Posts in the 'budget wedding planning' Category

DIY or DIE: Tissue Paper Tassel Garland

I’m a big lover of garlands and bunting for weddings, as they add a festive vibe without crashing your cash stash. And this year, especially, I’ve seen tassel garlands take over — a couple years ago it was polka dot and/or striped bunting, and then there was burlap and flowers. But this year is all about the tassel. And lucky us! In advance of our giveaway of Maggie Lord’s “The Rustic Wedding Handbook,” (stay tuned, loves!) we partnered with the lady herself to snag this super easy and cheap DIY from her website, Rustic Wedding Chic. These garlands can be fully customizable — from the length to the tassel color to the paint color … hell, you could even use colorful string! Customize and prettify until your heart’s content!

DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Garland.jpg

What You’ll Need :  Gold Spray Paint  /  Scissors / White Artist Tape  /  String  /  Tissue Paper

DIY or DIE: Tissue Paper Tassel Garland by Rustic Wedding Chic on The Broke-Ass Bride


1. Unfold the sections of tissue paper. Leaving the stack intact, cut down the middle. (You’ll want about 10 sheets per stack!)

2. Fold up one of your cut segments along the original creases and carefully cut straight strips, leaving about one inch of paper uncut on one end. 

3. Unfold the cut stack of tissue.  It is OK if the strips aren’t perfectly even.

4. Starting at one end, roll the stack at the top. You make want to use a pencil or pen to roll the tissue around to give it a proper round shape.

5. Once you have your stack rolled, use a small piece of white art tape to hold the tissue in place. Keep in mind the tape will be visible so try to make it all of the way around in a nice-looking straight band.

6. Once you have all of your tassels made, use the string or ribbon to tie them together. You will want to knot the string on the same side of each tassel so that they will hang correctly. Tie just beneath the tape for a secure hold.

7. Next, using extra tissue, lightly wrap the tassels and tape the tissue closed, leaving the string and the end of the tassel exposed.

8. Spraying lightly with the spray paint, dust the string and the tops of the tassels with paint to give it a sheen. Once the paint has dried, flip the garland over and dust the other side.

9. Once the garland is dry, remove the tissue sleeves from the tassels and hang them!

Finished tassel.jpg

This is also a DIY that could translate easily into home decor … so you’re doubling down on the awesome AND saving money. BOOM.

Stay tuned in August for a giveaway of “The Rustic Wedding Handbook,” by Maggie Lord, which is a gorgeous book full of amazingly beautiful DIYs like this!

Real Bride Tiffany: Giving Props to Pets During the Wedding

Of the 9,000 wedding trends I have discovered in the past year, animals at weddings is one of my favorites. And one that I am most jealous of. Like this one for example …

hedgehog ring bears via wedbook

Via Wedbook

Excuse me though, A HEDGEHOG RINGBEARER? I have all the jealousy in the world.

You see, our beloved cat — JMEOWW — is truly a part of our family. She has grown up with Justin and basically considers him her “boyfriend” although I like to pretend she doesn’t really mean that. They do a lot together.

cats and weddings

Catching bugs and gaming are two of their favorite things to do together!

I have said time and time again that my daily life would not be as entertaining without her. Even though she tries to wound me on a regular basis. So the fact that she will be unable to attend our wedding truly pains my heart. Why won’t she attend? Previous engagement, allegedly. (Some people’s pets. I swear.)

Just kidding, she is an absolute terror and hates people and actually having a cat at a public wedding venue would be absolutely insane. But as our one and only illegitimate child, we want to make sure that our love for her shines through on our wedding day because if we left her out she would never forgive us. Ideas that have not panned out include Skyping her into the ceremony while she is wearing a wedding dress.

Ideas that are slightly more reasonable and will probably happen are:

  • Cardboard JMEOWW cutouts at the photobooth.

photobooth cat

Image via Michael de Pippo
  • Cake topper inclusion.
  • Guest book inclusion (more to come on our guest book!)
  • A proper “slow blink” during the ceremony (I’m only half joking about this. If I forget to do this I will be so pissed).

