Posts in the 'vintage' Category

Five for Friday: Fun, Vintageous Finds for Your Registry

Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! For this week’s Five for Friday, we’re partnering with Blueprint Registry, a free registry site that helps you set up your wishlist based on the layout of your home. Since Blueprint partners with a huge number of retailers, you can build the registry more with your home in mind and less by the restrictions of one specific store. Which is pretty cool. As usually happens when my love affair with Don Draper returns to the airwaves, I’ve gotten on a vintage-y kick lately, so Blueprint Registry helped me find some awesome gems that lend a retro air to any abode. Bonus: All the goodies are under $100. Ya dig?

Seattle Map Poster

Map Poster – Birdseye View of Seattle, 24″x14″, $15.99

This map is a great reminder of what a now-bustling city once looked like.


Side-mounted station clock, $99

All aboard! I love that this clock instantly reminds me of the days of smoking cars and when single-serving friends were those dapper fellas drinking highballs and ladies with hat boxes.

Encyclopedia of Forgotten Yet Delightful Things

Let’s Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By, $9.99-$28.46

I want this book. Plain and simple.

Crosley CR6019A-BK Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable (Black & White)

Crosley CR6019A-BK Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable (Black & White), $99.95

Psshhh! Beck has nothing on this turntable. “Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favorite movies, and just having this in my vicinity would make me feel like I belong in that mod, mod world.

5-Pc Linus Whiskey Set
5-piece Linus Whiskey Set, $49

Real talk: Absolutely nothing says classy retro like a sleek decanter filled with a good brown liquor.

I’ll take mine on the rocks, please.

What retro, vintage-y pieces would you love for your home? Head on over to Blueprint Registry to see how it would fit in your casa!

Real Bride Kate: Cutting Costs & Adding Individuality

Daniel and I have three goals with our wedding: keep it cheap, keep it from looking cheap, and keep it unique. During these early stages of our planning, we’ve tried to come up with ways to save ourselves money without sacrificing our vision. Thus far, we’ve come up with several ideas that not only cut costs, but also make our wedding even more uniquely suited to our personal style. Take a look at our top five!

1. The Dress

This is my "marriage" dress from the ever-gorgeous Kitten D'Amour.  This is my “marriage” dress from the ever-gorgeous Kitten D’Amour.

Even though I plan to have two dresses (one for the “marriage” and one for the “commitment ceremony”), I am still able to have them both for less than the price of one regular wedding dress. How? I want a rather “untraditional” style. I want a tea length, vintage-inspired dress, preferably all lace and preferably red. My first dress is a stunning party dress from Kitten D’Amour, an Australian company that specializes in vintage-inspired luxury clothes. My second dress is to-be-determined and is proving difficult to find. However, there are several vintage-inspired brands that allow fully customizable dresses, and the most expensive dress I like is around $800 US. In short, don’t be afraid to go untraditional and/or custom – it’s cheaper than you think!

2. The Flowers (or lack thereof)

Book Page Bouquet via The Flower Girl Atlanta

Daniel and I aren’t really flower people. I don’t like them because they die so quickly, and Daniel just isn’t very interested in them at all. Besides, our venue has several gorgeous gardens in the springtime: flowers included! Therefore, instead of blowing the budget on floral pieces that will simply wither and fade, we’re considering replacing all the wedding flowers with material options. Boutonnieres? Try pocket squares. Centerpieces? Try candles and lanterns. Bouquets? Try vintage bro0ches or origami. Personally, I’m leaning toward book pages – perfect for me (as an English major/writer) and my potential bridesmaids, who are all English majors, writers, and/or bookworms!

3. The Favors/Gifts

Memory jar via Health Exchange

I have never understood exactly why guests and attendants need favors or gifts. Yes, they all deserve gratitude for showing up, showering us with love and support (and things of monetary value), and devoting their time and energy to our wedding. However, which guests really want a container of bubbles or tulle bag of candies? And which attendants really want a necklace or cufflinks? Shouldn’t your loved ones be willing to celebrate your union without expecting gifts? And more importantly, don’t they deserve better than something disposable or generic? Daniel and I do want to provide our guests and attendants with a favor or gift, but we want it to be something they can actually keep and treasure. We’re not sure what form this will take yet – maybe printed photographs with us at the wedding or personalized poems or my pseudo-infamous “joy jars,” but whatever it is … it will be better than a plastic container of bubbles.

