Broke-Ass Tag: Planning


Heeeyyyoooo!!! Now that you’re rockin’ that sparkler and all you newbie Broke-Ass Brides are starting to look ahead to your big day, I think it’s important to sit you down and talk about that horrible monster that is sure to rear its ugly head at some point during your planning process …

BRIDE BRAIN. *cue suspenseful music*

But Christen!, you’re saying, I’m totes rational and there’s no way, ever, EVAR that I’ll succumb to Bride Brain. I got my shizz together and I GOT THIS.

Darling, it’s OK. Bride Brain is nothing to be ashamed of … unless you let it get the best of you. And please, for the sake of your friends, family and your spouse-to-be, don’t let it do that. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of grovelling to do.

How do you know you’re getting conquered by Bride Brain? Well …

– Instead of wearing rose-colored glasses, you’ve started rocking Wedding Color-Scheme Glasses. Everything you see is suddenly twisted into wedding context. Would that rad vintage beer sign work with your Champagne fountain? Is that Creature from the Black Lagoon statue workable with your centerpieces?

– You can’t have a conversation without bringing up your wedding … even with the customer service rep from your bank or the gas station attendant.

– You find yourself more stressed over whether you have enough baby’s breath for your bouquet than the fact that your car’s radiator is about to fall out.

– Your last 20 Facebook/Twitter posts are wedding related.

– You live on Pinterest and have pinned 7x more on your wedding board than any other of your boards.

– You now picture your wedding in terms of how good it’ll look on a blog.

– You’re having wedding nightmares … every night. Getting strangled by your veil, your MIL turns into Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” your groom shows up naked (though that may not be so bad).

Fear not, you rockin’ BABs! This too can be fixed.

First, step away from your computer. That’s right, take that finger off the mouse and and power that bad boy down. WAIT!!! Not YET … finish reading this, first.

Talk to your partner about setting up at least one night per week that has absolutely, positively nothing to do with your impending nuptials. Go catch a ball game! Hit up the mini-golf course. Have some fun and blow off some steam.

Plan a mock-wedding full of the ugliest shizz you would never imagine having at your big day. Poufy sleeves, baby-puke-colored bridesmaid dresses. All the hideousness to your heart’s content. Make a Pinterest board for it, sketch it, whatevs. Just make something that is so far from what you want that you can’t help but bust a gut laughing (or gagging).

Tackle one big thing at a time. For serious. You don’t play in the NFL, so don’t think you’re capable of taking down more than one linebacker at a time. Make a list of your priorities (Venue, photography, cake, bar, dress … etc) and number them. Then devote a week to the first one, the next week to the second, etc. Limit the list to your top five or ten, and don’t start working on the small deets until each one of these big ones is donezo. Once all the big pieces are in place, the little stuff will either come easy or no longer matter.

Fine yourself every time you mention your wedding plans during an arbitrary convo. Kind of like a swear jar, throw a quarter into a vessel every time you bring up your special day during an irrelevant chat. Gas Station Gus will thank you.

Finally … KEEP CHAMPAGNE IN YOUR FRIDGE. I can’t stress this one enough. It doesn’t need to be a baller-ass bottle of Dom. But make sure you have it on hand for stressy wedding moments. There’s something about those tiny bubbles that will put you in a happy fog and remember the celebratory aspect of this whole deal. Don’t drink? Keep whatever special, treat-yo-self kind of bev you lurve on hand.

With this, I set you free to tackle the wedding road ahead of you. Please, make sure to keep your brain straight and don’t hesitate to freak out in the comments if you need to. We’ll love you regardless.

Now off with you! Go get some other stuff done and don’t even think about picking up that guest list. Go on, BABs, and be the amazeballz chickadees you are!

  • 7/8

    Finally, the end of the “how we met” saga! If you missed Part 1, just click here! (Editor’s note: And check out Carrie’s hippie-tastic backpacker proposal story here! It is seriously one of my favorite proposal stories EVER.)

    When we last left off in my long, drawn out love story, Zach and I had finally said the big “L word”, and the next day I got on a plane to start my two years of Peace Corps service.  I went off to Tanzania to learn Swahili, live in a village, and do my best to contribute something, and he stayed in Ohio, working on his degree.  We left our relationship undefined and I had no idea what would happen.  I honestly expected him to forget about me and find a new girl who wasn’t an ocean away.  But he didn’t.  And the trouble was, I couldn’t forget about him either.  I did my best to adopt a “whatever happens, happens” attitude to the situation and focus on the present.  But I couldn’t stop dreaming about the future, imagining us ending up together.  Every time I got an email or a letter or a super-expensive phone call from Zach I would smile all day.  I had never wanted to be in a long-distance relationship while in the Peace Corps, as I imagined missing someone would make it even harder than it already was to be so far from home.  Well, even though our relationship was unofficial, missing him was still incredibly hard.