And really, anything beyond the third bullet point would just get weirder so I will leave it at that.

How are you showing your love for your pets on your wedding day?

Five for Friday: Add Some Pop to Your Registry

One of my favorite ideas for a wedding sendoff has always been bubbles — they’re fun, they get people (and dogs!) excited and they add serious pop (heh) to a wedding tradition. In that vein, I thought it would be fun to find other ways to make life more poppy, and these five items won’t burst your registry bubble!

EP Phone Home Phone Stand – $19.99
 from ModCloth
For playing all your favorite pop tunes, no matter which room of the house you’re in.

Schott Zwiesel Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Set of 6

Schott Zwiesel Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Set of 6 – $77.95  from Williams-Sonoma

I’ve been in love with Champagne coupes lately, which, of course, are perfect right after you pop the cork on a bottle.

SodaStream Source Soda Maker, Black Plastic

Soda Stream Source – $89.95 from Williams-Sonoma

Add a little pop to your beverage, great for cocktails or just to play up regular ol’ water.

Coca Cola Coke Couple on Beach Retro Vintage Tin Sign – $11.11 from Amazon

Pop art for your walls? All punny bases covered. BOOM.

Quilt for the Day Duvet Cover in Full/Queen – $89.99
 from ModCloth
And, of course, a big ol’ pop of color to add a little fun to your bedroom.

Ask Heather: Receiving Line and Food Delivery Timing

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.45.00 PM

Image courtesy of Simone

Dear Heather,

How much time should I plan for the receiving line immediately after the ceremony if there are about 80 guests? I really don’t know how to ballpark this. Thanks!


Dear Stacy,

A general rule of receiving lines is about 20 seconds per guest, so yours should take less than a half-hour. However, there are definitely alternatives to doing a receiving line, especially with such a small wedding. If you and your spouse are attending the cocktail hour, you’ll be able to talk to a lot of the guests during that time. Plus, during the reception, right after you finish eating your food (because you WILL eat during your wedding [Ed. note: See No. 3]), you can make the rounds and visit each table. Unless you’re having a super-short wedding, this should give you plenty of time to chat with all of your guests.

Dear Heather,

When should the food be delivered for an outdoor wedding?


Dear Tiffany,

In part, this depends on whether you’re doing a buffet setup or a sit-down meal, how much space you have on-site for food that needs to be kept cold or hot, how many guests you’ll be expecting and how much preparation needs to go into getting the food ready to serve. If you’re using a caterer, I’d definitely talk to them about how much time things will take. Since you’re asking the question, though, I’m going to assume that a lot of the food effort is DIY and you don’t have the option of asking a caterer.

If you’re doing any of the cooking on-site, I’d suggest having everything ready to go one to two days before the wedding, so you have time for any last minute errands to pick up something that was forgotten. Obviously, this will also require that you have the space to store everything overnight, as well as store items as they are prepared the day before and day of your wedding.

For food that’s coming in already made for a sit-down meal, you’ll need a kitchen big enough to accommodate all of the food, as well as a refrigerator to keep the cold stuff cold until the last minute. You’ll also need enough time to plate all of the food. This is probably the hardest option to do, caterer-free, for an outdoor wedding. If you’re going this route and are having a wedding of around 100-150 guests with salad, main dish and dessert, I’d suggest having things delivered about 4 hours before the wedding, to leave enough time to plate multiple courses and figure out which dish is going to what table; meaning that if 4 people from table 3 want chicken, you actually end up with that many chicken dishes at that table. If you’re having a huge wedding, you might need to adjust these times.