4. The Decorations

bevfabriccrafts_2270_49726223 via SaveOnCrafts

Two of our best friends are getting married in a few weeks, and the bride has informed me that their wedding decorations are minimal. In her words, “why spend a bunch of money on decorations that serve no purpose after the wedding?” I totally agree. One reason Daniel and I chose a “vintage” theme is so our wedding will be filled with things we love that we can use again in our vintage-styled home (you know, once we’re done with graduate school and have money for a house, yikes!). So, the picture frame with chalkboard center that lists the wedding menu will become Daniel’s board for the grocery list or dinner options. The small suitcase that holds the wedding cards will sit on our coffee table and hold magazines (by which I probably mean GQ). You get the idea.

5. The Officiant

This is Daniel and our friend Gary at MorrisonCon. This is Daniel and our friend Gary at MorrisonCon.

Neither Daniel nor I are religious, so we knew we did not want to have a religious officiant. However, the idea of having a judge or justice of the peace marry us seemed a bit unromantic and impersonal. Therefore, we had the brilliant idea to ask a friend of ours to become an ordained minister and perform the ceremony. The advantages to this are: it is free, we can customize the entire ceremony (which is appealing for me as a writer), and we can be joined in matrimony by someone who truly knows us and blesses our marriage. Our officiant of choice? Our friend, Gary, who was in Las Vegas with us when we met. Gary was our first mutual friend, and he witnessed (and advised on) the first days of our connection – add in his dazzling sense of humor and teddy bear charm, and how could we do better?

Of course, nothing is set in stone until money is paid, return dates are expired, and the bride drops the “zilla” in the decoration category. However, we are feeling pretty confident that these ideas will save us some cash and add a few unique details to our wedding day. In all honesty, I think it’s just lucky that we both like “vintage” – but hey, I’ll take all the luck I can get in putting this wedding together.

{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?

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} An Early 20th Century-Inspired, Vintage Style Veil For Around $100

Going for a vintage look? It doesn’t have to come with a contemporary price tag.

I love your blog! It’s so helpful to have a more practical guide on getting through this without breaking the bank. I’ve got a possible CAI/GOI issue. My style is early 20th century, and I found the most perfect (and affordable!) dress from Ruche. I’ve now fallen in love with a veil on Etsy, but it costs more than my dress did! I’d love to find something under or around $100 with the same vintage feeling as the one I love.

Thanks for your help!

I couldn’t find the price since this veil was purchased already. Thankfully, the photo is still available. One thing to consider is making your veil. Or, piece together the look by purchasing the bridal cap and decorative combs to keep the tulle in place. You can buy quality tulle at a fabric store after buying the cap or a similar headpiece, that way the color matches. I’ve included both below to give you an idea.


Tulle chapel length veil (SIBO Designs via Etsy)


Idyllic – Tule bridal veil 90″ length ($90 at SIBO Designs via Etsy)


30” Inch Bridal Cap Wedding Veil ($85 at Veiled Beauty via Etsy)

 Rhinestone Crystal Bridal Cap ($89 at Veiled Beauty via Etsy)

white veil cap ‘QUEEN ANNE’ bridal headpiece ($50 at Which Goose via Etsy)

Treasured Traditions Ivory Headwrap ($65.99 at Ruche)

 Mi Amour Hairpiece ($49.99 at Ruche)

Italian Lace Bridal Cap ($70 at deLoop via Etsy)

Finding these options makes me super curious to see which one you choose! Please share what you decide – even if it’s in a totally different direction.

Got a CAI/GOI conundrum? Email Emily at, and she’ll forward it to our crack team of contributors. 

{Real Bride: Katie F.} Saving With A Vintage Engagement Ring

We went with a different band, but this is my engagement ring

Some women get a little queasy about popping a worn ring on their finger, but I am not one of them.

