Posts in the 'wedding books' Category

Pre-order The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide TODAY! The Big BAB Book Buy Is Here!

UPDATE! As of 6pm PST today, we’re holding steady at #5 on the Amazon Best Seller List in the Wedding Planning category! GREAT WORK, Team Broke-Ass! Let’s keep it going! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? How about as a gift for someone you know? How high can we get that number? :)

Attention Broke-Ass Brigade! Today is a very exciting day! It’s here!
First, you may have noticed a GORGEOUS new site design courtesy of the fabulous Kate at Striped Cat Studio, which we’ve launched in celebration of…. *drum roll please…..

The Big BAB Book Buy is TODAY! The plan is simple: getting a book up the Amazon bestseller list for a couple of days isn’t impossible, because it takes only hundreds of sales, rather than thousands or more, to get there.

THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. Our goal is to get as many people as possible to buy the BAB book on the same day, to propel it up the Amazon ranking chart, which will be very exciting for a first-time author such as myself, and might get us a little extra attention along the way to help promote it! Your support will let the wedding world and publishing industry know that we need more representation and resources for couples who want to rock bad-ass weddings without breaking the bank. That there’s a big difference between spending smart and being cheap. That our personalities and values should be reflected in the execution of our wedding, not dampened under layers of predicable tulle and lace. That we’re broke-ass brides and proud of it, damnit! How amazing would that be, yo?!?

And I need you guys to help make it happen. But first, here’s a little taste of the delicious cake I’m serving up, to whet your palates for more! Scroll on through the excerpt to see a sneak peek of the book!

Not too shabby, eh? Packed with wedding planning tips and tricks, advice from real broke-ass brides (like you!), DIY craft tutorials, recipes and sample budgets from real brides… I think this book delivers quite a powerful punch! Like, spiked punch, yo. DRANK.

So please, pre-order the book TODAY! Perfect holiday timing to buy for yourself, as a gift for your newly-engaged friends or family, or for anyone helping you plan your wedding, or their own! It will be delivered on December 17th – the day the book appears in stores! You can order the book through:

If we can get The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide to be a best-seller, even if only for a day, it will bring much-needed attention to our little corner of the internet, give strength to a value system that doesn’t get enough credit in the wedding industry, and help grow our community exponentially!

Please spread the word! Share your purchase on Facebook and Twitter to help other brides-to-be find their way to a bad-ass, broke-ass wedding day!

Dana

DIY Tutorial: Watercolor Wash Place Cards From Modern Calligrapher Molly Suber Thorpe

Today we’ve got a special DIY treat from author and master calligrapher/designer Molly Suber Thorpe of Plurabelle Calligraphy, whose gorgeous new book, Modern Calligraphy, is available now wherever books are sold! If you love the look of calligraphy, but can’t quite justify the price tag, Molly’s book teaches you everything you need to know to make your wedding invitations and wedding pretties look profesh. We had a chance to preview a copy of Modern Calligraphy, and it is a bargain at twice the price! Here’s an easy DIY project from Molly’s book that’s fun to try even if your calligraphy skills are at (what can generously be described as) a beginner level. Take it away, Molly! 

These beautiful place cards will make a statement on any table. Each card has a unique watercolor wash background flecked with contrasting acrylic paint, and the possible color combinations of watercolor and calligraphy are endless. This project can be made over and over again and adapted to any occasion, whether it’s a wedding reception, holiday dinner, or birthday party.

  • Level: Beginner
  • Yield: 75 place cards
  • Time: 8 hours (including drying time)
  • Budget: $65.00

Supplies:

  • 90 3.5×6-inch pieces pieces of heavy watercolor paper cut
  • Pan of assorted watercolors
  • 1 tbsp acrylic paint in an accent color for splattering
  • 2 tbsp table salt
  • Ink, watercolor or gouache of your choice for the calligraphy
  • 1-inch-wide artist tape
  • Wide paint brush
  • Small paint brush for watercoloring
  • Dish of water
  • Paper towels
  • Bone folder
  • Calligraphy nib and holder
  • Old toothbrush

Instructions:

1. Apply a strip of artist tape across the full width of each watercolor paper card, starting 1 inch up from the bottom short edge. Press the tape down firmly, especially along the edges, so that no watercolor will be able to seep underneath. There should now be 1 inch of paper exposed below the tape and 4 inches exposed above it.