Last — the buffet, which I think is the preferred thing to do for an outdoor wedding, especially if you’re doing a lot of DIY catering. One of my favorite weddings I coordinated actually had their food cooked by Chipotle. I had to pick up the food, and the couple had hired two servers to set everything up (Sternos, food, napkins, etc). For that particular event, because picking up all of the food for a 110-person wedding would have been too much for one carload, I went in the morning to pick up all of the refrigerated items and stacked them into the one on-site fridge. The servers left just before the ceremony started to pick up all of the heated items and set it all up during the cocktail hour. If you aren’t hiring servers, I recommend nominating someone (an usher, perhaps) to pick everything up an hour or two before the ceremony, or asking the restaurant making the food to deliver it then. That should give you enough time to get it all set up, but still have the Sternos keeping things warm by the time the guests get to the food. Obviously, leave the refrigerated stuff in the fridge for as long as possible, and have someone in the wedding party put it out during the cocktail hour.

Did you do a receiving line? How long did it take? And, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, when is your food scheduled to arrive? Let me know in the comments below!

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Justin Alexander Inspired Gown For Under $500

Hey BABs! This week is exciting because we’re helping the wonderful Real Bride Emma all the way in the jolly old England! She is one of our very own (and very awesome) columnists here at The Broke-Ass Bride! She wanted to get married in something simple, “perhaps in lace” she thought. Then she tried on a Justin Alexander gown and fell in love. Well, it’s definitely not simple and not in this lovely bride-to-be’s budget.  No worries, though. You know I got you covered! Justin Alexander is a leading and award-winning designer label of couture wedding dresses and bridal gowns. And yes, I have probably said this before but his dresses are what wedding dreams are made of. I really want to help her find something beautiful so here we go!


Can't Afford It

OriginalJustin Alexander (Style: 8711) $$$ His dresses range from $1,350-$2,850

Get Over It

JJsHouse2Taffeta & Tulle Ball Gown With Ruffle Lace Beading Sequins (Style: 002040675) $200 at

JJsHouseTaffeta Ball Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Lace Beading Flowers (Style: 00600680) $226 at

TBDress3Ball Gown With Sweetheart Neckline & Floor Length Chapel Flowers (Style: 08882467) $227 at

TBDress2Gorgeous Ball Gown With Flower Embellishments (Style: 0195419) $230 at

TBDressBall Gown With Lace Up Sash & Flowers On The Train (Style: 10898445) $250 at

DreamPromBall Gown With Watteau Train Flowers (Style: 301789775) $250 at

DreamProm (2)Ball Gown With Flower Embellishments (Style: 301735368) $253 at

SimplyBridal2Romantic A-Line Gown With Flower Embellishment & Lace and Organza Skirt (Style: 80009) $342 at Simply Bridal

Pssst! This gown is call “Emma.” Serendipitous, no?

DavidsBridalTulle Ball Gown With Pick Up Skirt (Style: CWG435) $399 at David’s Bridal

This dress was originally $950….HELLO!

SimplyBridalSleeveless A-Line Taffeta Dress With Chapel Train (Style: 80843) $450 at Simply Bridal

Well, Emma, I know how much you loved this gown and every bride should be able to get married in something she absolutely loves.  I hope was able to find something to give you that same “WOW” moment. There are lots of beautiful ball gown options out there for you, lady, that won’t cost you a small fortune. Let me know what you think! Until next week, BABs …

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.

Real Bride Peach: The Great (Wedding Planning) Escape

Dear fellow Broke-Ass Brides, have you ever wanted to take a weekend and just get the hell away from everything? Even more importantly, have you made time to do so and will you *actually* go through with it?

We are all learning that this whole wedding planning process? … Well, it can be a bit much. (*coughUNDERSTATEMENTcough*) As such, it’s important to realize that the spreadsheets, the phone calls, the texts, the worry, the stress, the drama, the vendors … it can be shoved aside for a minute so you can catch your breath. And you know what? I feel a wedding planning hiatus should be a mandatory part of the process!

