Broke-Ass Tag: real wedding

4/11

Affiliate Disclaimer NewBattball Wedding-90 (2)Name: Katie and Andrew

Occupation: Attorney (K), Warehousing Associate (A)

Wedding location: Chanhassen, MN

Wedding Date: 10/10/15

Budget: $12k (fuzzy)

Number of Guests: 100

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How would you describe your wedding? For our wedding, we took a lot of traditional influences and added our own personal creative touches.

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What was your favorite part of your wedding? Holding hands during our ceremony, feeling each other’s nervousness and excitement.

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What did you splurge on? My dress! Custom-made and totally worth it.

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What did you save on? Favors. Who needs ‘em?

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I wouldn’t have done an unplugged ceremony. I wanted people to engage and be present, which I think they did, but I also missed out on the chance to capture the ceremony from many angles. It also got people away from their cameras for the reception, when I *wanted* them to be taking silly pictures!

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What was your biggest challenge in planning? Letting go and accepting help. I made things harder than they needed to be by being a bit of a control freak.

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What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? To ask for help when I need it.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

1) Getting married, of course

2) Bringing so many of our favorite people together all in one place

3) The shoe game. I was totally against it because I thought it was dumb, but it was actually really fun and we agreed on almost every question.

4) The photobooth – enough said!

5) I placed some of my oldest friends with some of my best friends from more recent times, because I knew they’d get along. I was right!

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Top 5 least favorite?

1) The day-of stress. I didn’t explain my plans well enough and we had to scramble to find people to help setting up the venue.

2) I wish we could have spent more time with just about everyone. That’s the downside to getting everyone together in one place.

3) Running around the day of the rehearsal. I would plan that day better, if I could go back.

4) Forgetting to unbustle my gown for the ceremony. A small detail, but it could have been more impressive than it was.

5) Our friends didn’t seem to be interested in using WeddingMix. We had to add in honeymoon video to even fill out what we paid for. Meanwhile, we had to go and screenshot Snapchat to save some pics. Don’t use Snapchats for that, people!! #duh

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What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I actually don’t think we received any bad advice. How lucky is that??

The best? Take it all in, because it goes by in an instant.

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Budget breakdown?

Venue/Food/DJ/Cake: $7500

Dress: $1500

Flowers: $100 (undisclosed amount paid by a dear friend)

Makeup: $55

Hair: $80

Shoes: $40

Invitations + Paper: $150

The Rest: Misc attire and décor. I kept a *really* terrible record – which is probably how I overspent.

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Vendors:

Photography: Traynor’s Photos

Venue: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre

Cake: Buttercream

Flowers: KMB Floral

Dress: Modehaus Designs

Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse

Décor: DIY

Shoes: Zappos

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Congratulations, Katie and Andrew! We wish you the very best!

Would you like your wedding featured on The Broke-Ass Bride? Email us at info@brokeassbride.com!

christen
  • 2/10

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    Name: Elissa and Nick

    Occupation: College Advisor + Medical Tech

    Wedding Location: Pasadena, California

    Wedding Date: June 20, 2015

    Number of Guests: 80ish

    Budget: Less than $15,000

    How would you describe your wedding?

    Pretty traditional in structure, though we wrote our service with the help of a Unitarian Universalist minister so that people of all faiths would feel welcome. Overall, we wanted it to feel like a fun backyard party, but in fancy clothes. Our priorities were an outdoor ceremony, delicious food, quality drinks and good music that everyone knew and could enjoy.

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    What was your favorite part of your wedding?

    Having all of our far-flung friends and family in the same place. People traveled from all over the country to be with us on our big day, and it meant more than words can express.

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    What did you splurge on?

    We were pretty good about balancing the costs of all the pieces, so I don’t feel like we really broke the budget on any one aspect. I was originally planning on walking down the aisle to a Simon & Garfunkel song, but Nick had the idea to find a harpist to play before and during the ceremony. She played a Beatles medley as our guests were seated, and the bridal party all entered to Elvis’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” The harp was such a unique and beautiful touch, and I am SO glad I let Nick talk me into it.

    What did you save on?

    So many things! Nick’s dad is a videographer, so a friend of his did the filming, and he did the editing as our wedding gift. We also bought a lot of supplies from Costco and antique stores, and made all of the decorations ourselves, including the ceremony backdrop, the centerpieces, the table runners and even the bar! We hired college students to help with set-up and serving, and hired our harpist through a local music school. We also decided to do a small cake to cut and a table full of assorted desserts, in lieu of a big expensive wedding cake.