2. Using the large paint brush, brush both the front and back of each card with water, then pat dry with a paper towel. (This prevents the paper fibers from expanding unevenly and warping.) Since there are so many cards, I recommend painting about twelve at a time so your workspace doesn’t get too cluttered.

3. Using the smaller paint brush, paint the cards with an abstract watercolor design in the colors of your choice. (I normally combine two to four watercolor shades per card, but play around with what you like best.) Don’t let this step scare you! This should be liberating because there is no wrong way to do it. You can fill up the entire paper with paint or leave portions of it unpainted. You can overlap the colors or keep them from touching. You can paint uneven blobs or perfect pinstripes or streaks fanning out in circles like fireworks. You can use light, similar shades for an elegant, understated look, or bright, contrasting ones for a bold, festive effect. Each card can be different – if you use the same colors, they will tie together in a series.

4. If your paper is soaking wet, blot off excess watercolor with a folded paper towel. Then sprinkle the cards with a pinch of table salt. The salt crystals create a unique pattern by absorbing the wet color they land on, producing slightly lighter spots when you brush off the salt later (see step 6).

5. With the old toothbrush, splatter acrylic paint randomly over the card. Choose a color that will really stand out from the background colors you chose. I really like using gold to add some sparkle. Lay flat and let dry.

6. Brush off the salt and carefully peel off the tape. If the cards aren’t flat (which can happen in humid weather), press them between a stack of books overnight.

7. Fold the cards in half and make a sharp crease with a bone folder.

8. Use ink, watercolor, or gouache to calligraph the guests’ names in the blank strip on each card. If you’re nervous about messing up, just practice each name on scrap paper a few times until you’re comfortable. Let dry completely.

Special thanks again to Molly and her team at Macmillan Publishers! Be sure to pick up her new book ASAP! (Grab it on Amazon right here.) SEE HOW PRETTY! 

Real Wedding: Etan & Megan’s Modern, “Bookish”, Table-Dancing Los Angeles Wedding

Bringing personality to a wedding while still keeping costs low  is a challenge all couples face. Etan and Megan added a great amount of character to their celebration with lots of DIY décor, and a group of people willing to dig in their heels and help this self described “bookish” couple. This Los Angeles duo focused on celebrating what they absolutely loved without going overboard. Good food, cold brews, laughter, good books, and twinkly lights are the key ingredients to this extremely charming L.A. wedding. 

Names: Etan & Megan Rosenbloom

Occupations: Etan works in marketing in the music industry and is a heavy metal music journalist. Megan is a medical librarian who works with rare books.

Wedding location: Lehrer Architects, Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Calif.

Wedding date: Oct. 13, 2012

Approximate guest count: 80

How would you describe your wedding? Everything about our wedding was very personal, from the elements of the ceremony to the DIY décor to the barn raising feeling of putting the whole thing together with friends and family. Also, all the things we didn’t do ourselves we sourced super locally, whether it was the clothes, the food, the beer, so it was a very eastside of LA wedding. We had a lot of bookish decor, which makes sense as we’re both pretty bookish people.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?
Megan: After all of our hard work, taking a moment to breathe and watch our friends and family all together getting hyped on the dance floor and being humbled by the fact that they were all here for us.
Etan: The heightened sense of intimacy with Megan under the chuppah.

What did you splurge on? We didn’t really “splurge” on anything, but as might be expected our biggest expense was the food. But Whoa Nelly Catering worked with us to keep costs low and delivered absolutely amazing food. Our foodie and vegan friends were especially delighted with their offerings, which were all sourced from our local farmers’ markets. Many people said it was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding.

What did you save on? We managed to save a lot on booze. We are really into craft beer (even my bouquet had fresh hops in it!) so we wanted that to be the star of the show. A friend of ours runs a great beer bar and was able to source three California craft beer kegs for a great price, and then, sweetheart that she is, ended up gifting us one of them. So we had world class beer for our guests for a song. We got our wine from BevMo on their 5 cent sale, so a lot of our bottles were only a nickel! We didn’t want to have a full liquor bar, so next to our agua frescas we had a “spike station” with a bottle each of vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila for people to spike their drinks if they wished. We also borrowed PA equipment from music friends and Etan created some great Spotify playlists for dinner and for dancing.