I started daydreaming months ago about a great romantic getaway weekend. One in which I could be with my fiance Jersey, just the two of us, reconnecting on a level that has everything to do with our love and nothing to do with the damn table arrangements or DJ playlist. I had a notion to combine this fictional weekend with one item on my Life List, but wasn’t sure it would be feasible before the wedding. So I thought nothing about the late night phone call with my MOH, in which I confessed this daydream. Until I awoke a few weeks later on my birthday morning to an email from her with the subject line, “#81: Happy 36th Birthday!”. 

Life List Item #81? Visit Savannah (finally), flagged as a Top Five for 2014.

I couldn’t believe it. I scanned down the email and saw the confirmation number for our Savannah hotel stay and explicit instructions to GO and HAVE FUN. That she’d already cleared that weekend with Jersey. And that it was a thank you for planning her bachelorette festivities-slash-birthday present. I swear, y’all … I hit the jackpot in the friend lottery. Love you, Netstr!!



So after months and months of wedding planning, work stress, moving, traveling, and you know … LIFE … our getaway weekend is just days away!  I am beside myself and unable to focus beyond my daydreaming of walking hand-in-hand underneath the moss-covered trees. Of a luxurious spa appointment to knead away all the stress. Of poolside fruity drinks and butter-drenched southern fare that will surely need to be burned off next week. And most importantly, time to JUST BE with my amazing guy, relaxing and enjoying each other. I’m not sure we’ll be able to totally put away the technology (you guys know how much I love Instagram), but I do hope to implement a “no wedding planning talk” rule. That is NOT on the agenda. We’ll most likely check in with family/friends once we’ve arrived, but ask them to please hold all calls/texts until we return.



But I’d like to ask you, my friends: Did you take time to get away from planning? Any advice for us as we prep for our Great Escape? Any Savannah tips if you’ve been?

Till next time,

Winning Wednesday: Design Your Own Kicks with Project Shoe

When I was planning my first wedding, I had a very specific idea in mind for my shoes: I desperately wanted peep-toe, kitten-heel slingback pumps in turquoise and white polka dot. I’ll go ahead and let you Google that to see what you come up with …

A whole lot of nothing, right? Yeah, that’s what I got too, and not much has changed in the four years since my original search. And you know what? That sucked. Now, of course, my polka dot love has become a love for glitter, which is ubiquitous, so life is a little easier for this girl.

But if that hadn’t been the case, at least now I could turn to Project Shoe, a new company that allows for custom shoes from the bottom up. No, seriously, you can design damn close to whatever you want — loafers, slingbacks, high-heeled oxfords — let your shoe-lovin’ mind run wild.

I got to try my hand at it, and I was hoping to have my shoes well before this post, but since I’m extremely Libra (read: indecisive), I didn’t actually make up my mind until about a week ago. And since the shoes are custom, it takes a hot minute for them to be made and delivered (OMGGGG … I want them now). But, let’s chat about the awesomeness of this, shall we?

Project Shoe Design Screen

This is where you start. Are you starting to see my dilemma?

From there, it just gets … more. You can choose various toe shapes — pointed, round, cap, loafer, peep-toe, etc. — and heel shapes/heights. Then you start in with the fabric and color. And they’re all glorious.

There’s a whole heap of leather, textile, woven, silk, pony hair and — yep — glitter (11, to be precise) options. Depending on the design of your shoe, you can have as few as two different spots to choose the material or as many as five. Based on the swatches Project Shoe sent me, the materials are all solid, high-quality materials that won’t auto-destruct as soon as you wear them out a few times.

Project Shoe wants you to try it out for yourself: One lucky Broke-Ass will win the chance to design her own shoes!

