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Guys, let me tell you: It’s super easy to find the national average of what couples spend on engagement rings (a single search yielded steady results ranging from $4,000-$6,000+) but wedding bands are a whole ‘nother ball game. After four search attempts and even asking a group of other wedding bloggers, the best I could come up with is a post from 2014 on NYTimes.com that cites couples spent an average of $1000 on her band and $500 on his (uh, discrepancy much?). Holy bananas, guys.
This immediately led to me thinking about the number of my friends and family who’ve lost their rings. And that number is a bit staggering. In fact, I have one friend-couple who both lost their wedding bands separately of one another but almost at the same time (his was hidden by their 3-year-old daughter, hers remains lost in the abyss). And this isn’t the first time for them, either. Google “lost wedding band” and the results are plentiful. Think about that.
While the wedding band itself is ceremonial and has changed in meaning in recent years — it used to signify the alliance between families, now it’s a physical reminder of the vows you’re making to one another — the desire to spend oodles of money on these tiny circles has also changed. Plus, y’all, we’re broke-asses. We want affordable options for ALL THE THINGS.
Logically, why should you spend a bajillion dollars on a wedding ring that is apparently so easy to lose? For my first wedding, we spent $50 total and had gorgeous rings that were extremely personalized. We wanted to stay under budget, and realized we could always get new rings later, if we decided it was something we wanted to invest the money in (given the circumstances, I’m SUPER glad we went the cheap route).
Walmart has a great variety of wedding bands in real metal with real diamonds for not real expensive. Sure, the spendiest one tops out around $12K, but there is a huge variety for under $250.
While Walmart may not be a place you would turn to for all of your wedding needs (though they certainly have some cute dresses that would looks adorbz on your brigade), it’s worth considering for your wedding rings. I know many a couple who face trepidation about wearing their rings during work because they’ve shelled out so much skrilla for them and fear damage or loss. While the sentimental heartache might be more difficult to overcome, there may be some solace found in purchasing your wedding bands at more reasonable prices.
One of the great perks to hiring a great wedding planner is that you have someone who already knows their way around a wedding timeline or two. But a wedding planner certainly doesn’t fit into every broke-ass’ budget, and you still need some sort of schedule to tell you — everyone else — what to do and where to be on the day-of.
You already know some of the basics: Ceremony at 5:30. Hair and makeup at 3. Reception at 7. Gotta be donezo and outta there at 11. But …
When does your partner and their crew arrive? What about the band? And the caterer? When is all the photoing supposed to happen? How about the cake cutting, first dance and toasts?
Guys, that’s a lot to wrangle by your self when you’re DIYing your own schedule. But Timeline Genius can give you a little peace of mind. For about $60, you can plug in the pertinents — who, what, where and when-ish — and it’ll spit out a super profesh timeline for you and your crew to operate off. Timeline Genius is totally customizable by what you actually plan on doing during your wedding day — no first dance? No problem. Want to do a first look? There’s a button for that. If you’re wrangling tons of peeps or are just super nervous, you can spring for the VIP package — $99.99 — that includes a review with a Master Bridal Consultant (schmancy!) who’ll make sure all your shizz is in place to help you be a zen bride on your wedding day.
Once you get your super fancy sched from Timeline Genius, pass it out to your peeps — everyone from your photog to your hair and makeup to your flower girl’s mom — to make sure you’re all on the same page so you can glide down that aisle with your sanity firmly intact.
I’m kind of a huge fan of a bride and groom rocking sunglasses on their wedding day. Now, not necessarily during the ceremony or during some of the more sweet, serious moments, but certainly while hanging around at cocktail hour and of course on the dance floor and photo booth because, … #duh.
Even better? When said sunglasses are pimped just for you by our homies at Promovizion. Whether you want full-lens coverage or just a subtle nod on the legs, they’ve got shades that won’t make you throw shade. And you’ll save some cash when you order in bulk, so that’s pretty rad.
Guys, if you’re having a beach wedding, a farm fete or are just planning on being outside a bunch on your wedding day, stock up on these bad boys. Yes, we usually advocate edible or drinkable favors, but as a girl with a vast collection of sunglasses garnered from conferences, fairs, events and more, I can hardly say sunglasses aren’t useful.
Personalize these bad boys with your wedding deets, colors — yes even metallic and light-up — and Promovizion will have them to you in no time … seriously. Promovizion‘s turnaround is 24-48 hours. Can’t make up your mind? It’s cool. They’ve got on-site designers to help find the right pick for you.
Promovizion also has rad customized shirts, perfect for a bach party or to distinguish your bridal brigade during the rehearsal dinner and other pre-wedding festivities.
You guys already are the cool kids, why not solidify your awesome status with Promovizion shades that fit the bill?
A standard invitation suite has a whole helluva lot of components: Outer envelope, inner envelope, the invitation itself, RSVP card, reception card and that random piece of tissue paper that is seemingly v. important … but no one can figure out its true purpose (poor tissue paper). And each one of those components costs money — which is how invitations to your truly amazing, but still broke-ass, party can start costing you an arm, a leg and half your soul.
