Broke-Ass Tag: budget weddings


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Yay! You’re engaged! Welcome to the wide world of Wedding Land. It can be a little scary and a lot fun (and don’t worry, we’re here to help you through all of it), but before we even delve into All Things Wedding, let’s take it slow, boo.

Getting engaged and being afficanced is this magical world between being coupled and being legit married. People get REALLY excited for you … and then they’ll have A. LOT. of opinions and “advice” for you (I use the latter lightly, because some of it is so not helpful). But before you get lost in piles of magazines, websites, tulle and cake (so much cake), let yourself really truly enjoy this time before the wedding planning gets under way and while you can still bask in the glow that you know this is your forever person and they feel the same about you. Here are The Broke-Ass Bride’s Top 5 Things to Do After You Get Engaged:

      1. Don’t Tell Anyone … If You Can Help It.

        You know how sometimes it can be really fun to keep things under wraps? Sure, your best homeboys and homegirls probably either know or are dying to find out and your folks might need a little heads up, but don’t take to social media quite yet to show off that sparkler or proclaim your engagement from the rooftop. Bask in the glow, because the second you start telling people, the second you’re going to start getting wedding planning questions that you probably haven’t even thought of, and few things will dull that engagement sparkle faster.

      2. Take Care of Your VIPs.

        Make sure the very most important people in both of your lives know before the whole world does. I guarantee Mom is going to be legit pissed (within reason) if she finds out from Aunt Mildred that you got engaged. When you’re ready call them or meet them in person if you can. They’ll likely have questions (when, how, etc.) but those don’t have to be addressed right away. Just give parents, siblings, super close friends and perhaps grandparents the courtesy of being the first to know. They’ll appreciate it (and it’ll save you some grief).

      3. BDV (Budget, Date, Venue)

        Before you even THINK of looking at invitation suites and attire, you gotta take care of these three logistics. You really, honestly can’t even make a damn move without figuring out what budget you’re working with. And don’t just pick a number out of thin air — think hard about it. Sure, $15K might seem doable, but consider how much “extra” money you really, honestly earn each month and whether you’ll be able to stash that much away without putting too much of a dent in your social life (you’ll want your social life during planning to help keep you sane) or hindering any other day-to-day aspects. Sure, there may be offers of help from family members, but I recommend figuring out what exactly you and your partner can afford without anything coming from anyone else. Next, consider your date and / or venue — these two are very often intertwined. If you have a specific venue in mind, consider booking for offseason (varies by location) or off-day (any day but Saturday) to defray costs. If you’re adamant about the day — especially during the summer — start contacting venues to see if they’re available.

      4. Divide (or Don’t) and Conquer

        Not all partners are into wedding planning. I’ve seen weddings where the groom has had considerably more say / done more than the bride, I’ve seen weddings where both grooms gave ALL the shits and did everything hand-in-hand and I’ve seen weddings where no one really cared at all, as long as there was a photographer, some bubbly and great company. Figure out where you and your partner fall — do they care about stationery? Venue? Dessert? Food? — and tentatively choose tasks based on those lists. There will be changes down the line, trust me. Nothing needs to be set in stone. It’s good to get a rough draft of what you both want, inquire as to the possibilities, suss your budget and assess from there. If it turns out that you care way more about craft beers than you thought you did, take that on as a team. But don’t let the whole process be one-sided, because that’s no fun.

      5. Celebrate

        No, seriously. Stock some bubbly in your fridge for whenever you get that oh-so-giddy feeling. Let someone throw you an engagement party (or throw it your damn self)! Get a manicure, take engagement photos, use it to your advantage at dinner (you can do this for about a week or so. Any more than that is just kind of selfish.) and allow yourself to be pampered and thrilled about this time. After all, you worked hard to get here! Relationships take work, and committing yourself to another person can be scary and thrilling at the same time. Revel in it, yo!