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We probably should have hired a videographer. We had a lot of family & friends who couldn’t make the trip. Our friend who shot the video on my personal camera did a great job stepping up to help, but my gear just wasn’t up to snuff. We also should have reminded people to do certain things like use the photo booth or thumbprint the guestbook to get more participants in those activities.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Mostly just trying to stay sane while working full-time and doing all of these DIY projects at night, and knowing when to let a certain project go if it just wasn’t working out.

 

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? From planning the wedding, I learned a lot about time management and balancing all the things I wanted to create and what I could feasibly achieve. At one point, I was thinking that I was working really hard to make certain things that no one was going to notice. I was pleasantly surprised that our guests really did notice all the hard work and love that my friends and I put into all the details of the wedding. Having people come up and mention certain small elements that they enjoyed really made me proud as a crafter and made all the work worth it. I also learned not to be afraid to ask friends for help, and our friends gave us a lot of help in too many ways to list here. At the wedding itself, having everyone there for us, taking part in this very intimate moment, really hammered home just how much we are loved and supported as we forge our new family together.

What were your top five favorite things about your wedding?

It’s hard to pick just five!

  1. Our groomsman/ brosmaid Alexis was a giant help with a lot of the crafting and lighting design, and he designed one area that he could decorate however he wanted. He made us this beautiful lamp where he cut pages out of our two favorite books (Ulysses & Finnegans Wake, both by James Joyce) into leaf shapes, laminated them, and attached them to the lamp so the light glows through the words. He also made us a clever table out of dictionary where the ashtray rested on the page for “smoke” words and the cup holder rested on the page for “drink” words. He made this lovely little oasis for us where we relaxed and took a few photos immediately after the ceremony. Now both of these items adorn our home and we love them to death, and every time we look at them we think of him and all he did for us. Alexis was rewarded in a surprising way for all of his hard work…he fell in love with our bridesmaid Maryanne at the wedding and is now moving across the country to be with her!
  2. We were lucky enough to have Etan’s mom’s best friend, Cantor Perryne Anker, as our officiant & pre-marital counselor. She’s been present at the ceremonies for many of Etan’s major life events, and was a great calming guide for both of us through this whole process. She made the ceremony personal, moving, and funny…everything we could have asked for.
  3. Instead of the traditional parent-child dance, Etan and his mother Aviva did a choreographed Israeli folk dance to the song “Erev Ba” and everyone was very impressed by how light on their feet they were! It was a beautiful, touching moment. Aviva was glowing with motherly pride.
  4. Watching our two very different families from separate coasts get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company was a real treat. We might not ever get everyone together in the same spot again, so that was really special for us.
  5. Watching all of our friends and family go absolutely apeshit on the dance floor was a huge highlight. I took a moment to just enjoy the scene and be glad we could bring all of these wonderful people together, if just for an evening. The first song was Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and when Prince starts in with his little sermon, everyone just went wild. Our friends Josh, Grant and Agatha ran over to me during the song, looked at the table near the dance floor and said, “Wanna Breakfast Club this shit?” OF COURSE. So we all got up and danced on the table, and at the end of the song Etan came over and I jumped into his arms from the table and he spun me around and kissed me as the song ended. It was a total movie moment…even better than The Breakfast Club. I’ll never forget it.

Top five least favorite?

  1. The ceremony music false-started so our bridesmaid Lavinia had to swoop in and save the day by restarting it.
  2. We found out a few days before that there were some plumbing issues so we had to scramble and get a port-a-potty for the guests. I kinda had a meltdown about it at first, but they turned out to be really nice as far as port-a-potties go, and no one cared.
  3. The whole shebang ran late so we didn’t get enough dancing time, we should have allotted more wiggle room…I think our friends could have danced for hours more!
  4. We were so busy and things went so fast that I only got one of those delicious beers and we didn’t get any pie until the next day.
  5. The next day it was super hot, we were all exhausted, but we had to go back to the venue to take down all the decorations and clean up. That and returning all of the borrowed stuff and trying to sell the things we don’t need was kind of onerous but wasn’t too awful.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? People told Etan to let me do everything and make all the decisions, that it was my day. That’s not true, it was OUR day, and we learned quickly that making these decisions together was crucial. The last thing Etan wanted was to show up to our wedding and not even recognize what was going on, so he was involved in the whole decision-making process even if he was less involved in the actual crafting parts.

