Posts in the 'vintage inspired' Category

Real Wedding: Lanny & Destry’s Super Intimate Rustic Vintage Soiree Under $5k

Your “I dos” are a moment of gravitas, a quiet but weighty culmination of your decision to spend your lives together. In honor of their serious decision to make this commitment, Destry and Lanny decided on a similarly intimate wedding ceremony and reception: 40 invited guests, immediate family and the closest of friends. By this decision, they were able to spend more time with the community that has watched them sow the seeds of their relationship, helped them nurture it, and witnessed it flourish.

Names: Destry & Lanny

Occupations: Destry is a design drafter,  Lanny was an administrator for a private travel company but currently attends business school full-time

Wedding location: Kingston, Idaho

Wedding date: July 27, 2013

Wedding budget: My crazyperson spreadsheet tells me our final total was $4,300-ish.  We didn’t give ourselves a hard maximum. Instead, we decided to spend by priority. Neither of us gave two hoots about centerpieces or expensive favors; instead we cared about food and photos and got INCREDIBLY lucky on both counts. While we spent a lot less than the national average, we still feel like we spent an enormous amount of money for one day.

Approximate guest count: We limited our invited guests to 40, but counted on 35 attending for sure. We only invited our immediate family members and very close friends. Destry is the oldest of five, so you can imagine that it adds up quickly.

How would you describe your wedding? At the risk of sounding cliché and ridiculous, I’d describe it as a balance of country, rustic and vintage.  We kept it subtle though. We didn’t want guests to feel like we were beating them over the head with kitschy crap. We didn’t have time or energy to invest in kitschy crap either.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? It’s a cliché, but it’s so true: It’s really hard to choose one favorite.  I would say that driving from our hotel to the venue together was so special and important to me. We both had a chance to be alone together, in our own car, just being together, quietly. Because we knew it was going to be such an emotional day, that short drive was so important to both of us.

We were lucky to have an equally meaningful moment alone at the end of the night after everyone had left. The sky was inky black with bright stars and the barn was lit up with twinkling lights woven throughout the Virginia creeper that covered its entire frame; we stood silently at the top of the hill wrapped in a blanket, looking down upon the scenery and reflected on the deluge of pure love we’d experienced that day.

What did you splurge on? Without a doubt, the food and furniture were our most costly expenses. Our wedding was held over 60 miles from our home in Spokane. So, we felt it was important that we provide a really solid meal to our nearest and dearest if we were going to drag them to a mountain farm in the middle of the woods. Have you ever been to a wedding on a Saturday at 6:30 p.m., only to find that it’s a cake and punch reception in the church gym/basement/lobby?  Those are basically the worst (in my opinion) and we were against that at all costs.

Additionally, we really scored with a venue that embodied everything we hoped for and wanted to provide some aesthetic continuity by using furniture that didn’t clash. We found an up-and-coming furniture rental company out of North Idaho who provided some stunning pieces for us.

Also, I know it’s silly, but I totally went all out with my hair as well. I was pretty close with my hairdresser at that time, but after her two previous attempts at formal styles left me crying in the car we decided to go another direction. My hair is fairly long, but I wanted it longer for the wedding, so she offered to pick me up some extensions with her discount and color them to match my hair.  After several unanswered texts and voicemails left me feeling like a jealous ex-girlfriend, I bought the hair myself and scheduled an appointment with someone else. I ended up spending a small fortune on the whole ordeal, but it felt worth it: $200 for the hair, $70 to color it, $50 for the trial and $100 for the wedding day style. (I feel compelled to note that I’m still pissed that I spent as much as I did on the day of the wedding because the salon’s active price list shows the trial hair as included in the total price.)

So, what became of my former stylist?  Well, I finally heard from her three days before the wedding letting me know that she had blocked out the entire day and we could go get hair, color and style it starting at 9 a.m. A note about that – the wedding took place on a Saturday, and the hair extension shop isn’t open on weekends, so despite the sketchy billing practices, I am glad I opted out. 

What did you save on? Ev-er-y thing. We saved by doing our own flower arrangements – actually, we didn’t use flowers at all. We bought raw cotton online and put everything together. The allergic reaction was totally worth it.  Picture, if you will, my then-fiancé and I in our non-air conditioned kitchen, trimming and cleaning raw cotton bolls. We spent countless hours picking dried leaves out of the cotton so we could spend ADDITIONAL countless hours stringing each one just-so on jute twine and arranging them into our respective bouquet and boutonniere.

