Posts in the 'budget wedding planning' Category
You can face the day with anticipation … or fear and worry. Choose option A.
Photo: Liz Coopersmith
Your wedding day is here. You can hear the DJ tuning up outside. Your fiance is in the building. Everyone is helpful and excited and happy … Except you. Instead of gearing up to enjoy this cool day that you’ve created, you’re still worried that you should have thrown down the extra three bucks (per bloom) to put peonies in your bouquet. Or, should Uncle Leon really be at the same guest table as your freshman year roommate. What if the cake melts? Is the wedding going to start on time, is it going to end on time?
WHAT IF NO ONE HAS A GOOD TIME??
Look, I’ve literally planned 250 of these things. I can guarantee that if you let it, your wedding day is only going to get better from here — there’s the smiles and the love of a bunch of people on the other side of that door, and cake and dancing later on, too. But you’re not going to see or feel any of it if you’re focusing on the constant stream of lies that you’re telling yourself, convincing you of all the mistakes you’ve made that will surely lead to disaster. And if you believe that’s what’s going to happen, that’s exactly what you’re going to find, and yeah, and it’s going to ruin your day. Self-Sabotage is brutal, people.
So, when you hear these lies bubbling up in your brain, shut them down with The Truth. Okay? Okay.
Lie #1: I didn’t have enough money to have the wedding I truly wanted.
The Truth: First of all, you did the best you could with what you had, and if you were honest with yourself, you did a really good job. There’s at least three things that you’re totally looking forward to, whether it’s the gold silk chair ties you cut yourself, the bare red velvet cake, the blue mason jars you’ve been buying for the past six months to use as candle holders. Renting vintage furniture may have been out of your budget, but no one knows about that. And don’t try and make yourself feel worse by telling them!
You’re also going to be surrounded by your favorite people in the world, some who you haven’t seen in ages, and probably won’t see again for a while. You got them all together in one room on one particular day. Having the wedding you want is about a lot of things. What else were you able to pull off that you can’t wait to see today?
Lie #2: No one is going to have a good time. Seriously, they’re not.
The Truth: Your guests are not there so they can experience the wonder of sitting on gold Chiavari chairs. They are probably looking forward to the free food and cake. Oh, and the bar. But really, they are there to celebrate with you. And that means hanging out with you, and with the other people that are also there to celebrate with you. So, do that. You want your guests to have fun? You first. Eat the food, drink the drinks, ask your DJ to play your favorite songs and haul people to dance floor. Tell everyone how happy you are that they made it. Because you are. Look around and actually watch how much fun everyone is having. Nice job.
Lie #3: I don’t know what I’m doing, something is going to go wrong, and it’s going to ruin my wedding.
The Truth: You are partly right. Something will go wrong. And it’s not even melted-cake wrong (it’s happened) or forgot -your -bouquet-at the-hotel wrong (that’s happened, too), it’s too-long toasts and running out of scotch at the bar, or a bridesmaid ripping her dress, or forgetting your cake knife at home. It could rain. Yes, something will go wrong, no matter what you do to make sure it doesn’t. Life is still life, even if it’s your wedding day. Whether it turns into a wedding-ruining disaster is up to you. You can either freak out about it if you can’t change it, or do the best you can to solve the problem or work around it. If you can’t do either, you should let it go. Not easy, sometimes, I know. Fake it, if you have to, until you can turn it into a good story! I know, I’m so zen. I’m also right.
Lie #4: I can’t handle this pressure. You’re right, I’m going to ruin my wedding because I suck.
The Truth: Yeah, I kind of set you up for that with the premise of this post, sorry. Look, you’re human. And you’re a human who probably hasn’t planned a wedding before. And there are a thousand questions that need answering, and a thousand expectations that need managing, and a bunch of stuff that you had no idea you were going to have to deal with when you started this. Pull the breaks when you start giving yourself a hard time about giving yourself a hard time.
Lie #5: Nothing ever goes right for me. I’m telling you, this is going to suck!
The Truth: If you’re standing inside a door, waiting to walk down the aisle to marry the love of your life, followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and the love and laughter that you know (and you do know) is coming at some point that day? Then a lot of stuff has gone very, very right, for some time now. More things — most things — will go right on your wedding day then will go wrong. For one thing, you’re going to end up married, which is why we’re all here in the first place. You’re going to have a good day, I promise. Just remember to watch out for it.