The best? Try to take time to be in the moment…it is so true. When you plan a whole year for one day, it’s insane how fast it’ll go by. Also whether you’re a DIY bride or not, whatever you do, hire a professional event coordinator for the day of the wedding. You will not be able to manage the logistics on your own, and it’s not fair to push it off on a bridesmaid or family member…they want to enjoy your wedding too, not work at it!

Any other bits of wisdom? Have the wedding that speaks to who you are. It wasn’t the fact that we did a lot of things ourselves that made it personal, it was that I’m a DIY person and that reflects who I am. If you’re not a crafty person, don’t try to craft a bunch of stuff for the wedding because you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do. We carefully picked all of our own music not only to save money on a DJ, but because we’re music people and we had to have every song count. If you don’t like cake, don’t have one! We had pie. We’ve been to a lot of weddings as guests and I would say the only ones that we ever found a bit disappointing were ones where it felt like the couple was making choices because they felt pressure to from some source outside of themselves — whether it be a family member, friends, or the general wedding industrial complex. Your friends and family love you, and they want to celebrate who you are as a couple, so show them who you are in the way you do your wedding, even if that means eloping.

Vendors
Caterers: Whoa Nelly Catering
Flowers, Crowns & Boutonnieres: The Paper Arum
Photography: Lindsay Giles McWilliams (Denver, Colorado) & Sarah Law Photography: (Southern California, soon to be based in Portland, Oregon)
Musical Performance: Homesick Elephant featuring Kelly Sulick
Valet: Hollywood Hills Valet
Bride’s Dress: Shareen Vintage
Bride’s Hair: Megan Klammer at Heretic Salon
Bride’s Makeup: Heather Cvar at Le Pink & Co. Apothecary
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Matrushka Construction
Flower Girl Dress: Made by friend
Groom’s Suit: Al Weiss
Groomsmen’s Blazers: ASOS
Groomsmen’s Ties: Zara
Engagement Ring: Single Stone
Wedding Bands: Claude Morady
Save the Dates: Photo by Sarah Law Photography; Design by And She Designs
Invitations, seating cards and programs: Designed and handmade by the bride
Ketubah: Gallery Judaica
Ketubah Art: Peter Wonsowski
Thumbprint Guest Book & table numbers: Bear Witness Studio

DIY projects
Decor primarily by the bride Megan Rosenbloom & groomsman Alexis Bourbeau
Custom Lighting by groomsman Alexis Bourbeau (abourbeau@aol.com)
Mothers’ shawls, groom’s kippah, and bride’s capelet knit by the bride
Challah cover embroidery by the groom’s aunt Alma Schneider, sewn by the bride

If there is one lesson to take from Etan and Megan’s big day it’s to be realistic about your time. Most ladies become DIY divas in an effort to add personal touches to their wedding days. Luckily, friends and family are often eager to help. Be sure to let them. Be honest about your own limitations and allow others to step in and help. A wedding is your day, but those who love you truly want to offer a supporting hand in the festivities. There’s nothing wrong with accepting that – in fact, it will probably help things go more smoothly.

Congrats to Megan and Etan, and special thanks to their wedding photographers, Lindsay and Sarah! 

 

The Best New Wedding Books For Newbie Brides!

One of the biggest perks of being a wedding blogger is the shared sense of community we have with our fellow wedding bloggesses. Today, we’re gonna take a warm n’ fuzzy moment to draw your attention to a few fabulous titles some of our favorite blogger friends have published in the last few months – because blogs are great and all, but we know cuddling up with a nice hardbound publication (or your cute little e-reader) is so much cozier. Our top recommendations for new brides are, in no particular order…

The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide by Dana LaRue

book cover

 Why we love it! Well, duh. It’s ours. Written by Dana, edited by the team. Using couples who had real broke-ass weddings. You know all those nifty little tricks and tips we’ve been giving you over the years? Well, they’re in there. Along with a lot that we’ve been keeping stashed, just for this very occasion. Plus, there’s a veritable plethora of real wedding budget breakdowns, best-approach ideas on negotiating your way to a more budget-friendly celebration without sacrificing your vision and, guys, there are recipes. Because: FOOD.

