it. Being a Broke-Ass Bride doesn’t mean you need to wear your “grandma’s hand-me-downs,” have a camping wedding, or make your guests shit in the woods. Hell no. I’ve seen hippie-style weddings that actually cost more than modern white weddings… they showcase the hippie-chic Claire Pettibone gown, the halo hair-wear, the simple outdoor venue that costs a lot more than it should because you have to bring in a generator and porta-potties, the gourmet catering served in a relaxed setting, the professional shabby chic floral arrangements, etc. These weddings employ the look of “hippie” but the actual cost to achieve said look is nowhere near Broke-Ass status. So let’s be clear here: cheap doesn’t automatically mean “hippie,” and expensive doesn’t automatically mean “modern.” Can we all agree on that?
Broke-Ass Brides own their broke-ass-ness. We accept it and embrace it. And instead of whining about how little money we have, we find ways to make the most of what we do have. Broke-Ass Brides can stretch a dollar Suze Orman-style. We constantly employ our creativity and approach every situation with a Tim Gunn “Make-it-work” mentality. Can’t afford the couture bridal gown of our dreams? We find the way cheaper version and get over it. For example, our beloved Mrs. Broke-Ass herself got the dress of her dreams for half price by working for the designer as a partial trade. She saw the gown she wanted, knew she couldn’t afford it, but found a way to get it. Furthermore, if there is a decor item we’re lusting after, but can’t afford, we try our best to go half-sies on it with another couple getting married through Brideshare. For instance, you know those big-bulbed, heavy duty outdoor light strings you see at weddings? Surprisingly, those things cost a lot. Like, $150 for a string of 50 bulbs. Prices like that would cause most budget brides to say, “forget it.” But not Broke-Ass Brides. Instead, we see that price and say, “Let’s find a way to afford them, but if we ultimately can’t, then we’ll find an alternative.” Don’t settle until you’ve exhausted all of your broke-ass tactics.
This is the part where I want to hear from you… Is there a wedding-related purchase that was way out of your budget, but you found a way to make it work regardless? Share your broke-ass craftiness in the comments below!
Or… are there any “Broke-Ass Alternatives” you’d like to see discussed more? Our main goal here to help each other plan the weddings we want for the prices we want, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.
This week I was struggling with ideas for wedding inspiration, and Dana came up with the concept of a gypsy themed wedding. How FABULOUS is that?! Pitch a tent, fill some old glass bottles with terrariums, and throw on plenty of gold bangles and scarves. Of course you can have more than just ceremonious cake cutting.... get some tarot cards and crystal balls and entertain…
I don't know why, but I've really been loving hippie-chic and boho styles lately. I've always loved Nicole Richie's style and, in my opinion, she is the ultimate boho-chic girl, so a lot of my inspiration as far as hippie style comes from her. If you're looking for 1960's-esque jewelry, you should check out the collection she designed, House of Harlow, named after her daughter.…