What are you beating yourself up about right now? Do you have any questions about anything you’re afraid will go wrong? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’d like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, come visit me at www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Reader Katelyn challenged the BAB team to help with her search after seeing this post:
Hi, Lisa! I about died when I read this post. I have the exact same affliction but with a different dress. It’s the Sadi gown by Rue de Seine. Baseline cost is $3,000 at the retailer closest to me. My baseline budget is 1k but I would prefer not to go over that if I can help it. I’ve tried local dress shops but they don’t have very good comparisons to it. Do you think you and team Broke-Ass can help me?
Of course we can, girl!
The Rue de Seine Sadi gown is a divine goddess-inspired georgette number with a beaded flutter sleeve, beaded waist, and loose fit. The silhouette is a romantic classic, but that sleeve detail is an utterly unique feature — quite the challenge for the #GownHunter!
I have a thing for layering pieces to create a personalized look for less. To create a similar look as the inspiration gown, try building your own by choosing a goddess-style gown and then layering it with a beaded capelet like the Phoenix above or one of the others below.
Goddess-style gowns often have deep-V necks (and sometimes backs), and a flowy silhouette with plenty of gathering. Sometimes they have higher empire waists, but others have a slightly lower natural waist. Fabrics will be light and airy in this style — perfect for a warm-weather wedding!
(Also in white and ivory.)
Below are a few all-in-one options:
If you have another $200 wiggle room in the budget, one of these might meet your criteria:
Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: Start your gown hunt by identifying the silhouette that suits your shape and style, in the fabric that suits your wedding season, and add details by layering pieces or ask a professional seamstress to embellish — or bedazzle — your gown, if that’s your thing. (It’s totally mine!)
Katelyn, I hope you find these gowns to be helpful in your search. Let me know in the comments below what you think, and thanks for providing the inspiration!
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.
Credit: Beautiful Day Photography
There are two words that can strike fear, anger, frustration, and annoyance into the heart of a bride quicker than any other: Plus One. Just the other day I found myself caught up in a frenzy on a bridal Facebook page that started out as another bride requesting wording to let people know that plus-ones weren’t allowed that quickly devolved into several brides ranting about the audacity of SOME people.
My experiences with plus-ones in the wild thus far have been very limited: a couple of nieces asked if they could bring friends from school to the wedding, and on another occasion a friend expressed surprise that I wouldn’t include a plus-one on someone’s invite because “They’re old enough that they should be allowed a guest.” I expect that once our save the dates and invites go out, we’ll be inundated with requests for plus-ones. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading it. Our guest list is extremely tight because we have a lot of people we love that we want to spend the first day of the rest of our lives with and not a lot of money to make that happen. I definitely don’t want to upset anybody we love BECAUSE of our special day.
Plus-ones aren’t quite the same as allowing your friends and family to bring someone. A plus-one is carte blanche to bring ANYONE they want. This means that someone you might have explicitly left off the guest list purposely (such as an old flame, arch-nemesis, political rival or your 10th grade history teacher) might suddenly show up in the receiving line. Some people might even feel pressured to find someone to bring with them when given the option. I can just imagine some of my friends swinging by a bus stop on the way to the wedding “Hey, want a hot dinner? I’ve got a seat to fill!” Plus ones are like the “People you May Know” of the wedding world. You may indeed know some of them and you might even like some of them … but they still don’t have space in your friends/guest list. So … no. We’re not offering plus-ones to our guests. If you don’t have an ampersand beside your name on the outside of your envelope, you have been reserved one seat at our wedding. We’ve done our very best with our guest list to anticipate anyone that would likely bring a guest (including some friends that have significant others we don’t know so well) and included that guest’s name on the invite itself to try to avoid confusion. We’ll reiterate it further on the RSVP card and our wedding website.
Now what if a friend approaches us and says “Hi Matt and/or Julie, would it be okay if I bring my new girlfriend/friend from school/cousin Vinny to the wedding with me? We don’t go to events without each other/they love weddings/he just got me out of going to prison for a crime I didn’t commit and I owe him a nice dinner.”