I had intended to splurge a little and treat myself to a morning of girly pampering, however that never materialized. I scheduled a makeup trial a few weeks prior to the wedding, but I didn’t feel that this woman was listening to me. I’m 30, and I don’t think it’s in my best interest to try out a new personal style on my wedding day. I’m old enough to understand what looks good and what works for me. Since I’m a jeans and hoodie kind of girl, you can imagine how hard it was to mask my disappointment when she revealed my potential makeup.  Winged eyeliner and I are never going to be best friends, nor do I have aspirations of acquainting myself with berry lip stain. Adding insult to injury, I paid $75 (after tipping, because I’m a doormat) for a look I couldn’t wait to wash off my face.

Ultimately, I didn’t feel that she was especially honest or talented so I lied and canceled my appointment about a week before the wedding, citing something about the cost being budget-prohibitive. The (supposedly) agreed-upon rate was $100 for both sessions, but I had already effectively paid the bulk of it after listening to her talk shit about everyone else in town while she applied makeup that didn’t match me or my coloring. After the rage-tears subsided, I went to Nordstrom (alone) and met with the only kind a makeup artist. I showed him a photo and he whipped my look into shape, directing me to all the right products and showed me how to recreate his work at home. I hugged him, and practiced nearly a dozen times before the wedding and I’m thrilled with my choice to do my own.

The piece-de-resistance, though, were our photographers. We happened to have two very close friends who are not only incredibly talented, but provided their services for free. Without their generosity, as every bride knows, we would have EASILY doubled our expenses.

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? Looking back, I would have asked more people to help.  We would have had a little more fun during the planning stages if we’d allowed more folks help us out from the beginning. Instead, we stubbornly refused offers for help until much closer to the wedding date. That cotton-stringing party I mentioned above?  Ultimately, my in-laws came to the rescue with four additional hands for stringing.

I can’t quite remember why we were so secretive about planning, but I suspect part of it had to do with a bizarre idea that someone might steal our ideas? Weddings make people crazy. Like, crazy-crazy.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? 1.) Hurt feelings. If I had known beforehand, how personally other people would take our wedding choices, we might have eloped. We received unsolicited suggestions, advice, and requests for invitations for people we’d never conceive of including in our celebration. It was an ongoing challenge of (and testament to) our patience, kindness, and ability to tolerate other people.

2.) Money. It would be so much easier to throw everything on a credit card, but that’s not our style for anything we do in life. We felt incredibly fortunate to have been in such a position that allowed us to do everything we needed and wanted to do on our own terms. Still, having more money might have abbreviated our timeline considerably but we don’t regret any of it.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? ALWAYS (and I mean ALWAYS) have a contingency plan. ALWAYS. For good measure, have three or four backups. We picked out a favorite restaurant to host our rehearsal dinner and made reservations to hold the date (I can’t remember if we paid a fee or not). A month before our wedding, my best friend drove up from Portland, Oregon, for a bridal shower hosted by my mother-in-law and I had hoped to take her to dinner there … as we were walking up to the building, it dawned on me that they weren’t just not open, they were closed. Like, for good.

Obviously, we ate elsewhere, but I was determined to keep from getting ruffled by the situation. Later in the week, my fiancé and I ate at another restaurant that had recently undergone a major renovation and appeared to be a great place to host our rehearsal – so we booked it on the spot.

By sheer bad luck, we were forced to resume our search on June 17 (about a month before our wedding) because our second choice BURNED DOWN. I crowdsourced suggestions on Facebook and had friends beg me to stop ruining Spokane with our wedding. It was about this point that I stopped giving a shit about it but it turned out to be better than I ever could’ve imagined. A family-owned bar/café where we spend Saturday nights playing trivia stepped up to bat and hit a grand slam (those are the same sport, right?) with how they handled our dinner. We told them how much we could spend, the headcount, and offered a vague suggestion of the kind of food we liked. It was such a success that our families are still raving about it to this day.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding? It was a day full of love and laughter and ridiculously delicious food. Because we chose to invite literally nobody outside our immediate families and our closest friends it made the day so ridiculously special, I still struggle to elucidate my feelings.