It’s cool, though. Ann’s Bridal Bargains has the easiest, simplest, prettiest and most cost-effective way to get your invites out and without sending you into debt: Send & Seal Invitations. Because: #duh.
Get rid of all the fluff — sorry, extra tissue paper — and send your guests everything they need in one adorbz little package. It’s an envelope, invitation and RSVP card all in one. You just fold up the invitation and the RSVP postcard — conveniently attached at the bottom — and seal it with the included seals. Slap a stamp on that bad boy, drop it in the mail box and chillax until the RSVPs start arriving — in swarms, likely, because your invites are just that rad.
There’s no need to assemble anything. There’s no super spendy postage to consider because of odd-shaped or uber heavy card stock. And there’s no need to worry about making sure that each suite has all of its pieces. Which, let’s be real, is pretty awesome. Who’s got time for that bullsh, anyway?
Ann’s Bridal Bargains has a buttload of other invitation options, too, y’all. And they’ve got ‘em at broke-ass friendly prices, because they get that great style doesn’t have to come at a frightening price. Since Ann’s Bridal Bargains is special homies with Invitations by Dawn, they have access to the prettiest, most up-to-date designs but are able to offer them at a bigger discount. That’s pretty baller.
And, of course, they have a special offer just for you, Broke-Asses! Head over to Ann’s Bridal Bargains and get 20% off your purchase of $99+ when you use code BROKE20. Good for any damn thing on the site until 3/31.
Hunting for wedding stationery can be a totally daunting experience. There are those that say invitations are the first glimpse of your wedding. There are those that press the importance that your stationery is one of the few things you get to hang on to forever afterward. Everyone and your grandma will probz hang your Save the Date and invitation on a refrigerator or cork board. Guys, that’s a lot of pressure. Which is not awesome.
What is awesome, though, is how MagnetStreet will make the whole process of choosing, customizing and ordering your wedding stationery a helluva lot smoother and easier.
Broke-Ass Brides have had a soft spot for MagnetStreet for ages, and there’s a (number) of v. good reason(s) for that: The quality of MagnetStreet’s products are exactly what you want. They don’t mess around in getting your goods to you. Their customer service is wonderful and super involved. And they give a shit about your experience.
With a multitude of ways to customize your wedding stationery — five styles (gatefold, pocket, square, rectangle and tea length), four paper types (luxe pearl, pressed texture, fine linen and premium smooth) and unlimited color options — it’s pretty much a given that you’re going to find exactly what you want with MagnetStreet. And since they carry everything from save the dates to menu cards and wine bottle labels, it’s a one-stop shop. You can cross-coordinate all of your paper goods, complete with your wedding colors, so that everything ties in perfectly (if that’s your thing).
MagnetStreet has a holy buttload of freebies you can get your mitts on to help you make the best decision for, well, you: color swatches, printables, stationery samples, paper samples, checklists, budget guides … it goes on. The best way to make an informed decision is to have all the options available to you. MagnetStreet hits a home run on this front.
And guys, the love between BAB and MagnetStreet is suuuuper mutual, which is why whenever they have a deal, they holler at us to share it with you. Like this bad boy:
MagnetStreet has a huge Valentine’s sale going on sitewide — everylittlethang on the site is a deal, with a possibility of up to $150 in savings.
AND: MagnetStreet is having a giveaway over on their Facebook page! They are giving away 300 menu cards to 5 badass brides. Click here for details.
While we’re on the subject of rings this week, we should totes shift the attention from the high-octane bling to that little circle that takes center stage on your wedding day.
Now, when it comes to bands, especially wedding bands for the mensfolk, there are a huge variety of options. — gold, white gold, platinum, titanium, palladium, tungsten, cobalt chrome, ceramic … I mean, whoa. And people have a lot of opinions about which metal is the “best” for rings … but as with all things wedding at The Broke-Ass Bride, we say do what you want and what makes you happy. And damnit, not all rings fit a broke-ass groom’s budget.
But, at Tungsten World, you can find a pretty huge range of alternative metal wedding bands at prices that make broke-asses smile. No, you’re not getting some cheapo ring that’ll turn your finger green or shatter with the slightest hint of breeze. Nope. These guys have the real McCoy, which means you get all the steeze and quality without spending a bajillion bucks.
Gold and platinum may be classic, but it kind of sucks when your ring gets all dinged and scuffed after only wearing it for a bit. But that’s soft metals for you. Alternative metal bands? They’ve got the real toughness. They’ll stand up to scratches and they’ll do it with style, yo.
But don’t think you’ll be stuck with the run-of-the-mill, same ol’ tungsten bands: Tungsten World has the ability to customize your rings the way you’d like — think gemstones, elaborate colors and even custom imaging. Because shouldn’t your wedding band be how you want it? I mean you will be (hopefully) wearing the thing for the rest of forever.