It’s a little bit different. They’re telling us a specific person they’d like to bring with them and giving a reason they think that person should be added to the list above and beyond simply wanting to have someone on their arm when they show up. Should a guest would make a request like this, chances are we will have been told others will regretfully be unable to attend our wedding. We may have some wiggle room to say yes or no as a result. There are a couple ways this could go, but it has to start with a conversation between the two of us. Matt and I have built our relationship on the cornerstone that while we might fight and disagree, we are always on the same team. Part of that means we can’t make a decision like this without coming to an agreement with one another. This is especially important in this situation because we’ve both made concessions on the guest list as it is. We’ve had to take people we love and care about off the list due to monetary concerns, and we have back-up lists of guests if people decline.. It’d be kind of a slap in the face if one of us made a decision without the other.
I’ll admit, I’m somewhat inclined to say no to most requests of this nature. Chances are if I left your significant other off the list, is because I don’t know them or you haven’t been with them long enough for me to feel comfortable with their cameos in my wedding photos. The last thing I want is for a friend to look back on our celebration with pain because of who their plus-one was (it happens). When it comes to people bringing friends, I think I’d remind them of the people that will already be there that they’re friends with. There might be a few people that only know Matt or I, but we will reach out to them ahead of time to make sure they feel comfortable, and maybe even introduce them to a few of our other friends. (And if you owe someone a meal because of free legal help … there’s a very nice McDonald’s right down the street.) All that said, it is a case-by-case issue and is very much dependent upon how much flexibility we find ourselves with once the responses are all tallied up. It could be moot if we find ourselves with a packed house. So there’s that.
One thing I think is important is that we have to try and not be too upset by friends approaching us. It’s easy to get frustrated with people when planning a wedding. You’ve got a lot on your plate and sometimes a simple question can feel like somebody is putting more pressure on you at the worst possible time. They’re also asking you to alter something you’ve likely deliberated over very seriously. It sounds weird to say it like this, but our guest list is meticulously curated for a reason.
Regardless, they aren’t inside your head. You’re the one who knows about your wedding and its intricacies, and they likely don’t know that you’ll respond in whatever way you respond. Many don’t know the extra burden just one additional guest can create. They may have never planned a wedding themselves, or had the good fortune of not having too many constraints on their guest list that allowed them to hand out plus-ones like Oprah gives away new cars. It might have taken a lot for them to approach you.
Be respectful and courteous in return. Be honest and don’t leave them hanging. They may be upset, but hopefully if you approach them with kindness and understanding it will soften the blow a bit. Be firm about your decision once it’s made. It might not be easy. Respect your decision, and theirs if they decide not to participate in your celebration.
Are you handling plus ones/added guests in any special way? I’d love to hear it!
Our friends over at GiftBasketsOverseas.com emailed us with this awesome infographic on wedding day traditions and superstitions. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet to not seeing your betrothed before the wedding ceremony, wedding traditions are long-held standards that seem to be falling by the wayside in modern-day I Do’s … for better or for worse. Here’s a brief history of 21 one quirky sentiments couples weave into their big day:
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the realization of all of the traditions that come with it. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake, there are many “rules” that brides and grooms are expected to follow on their wedding day, some dating back to the 14th century! Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Brides began wearing white on their wedding day after Queen Victoria donned a white gown in 1840. She wanted to have some lace — a prized possession — incorporated into her gown.
- The garter/bouquet toss is a very superstitious tradition. It all began in the 14th century when it was believed that having a piece of the bride’s wedding day outfit would bring good luck to men. Instead of having random men tear up the bride’s dress, women began wearing garters for the groom to remove and toss to single men. As a result, the bouquet toss was born so single women also had a chance at luck.
- It’s hard to imagine these days, but it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride before making it to the altar. This suspicion came at a time when arranged marriages were the norm, and it was believed the bride’s father feared the groom would back out of the marriage if he did not like the bride’s appearance.
- The wedding cake has a ton of traditions and suspicions. Some include the breaking of Banbury cake over the bride’s head (1655), cutting and sharing the cake as a symbol of unity, eating the cake crumbs for good luck and keeping the cake until the first anniversary to prevent problems within the marriage.
Photo courtesy of someecards.com
While I consider myself a sentimental person and love the idea of traditions, most wedding traditions are not my cup of tea. We’ve decided to ditch most of them and put our own modern twist on others. This is 2015, after all!
Some of our broken traditions are becoming more of the norm these days, one being the first look. We went back and forth on this one for quite some time, but after talking to married couples who’ve been there, done that, we decided to go for it. Not only does this give us more time with the photographer so we can enjoy some of our cocktail hour later in the day, but it will most likely get rid of some pre-wedding jitters.