Top 5 least favorite? We had a lot of people offer to help or provide something (mostly food) and we were far more comfortable hiring people to do that job for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to) sanitation. Remember, if you will, the comment above where I mention that the venue and our hometown are 60 miles apart – now imagine chicken salad, pasta salad, potato salad and basically mayonnaise-based anything in someone’s back seat for nigh on two hours. Sounds like fun, right? Sorry to let the booster club down, but I’m not trying to battle diarrhea on my wedding night. For the sake of feelings, let’s just say it’s because I want everyone to have a good time and avoid being unfairly labeled bridezilla, okay?

One of my photographers is married to a former marine and bodyguard. Why on earth is that even remotely of consequence? Because my husband’s ex-girlfriend (one he’d broken up with before we even met; IN 2002.) has a super-adorable habit of making her presence known. Neither of us expected anything especially dramatic, but he studied photos as a precaution and kept her out of sight when she did, in fact, show up.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? “Just relax! It’ll all come together” – Everyone who ever planned a wedding but experienced a subsequently immediate Telenovela-style bout with amnesia. Nothing ever just “comes together” and anyone who suggests otherwise probably didn’t have a DIY wedding if you know what I mean. Are you fucking kidding me? RELAX? I am relaxed (sort of), but I am still allowed to give like, ONE shit about how this day goes down. Will I remember all of it, not likely; but I don’t expect to.

The best? From my older sister, more than 10 years ago: “Wedding planning is so stupid. It is literally the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever done.” Having done it, I can confirm that she’s right. The wedding itself wasn’t stupid, but the kinds of things that consumed my thoughts throughout the planning process were so cosmically insignificant; but they felt so god damned essential in the moment.

Second best was between my husband and me – it became kind of a mantra between the two of us: “This is our party; our wedding is not our marriage.”

Any other bits of wisdom? Just Relaaaaax!  Okay, I’m kidding … kind of. It’s easy to get upset and overwhelmed when people overstep boundaries, but standing up for yourself is the best thing you can do when you’re planning your wedding. I desperately wish I had just told a few vendors to piss off directly instead of skirting the issue as if their feelings were supposed to take precedent above mine. I wish I had been more assertive and direct when people acted in a way that made me feel like they were taking advantage of an emotionally charged event. But there’s nothing I can do about it now. (Except write some passive-aggressive Yelp! reviews.)

Oh, and don’t you dare listen to anyone who has the nerve to tell you that you must spend more or else your wedding won’t be “everything you ever dreamed of.” Your wedding will be everything you dreamed of because you’re marrying someone you love. Anyone who suggests otherwise is presumptuous, snide and condescending.


Budget breakdown


























    TOTAL:  $4335.42

Wedding vendors and links:

Venue: French Gulch Farm and Garden, Kingston, ID

Furniture Rental: The Attic, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Catering: Couple of Chefs, Spokane, WA

Attire: Bride – David’s Bridal, Spokane, WA Groom – Duchess Clothier, Portland, OR

Hair: Bride – Douglass McCoy, Spokane, WA Groom – Porter’s Barber Shop, Spokane, WA

Bride’s Makeup: BRIDE!

Flowers, bouquet and decor: Bride and Groom designed all decor using dried wildflowers and cotton purchased online. Tabletop arrangements were styled by Groom’s brother and sister in law. (Bride made bouquet, Groom made his own boutonniere)

Rings: Bride (same ring, except blue) Groom

iTunes, operated by Groom’s brother

Designed Online, Printed at Home (We purchased the full suite; including save the dates, thank you cards, and custom map)

Photographers: Andrew Callaci (Portland) and Nicole Varnell (Spokane)

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Unique 1950’s Vintage-Inspired Tea Length Wedding Gown

Panic will always set in when a bride thinks she found the perfect dress and then realizes it isn’t available. This week’s request is from a bride who is looking for a solution.

I have found a dress that I absolutely love, but there is no way that I can have it. I fell head over heels for this vintage dress before realizing that it had already been sold. Can you find anything like it? I have had no luck and am really regretting ever finding it in the first place. Basically everything about it is perfect and I don’t know what to do.

Glad you’ve taken a breath and are ready to shop. We’re here to help.