    So, when my bestie got engaged and told me I had to come back to be MOH in her wedding, I was unbelievably psyched!  Not only would I get to be in her wedding and eat American food I’d been missing, I’d get to see Zach!  So I booked a round trip flight home.  I’d been away for nine months and despite the ups and downs of Peace Corps life, I had every intention of sticking it out and returning for 17 more months.  In the weeks leading up to my return, I couldn’t concentrate on anything besides counting the days and wondering if Zach and I would still have the same chemistry.

    Boy did we.  The sparks flew so intensely during that whirlwind two weeks.   The morning after the wedding, I suddenly found myself sitting in a Tim Hortons, hours before my return flight, sobbing that I didn’t want to go back.  Thus began the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  I was an emotional wreck, and Zach was amazing.  He never once asked me to stay.  He told me that all he wanted was for me to be happy.  After a few gut-wrenching hours, crying conversations with my family and best friend (yes, I called her the day after her wedding, I’m horrible), and general stress over the prospect of ruining my whole life plan, I realized that I just couldn’t leave again.

    I swallowed my pride and I quit the Peace Corps for a guy.  Honestly, there were other reasons why I wasn’t super happy in Tanzania, but Zach was definitely the biggest one.  If I hadn’t met him, or if I had never come home for the wedding, I’m sure I would have stuck it out for the whole two years.  Like I said, this was the hardest decision I ever made.  Life was all of a sudden full of uncertainty, and I was plagued with guilt and feelings of failure for quitting.  To this day, I still feel badly for leaving.  I never, ever envisioned myself becoming the kind of person who would give up her life plan for a romance.  But, Zach was the first guy I was ever with who I was willing to do that for, and maybe that’s how I knew it was right.  Looking back, I don’t regret any of my Peace Corps service, and I don’t regret my decision to quit either.

    Anyway, all of a sudden I had the man of my dreams, no job, no plan, and a scarily insecure feeling about the future.  “What should we do now?” I asked Zach.  “Let’s drive to California.” he said.  So we did.  And the rest is (recent) history.

    Did anyone else make an impulsive/irresponsible-seeming/risky/life-changing decision for love?  How did it work out?

  • 12/2

    Sometimes, you just have to do it. To make it to the end of the aisle without losing your mind, sometimes you have to be firm with other people. And sometimes you have to be firm with yourself. Start at the beginning: Your budget. If you have a budget,and you know you have to stick to it, Stick to it. Stop looking at the Vera…

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    No matter how you break down your wedding day schedge, there's almost definitely going to be some time that is solely dedicated to photography. For some camera-shy people, this is a nightmare, but a necessity if you want to have a Christmas present for Grandmammy this year.  For other people, posing for photos is a fun side adventure on the wedding day where you can…

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    Hey, Liz! Crazy question. My fiance and I have decided to get married next month and hold off on having a big traditional ceremony and reception until next year. We're not doing it because of illness or he's in the military or anything, we just really want to. My question is, what is the wedding etiquette for that? Can I still have all the showers…

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  • 9/23

    So this couple I'm marrying in October (yes, I perform weddings too)  is holding their ceremony at a park near their house, a nice hour long ceremony that's going to end about...4 hours before their reception can start. What can they do to help their guests fill up the time, they asked me? Ah, one gig, two hats. Gotta love it. Since they only have…

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    True story: It's a beautiful Saturday morning. My first stop is my bride's house...where everything is in a complete panic. Bridesmaids and family members are missing,  so hair and makeup is going to finish late. My girl is  still in curlers, and I'm following her around the house as she finds her place cards, her table numbers, etc. so I can take them to the…

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    Let's face it - you don't really want another set of monogrammed napkin rings, what you really want is an amazing honeymoon vacay, and now you can forgo the traditional bridal registry (or supplement the one you have) with a Honeymoon Registry from Traveler's Joy! Whether your only prerequisite for maximum relaxation is a beach or mountain getaway, or you have a very specific destination…

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  • 1/12

    It's time to announce our very first giveaways of the new year! A special note to those recently engaged brides who may be joining us for the first time  - EVERY WEEK we woo you with the salacious promise of kick-ass content, gorgeous real wedding coverage, and awesome FREE swag!   As a new bride-to-be, we know you've got a ton on your mind.  You're…

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