Project Shoe Collage.jpg

Each of the options in the box below is one entry method. The more you enter, the better your chance of winning! Share your shoe design on Twitter or Instagram, making sure to tag both @brokeassbride and @projectshoe, and leave the link URL in the comment section below! Open to US residents only (sorry, love!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules to Survive Your Wedding Day with Sanity and Grace

Guys, first, I’m not really a rules kind of gal — more like guidelines, ideas, tips. But these? These are definitely rules.Or at least they are if I am anywhere near your wedding. See, as a gift to friends of mine, I tend to take the reins and act as what I like to call a “couple’s coordinator” on their wedding day (after chatting with them about this, of course. Because: Boundaries). This role of mine allows for any planner or coordinator they’ve already hired to do their job fully, and I simply liaise: if the bride needs a drink, I’ve got it; bouquets are nowhere to be found and the planner is wrangling caterers? On it; Wayward groomsman still hanging out in his towel, drinking a beer? Have no fear, Bossypants is here! But in order to do this, I need certain agreements from the couple. These rules are all things that will help you keep your cool, be present and enjoy your wedding day with intention, grace and panache.

rules to survive.jpg


Photo of bride courtesy Davy Landman via Flickr Creative Commons. Graphic made with PicMonkey.

1. Give up your damn phone. – Broke-Asses, I can’t stress this one enough, regardless of how Type-A must-have-it-and-be-in-control-at-all-times you are. You, as the bride/groom, will get bombarded with phone calls and text messages and Snapchats and while many of them will be well-wishes, there’s also a large chunk that will serve as stressors, and you don’t need that. Nope. So, talk with a trusted and semi-bossy friend who knows how to say “no” to you, regardless of how you’re the bride and it’s your biiiiig daaaaayyyy. Tell (ask) her that she’s in charge of your mobile device, and that means she can answer any and all questions necessary, but by no means are you to have your phone in your possession until the end of the night or the morning after. This conversation should, ideally, take place at or before the rehearsal dinner, and the phone should be in his/her hands no later than the night before the wedding. Bonus if you can wrangle the mother of the bride’s phone from her, too.

2. Appoint your bridesguard. – This person could, potentially, be the same as the cell phone bearer or it could be someone else all together. But you’ll want someone who can nicely but firmly tell your well-intentioned but slightly needy guests or family the information they need without disturbing you. Give your bridesguard a pre-determined list of who can and cannot talk to you while you’re getting ready. Prepare your bridesguard to field any questions that may come her way, either with vendors or family. Make sure your bridesguard is someone nice but strong, vocally, who can command respect and who people will listen to. This person can also be helpful in quelling any potentially dramatic / out of control situations.

3. Eat. And hydrate. – I mean, maybe gorging on a burger isn’t the best route (trust me, I did it), but have something that’s high in protein and won’t cause a sugar crash — and if you’re worried about some bloating, maybe go easy on the dairy — but also feels slightly indulgent, because it’s your wedding day, and it’s nice to feel luxurious. In the same vein, by all means pop some bubbles with your gals, but switch it up with some water — just be keenly aware of how much you’re taking in, because peeing in those dresses is no easy feat. Also, read this. At your reception, ask the caterer to prepare you and your partner a plate and sit down to dig in before anyone else gets served. This ensures you actually get to try all that tasty food you’re paying for.

4. Know when to make the slip. – Now, I’m not talking about pulling an Irish exit, but this is definitely true for the rehearsal dinner especially. While you may be inclined to party all night with your homies that just got in from the far reaches of the earth, remember that you’ve got something pretty big happening tomorrow, and the chances that you’re actually going to get a super restful night of sleep (especially if you’re anything like me and get anxious before big things) are minimal. Ask your maid of honor / bridesguard / the bartender to cut you off after a couple drinks and replenish your stores with a festive non-alcoholic beverage, such as seltzer with lime and a squirt of cranberry / grapefruit / pineapple juice. Ask them to cut you off completely and tell you to go home at 10 with a gentle reminder around 9:30 so you can prepare. And then follow through.

5. Steal away with your new spouse. – Your wedding day will be so full of fun and excitement and people and dancing and toasting and photos and hugs and laughter and it will go by in a flash. So ask your photographer to pull the two of you aside, and then stay at a far distance so you two can enjoy five minutes together as a married couple. It is a great opportunity for some candids, plus with the photographer’s presence, guests are less likely to intrude on the portraits, allowing the two of you to be fully present in the moment.

