Broke-Ass Tag: bridesmaids

1/31

My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with ideas. I’ve considered everything from building an altar from used pallet boards to growing my own rose garden and assembling the bridal bouquet. It’s time for an intervention!

I’ve known for years, well before I was officially engaged that I would be a “do it yourself” bride. Not just because of the cost savings but also because I am a crafty person — or at least I would like to think that I am. I just love the personal satisfaction of seeing an idea become a reality. My only challenge is that creating over 20 centerpieces for the best day of my life might be a bit more time consuming than the seasonal centerpieces that adorn my dining room table. With that being said and considering that I claim to be a time management guru, constantly on the hunt to find my balance, it’s basically required that I find the time to master all of my wedding DIY projects.

What’s the fun in doing it alone? There isn’t any, so I decided to reach out to my bridesmaids and host a party! Below are 4 tips to assembling your gal pals for a low cost and productive crafting session.

Tip 1: Plan in advance. I can appreciate that the favorite ladies in my life are movers and shakers. I decided in November 2016 after several conversations trying to explain my wedding vision that it would be best to corral everyone in the same space and share all of the updates while tying bows and spray painting.  I created a GroupMe event with the date, time and location information for the January 2017 party. You should have seen the look on my face when my Matron of Honor who lives in Austin, flew to Atlanta and surprised me for the weekend. I guess that the pre-planning worked in my favor!

Real Bride Ciji's Matron of Honor

My Matron of Honor is the best!

Tip 2: Be prepared, yet flexible. I have a general idea of how I want the wedding day to look and feel however I haven’t vetted every single idea and that’s OK. When I created the original plan for the day, I thought that we would spray paint over 200 vases. Well in order to do that I needed to confirm if we will have candles or flowers in the vases, what color should we spray paint them and where would we paint them considering that it was 30 degrees outside. So at the last minute I aborted that plan and decided we should de-label some wine bottles and focus on jazzing up the invitations. We didn’t finish every project but it was fun to brainstorm with my bridesmaids and they helped me firm up a lot of the ideas that were floating in my head.

Real Bride Ciji's DIY Project

Soak, apply Goo Gone, rinse, polish and repeat.

Tip 3: Snacks and drinks are a must. What type of host would I be if I didn’t have something for us to munch on and drink while we viewed “making a bow” Youtube videos? I invited everyone to come over after lunch but before traditional dinner hours, so I prepared a Crockpot queso dip and ensured that we had plenty of wine and ingredients for cocktails.

Tip 4: Maximize the time! We didn’t finish every project and that’s OK. The best part about the day was hanging out with my friends! My Matron of Honor was able to meet one of the other bridesmaids for the first time, we spent quality time together catching up and swapping stories, we squeezed in some planning time for the rehearsal lunch and bridal shower and most importantly we were able to just hang out and enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment.

Real Bride Ciji's DIY Team

The Dream Team!

Do you have some big DIY plans? How are you going to wrangle your team to help? Share in the comments!

  • 1/2

    Danielle's bridal party invitations

    “Will you be my bridesmaid” card I made

    Bridesmaids. This single word can hold so many emotions, meanings, joys, and nightmares. I have a whole gang of important women in my life that I want to stand by me on my special day. My fiance, Michael, has a lot fewer friends than I, so I’ve always known that the number of bridesmaids I had would be dictated by how many brothers he could rally to his side. Even numbers are a must in my book.

    After Michael popped the question, I asked my sweetie to go out and find himself five groomsmen. We had already discussed making his older brother his Best Man and my little brother one of his groomsmen, that left him three gents to hunt down. Needless to say, I was a tiny bit peeved when Michael called me and happily declared that he had rallied all six of the groomsmen. Six … that number doesn’t at all sound like five. They don’t even start with the same sounds … how could you not underst- … *SIGH* yes, thank you dear. *Quietly grinding teeth*. Yeah, it’s a bit tacky to “unask” a guy to be one of your groomsmen so, I had to go rally another bridesmaid.

    I had taken pains to ask all of them individually in a unique way to be my bridesmaid. I had a lass in mind, but it was legit MONTHS after I had asked all the other girls to be my bros. How do you ask a lass to be your wingman without making it look crazy obvious that you need her to fill a quota? Then, how do you tactfully drop the, oh by the way, we have an appointment this weekend to go look at bridesmaid dresses, I hope your Sunday is open?