1950s Off the Shoulder Illusion Vintage Wedding Dress from Mill Crest Vintage


The Walnut Creek ($695 at Dolly Couture)


The Avila Bay ($795 at Dolly Couture)


The Simone ($925 at Whirlingturban)

1950s Tea Length Tulle Vintage Wedding Dress ($985 at Mill Crest Vintage)

Vintage 1950s Wedding Gown ($675 at FabGabs via Etsy)


1950s Full Skirt Wedding Dress White Tulle Lace Vintage ($398 at Salvage Life via Etsy)


Vintage Wedding Dress Bridal Gown Cahill of Beverly Hills 1950s Vintage ($399 at Very Tres Chic)

Most of the sites featured in this link have a variety of other vintage and vintage-inspired dresses you can browse. The key to this is finding the dress with the right bones. You could add a sash, a sweetheart neckline, or even alter the neckline or sleeves. If the basics on the dress are what you’re looking for, you can have a local seamstress make it closer to your ideal dress. Just be sure you take it to someone you can trust. Any other BABs know of a vintage or vintage-inspired dress that should be considered?

Real Wedding: Emma & James’ Vintage-Inspired, Tastefully Rock & Roll UK Wedding!

This week, we’re thrilled to feature the wedding of Emma and James, two fiery, rockin’, redheaded Brits who, quite frankly, we’d love to grab a pint with some time. This couple managed to successfully merge some very edgy elements with their stately and traditional English wedding venue to create one super retro, yet ridiculously classy wedding celebration. Plus, as with any good BAB wedding, there was a healthy dose of DIY ingenuity. 

Your names: Emma & James

Occupations: Emma – Bar Manager, James – Restaurant Manager/ Musician

Wedding location: Glemham Hall, Suffolk

Wedding date: 12th May 2012

Wedding budget: £8,500 ($13,220)

How would you describe your wedding? Very DIY’ed, rock & roll, vintage, 1950’s! Very personal!

What was your favourite part of your wedding? The ceremony. I thought I was going to be sick with nerves, but on the day a calm descended over me!

What did you splurge on? Our venue.

What did you save on? God! Where to start! Dress, shoes, bouquets, suits, decoration, food, table wine, all sorts!

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? Nothing! :)

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Trying to do everything we wanted within our budget. We spent more than we thought we would and called in favours from friends left right and centre! If we saw something we wanted but couldn’t afford it, we found a way to make it!

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? That I need to let others help when they offer!

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding? 

1. Ceremony

2. Cake

3. Speeches

4. Getting ready

5. Drum & Bass/ Dubstep last two hours at the reception! :)

Top 5 least favorite?

1. It was a long day! Make sure your bridesmaids have a survival kit! Lipstick, baby wipes, deodorant, perfume and headache tablets!

2. I didn’t get to speak to all our guests no matter how hard I tried.

3. Not spending enough time together on the day.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I didn’t really get any “bad” advice!

The best? Get it filmed because the day goes so quick it will be a bit of a blur for you. I asked family and friends to film it as we couldn’t afford to pay to have it filmed and they forgot! The day does go really quickly and I wish we could sit down and watch some of it.

Any other bits of wisdom? If you see something you like but can’t afford, search the Internet for tutorials. We made so much for our wedding because we just couldn’t afford to buy it. And if people offer to help, take them up on it!

Wedding Vendors: 

Bouquets, buttonholes and table centrepieces: Cute as a Button

Suits: Topman

Dress: Camden Market

Bridesmaid dresses: Dollydagger, Brighton

Cake: Crumb. Bespoke Suffolk Cakes

Stationery: Elle is for Love

Venue: Glemham Hall

Photos: N.Cadman Photography

Hair & Make-Up: Bluebird Vintage

Doesn’t this wedding look fabulous? Congrats, you two lovebirds! We wish you all the best. 


{Partner Love} Score Big Savings On Bridesmaids Dresses From For Her and For Him

Our fabulous sponsor For Her and For Him has had a banner year of business, and to celebrate their success, AND the launch of their new site, they’re having their biggest sale to date! FHFH is offering special savings on their ever-expanding collection of  bridesmaid dresses – you can get up to 30% off when you purchase multiple dresses for your b-maids. For Her and For Him’s brand spanking new site provides you with more options than ever, including more colors choices for nearly every dress – and on the new site, you can preview every dress in every color option. You can also customize your dress by adding or removing a train, and you can also choose between a zip-up or lace-up back for certain styles!

We’re totally flipping for their new selection of vintage-inspired bridesmaid dresses (as well as vintage-tastic wedding and reception dresse) and their “Colored to Perfection” bridesmaid collection – all of these dresses are of course, available in a rainbow of beautiful hues. Whether you’ve decided to outfit your favorite ladies in blush, daffodil yellow, or robin’s egg blue, you’re sure to find a dress you love in the color you have to have. And for a limited time, the more bridesmaids you have – the more moolah you save! That’s right, FHFH is totally rewarding you for having a ridiculously huge wedding party!