Do you have any tips that will help fellow Broke-Asses survive their wedding day? Tell us in the comments below!


BAB Throwback: Heather & Chris’ Elegant, Misty Mountaintop Wedding Affair

BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore, and some feature the Real Weddings you’ve read about in our book, “The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide.” Because we’re firm believers that photos help tell the story, we want to help you match the blog post to the Sample Budgets from Real Brides found in the book (p. 194-223).

Heather and Chris’ wedding was originally posted 1/17/13 and appears on page 212 of the book.

Ladies and gents, today we’re SO pleased to feature the wedding of our fabulous contributor Heather (our resident “Can’t Afford It/Get Over It” maven), and her adorable new hubs, Chris. You can tell from these pics (and her regular blog posts) that Heather has excellent taste and fab personal style — and she absolutely brought both to her wedding day. Heather and Chris opted for a time and cost-saving wedding package from a gorgeous golf course in Burlingame, CA, which is half an hour outside of San Francisco. Metro area weddings can be twice the price of this beautiful celebration, but Heather and Chris have graciously provided us with an extensive wedding budget breakdown that shows how they pulled off a wedding with 120 guests for around $20K. So without further ado …

Your names: Heather Murtagh, Chris Vega

Occupations: Reporter at the San Mateo Daily Journal, Vice President for a San Francisco-based R&D startup, respectively

Wedding location: Burlingame, CA

Wedding date: Aug. 31, 2012

Wedding budget: $20,000 (But we went a bit over)

Approximate guest count: 120

How would you describe your wedding? Short reception, big party

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Heather: The moment we first saw each other. We decided to see each other before the wedding so we could get some of our wedding party photos done before getting things started. The photographers set up a moment where Chris had his back to me and turned around to see me. He was so happy I actually thought he was drunk. He wasn’t. It was very sweet.

Chris: The time we spent together, the alone time.

What did you splurge on? Alcohol. We wanted to have an open bar for longer. And we really wanted to have a big party. We succeeded.

What did you save on? We went with a venue that offered a package deal. That was really helpful in keeping costs in check as well as for planning. Also, my dress was much cheaper than we originally budgeted thanks to a going-out-of-business sale at Priscilla of Boston.

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We would have gotten a videographer.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Gathering contact information was difficult at first. Other than that it wasn’t too difficult. We went with a location that offered package deals. That made things much easier.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone wants to help, they just need to know how.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

Heather’s list:

The first time we saw each other

Spending 30 minutes after the ceremony alone taking pictures. It was really nice to have that time to

ourselves. Turns out we giggle a lot when left alone.

Having so many friends and family together in one place.

My brother marrying us! It was so personal. He took it very seriously but also got in some jokes, which is what we wanted. There was a moment when he got really emotional; thinking about it gets me emotional. But my favorite part was when he said to Chris, “You may now kiss my sister.”

The after party! We went to our favorite local bar after with a smaller group of people. It was so much fun. The owner knows us and was very sweet by letting us stay late and providing free drinks for the bride.

Chris’ list:

Heather – she showed up.

My groomsmen were awesome.

Great supportive family and friends.

Photographers were great.

Venue and DJ were great.

Top 5 least favorite? (We failed and only came up two each… I guess that’s a good thing.)

Heather’s list:

Some people had attitudes on the big day. It was hard to not let that get to me. But ultimately no good would have come from focusing on it.

Our venue had a new person on hand to coordinate on the day. We made it work, but it was an inconvenience. Everything did work out though and we’d still recommend them highly.

Chris’ list:

The hangover.

Delta canceling our honeymoon flight multiple times the morning after.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? …

The best? It’s your day. Enjoy it.

Any other bits of wisdom?

Heather: We both were a bit bummed when everything – wedding and honeymoon – was done. It was like there was nothing big to look forward to after having a year of so much activity. It was weird to get back into the swing of non-wedding planning life.