While many wedding ceremonies are still done in a church, we really wanted to have an outdoor wedding. A ceremony tradition we’re pushing aside is the groom’s entrance. Typically, the groom and his groomsmen have an unnoticed entrance. Steve’s parents really want to walk him down the aisle, however, so they’ll be making their trip just before the bridesmaids enter.
Our reception will be breaking a lot of rules, as well. As you all know, we’re the DIY type, which means a lot of unconventional details. Our menus will not be neatly placed on each table setting, you won’t find floral displays as centerpieces, and even our cake table isn’t really a “table.” We’ve done a lot of thrifting for our decor, and I can’t wait for our guests to see what we’ve come up with!
Some items I’ll be incorporating into our reception decor.
Oh, and that garter/bouquet toss? Absolutely not. I’m a modern gal and would never participate in these activities, even if the groom wasn’t scarred for life when he had to put a garter on his cousin when he was in middle school!
I’ve also told you all about how my bridesmaids chose their own dresses for a non-traditional mix-and-match look. I’d say that this bride’s look is a somewhat non-traditional, but I’ll let you be the judge …
Every other wedding tradition we’re participating in is pretty standard, from the run of the day, the vows, the cake cutting, the dancing through the night and the happily ever after.
So, what traditions are you keeping alive and which ones are you ditching?
We have talked a few times about saving money on your bar by cutting down to beer, wine and a signature drink. And sure, your signature drink could very well be whatever you and your beloved love to throw back from time to time (moi? Old fashioneds, all the way), or you can get all kinds of creative and make up an easy big-batch cocktail that can be prettied up with some simple garnish, but will be suuuuper easy on your wallet and just as simple to replenish if the well runs dry.
I’ve recently discovered the absolute amazingness that is Pearl Cucumber Vodka, thanks to a friend of mine who drinks it on the regs (and gave me one of the below recipes). One of the things I really enjoy about it is that it is versatile enough for both a sweet and less-sweet drink, but isn’t overwhelming. It just adds a crispness without overpowering the other ingredients — totally key when it comes to making a good cocktail.
The first time I tried the cucumber vodka, I started thinking of this recipe and how to make it work. I knew watermelon would be a wonderful complement, but I figured it needed more … something. As luck would have it, the amazing folks at Woodbridge sent me a couple bottles of Moscato to test. Moscato is a really sweet wine — slightly too sweet for me, when it’s on its own. However, stirred up into a nice summery cocktail, it’s absolutely perfect.
Ingredients (adjust based on number of guests. This recipe made about 20 cocktails.):
– 1 750 ML bottle Pearl Cucumber Vodka
– Watermelon, cubed (with some reserved for garnish)
– A few sprigs of fresh mint (reserve some leaves for garnish)
In a drink dispenser, combine vodka, moscato, watermelon and mint. Stir, breaking up some of the watermelon cubes to extract their juices. Add seltzer as needed to cut the sweetness (everyone’s palates differ, so adjust accordingly.)
Pour over ice, garnish with a watermelon cube and mint leaf.
Such a Tease
This is my friend’s recipe, and is perfect for someone who doesn’t super love sweet drinks but enjoys a good, refreshing beverage. We frequently get together to cook amazing meals, and this is our go-to drink for those nights. But be warned! The vodka has a way of sneaking up on you, faster than you may expect.
– 1 750 ML bottle Pearl Cucumber Vodka
– 1 liter seltzer water
– 1 gallon green tea (got a favorite brand? Go with that. I like Stash.)
Make the tea: For each gallon I want to yield, I use five tea bags. I bring water in a saucepan to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea bags and let steep about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill beverage dispenser with ice. When tea is done, pour over ice, and add water so contents equal one gallon. Refrigerate.
Once tea is cool, add vodka and seltzer (as desired).
Serve over ice, add cucumber garnish (if desired).
Do you have any great big-batch cocktail ideas? Tell us in the comments below!
I am a bit of a nail nerd. I am totally obsessed with nail art, collecting polishes and playing with nail accessories. I have a collection of over 90 nails polishes sitting neatly in a nail polish wall rack display I bought on Amazon (only $35!). In turn I have been thinking a lot about my wedding day nails. Instead of going to a salon I want to do my nails myself — not only to save money but to personalize my style. I have been playing around with some ideas and giving them a test drive. Pinterest has given me a million and one ideas (check out my “Nailed It” board) but I’ll show you my three favorite that I’ve tried so far.