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    Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect?

    1. Hired a day-of coordinator. I almost hired an awesome one, Events by Holly Gray, but a friend volunteered to be my day-of point person at the last minute. A professional day-of coordinator would have taken all the stress off of my friends and let them relax and have fun.
    2. Planned a grand exit at the end of the night. We wanted to stay and say goodbye to all our guests, so we ended up being the last ones to leave the venue. It was pretty hectic trying to get everything cleaned up and out of the venue on time, and weird to see all our hard work getting disassembled.
    3. Invited more people! Life happens, and many guests whom we thought would come couldn’t. We had lots of extra spaces left over, and there were many friends I would have loved to have invited if I hadn’t been so conservative/nervous about the headcount.

    What was your biggest challenge in planning?

    Finding a venue! I had a couple of freak outs during the first few months of our engagement, as I couldn’t find ANY venues that coordinated both budget and style. In total desperation I ended up revisiting the first place I ever liked, but had rejected because of their availability. It turns out I had misread their website the first time around, and it ended up being absolutely perfect for us.

    What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?

    I ended up throwing all my pre-engagement ideas about my wedding out the window once I actually started planning. My fiancé had some awesome ideas and perspectives, and it was fun building our big day together – I didn’t realize when we started how much he wanted to be a part of the planning! And decorations and cool details are great and all, but as long as you have food and music, everyone’s going to have a great time – so don’t stress about the little things. Most of all though, it really does take a village to do anything big in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and be gracious when you receive it.

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    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

    1. The ceremony. It was over 100 degrees on the day of our outdoor wedding, but shade from the trees fell just right across the ceremony site so that it was still warm, but pleasant. Sunbeams streamed through the trees, birds sang and a butterfly flew around us at the beginning. It was an incredibly surreal moment in time, but there was so much laughter, love, and excitement.
    2. The food. We had our favorite taco place, MexiCali in downtown L.A., set up a taco bar with your choice of freshly grilled meat and veggies. Our appetizers and wedding cake were from our favorite Cuban restaurant, Porto’s, and we had a variety of homemade cupcakes on the dessert table. I only wish I’d been able to eat more!
    3. The music. I gave our DJ a list of songs I’d collected from the MoTown and Seventies Hits Pandora channels, and he filled in the rest with some killer oldies and party favorites. I can’t remember a single song being played that I didn’t love! I danced so hard that I ripped both a strap and the train off my dress.
    4. How authentic it was. We had lots of guests tell us afterward that it was one of the best weddings they’d been to, because it was inclusive, low-key, and … tacos.
    5. A family member Skyped my grandma during the ceremony, and at one point I was able to turn around and see her grinning from ear-to-ear on the phone screen.
    6. Bonus: Nick and I met when we lived in a three-unit apartment complex, all rented by 20-somethings. There was a core group of about 10 or 12 friends who either lived there or hung out there during that time, and were there for the beginning of Nick and my relationship. At one point we all came together on the dance floor for a giant group hug, singing our hearts out. It had been years since we were all together in one place (minus one couple who moved out of the country), so it was an incredibly moving and memorable moment.

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    Top 5 least favorite?

    1. I didn’t budget enough time in the days leading up to the wedding to get our DIY projects set up, so we were running late on the morning of. Because of this, we didn’t get a chance to take many pictures before the ceremony.
    2. I’m still on the fence about this, but I kind of wish we had done a seating chart! I’ve been to so many weddings where guests moved chairs around and sat where they wanted to despite the chart, so I figured we’d just let our guests choose. But I’ve also enjoyed going to weddings where all the various friends and family got to mingle more with each other over dinner, instead of just out on the dance floor.
    3. Things that were out of our control, like the hot, humid weather and traffic woes (e.g. President Obama’s surprise visit to Pasadena on the day of our rehearsal dinner).
    4. The wedding had to end and everyone had to go home.
    5. We only get to have one wedding. I have so many more ideas!

    What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?

    I can’t remember any bad advice, but I had to learn to shrug off all the people who only had negative things to say about wedding planning, like “Oh, you’re about to be so miserable!”

    The best?

    I got so much good advice from friends, family, and of course The Broke-Ass Bride, but I think my favorite was a reminder to take a few moments alone together as a couple during the reception, to be in the moment and be thankful for everything that’s happening.

