Broke-Ass Tag: cheap weddings



Photo: Roger & Lyndzee Ellsworth from EPLove

Dear Liz,

I’m getting ready to send out invitations for our September 14 wedding. We’re expecting about 150 people. Now, we’re at the age where all of our friends have been getting married over the past couple of years, so quite a few of our guests have, or will have very small children. I just went through our guest list and there are nine (!) babies that could potentially attend. I don’t mind kids, but I feel like that many could get disruptive, and their parents definitely won’t have as much fun.

A groomsman who is coming from out of town has already asked to bring their infant, which we’re fine with, as there isn’t really another option for them. Do I have to use the “invite one, invite them all” philosophy, or is it okay to only invite kids whose parents have to travel to come?


So Many Babies!

Dear So Many,

That is a lot of babies. But, yeah, if you’ve already told one person that they can bring their infant, you’ve pretty much opened the floodgates for the rest. Resentment for that stuff can be sky-high: What are their babies, chopped liver? You’re going to spend a lot of time justifying it to a lot of people. That’s just a warning: You could put “Adult Only Reception” or some other notice on your invites and let the chips fall where they may. If you’re uncomfortable with having infants at the wedding, it’s your wedding, and that’s okay.

Or, if it’s not worth the backlash, you could figure out ways to manage the children that are going to be there. There are a few ways to do that.

Not sure if it’s feasible, if you are talking about young babies and infants, but get a name for a baby-sitting service (your guest hotel or venue should have a recommendation) and put it on your wedding website. Have an usher escort all the couples with children to the back of the ceremony room, or, if they arrive late, ask them to wait outside until the ceremony is over. Find out where the “quiet” rooms are in your reception venue, give them a heads-up that some guest might need it, if anyone asks, and put that on your wedding website, too.You can also keep the couples with children on one side or in the back of the reception room. I know, it’s starting to sound like parental apartheid! The only thing I can say is that there really is no point in worrying about whether they are going to have fun, since they’ve already agreed to come. Everyone in that group knows what a wedding is about, and it’s up to them to figure out how to enjoy it.

So, how are you dealing with kids at your wedding, or have you decided to just not deal at all? It’s a bit controversial in Wedding World – where do you stand? Let us know below!  And if you want find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,

  • 5/24

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewNatalie and Rich Laguna Beach elopement 13

    Photos: Seth Heringer

    Dear Liz,

    My fiancé and I want to get married soon due to some recent transitions in our lives (moving, new job,etc.). Because of our (very tight) budget, We’re hoping to have a courthouse wedding and maybe a dinner with some family and close friends , about 20 people. What are some things we can do to make it special? I imagine we won’t have a first dance at a restaurant.


    Classing Up the Courthouse

    Dear Courthouse,

    The majority of my wedding officiant gigs (yes, I marry people, too) are elopements and spur of the moment/last-minute weddings, and every couple has found ways to make it special, beautiful, and personally meaningful to them.

    The best way to do that is to focus on what you can do, as opposed to what you can’t. There are benefits to doing this all on a smaller scale. You can actually have your first dance at a restaurant, depending on the restaurant, and if there is a private space that you can reserve. You could even have your first dance at the courthouse, if you wanted to.  You can have toasts, and you won’t need a microphone, because everyone will be able to hear. You can wear a beautiful dress. You can afford one gorgeous bouquet, and probably a centerpiece or two. You can eat a good meal, surrounded by people you love, who love you. You can still have a wonderful day, you just need to decide what’s going to make it wonderful. What do you want to see, and experience, in order for that to happen? Start there. I just created a board for Excellent Elopement Ideas, and maybe that will help, too.

    Dear Liz, 


    I got engaged on April 9. We have been in limbo ever since,  because we hadn’t been able to find a venue, but we finally found one last week! 

    We are having a short engagement — we’re getting married on September 21.  One of my many problems is  that I can’t figure out what our color scheme should be, and, more importantly, I don’t know how to go about getting inexpensive wedding invites/rsvp cards/I don’t know the name of the other cards that go along with it…

    Can you point me in the right direction? I would really, really appreciate it!


    Questing For Wedding Clarity

    Dear Questing,

    Yup, one of the challenges of Wedding World today is that there are sooo many options out there, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I wrote about that a little bit last week. What I do when I’m not sure which direction to go in with an event or vendor,  is to see what has been done before I got there. Best way to do that, of course, is pictures, so google/bing, for instance “(your venue) wedding photographer” and see what comes up. “Photography” instead of “photographer” works, too. And hit Pinterest and search for your venue.

    Now, I want to make it very clear that I’m not saying you should just copy what other people have done, but this is a good way to find inspiration. Pay attention to what you like, and especially what you don’t like. Maybe you like the color scheme from one wedding, but you don’t like the flowers they used to bring it out. And you really don’t like the linens, but what if they were…a deeper shade of blue? You see what I mean. It’s like any shopping trip, you go into the store, looking for a dress, and seeing all the dresses helps you decide which one you really want. It’s a process.

    Invitations. Again, you can start with the closest and easiest thing to get to, which would be invitation kits at stores like Target, Michaels (or the craft store nearest you), even Staples has kits. Those include the invitation, RSVPS cards, envelopes, everything you need, and they’re very affordable. Even if you don’t find anything, it will narrow down what you like and don’t like. It will also give you a chance to compare prices to anything you find online. Oh, and searching for “affordable wedding invitations” on Google and Pinterest  (I’m only slightly obsessed) brings up a slew of stuff, too. Try not to stress if it takes a while to find what you want. It’s there, you just have to keep looking.

    So, BABs, do you have suggestions for affordable invites? How are you making your tiny wedding special? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of Wedding World, go to

    See you at the end of the aisle,

  • 5/23

    This weekend, I made a proper appointment at The Princess Bride in Bothell and was accompanied by only two other people: my maid of honor and another of my bridesmaids, both assertive enough to ensure that I wouldn't allow an opinion other than my own to determine my ultimate purchase. It was by all accounts a smashing success, as I ended up buying a dress…

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    Image courtesy of Kate Holstein Photography

    Today we're handing the reins over to one of our favorite ladies in the wedding blog biz -- Maggie Lord -- Founder and Editor of Rustic Wedding Chic, and author of a book, aptly named: Rustic Wedding Chic! She's got 3 fabulous DIY ideas to share with you that are absolutely perfect for fall weddings. Image courtesy of EE Photography The natural beauty that is alive in…

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  • 3/2

    Dear Liz, I thought I was just another BAB until I came to this site, now I think I am THE BAB.  I see these posts where people have $5,000 budgets, and I have no idea where they come up with that kind of bank!  My fiance and I are both teachers and neither of us have family to attend, let alone help pay for,…

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    It's time to salute the sun, my friends, because this Saturday is National Yoga Day! As you may know, yoga is very near and dear to our hearts, so to celebrate National Yoga Day, we're doing not one, but TWO very special giveaways with our ultra fab friends from BOA Style! I'm so excited, I'm gonna hit a head stand RIGHT NOW!!! You can't see it,…

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  • 8/4

    ... and can prove it. No really, it says so right here! The wise and witty Meg, over at A Practical Bride, ran a contest in response to the "I'm a Modern Bride" ad campaign sponsored by, you guessed it, Modern Bride. For Meg's contest, 114 readers shared their smartest, sweetest, funniest and most meaningful reasons that they count themselves as "A Practical Bride"... all…

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