A Hint of Sparkle
This style is a favorite of mine. Basically, you paint your nail a nude color and do a reverse French manicure with a glittery polish at the bottom of your nails. I found it on Pinterest and gave it a whirl. To my delight it came out pretty good! I first painted my nails with Essie’s “Ballet Slipper.” I let that dry for about 2o minutes. Then I took L.A. Colors Art Deco Glitter Polish. The Art Deco polishes come in skinny bottles with a skinny long brush. I swiped the glitter polish at the bottom of my nails. Since it’s a clear polish with some glitter in it you can get a little messy without it looking bad.
Silver and Stripes
This next style I tried takes a little more patience. By using nail striping tape I was able to accomplish clean lines. First, paint your nails the base color. In this case I used O.P.I’s “Skull and Glossbones.” Let the base color dry completely, otherwise when you put the sticker on it will destroy your polish. I painted my nails with the base color one night and then used the striping tape and top polish the next day. The striping tape is super duper thin. Just cut a bunch of pieces off and stick them on your nail. Paint the second color over the nail and striping tape and peel off the striping tape immediately for clean pretty lines. For the top color I used the best silver polish in the whole wide word: O.P.I’s DS Radiance. It looks like glittery foil. So pretty.
The Simple French Manicure
The French manicure is the go-to style for many brides, but I really love the look in general. I have tried to paint a French manicure but since I’m a righty, my left hand usually comes out uneven. Precision is the name of the game when it comes to a good looking French mani. Thankfully, I found these fabulous French manicure sticker tips from Kiss called Nail Dress. You just have to position the tip on and file off the excess. I added a swipe of Essie’s “Sugar Daddy” and sealed it with a top coat (the best ever is Orly Color Car Snap Dry). If I get overwhelmed and don’t want to spend time doing something fancy the day before my wedding I will default to these.
Are you dressing up your digits for your wedding day? How are you getting fancy while staying on a budget?
For Mother’s Day, my mom and I went away for the weekend. We had nice time, and chatted here and there about the wedding. While we don’t argue, I will say we are totally not on the same page. We aren’t super close, my mother and I. We aren’t estranged, but we also aren’t Rori and Loreli either! The wedding is just an example of how my mother just doesn’t get me. We have different priorities and come from very different generations. A wedding in the late ’70s and one in 2016 are just a little different.
It’s hard, because I want to involve her, but I don’t want to start an argument that I know is unwinnable because she doesn’t see things the same way. For example, she asked me why I would hire a photographer. Yes, that was a serious question. I laughed out loud. For me, this is one of the few things I would bust the budget for. Good pictures are important to me. She looked at me confused and asked “Can’t people at the wedding just take pictures with their cameras?” WHAT! She also thinks open bar encourages drunken foolishness and is a waste of money, and thinks I should have bridesmaids to essentially get my due since I did so much for other people. She also asked me “Are you going to wear a dress?” As opposed to what? I mean, I have a shoe closet and proudly sport pink lipstick; I’m not the pants-suit type.
Then there’s the growing list of people she wants to invite. I’m having a small wedding, which I explained to her. My guest list is too big as it is, and there are people I want to invite that I won’t be able to, and it’s my wedding, so I don’t think she should be able to invite other people. It’s going against the goal of my wedding, to keep it small and only have people I really care about there. Her friends that I see once every two years do not fit that criteria. I won’t look back and say “Geez, I really wish my mom’s friend from work could have been there.” Nope. She doesn’t see anyway not to invite them, and already has despite the fact that Save the Dates haven’t even gone out! Needless to say, this conversation is ongoing.
I’m envious of friends whose mother helped to plan their shower and made favors with them. My mom would just question why I’m even giving favors. I’m basically just doing things and filling her in after the fact because I can’t deal with having to try to explain or justify things up front. I probably won’t even take her dress shopping. I don’t mean to be cruel, but this whole process isn’t easy to begin with. And that’s not even mentioning my future mother-in-law. Don’t even get me started there.
So what’s a bride to do? Did you involve your mom in every step? Or go your own way? Is it complicated if your parents are contributing financially?
These Gilt Agate wedding invitations look like the inside of a geode!
Oh, hello wedding dress under $100! ModCloth First Orchard of Business Dress, $95.99