And now for the best part – the scintillating savings deets! For Her and For Him is offering 15% off the purchase of two bridesmaid dresses, 25% for three to five, and 30% off of six or more. These incredible rates apply for all of their fabulous bridesmaid dress styles, and this offer will last until June 31, 2012.

To sweeten the deal, For Her and For Him is including their “Custom Fit” service free of charge with any purchase of more than one bridesmaid dress. That’s right, FHFH will make a custom dress for each and every bridesmaid, using up to 14 different body measurements! And to sweeten the pot even more FHFH will provide FREE express shipping for any product purchased during the promotion, including bridal gowns and accessories!

{Giveaway Round-up} Win A Gorgeous Pair of Vintage-Inspired Earrings! 3 Winners This Week!

OK, we’re shaking things up a bit this week! We have ONE giveaway from ONE fabulous Etsy seller. She’ll be giving away THREE fabulous prizes, and you’ll have TWO different ways to enter to win! You follow? Excellent.

Our Etsy seller du jour is Sacred Cake, who specializes in upcycled jewelry with a Parisian flair! Jennifer, the vintage-loving genius behind Sacred Cake, wants to give 3 lucky BABs three different pairs of gorgeous handmade earrings!

Jennifer crafts her exquisite bridal jewelry using antique findings and stones! Tres chic! Jennifer loves custom creations, so if you have a special, vintage-inspired design in mind, give her a buzz!

There are two ways to enter to win! Just subscribe to our Broke-Ass Brigade newsletter, (if you haven’t already) or leave a comment on this very post! Remember – when you leave a comment, please make sure we have a way of getting in touch with you! If you’d like to leave your email address in your blog comment, be sure to write it out like so – brokeass at awesome dot com!

{Sponsor Intro} AriaDress

AriaDress wedding gowns and dressesBeautiful, ethical, affordable bridal wear. Styles 163 +120, 196FT, 185FB

It’s important to many brides that their weddings be not only beautiful and affordable, but ethically responsible as well. No blood diamonds, no ridiculous floral arrangements air taxi-ed in from Japan, and no dream dresses made by very talented third-world slave children. Finding a dress that’s beautiful, budget-friendly, and made in the USA is really hard…scratch that, was really hard. Our new sponsor AriaDress offers the perfect solution to all your bridal party needs! Your bridesmaids will totally freak, because these are stylish, contemporary frocks they’ll certainly want to flaunt again. But brace yourselves, brides to be, because (no really, are you holding on to something?) all AriaDress wedding dresses are under $500!

AriaDress wedding gowns and bridesmaids dressesMix and match colors and styles for your entire bridal party! Styles 186FB, 194KT,141KA

That’s right, they’re made in the USA, they’re totally gorgeous, and they’re under $500. And because they’re super accommodating to women of all body types, AriaDress offers a range of styles and silhouettes for brides and bridesmaids sized 00 Petite to 26 Tall. Whether your wedding style is truly classic or super contemporary, there’s a beautiful dress with a range of choices to suit everyone right down to your tiniest flower girl. And for those of you who are totally going to insist that your groomsmen wear cummerbunds that perfectly match your bridesmaids’ dresses (as is your right!), AriaDress totally has you covered. Each dress is available in a vibrant range of 70 colors and a variety of sumptuous fabrics at different price points, such as silk shantung, silk satin, silk taffeta, pure cottons. And there are even more fabric options which can bring the price down even more!  To top it all off, most dress styles have at least 4 different skirt options!

AriaDress wedding gowns and bridesmaids dressesModern style for every gal sizes 00 Petite to 26 Tall! Styles 140FT, 103KC, 186KT

You can purchase AriaDress online at, and via their showrooms in Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington D.C.  And here’s a huge bonus for online customers – they have a nifty “Try-On” program, which allows you to assess whether a gown is right for you in the comfort of your living room. Their new bridal collection is bursting with so many gorgeous details – ball gowns with hidden pockets, romantic ruffle trim, sassy peplum skirts – I’m basically obsessed. I’m so happy to introduce all my lovely brides to AriaDress, a company with a sense of style and standards that are sure to agree with you!