When Mr. Illustrator and I were first tossing around the idea of marriage, we debated whether or not I should get a diamond engagement ring. Diamonds are over-priced and there are still problems ensuring that their sales aren’t fueling conflicts. But, I grew up seeing my mom’s diamond ring on her finger, and to me, it symbolized marriage. I didn’t want to fund war, but I still wanted a diamond

So, we decided on an antique ring, a partly ethical and a partly aesthetic choice. I love the look and craftsmanship of antique jewelry, and I liked the idea of reusing an heirloom. I knew our money was going to a family and a small business, not funding conflict or mining new metal and gems.

When Mr. Illustrator proposed, he surprised me with a stunning art deco ring from the 1930s that he stumbled across at a local jeweler. It’s exactly what I wanted, and I constantly get compliments on how unique it is.

Later I found out we got a lot for our money. Our appraiser let us know that remaking the same quality diamond and platinum ring today would cost three times more than what we paid for it. Like designer clothing at a consignment store, vintage engagement rings have already been worn once, so they can go for significantly less than new ones.

As for my ring, I chose not to know much about its previous owner, other than that it had been in the same family for all of its 75-year lifespan. I consider it my ring, but I still appreciate its history. I like to imagine that it already stood behind one long and happy marriage, and now it’s sending those good vibes my way.

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Vintage Hollywood Wedding Gown for Under $1,000

Melissa wrote in to The Broke-Ass Bride for some help with her Hollywood Glam Wedding.  Here’s what’s up with Ms. Mel…

‘I just got engaged ! I’m new to your site, but your CAI/GOI is a freakin’ godsend!  I am usually pretty budget savvy  and I’m coming in under budget for everything… Except the dress! I fell in LOVE with a Reem Acra dress and it’s WAY more than I’d ever dream of spending. 

Whilst perusing the internet for a different dress, at a better price, I found another one I liked (Angel Sanchez) but it too was almost $5k!!!! UGH!! I can’t seem to find a dress that isn’t literally half of my intended budget.

I’d like my overall budget for the dress to be $1000 with alterations etc.  I’m guessing sticker price, from reading your blog, should be about $800 or less?  The overall feeling I want is beautiful/sexy/classy like an old Hollywood red carpet event.  The kind of dress that, with a veil and some flowers, looks bridal but without, looks like something you might see at the Oscars.  Chapel length train or less and I love sparkle!  In the buildin’ and I’m stunning myself,


Alrighty, Ms. Melissa, here’s the skinny on your {Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} request….you gotta look for Evening, Prom & Pageant dresses!  I went on the hunt and I gotta say, you really are gonna be stunned when you see all the sparkly old Hollywood glam I got!  So, as they say in show business, “Let’s get this show on the road!”

Can’t Afford It

Reem Acra 


Get Over It

Open Back Beaded White Gown

Cache $238.00

Faviana style 6711

edressme $398.00

Aidan Mattox Beaded Gown

Bloomingdale’s $475.00

Aidan Mattox Gown- Illusion Tulle

Bloomingdale’s $420.00

Nicole Miller- Stretch Sequin Halter Gown

Bloomingdale’s $650.00

GiGi by La Femm #17428

edressme $490.00

Aidan Mattox- Mermaid Sequin

edressme $495.00

Aidan Mattox- Deep V Beaded Gown

edressme $495.00

Adrianna Pappell- Sequin Evening Dress

edressme $278.00

Unique Vintage

Champagne Beaded Deep V Low Back $798.00

There you go, Ms. Melissa!  The shutter bugs will be swarming!  You’ll be the picture of old Hollywood glamour in your wedding gown!  I surely hope some of these gowns meet your starlet expectations.  If so, don’t just sit on the casting couch – snag your dream dress ASAP.

Ciao, bella!

Real Wedding: Vanessa and Brian’s Warehouse, Bar and Food Truck Wedding guest-starring Klingons and Harry Potter

Hollah!!! Did all you sweethearts recover from the day that is red and pink and schmoop all over? Well, settle in because I’ve got one beautiful, sweet, vintage-y wedding for y’all, complete with vows that feature cameos by Klingons and Harry Potter. Also? THEY HAD A FOOD TRUCK. Maybe it’s because I live in Wyoming and don’t get to experience them, but I am utterly fascinated by food trucks, and I really want to just go wander around a city and TRY ‘EM ALL. Vanessa and Brian made good use of their budget and amazingly generous friends and family to throw this beautiful 125-person fete. Also? There’s a mounted ungulate head and a curious kitty. So much awesome! Enjoy, Broke-Asses!