The coolest option, though? Fingerprint wedding bands. It really doesn’t get much more personalized or sweet than that. You send in your fingerprint, Tungsten World laser engraves the pattern on your wedding band and now you have the ultimate customization. And that’s pretty freaking rad.
And, of course with Valentine’s right around the corner, Tungsten World is running a super rad sale right now, with many handsome rings clocking in at well under $200. So grab your partner and get your booty over to their site to find your very own preciouses.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but for broke-ass couples they can be a bit of a pipe dream. Sure, it’s easy to sub out the precious stone with sapphire, emerald or your other gem of choice, but when only a diamond will do, you have to find some options.
Or, you can get the legit shit from Couplez.
Couplez sources 100% natural diamonds which then — flaws and all — go through some clarity enhancement to tamp down those flaws and pump up their looks and brilliance. We’re not talking andy faux bling thing here — this uber-tech process just ups the “Oh! Shiny!” factor. And since size does matter (to some), this is a pretty BAB-friendly way to get that big ol’ rock on your tiny budget.
Couplez keeps their whole process in-house, from the diamond selection to the cutting to the jewelry design, and then they shuffle it right off to the consumer. Get that? No middle men = no jacked up prices. And we like it when there aren’t jacked up prices. The majority of the rings they offer are under $2000, but there’s a pretty baller selection under $1000. That’s damn good for diamonds.
You know the diamonds Couplez uses are the real deal because they come with International Gemological Certificates. And the company stands by their shizz, offering a lifetime warranty. Guys, that’s lifetime — like, forevz. Oh, and they’ll ship your goods for free. And we just love free, don’t we, BABs? But if you’re wary about buying online, Couplez has a 30 day, no-questions-asked return policy. Worse yet, if something happens to your precious? Well, they’ll just bust out some repairs at no cost to you (unless, of course, you’re replacing missing stones).
Speaking of free: They’re conflict free, yo! Ain’t no blood diamonds up in this bish!
Bonus: Head on over to Couplez and take advantage of the Valentine’s Day Sale to get up to 70% off certain products on the site.
Super Bonus: Take an extra 10% off through February 13 with code VALENTINESDAY2015 at checkout.
Have you figured out what you’re doing for your registry? More and more couples are going the cash registry route for their wedding wishlist — whether they’re saving up for a house down payment, are whittling away at starting their marriage debt-free or are looking to go on an adventure of a lifetime with their honeymoon.
And, y’all, there are a TON of cash registry options out there. But Tendr blows ‘em all out of the water, just on looks alone.
Tendr provides the most aesthetically pleasing interface that actually feels like a gift-giving/receiving experience, rather than just the shuffling of cash over the Internetz. Tendr is set up to be elegant and streamlined, but still incredibly personalized and wildly in touch with modern technology.
You as the couple registering, get to set up your own unique page welcoming your guests and giving your friends and family the lowdown on how you plan on using their gifts and all the monies are slid right into your personal bank account for safe-keeping. Simple, right? You have no idea.
Your guests give you a monetary gift in three easy steps:
1. Personalize a card from Tendr’s collection.
2. Fill-a with skrilla.
3. Hit send!
Oh, and you can hit ‘em right back with an instant, free thank-you card to let your guests know you got their gift and are super grateful. The rates to use are comparable to other cash sites (5% paid from the couple’s gifts, not on top of the gift paid by the guest), but the personalized cards and pretty interface are really what makes Tendr stand out from the rest of the pack.
Photo: Emily Delmater Photography, courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique
Vintage dresses and accessories are gorgeous, but can seem a little dated. Because, I mean, #duh. They’re old. But online retailer Blue-Eyed Boutique, who started out as an Etsy shop (and y’all we love us some Etsy), is here to help … and with a shiny new brick-and-mortar store in Biddeford, Maine, to boot.
Blue-Eyed Boutique is the brainspawn of Hannah, who stumbled onto Etsy, sold her slightly reworked prom dress to a woman in France and had a total lightbulb moment. Which, thank goodness, because homegirl has a way with the old and her prices are uber Broke-Ass friendly.
Photo: Justine Johnson Photography courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique
Hannah started collecting vintage wedding dresses when she was in college and gave them a little tweak here, a tuck there and breathed new life into the dated frocks, bestowing the classic femininity with some modern sleekness. And she’s been having such success with it, that she’s decided to expand her online boutique to a real live storefront.
Because the items at Blue-Eyed Boutique are upcycled, they’re also eco-friendly (yay, Earth!) and they’re totally easy on the wallet (yay, BAB homies!). Most of the designs fall nicely under $500.
Photo: Emily Delmater Photography courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique
So, Maine brides with a penchant for the nostalgic, get thine booty over to the real, actual Blue-Eyed Boutique in Biddeford to see what Hannah’s got available. For the rest of us poor souls, we’ll just be over here on the website deciding which dress makes us swoon the hardest.