Broke-Ass Tag: real bride


I make things. It’s sort of my deal. Whether it’s cooking, painting or Christmas cards, creating things with my hands is something that means a lot to me. I’ve been struggling to come up with ways to make things for our wedding and still keep an elegant, vintage look. To me, calligraphy is a luxury that’s definitely out of our broke-ass budget, but it packs a lot of punch in the elegance factor. I love the small details that simply take everything up a notch. Plus, I’m always a fan of things I can do while sitting at my coffee table, watching a Lifetime movie and drinking a glass of wine.

I do realize that I can print envelopes and place cards in a nice script font and call it a day, but the idea of my wedding being without details that I made myself, feels entirely inauthentic to me. That’s not who I am and my friends and family know that.

So, that being said, the first thing I’ve dubbed as my own is the calligraphy. I don’t remember why, but I used to do it as a kid, along with a number of other nerdy, solitary things — like spending hours playing solitaire while creating dozens of cassette tapes of music recorded directly from the radio. (Weren’t you bummed when you caught the DJ speaking, or missed the very beginning of the song?) I’m sure I’m seriously dating myself now. There were these things called “cassette tapes … ”

Anyway, I’ve recently received my supplies — turns out calligraphy isn’t that hot of a thing these days, and what I wanted wasn’t available in the store so I ordered online from Blick. I have the feeling this might be something I’d really enjoy, and really be good at, so we’ll see how it turns out. Maybe I have a little freelance career in calligraphy in my future.

Are there any BABs out there who’ve mastered the art of calligraphy? Any tips or tricks to share?

  • 9/22

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    Ah, wedding style. I feel like choosing a wedding style is similar to choosing a major in college. From starting college as a graphic design major, then a social services major (I was gonna save the world!), then finally graduated in interior design. Today I work in web development, so — just goes to show you that where you start out, is rarely where you finish.

    I’ve mentioned previously that prior to getting engaged, I never dreamt much about what our wedding was going to be like. Primarily because it was just that: our wedding, not just mine. I always knew it wouldn’t be a spectacle of girly-ness, or full of tradition and formality. Once we had gotten engaged, I was certain that the venue would point me in a direction, and after we had decided, it was obvious.

    milwaukee historic third ward by ron cogswell

    Credit: Ron Cogswell via Creative Commons

    We’re getting married in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. If the cream city brick and amazing late 1800s architecture doesn’t scream vintage, I don’t know what would. Our venue is Onesto. It was built in the late 1800s and while the first floor was originally storefronts, and later a bar, the family that owned the building lived in the second floor, where we are getting married. We were immediately sold on the high, loft-style ceilings, exposed ducts and three working fireplaces. We actually ended up pushing our date back to make sure it was chilly enough to use the fireplaces. The venue is a great mix of vintage inspired elements, industrial loft accents, steeped in historic Milwaukee charm.

    The idea is to lean vintage with my dress and the décor, pull in industrial elements like antiqued metals, while still incorporating our Milwaukee pride. I think our love for our city is something we have in common, not to mention, it is where we met, fell in love and got engaged. We actually got engaged about two blocks from our venue! To pull off our city’s vibe, I’m thinking vintage Pabst or Old Milwaukee coasters at the bar, city skyline pillows on the furniture and historical Milwaukee maps used throughout as our stationary inspiration. Etsy has been an amazing source for these fun, retro items since I don’t have the time to be hanging around rummage sales.


    We stopped by an antique store not too long ago, and I picked up this gem. It’s your typical fairy lamp, but I can see it flickering with the fireplaces, creating a warm glow. It sits on our bookcase today, but it was the first thing I bought for the wedding and I’m hoping that it sets the tone for some of the other decor. Ya gotta start somewhere, amiright?

    Michaels Ampersand Marquee Light

    I had also gone to Michael’s to poke around and I bought this ampersand marquee on impulse. It was 40% off!

    What was the first item you bought? Has your themed changed, or stayed the same?

  • 5/19

    When I tell people that I am planning my North Carolina from Minnesota most ask me if I'm crazy. To be fair, before I embarked on this magical adventure, I would have said the same thing. So far, I have had a very good experience planning my wedding remotely (knock on wood). However, I can't say I would recommend it to everyone. Here are the following things you…

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    Honeymoon (n)-: the trip following your wedding that is supposed to be relaxing but you can’t even think about, much less plan, because you’re already too overwhelmed. It seems like honeymoon talk here at BAB is sparse. Probably because we are all broke and stressed and cannot even contemplate planning a honeymoon (at least that’s how I feel). I want to talk about it because…

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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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  • 5/6

    I recently had the privilege to be a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends. This was my first time as a bridesmaid, and my first time attending the wedding of a friend (as opposed to a family member). I hadn’t been to a traditional wedding for a couple years, so getting to be an important part of one, especially one with a bride so…

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    Let's face it, BABs. Flowers are freaking expensive. Yet so, so lovely. And one must be incredibly talented and crafty to pull off wedding decor sans flowers. Unfortunately, I am only mildly crafty and have the patience of a child when it comes to DIY-ing anything, so I knew that some of our budget would go to flowers. So, how are we going to keep our…

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    Up to this point, my and Daniel’s wedding planning has revolved around proposed dates, hypothetical decorations, and just plain uncertainty. However, this is all about to end. Right now, we are elbow-deep in paperwork, but in just a few weeks, on April 8th, Daniel will have his interview with the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia. He will either leave that interview with an approval, at…

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  • 4/9

     Sisters! I am extremely close with my family. Of my three younger siblings, it's difficult for me to think of three people I would rather hang out with. I was convinced that all the horror stories I heard from friends about family members going crazy during the wedding planning process would not happen to me -- no way, no how. Then my younger sister, Tegan,…

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