Name: Vanessa and Brian

Occupation: Resource Manager

Wedding location: Downtown Los Angeles. Ceremony at Factory Place Arts Complex. Reception at
Villain’s Tavern

Wedding Date: 8/28/2011

Budget: $5,000.00 (although we ended up spending about $6,000.00)

How would you describe your wedding: Non-traditional. We wanted non-theist vows and wrote our own by taking parts of different ceremonies found online that we liked. The ceremony was only around 10 minutes long, since we wanted the focus to be the celebration afterward.

The vows were very much “us” in that they included a part of the Klingon vows (Brian is a Star Trek fan) and also included a quote from Harry Potter, of which I am a huge fan. My mom is a court reporter and her judge officiated the ceremony for free as a wedding gift. We rented a local bar for the reception that already had the look and feel of what we wanted, so the décor was minimal. We really wanted to throw a big party for everyone, so we wanted the whole wedding to be really informal and fun.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? I thought it would be the reception, which did end up being LOADS of fun, but looking back, I REALLY ended up loving our ceremony.

While it was very short, I thought it was perfect for us. It was just really neat to see everything come together and our friends who organized the ceremony made the warehouse look amazing.

What did you splurge on? Definitely the food and alcohol, it was the majority of our budget. Even though we were on a really tight budget, we still wanted amazing food and drinks for our guests.

What did you save on? Everything else. Luckily, we have some great people who helped us in every aspect. We mostly saved money by having friends or family offer their services as a gift or doing it ourselves with some help. The photographer was a gift from Brian’s parents, which was a HUGE savings and allowed us to choose a photographer that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

Also, our amazing neighbors from Charlie & Olivia do events and they totally hooked us up! We gave them a budget and I honestly don’t know how they pulled off all of the décor with so little money. They made it look like we spent thousands!

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I only wish we could have invited more people!

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Getting organized. We had a lot to do on our own and it was hard to buckle down and get it done. We had a lot of people helping at the last minute.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Ask people for help! I learned that most people are happy to help and be a part of your big day.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
1. The look/décor. Everything really reflected our personality.
2. Ceremony. We wrote our own vows and played our own music, it was perfect.
3. Reception. I literally danced for two hours straight, it was so much fun.
4. Photos. Looking at the photos afterward just made all the effort worth it, everything looked so good!
5. Food. I MADE Brian sit down with me and eat because I wanted to enjoy the amazing food that we paid for! I’ve had friends who didn’t even have a chance to eat at their own weddings.

Top 5 least favorite? I really only have 3:
1. Finding out how much things cost. I was very surprised at how fast things add up. Luckily we were able to find affordable alternatives.
2. People telling you how to plan your wedding! Everyone has an opinion and it was hard to keep our budget and goals in focus sometimes.
3. Guest list. Since we were on such a tight budget, we really had to trim the guest list. It was hard having people know about your wedding but not being able to invite them.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I don’t necessarily think we received any bad advice, but there were a lot of opinions going around, especially since we did things on more of the nontraditional side. We just tried to remember our main goals for the wedding: to keep our budget in line and not to compromise on what we really wanted. My goal was to be as stress-free as possible!

The best? Stick to your guns! We really kept our vision in focus and it paid off. At the end of the day,it was our wedding and we wanted to make sure it was something we could be proud of and wouldn’t put anyone in debt. Sometimes you just have to tell people “no,” which can be hard.

Any other bits of wisdom? Don’t be afraid to ask. We really loved our local bar and almost didn’t ask them how much it would be to rent the place because we thought it would be out of our price range. Good thing we did ask! Not only was it in our price range, but it was the cheapest place we found!

Budget breakdown?

These are all approximates:
Décor/favors/chairs: $580
Reception Location: $500
Candy Bar: Free, gift from Maid of Honor
Cupcakes: Free, made by a close friend
Dress: Free, gift from Mother of the Bride
Jewelry: Free, grandmother’s

Shoes: $30 for two pairs of shoes on sale
Groom’s attire: Free, gift
Bouquets/boutonnieres: $30, handmade by myself and friends
Hair/Makeup: Free, gift from parents
DJ: Done by a friend
Food Truck: $2700.00
Alcohol: $2000.00, we offered a small selection of complimentary beer and wine, up to a limit of $2000. It actually lasted all night!

