Broke-Ass Tag: budget wedding planning


Jane B. Writes DisclaimerPlanner CoverMaybe someone is about to be deployed, or perhaps it’s slightly less dramatic, like the fall semester is about to begin. There are many reasons why couples choose to get hitched on the fly, and in most cases, money is a factor — or lack thereof anyway. Fortunately, there are ways to pull off a great broke-ass wedding on short notice, as the following guide will show:

Internet Invites

Not only do traditional printed wedding invitations ordinarily cost a pretty penny, they take lots of time to print, prepare, mail, receive and be responded to. Skip all this by opting for an e-invitation system. Use Facebook and old-fashioned snail mail to spread the word.  But you can still keep e-invites looking sharp and in tune with the rest of your wedding day. Use a color calculator to match complementary hues for font, background, and so forth. Feel free to bring graphics into the mix, but don’t overdo it — a little goes a long way on a tablet screen.

Short Notice Treats

Of course, we always want the white cake to take center stage, but extra treats for guests and members of the wedding party to nosh on in the meantime are always a good idea. Alas, wedding-appropriate tasty treats are not always easy to whip up on the fly in a non-industrial setting. In which case, finding an affordable and delicious french bakery nearby willing to take on big orders in a short amount of time is the smart option. The pastries, gourmet cakes and cookies will keep everyone happily fed before the main event a.k.a the wedding cake.

Big Batch Eats

What about the main course — the hot, savory dinner options? This is where the home kitchen(s) can play an important role on short notice. If two families can work in sync, one can take on a pasta dish and the side vegetable, while the other can handle preparing chicken and potatoes. Solicit younger cousins for table setting and serving duties. If timing allows it, have one “test kitchen” day to make sure the seasonings and flavors are optimum. To reduce the pressure to ensure it’s hot and ready (not that you don’t want to aim for that) see if these dishes remain tasty at lukewarm temps.


With a few days notice, a bridesmaid can take on the duty of preparing the wedding DJ for its debut — music streaming such as Pandora or Spotify. Have the designated DJ prepper create a wedding station specifically, plus a few more funky options for pop music favorites to play. Ask around to find a family member with a decent speaker set. Once again, solicit the help of a younger cousin — a trusted one — to manage the music streaming into the night.

Ad Hoc Photographer

Okay — last time we pull the cousin card — promise. These days, just about everyone has a decent camera built into their mobile device. Find a cousin (and by the way “cousin” can be anyone willing to lend a helping hand and has the time to do it — a friend, a niece, a brother-in-law, whoever) with a phone released within the last two years. Provide them with a crash course on photography basics. If you’re not sure, then get a crash course on photography yourself — the online advice available for free is enough to encourage decent photos of the wedding. They may not look like those of your friend’s more upscale wedding, but when you’re working on a tight budget and short time, is that your priority? Laid back, shot from-the-hip pictures of the wedding, albeit with a little guidance, will prove to be as great of mementos, as professional alternatives.

Short Notice Venues for Ceremony and Reception

At last, where to decide the wedding ought to be held. With money tight and time short, the options are going to be limited. However, there are some two-in-one possibilities, which, given their availability to short notice brides and grooms, are both cost effective and easy to secure on the fly. Park gazebos and the surrounding acre or so of ground are often available within a week of making a call. Other ways to achieve a relatively quick outdoor wedding and reception include a family member’s yard (ideal if they’re cooking too) or even a rooftop wedding — though the latter is admittedly not a commonly available space even among a large group of family and friends. Short notice may mean winter time, and therefore a need to be indoors. In this case, you may find traditional venues are available and affordable due to it being the wedding “off season.”

For whatever reason, marriages sometimes happen on short notice. As long as the love is there, who cares? To make the wedding work with minimal time to plan and minimal money to spend, take the aforementioned steps. It’s a great way to get a start on love and happiness — on short notice.

  • 9/23

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewTheTieBarAccessories
    Dudes, let’s face it. When it comes to saving money for your wedding, every single penny counts. One of the easiest ways to trim down your budget is to cut down the costs of small things, like fashion accessories. Our friends over at The Tie Bar have an immense assortment of pieces for guys, in a wide range of options. Here’s a list of items you can find under $25, but not all of them. We encourage you to venture through their site and check out all the styles they have—and check out their blog for a bevy of great inspirations.