Congratulations and welcome to the party! We do hope you’ll let
The Broke-Ass Bride accompany you on this journey. We love being able to provide sane, sound and savvy advice to couples who really just want to rock a badass wedding on a broke-ass budget, no matter how that looks to you!

  • 3/30


    Credit: Alicia Robichaud

    The Guest List — how big it is, who’s on it — is probably one the most important and difficult parts of the planning process.  My primary saving strategy has been to keep my wedding small.  When there is a per person cost, it seemed like the best way to keep costs down.  Mostly, though, I prefer quality to quantity. I’d rather spend time with a more select group then have lots of guests that I don’t even keep in touch with (I’m looking at you, mom’s friends from work). When I say I’m having a small wedding, some people suggested it wasn’t worth it because with bigger groups you “make” more in gifts.  Well, I’m not in this to make a profit. Most people I’ve talked with say one of their major regrets was not having a smaller wedding and not having so many people they didn’t know well or care about. And if you can save money in the process, it’s a bonus, right?!

    It turns out the small wedding hasn’t helped control costs as much as I had hoped.  We struggled to find a venue due to minimum head counts or costs that many venues imposed.  The only way we could have avoided those restrictions were to have our event on a weekday or in the off season.  Unfortunately, the off season in Upstate NY can mean a foot of snow.  We were so glad (relieved) when we found our venue! They have zero minimum; they accommodate 20 or 200. There are also several places on the property to hold the reception so that our small party won’t be overwhelmed by an empty space meant to hold 300. So important for a small group!

    Although I’m not saving a ton of money on overall costs, we will still save some per-head costs by having a smaller group of people. Keeping it small also helps to keep other costs down.  I will have fewer tables, which means fewer centerpieces and table decor, fewer favors … but most important more of the most precious currency: time. More time to spend with the ones I love.

  • 7/16

    Since my last post, I decided that planning a wedding long distance wasn't quite enough stress for me. So, I decided to spice things up a bit and add moving across the country and starting a new job, all in less than a month! I think I might be losing it a little. My fiance and I have debated moving back to North Carolina for the…

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    My name is Emma, and I am a fiancée. In real life I work in marketing for a publishing company, and my fiancé, Michael, works in insurance. We live in Bristol, England, and have been a couple for 11 years. We have a date in mind for our wedding - October 8th, 2015. And yes, that is a Thursday. More on that in a forthcoming…

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    Hey Broke-Asses! It's been a hot second since we've had a Wedding Inspiration Guru around these here parts, and Kristy was uber excited to step into the shoes of some rockin' chicks before her. So if you're struggling with ideas to fit in your theme, need a little extra push to realize your vision or just want to ogle some gorgeousness, come play as she…

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  • 4/21

    Via Pinterest I bet a lot of brides out there are like me: self-sufficient, independent, strong and insistent upon handling everything herself. It isn't a matter of being too stubborn to accept help. In it's purest form, it all boils down to the fact that we understand our vision better than anyone and it just makes the most sense to take care of everything yourself.…

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    There are few things that Team Broke-Ass loves more than ModCloth. From the prices to the styles to the superfun apartment swag, it's almost like they've crawled inside our brains and set up shop. And that love only increased when ModCloth decided to start pimping some ridiculously gorgeous wedding wares. Swoon x 1000! It's a problem. So, obviously, when the chance came to share this…

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    Photo courtesy of Torley Dear Heather, Any advice for a bride who isn't looking forward to the night before her wedding? My parents are paying for the wedding, so my future in-laws graciously offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner. We told them all we wanted was something relatively casual and with decent food--everything else was up to them, unless they wanted our input (they…

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  • 4/2

    You've heard the word "friend-or" (which I am highly against which is probably a story for another day), but have you heard of a "friend-fficiant"? Probably not because I literally just made that word up nine seconds ago to use in my title. If you haven't figured it out yet, "friend-fficiant" refers to a friend that is serving as your officiant at your wedding. I…

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