Broke-Ass Tag: New York Bride


Danielle's bridal party invitations

“Will you be my bridesmaid” card I made

Bridesmaids. This single word can hold so many emotions, meanings, joys, and nightmares. I have a whole gang of important women in my life that I want to stand by me on my special day. My fiance, Michael, has a lot fewer friends than I, so I’ve always known that the number of bridesmaids I had would be dictated by how many brothers he could rally to his side. Even numbers are a must in my book.

After Michael popped the question, I asked my sweetie to go out and find himself five groomsmen. We had already discussed making his older brother his Best Man and my little brother one of his groomsmen, that left him three gents to hunt down. Needless to say, I was a tiny bit peeved when Michael called me and happily declared that he had rallied all six of the groomsmen. Six … that number doesn’t at all sound like five. They don’t even start with the same sounds … how could you not underst- … *SIGH* yes, thank you dear. *Quietly grinding teeth*. Yeah, it’s a bit tacky to “unask” a guy to be one of your groomsmen so, I had to go rally another bridesmaid.

I had taken pains to ask all of them individually in a unique way to be my bridesmaid. I had a lass in mind, but it was legit MONTHS after I had asked all the other girls to be my bros. How do you ask a lass to be your wingman without making it look crazy obvious that you need her to fill a quota? Then, how do you tactfully drop the, oh by the way, we have an appointment this weekend to go look at bridesmaid dresses, I hope your Sunday is open?

A huge smile, a tiny bit of groveling, and a really nice card (with a killer presentation) help along your case if you land yourself in the same spot. She took it well, didn’t even blink or bat an eye when I gave her the card I’d made. Panic levels? Dropping back to manageable levels. Oh yeah, and thanks for saying you’d be a bridesmaid Ashlee, did I mention that we are going dress shopping in four days? Got plans this Sunday? *Panic-meter jumps* What? No plans you say? Great, meet you at David’s Bridal at 10am then.

Danielle's troupe goes bridesmaid dress shopping

My junior bridesmaid begging for a dress

For the complete trainwreck asking my girls to stand with me was, I’m surprised at how well they all got along while we went dress shopping. We hit David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo that day with a lunch break in between. I had asked them all to look at some dresses beforehand so we had some ideas of what they wanted. I secretly wanted everyone to pick the same dress, but as long as it was the same fabric and color, it didn’t matter. They all have vastly different body shapes, especially my just recently flowered junior bridesmaid who’s only 11. After at least 20 dresses and two stores, they were all leaning towards one dress that I pretty much hated but they all seemed rabid over … or so I thought.


The dress we all apparently hated

We decided to order that dress in March to give some of them a chance to finish their weight loss plans. Weeks crawl into months and one by one they casually mention to me how much they also hate the dress. Seriously y’all, why didn’t anyone say something in the store? One of my ‘maids is a bit more … outspoken, than the others and must have led them down that path of least resistance. So … we find ourselves back at square one again. My sister, Angela, and I went out over Christmas break and picked a fabric, color and two designers. I think this time I will just pick a handful of dresses that I don’t think suck and just ask them to pick one from that selection instead. This way, if they hate the dress, they are the ones who picked it. I made it super clear that if all the ones I picked suck, to let me know and I can hunt out another dress they’ll like. I love all of them, but picking a dress is apparently like herding cats.

What about you, any bridesmaid moments that make you want to scream and pull out your hair?

  • 11/16

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewI have always planned on having different centerpieces at each table. I saw a photo of another bride’s wedding that had her escort cards as little ticket stubs with each person’s name on one side and the name of their table on each. I completely fell in love with the idea. Unfortunately, the Etsy seller who made her cards no longer makes them. I found a template on Etsy that would let me design and make my own though, so that’s on the to-do list. But, this post isn’t about escort cards, it’s about …

    *trumpet fanfare*



    Cake stands from Target

    I have been sketching concepts of what I want for each centerpiece. I’m thinking things like sea lion with a ball, dancing bears, ferris wheel, human cannonball, etc. All great ideas, right, but I wanted them to share a common concept. I wanted them to all carry the same blue, yellow, and white theme, but I was also hoping to have the same or similar bases. I was thinking stacked boxes, or maybe the circus rings that you see elephants standing on. So, Friday after work, I headed out to a bunch of stores in search of inspiration. I wandered my way through Jo-Ann Fabric, Party City, Big Lots, Michaels and Target. All of the stores had potential, but I hadn’t found THE right item yet. I was in Michaels and had decided to go home empty handed, but the rear entrance to the store got blocked off from a spill, so I had to leave through the mall entrance and go through Target to get out. Since I was there, may as well check out this store too. I hit the dollar spot at the front of the store and I found them, THE bases. Yes, time did slow down and I stared at those little darlings like Rose staring at the Heart of the Sea after Titanic sinks.

