Broke-Ass Tag: destination wedding


Photo by Andie Freeman Photography

Photo:Andie Freeman Photography

I’m pretty organized. Okay, very organized, obsessive compulsive even.  I still use a paper calendar and color code events. I’m the one to coordinate events among friends, and plan trips with my fiance, so I thought I would have no problem planning a wedding.

I’m realizing it’s about more than organization, though. I can coordinate vendors and make payments, no problem, but I’m having a hard time coming up with ideas for themes and centerpieces and decor. I can’t see it come together.

My venue has a coordinator, but we haven’t met in person yet. We’ve corresponded via email, but I haven’t been wowed. I’m worried that the day-of coordination, setting everything up and trying to bring everything together, will be stressful and hard for me to manage on my own. I was convinced I didn’t need help, but I’m considering hiring someone, at least for day-of coordination, but I’m still holding back because I hate to spend money on something I can do myself!  I mean how hard can it be, right?

Then I have visions of my wedding day, waking up that morning and rushing down to the reception site to arrange centerpieces and set up little chalkboard signs before hair and makeup.  And then I wake up from that nightmare in a cold sweat.  On the other hand, I like to be in control of all things, and the thought of giving that up and leaving one of the most important days of my life in someone else’s hand is another nightmare altogether.  The other factor for me is that my wedding is a bit of a destination, a few hours from home, so I can’t go to the venue often to meet with my coordinator, and I’ll have to load up and bring everything with me for that weekend, having assembled everything and done the work at home beforehand.  I’m not even really sure if a planner could help with this.  So what to do…

So have you used a planner? Or not? Did you regret your decision?  I need some tips for keeping my sanity and trying to balance my role as planner and bride!  Help please!

  • 7/20

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    I’ve been dreading dress shopping for months, but after much prodding from friends, I caved, suited up in some Spanx and headed to David’s Bridal. I know David’s is a great budget friendly option, but based on some previous experience with their dress quality and hearing lots of customer service horror stories, it wouldn’t be the first place I would want to buy a dress. It is a great place, however, to try on a large variety of dresses in a low pressure environment, which is just want I was looking for for Round 1.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been attracted to a lot of similar styles, but really had no idea if they would look good on me or not. Frankly, I don’t look like the models in the ads, so I was apprehensive. My consultant pulled on lots of dresses, and I tried about 10 of them. I’ve been looking at a lot of V-neck styles, and while I like the neckline, I found a lot of them can look matronly.

    Amy trying on V-neck styles

    I was also very excited to try sleeves, since I’m getting married in the fall and I can’t afford Michelle Obama’s trainer. I did like them, but found not all sleeves are created equal.

    Real Bride Amy tries on a sleeved V-neck wedding gown Amy trying on a long-sleeved off-the-shoulder gown

    I’m not exactly a stick figure so I shy away from voluminous silhouettes like ball gowns, and, although everyone says how flattering they are for a larger chest, I’ve never been comfortable in a strapless, but I’ve been enamored with a gray-toned wedding dress for a while, so I asked to try one while I was there. They only had one in stock, a ball gown, but I loved the color. It’s made me obsessed with finding more dresses in that color family.

    Real Bride Amy takes a strapless ballgown for a twirl

    I didn’t really love any of these dresses, and I’m not sure I’m really going to be the type to LOVE anything, but I learned a lot.

    Aside from my love for gray, I found that the more fitted silhouettes exaggerate my body, which I do not need. I was disappointed to find that even at a place like David’s that stocks a lot of dresses, there weren’t very many samples that fit me. I worry that I’ll have to choose a dress without knowing how it will truly fit my body.

    I found there is a lot of material to these dresses, and I am not a fan! I want as little train and as few layers as possible! And they are not always comfortable. The first few I tried has some embellishment on the top which was very scratchy and irritating. Deal breaker.

    The best lesson for me, though, was the alteration factor. I’m shorter, so I knew I would have to get the dress taken up a bit, regardless, but I was surprised to find even in the 3-inch heels I was wearing, all of these dresses were several inches too long. It occurred to me that the more detailed dresses, especially those with detail on the skirt, would be complicated to alter. This would definitely impact my final decision as I try to keep alteration costs down. It was a lot to take in, but I feel much more prepared for my next appointment. I’ll be searching for a bargain at Vows Bridal Outlet in Watertown, MA. Wish me luck!

    What lessons did you learn from your first foray into wedding dress shopping? Tell us in the comments below!

  • 7/1

    Amelie 1

    We've got a special two-parter for you this week, BABs! Check back tomorrow for Part 2! BAB reader Kary has a dilemma. She's fallen in love with *two* gowns (and a wonderful man), with a budget of about $2,000. She says: I am planning a small beach wedding for June, 2016, in Sand Key, Fla., and a large, outdoor reception at home, after our return.…

    Read the full article →


    Finding a photographer has been a challenge. Pictures are probably the number one priority for me for the wedding, so it's something I really want to get right. It's the one thing I'm not willing to skimp on, however I don't really want to spend a million dollars either. I thought by doing a Sunday morning affair, I could save on photography costs a bit, especially…

    Read the full article →


    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…

    Read the full article →
  • 5/11

    I want to save money where I can on my wedding (#duh), but more than anything, I want to save my sanity. Wedding planning can be stressful. For many, it becomes a second job.  I already have two jobs; I don't need a third, so minimizing the stress level is the name of the game for me. The biggest way to minimize my strife was…

    Read the full article →


    A few years ago, I was in a lot of weddings.  It seemed like all of my friends got married within a short period of time. Although I was honored to be a part of their special days, I would be lying if I said that the 'maid duties didn't put a strain on my enjoyment of the event. There I am in the bridal…

    Read the full article →


    As I mentioned, I'm trying to keep my wedding small as one way to save money. I want my guest list to be more "want tos" than "have tos."  There are inevitably a few in the "have to" category, mostly extended family. Another perk of having a wedding at a bit of a distance is that it weeds out those that care from those that…

    Read the full article →
  • 8/7

    When this super sweet, laid back wedding from Lauren Lindley Photography fell into my lap, I spent some serious time living vicariously through the subjects of the photographs, with sand between their toes, mountain air surrounding them and pops of color livening up this sweet, family-oriented South Lake Tahoe wedding. The couple, whose sons played part in the ceremony, chose the destination because the bride…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!