Broke-Ass Tag: budget wedding planning


My fiance, Michael, and I have been doing the whole long distance relationship thing for at least four years now. At first I moved an hour and a half away from him for a new job. At the time he was still in school, but we got to see each other most weekends when one of us would drive out to see the other. Broke college student life and only one of us having a job taught us how to budget and still have a good time. We kept this driving back and forth bit up until Michael found a really great job … in another state … 250 miles away — as in four hours of driving. UGH!

Don’t get me wrong, we both knew this day would come. Michael is a computer programmer. We both grew up in a part of the sticks where sheep, horses, and cattle outnumber the humans in the area. When we first started going out, we discussed the very real possibility that he would have to move closer to a large city if he was going to find good work in his field. Huge looming future possibilities are much less real when you are still casting your resume to the winds, hoping someone will take a bite. His moving to Connecticut really shook the foundation of my world. Never before did we have to spend so much time apart.


Neighbor’s dog back home in the sticks

Hardcore suckfest does not even begin to describe the change in our circumstances. Michael is a total introvert and would happily remain under a dark, warm, ethernet-containing, caffeine-stocked rock for the rest of his days. Leaving behind everything and everyone he had grown up with hit him much harder than me. It also didn’t help that his very first housing arrangement was basically a living hell with three roommates, two of whom I hope step on Legos, wail their shins on the corner of something sharp and fall pantsless into a patch of poison ivy.

Eventually Michael adjusted to his new life and moved into a much better house until he finally found an apartment of his own. Now all I have to do is find work and join him out in Connecticut-landia. Simple right? Yeah, fast forward two years. After two years of searching and constant standard lowering, I have now found a job in Manhattan. I know, Manhattan is NOT in Connecticut. Yep, that bit I know. My new job is an hour and a half from his office (one of those lowered standards). We plan on splitting the difference once his current lease is up.

Now we have a whole new stack of problems. Michael lives in a 500 square foot studio apartment in what I would generously call the ‘hood. That tiny little hole in the wall runs him $1600/month. I’m living in a 1200 square foot two-bedroom townhouse right now for a whopping $685/month. Our broke-asses simply DO NOT have the means to muster the $2000-$3000/month it will cost to upgrade to even a one-bedroom apartment. Sure, I can rally $2000 if I need to, but that is just rent, it doesn’t account for first, last and security which most places I’ve hunted want. That’s a minimum of $6000, up front. Then you need to add on the $400/month train and Metro passes I’ll need to get to work since my new office does not have parking. I’m crazy excited about my new job and the opportunity its offering and FINALLY being close to Michael again. But the financial strain it is putting on me makes me want to vomit.

grumpy cat

Grumpy Cat understands me at least

It’s not like I don’t have savings or an emergency fund. We have managed to muster about $10,000 cash to pay for our wedding in a year and four months. Problem is, all that wedding fund saving strained the other kinds of savings. I found a place to live until June 1st. Hopefully I can rally the other thousands I’ll need to find a place where I can actually bring my stuff with me. I’m stoked for the open door ahead of me, but why the hell do I have to go barefoot across broken glass and hot coals before I can get to the other side? 

Have you had to deal with other big decisions while also planning your wedding? Can you relate to this long-distance hell?

  • 3/24

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewBHLDN Tie Bar Collection
    BHLDN Gift Sets, $50 – In Dot or Solid (Comes with a tie, tie bar and pocket square)

    Dudes! Have you heard about the new collab between BHLDN and The Tie Bar? For those who may not know, BHLDN is the wedding collection by Anthropologie. They’re pretty major in the bridal scene (obvs your fiancée has read about them here, here and here) and it looks like they’re spreading their lacy wings into grooms attire. We’re also huge fans of The Tie Bar and their crazy assortment of suiting accessories — we talk about them quite a bit, too.

    So, of course, we’re loving that two of our fave brands are coming together.

    If you want to pick up some BHLDN items, you’ll want to act fast. They’re already sold out of the blush pink collections and we’re betting the rest won’t last for long. Here’s hoping they’ll get stocked up soon.

    The Tie Bar BHLDN Pink
    BHLDN Gift Set in Solid Blush Pink, $50 (Hopefully returning soon!)

    Also, if you’re not following The Tie Bar on Instagram, it’s a damn shame. They offer up pairings that are the perfect remedy for your sartorial routine.
    The Tie Bar Floral Combo
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    The Tie Bar Aqua Combo
    The Tie Bar Lapel Pin Combo

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  • 3/23


    Hi BABs!  This week's request comes from reader Randi, who is in love with a Carol Hannah gown: "I love your Can't Afford It? Get Over It! posts... And your book. If I could climb a mountain (Hard to find in New Jersey...) and sing its praises, I would, but for now I've been recommending it to all my newly engaged broke-ass friends. I recently…

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    jewelry bargain feature image

    Buying the ring for that first question -- that all-important question that gets couples started down the road on their next chapter together -- tends to come with a lot of pressure. What style? What size? And especially, how damn much will this cost? It's that last question that can really send any broke-ass couple into a tailspin -- especially when you start hearing things…

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    Etsy MeganPadovanoDesigns Whole Lotta Nope Mug

    Coffee Mug available from Etsy seller MeganPadovanoDesigns We made all the big decisions within the first month of planning and everyone had advice for us. I say this with love from the bottom of my heart: I didn't care what anyone said. From the "enjoy planning" to the "you need to do this first," I ignored everyone. I didn't want their advice. Guidance about how…

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  • 3/20


    I want to talk about our wedding party. There seem to be a lot of traditions and rules in North American/European anglophone culture surrounding bridesmaids and groomsmen that there is heavy pressure to follow. I imagine that if you have been reading my posts thus far, you probably know how I feel about arbitrary rules, especially if they are outdated, rooted in sexism or classism and/or…

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    organized wedding

    Raise your hand if you're a disorganized hot mess most of the time ... yep, me too! Now where are my Type A friends who get anxiety when someone even touches something on your desk? There's news for you, too. No matter where you fall on the messy-organized spectrum, putting together an orderly, executable system for wedding day set up is going to save you a lot…

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    Real Bride Ciji.Honeymoon

    Paradise, a place of timeless harmony. Yes, sign me up! That's exactly what I need after months of planning and a day of the best case of sensory overload that I anticipate I will ever feel. We just don't want to invest a TON of money into an amplified vacation, better known as our honeymoon. With that in mind, Travis and I sat down and mapped…

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  • 3/14


    Well, Chris, the girls and I went to our first bridal show, and it was certainly an experience. We're still in the having- a-tentative-date-but-nothing-actually-planned phase, which is not my favorite place to be as a chronic planner. The bridal show was held at a big conference center in a town not too far from us, so we loaded up the girls and headed down. I…

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