    A huge smile, a tiny bit of groveling, and a really nice card (with a killer presentation) help along your case if you land yourself in the same spot. She took it well, didn’t even blink or bat an eye when I gave her the card I’d made. Panic levels? Dropping back to manageable levels. Oh yeah, and thanks for saying you’d be a bridesmaid Ashlee, did I mention that we are going dress shopping in four days? Got plans this Sunday? *Panic-meter jumps* What? No plans you say? Great, meet you at David’s Bridal at 10am then.

    Danielle's troupe goes bridesmaid dress shopping

    My junior bridesmaid begging for a dress

    For the complete trainwreck asking my girls to stand with me was, I’m surprised at how well they all got along while we went dress shopping. We hit David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo that day with a lunch break in between. I had asked them all to look at some dresses beforehand so we had some ideas of what they wanted. I secretly wanted everyone to pick the same dress, but as long as it was the same fabric and color, it didn’t matter. They all have vastly different body shapes, especially my just recently flowered junior bridesmaid who’s only 11. After at least 20 dresses and two stores, they were all leaning towards one dress that I pretty much hated but they all seemed rabid over … or so I thought.

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    The dress we all apparently hated

    We decided to order that dress in March to give some of them a chance to finish their weight loss plans. Weeks crawl into months and one by one they casually mention to me how much they also hate the dress. Seriously y’all, why didn’t anyone say something in the store? One of my ‘maids is a bit more … outspoken, than the others and must have led them down that path of least resistance. So … we find ourselves back at square one again. My sister, Angela, and I went out over Christmas break and picked a fabric, color and two designers. I think this time I will just pick a handful of dresses that I don’t think suck and just ask them to pick one from that selection instead. This way, if they hate the dress, they are the ones who picked it. I made it super clear that if all the ones I picked suck, to let me know and I can hunt out another dress they’ll like. I love all of them, but picking a dress is apparently like herding cats.

    What about you, any bridesmaid moments that make you want to scream and pull out your hair?

  • 8/16

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    Over the course of my engagement, I had a lot of different ideas on who I wanted to be in my wedding but I held off until I had my date and venue at least to ask anyone. Being engaged for four years meant people came in and out of importance in my life and I knew that was the way things went sometimes. I'm…

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    7/25

    bab heather3

    I made my first wedding craft!!! It was a lot of fun, and it helped to get me excited again about the wedding! When you spend the first part of your engagement trying to come up with a budget, venue, and all that goes with it, it's easy to start feeling overwhelmed. We have been through our fair share of ups and downs as I…

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    6/20

    Etsy MyLittleShopofWonder Thanks for Holding My Dress Card

    Card available from Etsy seller MyLittleShopofWonder Although I'm not having a formal bridal party, or a formal wedding, I still have some great friends that are helping me celebrate. Some of my closest friends have come together to throw a shower for me. Sometimes it seems weddings become an exchange of gifts: Your bridesmaids do something for you, you buy them gifts. You feed your…

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  • 6/8

    www.sharynfrenkelphotography.com

    Photo: Sharyn Frenkel Photography Wedding parties. They can be a real pain in the ass. Who do you choose? Is your sibling the automatic choice for maid of honor or best man? Do you have to include someone just because you were a member of their wedding party? What if said wedding was like a decade ago ... is there a time limit? My answers are whomever…

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    4/15

    Team Bride Badges by MakeLoops

    Team Bride Badges, $7.28 by Etsy seller MakeLoops It's a fact of wedding planning that people are the second-most unpredictable variable (weather is the first!). There will always be someone who doesn't do or say what you're expecting or hoping, and it can be extremely frustrating when it's someone close to you.  Every now and then it's a bridesmaid that seems to go rogue, not following The…

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    3/11

    Courtney Gown by Donna Morgan, available at Vow to Be Chic

    Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! Let's talk bridesmaids looks this week, shall we? We love our girls -- love 'em so much, in fact, that we've asked them to stand by our side on our wedding day. Shouldn't that love also translate into loving their bank accounts -- no matter how empty they may be? We think so. Which is why we try v. hard to provide…

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  • 2/18

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    We talk a lot about taking the stress out of wedding planning and learning when to take a deep breath and let things go, but when it comes down to it, this is an incredibly special day and some things are worth a little fight. As our wedding day slips further and further into the past (almost five months, yo!), the glow of happiness is…

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