    Items to Feature:
    The Tie Bar Brewhouse Herringbone wool tie

    Brewhouse Herringbone wool tie, $19
    The Tie Bar Carpenter Checks cotton tie

    Carpenter Checks cotton tie, $19
    The Tie Bar Bulletin Dot linen tie

    Bulletin Dot linen tie, $19

    Clearly, they are going to have a HUGE selection of ties. Even better, they come out with new styles every season alongside their tried-and-true staples.

    The Tie Bar Bowties
    The Tie Bar Checkmates BowtieCheckmates, $19

    SO. MANY. BOWTIES. They have a very wide selection of styles, colors & fabrics—and they’ll all under $25!

    The Tie Bar Tie Bars
    Tie Bars, $15 Each

    Tie Bars are a great way to polish your look and get that Mad Men style.

    The Tie Bar Gingham Pin

    Petite Gingham lapel pin, $8
    The Tie Bar Knit Flower

    Lapel Flower, $5
    The Tie Bar Danbury Plaid Pin

    Danbury Plaid lapel pin, $8

    Don’t want to go with a froofy boutonniere? Opt for a lapel pin! The Tie Bar’s are super affordable, so you can have the entire groom party wear ‘em.

    The Tie Bar Deep Blue Square Cufflinks

    Deep Blue Square cufflinks, $20
    The Tie Bar Silk Knots Cufflinks
    Silk Knots cufflinks, $20 for 3

    If your shirt has French cuffs, you’ll need cuff links. Many retailers charge serious dough for them, but The Tie Bar has an affordable selection.

    Socks, $8 Each, $20 for 3-Pack

    Socks are a VERY inexpensive way to personalize your look, especially for the quirky groom. We love when the groom party has coordinated socks — they make for some great photography.

    The Tie Bar Dotted Dots pocket square

    Dotted Dots pocket square, $10
    The Tie Bar Solid Knit pocket square

    Solid Knit pocket square, $10

    These give a nice pop to a suit and elevate a look. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know how to style pocket squares, we have a post to help you out!

    Now put those pennies back in your pocket and go out and be stylish.

    Any accessories you’ve got your eye on? Let us know in the comments, or share it with #brokeassbride on Instagram!

  • 9/22

    Allure Couture C243

    Hey BABs! Thanks so much for hanging in there as we work our way through all the requests for help with finding alternate gowns. While you're waiting for us to get to your request, don't forget that you can use the search bar in the upper right to see posts we've written about your gown's designer, or just pop in "can't afford it" to see all the…

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    Danielle Invites 2

    As a DIY, oh-so-poor bride, I have always planned on making my own invitations. I have been fussing with designs, envelopes, and patterns for about two years solid. I even went through a phase where I planned on having an Etsy shop to give brides invitations on the cheap. Then I realized I have no artistic ability. Sadly, that’s kind of a prerequisite for being a…

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    It's kind of a no-brainer when it comes to saving money -- full open bars are a huge money sink. Not only are they expensive, but if you're DIYing the B-A-R, you have the impossible task of reading people's mind to figure out just how much gin, tequila and bourbon you need to have ready to serve up. In general, the fewer choices you have,…

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  • 9/19

    Real Bride Heather: Bump in the road

    Remember when I found the perfect venue, knew it was a wicked awesome deal, but I was scared to pull the trigger and sign the contract? I was terrified to sign up for spending about $7,500 bucks in fear that something would happen and we would need that money for other things. Well, if there's one thing that I have learned in life, trust your gut!…

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    Buffet line

    Credit: Lucky Photographer from Kate & Daniel's Real Wedding One of the decisions that can significantly impact your wedding budget is about how you'll serve your guests. This applies whether you're serving dinner, appetizers, cake and punch, breakfast-for-dinner or any other type of meal. So let's break down some of the options, shall we? Buffet Pros: This is typically a more cost effective option if you want to offer…

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    Modern Trousseau Sailor Gown

    Ahoy! Today's CAI/GOI request comes from reader Meredith, who commented on this post for some help finding a gown similar to Modern Trousseau's "Sailor." Meredith says: "I love everything about the the Modern Trousseau Sailor gown, the trumpet shape, the beautiful lace, but it is waaay out of my price range! Can you suggest any good alternatives in the $1,700 and under range?" I sure…

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  • 9/14

    Etsy Echoroad Bridechilla T-Shirt

    Okay. So. We've been planning this shindig for like 14 months. That's a long time (haha, just kidding ... every bride-to-be know that shit flies by SO quickly). But in the real world, it really is a long time to plan one event. I cannot tell you how many individual decisions we've made, nor how many obstacles we've had to overcome. Russel and I are…

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