    They’re supposed to be cake stands. I had visions of painting the scallops in yellow and blue to look like a tent. I had planned on making the centerpieces no larger than one foot square. These little guys are 8” round, so they’re quite a bit smaller than some of the plans I had envisioned. No biggie, just got to hit the drawing board again. Target only had 10 of these, I anticipate having 12 tables. I hit another Target and snagged four more. Each stand was $5. I’m trying to keep the centerpieces under $15 each, so now I have only $10 left for the rest of it. Bring on the challenge!


    Painting supplies

    Time to start painting. I called dad up and convinced him to go paint shopping with me. I figured we’d paint them another weekend since dad’s back was hurting. When we got home from Lowes, he started removing stickers and unscrewing bases, so I took him up on his enthusiasm and we put on the first coat of paint.


    Before painting each stand, we had to unscrew the wooden bases and remove all the stickers. Before painting finished surfaces, you need to scuff them so the paint will stick. I grabbed some 3M finishing pads and gave each stand a quick buff until it wasn’t shiny anymore. Make sure you throw on a mask and goggles for this. Since I want the top of the stand to be white, we painted the entire stand white first and will follow up with a coat of yellow and blue for the flaps. We ran out of white paint at the very end (and sunlight) so hopefully this weekend it is warm enough to put on the second coat and finish off the flaps.


    Dad scuffing bases before painting

    Rust-oleum makes a Comfort Grip trigger handle that snaps onto the spray can. I 900% recommend you splurge the $7 to get one of these if you have a heavy duty spray painting project. You don’t realize how much your hand will cramp when you have to hold down a spray nozzle for an hour. We also propped each base onto empty soup cans to make painting easier. The bigger Chunky soup and spaghetti sauce cans were a lot better than the corn and bean cans if you decide you want to do something similar. The bases kept falling off the smaller cans. If the weather holds, hopefully I can show you finished bases next week! I’m crazy excited about these finds. If you’re having a carnival wedding, you might want to hit Target to snag a few of these bad boys too. They’re only out for Christmas, so they’ll be gone soon.


    Painting bases at sunset

    I’m thinking about putting our initials in the center of the stand. You know, the part that will basically be covered by the decoration. Thoughts?

  • 9/21

    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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    Real Bride Danielle...and Mike

    Exactly 14 seconds after you announce your engagement, you will get bombarded with questions. Have you set a date? Where? Theme? Colors? If you are anything like me, you kind of wanted to scream at everyone. “CHILL OUT YO, the ring hasn’t even gotten warm on my finger yet, I’ll let you know as soon as I know!!!” Confession time: We only got to share…

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    Real Bride Danielle and the Michael

    Greeting all my fellow Broke-Ass brides and bros! I’m Danielle, everyone calls me Dee. My guy (finally) popped the question and I’m green for go on releasing the wedding kraken! WOOT WOOT! Michael and I will be getting married in Central New York in September 2017. We have a budget of $10,000, although we are pinching our pennies to have a $2000 emergency fund. Our…

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  • 7/4

    Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials || Photo: Jon Black Photography

    Credit: Jon Black Photography Last week I got an email with "exciting news" from my bridal store that my gown had arrived! I wasn't expecting it until next month, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was ahead of schedule! I didn't take my mom along during the dress shopping phase, so I brought her with me to pick it up. We headed to the bridal…

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    Etsy MyLittleShopofWonder Thanks for Holding My Dress Card

    Card available from Etsy seller MyLittleShopofWonder Although I'm not having a formal bridal party, or a formal wedding, I still have some great friends that are helping me celebrate. Some of my closest friends have come together to throw a shower for me. Sometimes it seems weddings become an exchange of gifts: Your bridesmaids do something for you, you buy them gifts. You feed your…

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    After trying on the gray-toned dress at David's, I became obsessed with finding other gray dresses! I started searching Pinterest and Google, screen-shotting and pinning pictures left and right. In my search, gray led to blue. I was hooked. Of course, everything I was finding was a one-of-a-kind or couture, high-end -- aka pricey and hard to find. I thought it would be good to look at…

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