Who’s it for? YOU. And everyone you know. Because who doesn’t need a little help making smart money choices, especially where a wedding is concerned?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration by Abby Larson

Why we love it! Ok, by now you’ve probably had occasion to stumble across Style Me Pretty – one of the most extensive resources of beautiful wedding images and inspiration on the web. But a book of similarly gorgeous and inspirational wedding imagery just seems totally redundant, right? WRONG. I was blown away by how beautiful this book was. Page after page after page made me want to get married AGAIN, like RIGHT AWAY. This book basically redefines the term “WEDDING PORN”. Every page overfloweth with fresh, inspired wedding ideas. CAUTION: If you love your single friends, don’t just leave this book lying around willy nilly. Handling may causes mild to serious cases of wedding fever, which, much like the common cold, remains incurable even to this day.

Who’s it for? EVERYONE. Except that bride who’s going to totally develop a complex if her wedding isn’t subsequently featured on Style Me Pretty. You know who I’m talking about.

 

 

 

 

The Handcrafted Wedding by Emma Arendoski

Why we love it! This beautiful book was penned by our friend Emma from Emmaline Bride (check out the fabulous Paper Pinwheel Wedding Backdrop DIY Tutorial post she contributed to BAB last year!). Emma is an ace in the hole when it comes to fabulous DIY wedding ideas. This book organizes all of her best ones by category, so if you’re on the hunt for a totally unique save-the-date idea, or an easy peasy gift card box project, you can use this book as a handy reference guide. Or you could just read it cover to cover – you’re going to want to anyway. 

Who’s it for? If you’re freaking everyone out with the number of DIY wedding projects you’re undertaking, you need this book. If you love all things DIY, but you’re short on clever ideas of your own, you need this book. If you’re full of great ideas, but you have no idea how to execute them…hey – hey you! You need this book.

 

 

 

 

Plan Like a Planner: A Revolutionary Wedding Planning Guide by Bitchless Bride

Why we love it! You thought you loved us for our tell-it-like-it-is, Wedding-Industrial-Complex-be-damned attitude? Well…there is another…Bitchless Bride is our favorite foul-mouthed wedding blogger in disguise…not that there’s a lot of them…let’s start over – Bitchless Bride is one of our favorite wedding bloggers, period.  She blogs and vlogs anonymously because she’s an industry pro with almost 20 years experience – and she has a lot to teach you about bridal etiquette, bridal bitchery, and general bridezilladom. (Also, spoiler alert: she doesn’t always sugarcoat it. And we love her for that.) Her latest book, available for instant download, is full of essential planning advice for every phase of your journey – buying the dress, maintaining healthy wedding vendor relationships – you name it! PLUS, there are totally helpful tools for the proactive bride – timelines, anyone?!

Who’s it for? The bride who can’t figure out where to start. The bride who’s throwing her hands up in the air because wedding vendors never call her back. The bride who has QUESTIONS! SO MANY QUESTIONS! So basically, EVERY bride.

 

 

 

Rustic Wedding Chic by Maggie Lord

Why we love it! Here’s another fabulous title that falls under Wedding Inspiration/Wedding Porn. If you find yourself drooling a little at the thought of burlap table runners, candy apple wedding favors, barn weddings, and loose, organic floral arrangements in antique blue Mason jars, then this is the book for you, my friend. Maggie shared just a few ideas for fall weddings from her book with us last year, be sure to check those out for a tiny taste of Rustic Wedding Chic goodness. And of course, check out her BLOG of the same name for non-stop countrified wedding inspiration!

Who’s it for? Are you getting married in a barn? Are you getting married on a farm? Are you getting married in a park? Are you getting married in the dark? (Ok, that last one is a non-sequiter, but you see where this is going…)

 

 

 

 

There you have it, brides! Which titles are you adding to your e-shopping cart asap? May we recommend all four?!