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    Any other bits of wisdom?

    • I highly recommend pre-martial counseling. It led us to much deeper conversations than usual about important topics, and reminded us that the wedding is ultimately about the start of a marriage, not just an evening of partying.
    • I’m also really glad we have the ceremony on video, because I can’t remember much about it except how excited I felt. It was so nice to listen to the words again, and see details that I’d missed in the moment.
    • Despite my best efforts to be careful while eating, I spilled a big dollop of guacamole on my lap during dinner. Right after, an excited guest accidentally spilled their drink on Nick’s shirt. My wonderful mom saved the day both times with club soda, a Tide pen and a clean towel. Have all of these things at easy access during the reception!

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    Budget breakdown

    All prices are approximate, and just for the main categories. Even with all the little miscellaneous costs here and there, we ended up sticking pretty darn close to our original budget thanks to extensive research and negotiating.

    • Venue $2,500
    • Food (buffet dinner + appetizers) $2,200
    • Photographer $2,000
    • Bride and Groom’s outfits $1,000
    • Alcohol $800
    • Rentals (tablecloths + dishes + glasses) $700
    • DJ (friend of a friend) $600
    • Decorations $600
    • Flowers $500
    • Minister + Counseling sessions $400
    • Harpist $300
    • Paper goods (PaperSource) + Printing $250
    • Cake $150
    • Event Insurance $100
    • Hair + Makeup: Free courtesy of a wonderful friend, plus about $100 in products from Sephora.

    Vendors

    Our vendors were all incredible to work with, and I’d recommend each of them in a heartbeat for being kind, flexible, and responsive.

    Venue: The Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church

    Appetizers and Desserts: Porto’s Bakery

    Catering: MexiCali Taco

    Photographer: A Sight of Love Photography

    Rentals: Ace Party Rentals, North Hollywood

    DJ: Cee Brown

    Harpist: Jacqueline Marshall

    Florist: PoppyHill Flowers

    Print shop: Color Images Copy and Print

    Hair and Makeup: Sarah Rocksdale

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    Congratulations, Elissa and Nick!

    Elissa Stooker
  • 10/7

    www.sharynfrenkelphotography.com

    Names: Meg & Steve Occupations: Development Coordinator for a community revitalization non-profit; high school Spanish teacher Wedding location: Pearl S. Buck Estate, Perkasie, PA Wedding Budget: $25,000 ** Number of Guests: 207 Wedding Date: June 20, 2015 How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding had a little bit of everything. We had some traditional elements, but also did things our own modern way. For example, we had…

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    5/18

    Studio220_2015_0432

    Names: Jareesa & William Occupation: Supply chain project manager & statistician Wedding location: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis, MN Wedding Date: March 14, 2015 Budget:* $18,000 How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding was pretty traditional but we incorporated elements of our nerd personalities to make it our own. I also had my youngest brother do a reading of my favorite poem. What was your…

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    11/4

    Guys, I've been absolutely dying to get the whole damn story on Kate and Daniel's insane, beautiful, literary, uncertain wedding ... and it's finally here! Her amazing red dress, the f*ck it all attitude about how things "should" be, the anxiety of the whole visa and immigration process ... it's been a helluva journey, but now Kate and Daniel are married. And it was the…

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  • 10/28

    Hey everyone! I'm so excited to report that things have gotten much better since my last post. The biggest and best news is that we set a date! We were getting very frustrated over the decision, which was really hard at a time of year when we're both very busy anyway. I was even having stress dreams over it, and it is *WAY* too early…

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    10/13

     It's been nearly two months since contributor Elizabeth married Bryce on a rainy day in Greensboro, N.C., and they partied down in a Gatsby-looking fashion on a $7K budget. Today, Elizabeth is back to share the details, Real Wedding-style. Name: Elizabeth & Bryce Occupation: I work for study abroad at Duke University Wedding location: Greensboro, NC Wedding Date: August 9th, 2014 Budget: $7,000-ish How would you…

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    9/16

    Ashley and Curtis' sweet Minnesota wedding was put together with a lot of time, energy, effort and love. While the bride and groom did not set a budget (!!), they managed to pull off a great party and amazing wedding under around $18,000. While rain threatened to put a damper on their big day, the skies cleared up, the roads dried up and the party…

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  • 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…

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