Chris: Remember to savor the moment. It goes by so fast. Also, if you can, get away on a honeymoon right after. It will give you time to enjoy the high of your new marriage.

Heather & Chris’ wedding budget breakdown:

Venue: Crystal Springs Golf Course - $14,028.23

Food/Drink: Included in our Venue fee — We opted for a lower per person package cost then added on additional hours of a open bar. In total we covered the cost of three hours of bar and had a cash bar for two hours.

Attire/Accessories: Dress – $700 from Priscilla of Boston during their going-out-of business sale. Spent $150 on alterations. Bought Badgley Mischka shoes through Rue La La’s Sunday sale for $50 with tax and shipping. Rented Chris’ tux for $120 from Men’s Wearhouse.

Flowers: Flowers for the reception were included in the package. Paid $936.36 for the bouquets from Rosedale Floral Design – one for the bride and six for the bridesmaids; 10 boutonnieres and two corsages for our moms.

Décor: We really didn’t do much in terms of decor except add votive candles and little hershey kisses on the table. We had enough children for a kid’s table. So I went to the local dollar store and grabbed $15 worth of stuff. It was actually a total hit and hilarious to watch the kids decide who got what.

DJ/band/entertainment: Our DJ was included in our venue package.

Photography: Paid $2,706.25 for the Kermit and Miss Piggy package from Chasing Glimpses Photography, which included: 6 hours of photography at your wedding and nearby locations, Two photographers, 2500+Photos Taken, 6 hours on Site; 20 hours Post production, 75 photos in a modern flush mount photo album, Private 60 days Online Gallery for viewing, sharing, and purchasing DVD of approximately 500 of the best images of your wedding day. All images are enhanced, retouched, if necessary, for beautiful reproduction. We ended up with a DVD of 850 photos. Also, the girls were willing to stay an extra hour with no notice when I realized we hadn’t really gotten some shots during the reception.

Videography: Didn’t do it, but we regret that.

Cake: A delicious cake from Burlingame Cakery was included in our venue package. It was delicious and super easy to get put together. I emailed a photo of the cake design I liked and tried all the combinations. I think Chris liked this part of the planning the best.

Favors: $130 — I made our favors. I’m a huge supporter/volunteer of Make-A-Wish. Using scrapbooking paper, I put together little paper favors that asked people to “Make-A-Wish for the Bride and Groom.” Each had a $1 coin attached. We asked people to either put the coin in a vase near the door or make a larger donation. Anything collected we donated. In the end, we donated $310 to the Greater Bay Area Chapter.

Invitations/printing/postage: My friend designed the invitations and RSVPs. I work at a newspaper. After I asked the publisher about a printing contact,  he offered to cover the cost as a gift. We spent $91.75 on postage. Our Save the Date was a video made by a friend who is starting a side business. Check it out here!

Hair and make-up: $120 for a friend who is also starting a business. She did a test and also bought new makeup on the wedding day which I kept for touch ups.

Wedding bands: $600, we got simple bands and ordered them through a family connection who works in the jewelry industry.

Bridal party: Necklaces for the girls, personalized on etsy. $85

Coordinator/planner: Didn’t use one.

Officiant: My brother got ordained online for free.

License: $40

Other: $500 for rehearsal dinner. We hosted it at Chris’ grandfather’s house, which was less than a mile from the ceremony site. We hired a local taco vendor to come and make food. Then we took advantage of a local winery’s case sale for the booze. We ended up with lots of leftovers.

Also, we spent $310 on hotels over two nights. We did stay local but wanted to be separate on the day of the wedding. We let our siblings, who couldn’t really afford the hotel, crash at our apartment and stayed at the hotel on our wedding night.

Total: $21,792.44

Thanks so much to Heather and Chris, for sharing their big day with BAB, and special thanks to Chasing Glimpses Photography, for providing the gorgeous wedding photos!