Décor for ceremony/reception and event organization: Charlie & Olivia
Photography: onelove photography
Food: The Flatiron Truck
Ceremony Location: Factory Place
Reception Location: Villain’s Tavern
Dress: Vintage Style Clothing

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The Broke-Ass Bride is always looking for rad-tastic Broke-Ass weddings to feature. Interested? You can submit via Two Bright Lights or by emailing us directly!


Wedding Inspiration: A Few DIY Ideas For Your Wedding Photo Booth

Image: Kauai Wedding Photography

Many of us agree that photography is a HUGE part of your big day.  After all, your photos stay with you forever!  As if pictures weren’t prominent enough in the wedding biz, they’ve taken a step further into the spotlight with the introduction of photo booths.

So what’s the big deal with these anyway?  Obviously, a photo booth lets your guest take home sweet photos, sure to bring up memories of the fun they had at your wedding.  But pictures aside, photo booths keep guests’ spirits high.  After the pomp and circumstance of a formal ceremony, it gives your guests a chance to cut loose and express themselves in a humorous way.

Now, let’s get real for a minute.  Yep, we have to start thinking about the dreaded b-word.  Photo booths for weddings typically rent for $1000+.  And when you’re on a budget, well, that can be a lot of dough to dish out on a novelty.   But let’s step back and think about the concept of the photo booth.  You want to give your guests an easy way to capture wedding-day memories.  You want to provide them a fun setup.  Thinking about it this way, having a photo booth – without actually renting one – is totally doable.

A couple ideas:

The Polaroid Setup.  This requires very little work from you.  All you need is the camera; a small table to set the camera on (along with extra paper and batteries, if you have a large guest list); and backdrop (whether it’s a folding screen, or pretty fabric tacked to the wall if your venue allows).  Make it fun and set out a box of props, too!

Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Analog Camera (Purple), $69.99

Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Analog Camera (Purple), $69.99

Polaroid cameras are easy to operate, so guests can take turns taking pictures of each other, or hold up the camera to take pictures of themselves.

Tip:  If you don’t already have a Polaroid camera, register for one!  Make sure it’s on your registry early and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get it before your wedding.  If not, cross it off the registry and pick one up yourself.  It’s less than a third the cost of a photo booth, and you get to take it with you on the honeymoon!

The Laptop Setup.  To get closer to the real deal, you can purchase photo booth software (like Spark Booth, $59) that takes the pictures through your webcam.  By bringing in a laptop and printer, you can set up a photo station that snaps your guests’ photos in a single keystroke and prints them out in photo-booth format.  Brilliant!  Interested in the details? See the step-by-step and results from a real wedding here.

You can take these ideas a step further by using the pictures in your guestbook, as an alternative to signatures.  Set out markers for the guests to write messages on the prints, and mounting squares to stick their snapshots in a scrapbook.  (Your crafty girlfriends will have fun with this, too!)

Image:  Emmaline Bride

How are you getting creative with photos at your wedding?


{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Lace Overload

Claire Pettibone gowns are things of beauty.  But they’re also ass-expensive. Today’s bride is having this very dilemma. So I’m about to throw her a (petti)bone and help her out.  Let’s see what bride Nora had to say:

I have fallen hard for this Claire Pettibone wedding dress. I love the lace and the sleeves and the back.  It’s perfect.  It is also outside of the budget of $1,000 or less.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Can’t Afford It:

Get Over It:

1. Nightcap Clothing. $640.

2. JS Collections. $200.

3. Alice by Temperley. $761.

You would need to hem the sleeves on this one.

4. Tadashi Shoji. $548.

5. Allure Bridals. About $1000.

You would need to hem the sleeves on this one.

6. White by Vera Wang. $600.

7. David’s Bridal. $599.99.

8. Justin Alexander. About $1000.

9. Destinations by Mon Cheri. Under $600.

10. Moonlight. Between $500 & $1000.

11. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

12. Allure Bridals. Between $500 & $1000.

13. Destinations by Mon Cheri. Under $500.

14. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

15. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

Miss any CAI/GOI magic?  Catch up here: