Broke-Ass Tag: budget wedding planning


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Ring Security Polo Shirt by TheKnottedPalm

Ring Security Polo Shirt, $22+ by Etsy seller TheKnottedPalm

Will your ring bearer be the only security at your wedding?

Hey guys, keep your advice questions coming!

Dear Lisa,

My MIL says I need to hire security for our wedding reception, but I don’t really want to pay extra for security and it’s a squeeze for our budget, plus I think it would offend our guests. Do I have to do it?

Thanks a million!
Fearless BAB


Dear Fearless,

Any unexpected and/or un-fun expense is an unwelcome one. Often couples don’t think about wedding security until late in the game, so when it pops up, it can be an unpleasant surprise. Many couples have never even heard of using security for weddings, but it is quite common in the U.S., depending on your region, venue and the size of your wedding reception. And truly, most guests don’t think twice about it, especially if they’ve ever been to large events or concerts, so I don’t think you have to worry about that angle.

Pros of Hiring Security

  1. It might be required. It sounds like your venue might not require security, but that’s the first thing to check: Does your venue require security? If so, do they provide it? (and at what cost?) If your venue requires you to have security, then yes, you definitely have to pay for the service. It’s not exactly a “pro,” but it’s a really good reason to do it. Sometimes security is built into the rental fee for a venue so you may not even be aware that you’re getting the service, but if not, always ask if it’s provided and/or required.

2. It’s their job to have your back. If your venue doesn’t require you to have security, you might still want to consider it. Events can get out of control quickly and without warning, even in groups of the best-natured people (due to high emotions and sometimes free-flowing alcohol over many hours), and you’d be surprised how handy a security officer can be under those conditions. And regardless of your own guests’ behavior, there’s always a slim chance for wedding crashers or uninvited guests, who might cause a ruckus or even steal from the gift table (it happens, y’all). Security officers can shut that down swiftly, sometimes without you ever knowing about it. The point is, security is there as much to protect you, your family, and your guests as they are there to keep guests from getting out of hand.

3. You can stay out of the drama. Say the unlikely does happen, and a couple of your guests (or even family) get into it, or someone spontaneously acts on a really bad idea. You’ll never have to get in the middle or break a sweat, because security will take care of it — and they are highly trained in doing so.

4. You’ll barely notice they’re there. Unless there’s a reason for them to jump in and save the day, most professional security officers will be discreet and you might even forget they’re there. Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: Say thank you to your security! Security officers work long hours in a thankless job. If you’re able, it’s a kind gesture to offer them a cup of coffee, some water or even food or cake. 

What Security Won’t Do

There are exceptional stories out there about security officers going above and beyond the call of duty (and I’ve met my fair share: one such officer even helped my staff to clean up at the end of the night!), but in general, don’t expect your security officers to be your wait staff, step in to do the job of any of your vendors, hold your hair back or look the other way if you’re the one getting out of control.

As a wedding planner, I always recommend security to my clients who are holding weddings anywhere but their own back yards (and even then it might be worth it). But I’m a Type-A planner in every sense of the word, and I tend to plan for the worst case scenarios as well as the best possible outcomes. If you’re comfortable without a security guard and it’s not required by your venue, then go ahead and nix that line item from your budget!

– Party on!


Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 7/21

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewToday’s CAI/GOI request is for a lovely Rue de Seine look-alike. Reader Emily commented on this post asking for help finding a gown similar to the New Zealand designer’s “Eve” from the Young Love and Nomadic Love collections.

    Emily says she is addicted to Rue de Seine designs, and who can blame her?! Rue de Seine gowns are soft, feminine, and romantic. The “Eve” gown features a bohemian vibe, with scallop details and a low back in a relaxed cotton/silk combo. In my hunt for budget-friendly gowns, I searched for boho-inspired digs, with similar scalloped/ruffled details, a bit of embroidery, and relaxed silhouettes. Let’s see what we’ve found!

    Can't Afford ItEve Gown from Rue de SeineRue de Seine’s “Eve,” Nomadic Love Collection, $3,950

    Get Over ItFlutter Sleeve Dot Mesh Sheath with Lace Trim at David's BridalFlutter Sleeve Dot Mesh Sheath with Lace Trim (Style: WG3770), $399.99 at David’s Bridal

    Drew Gown from BHLDNDrew Gown By Tracy Reese (Style: 38019832), $600 at BHLDN

    Bohemian Embroidered Bridal 3D Lace Ankle Length Dress by Dressmesewchic on etsyBohemian Embroidered Bridal 3D Lace Ankle Length Dress, $328 by Etsy seller Dressmesewchic

    Genuinely Angelic Ivory Embroidered Maxi Dress from LulusGenuinely Angelic Ivory Embroidered Maxi Dress (Style: 291672), $66 at Lulus

    KIMBERLEY EMBROIDERED TANK MAXI DRESS at Alice and OliviaKimberley Embroidered Tank Maxi Dress (Style: C603506564), $538.80 at Alice and Olivia

    Make Some Poise Dress in Ivory at ModClothMake Some Poise Dress in Ivory, $150 at ModCloth

    Chiffon Wedding Gown with Ruffle Detail and Lace at David's BridalChiffon Wedding Gown with Ruffle Detail and Lace (Sample) (Style: AI16030046), $248.48 at David’s Bridal

    Bohemian Beauty by CaraCarinaDesigns on EtsyBohemian Beauty Wedding Gown, $500 by Etsy seller CaraCarinaDesigns

    Beneath the Garden Arbor Ivory Lace Maxi Dress at LulusBeneath the Garden Arbor Ivory Lace Maxi Dress (Style: 200210), $74 at Lulus

    And one that’s a teensy bit over $600 …

    Lyric Gown at BHLDNLyric Gown By Ti Adora (Style: 37649704), $780 at BHLDN

    What do you think, Emily? Many stores are finishing up their Fourth of July sales and getting rid of inventory, so I would expect a lot of new gowns to start popping up soon. Keep your eyes peeled for fall boho looks to love. As always, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments!

    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. Please be aware, though, that because you guys love this column so much, we can often build up quite the queue and it may be a while before we can get to your dream dress. Rest assured, though, Team Broke-Ass is on the case!

    *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.
  • 7/20


    And that's okay! We're a little over two months out from our wedding, so Russel and I decided to check out the progress at our venue this past weekend. It was actually a triple-duty trip to Amish country -- we worked on our invitations, stopped by the fairgrounds, and spent QT with my parents. Our summer has been insanely busy, so we haven't been able…

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    There are places in my life that I feel so connected to by memories and experiences that they almost take on a life of their own. My parents' house (where Matt and I currently call home as we save to buy a house of our own) is like that. The campground where we got engaged, where I'm writing this from currently on a surprise trip…

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    Mixbook Photo Book Cover

    It's been a hot second since we've done a good Five for Friday around here, and I'm switching it up a little this week. Mixbook recently gave me the opportunity to put together my own hardcover photo book (because I got married, y'all) and I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you my top five reasons why I'm super stoked I went this route…

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  • 7/13


    Oh hey, we're married!  It's been a little over a month since we tied the knot, and things are getting back to normal. The first thing that people asked us when we returned from our mini-moon was, "how does it feel like to be married?" And honestly, we both say that nothing really feels all that different ... I just have a new last name…

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    Real Bride Heather fixer upper

    So, I am sitting here thinking ... Remembering my parents' wedding story. It was a sweet, simple, small elopement with a cake-and-punch reception that they planned in my grandma's house without my grandparents knowing. By the time my grandparents got home from work, my parents were off on their honeymoon with a note left behind. I heard stories of and attended countless small, simple weddings…

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    Destination Wedding Survival Kit

    Destination Wedding Survival Kit Bag, $2.45 by Etsy seller PaperArtScissors Think destination weddings are anti-BAB? Think again! Our editor Christen's first wedding was a destination shindig in Hawaii. BAB founder Dana originally considered heading south of the border. And can we all just take a minute to ogle this gorgeous Cabo wedding? Many a Broke-Ass has opted to jet away from their stomping grounds for their…

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  • 7/7

    Gabriela Gown from BHLDN

    Today's CAI/GOI post was super fun to put together! Reader Marta emailed us asking for something a little non-traditional. She wrote: "Help! I am not your conventional bride and am having such a hard time finding a dress. I love this one on BHLDN but of course this is their only dress at $2500: . Really like a low back but BHLDN's dress in particular…

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