Broke-Ass Tag: Wedding Inspiration


Jane B. Writes DisclaimerPlanner CoverMaybe someone is about to be deployed, or perhaps it’s slightly less dramatic, like the fall semester is about to begin. There are many reasons why couples choose to get hitched on the fly, and in most cases, money is a factor — or lack thereof anyway. Fortunately, there are ways to pull off a great broke-ass wedding on short notice, as the following guide will show:

Internet Invites

Not only do traditional printed wedding invitations ordinarily cost a pretty penny, they take lots of time to print, prepare, mail, receive and be responded to. Skip all this by opting for an e-invitation system. Use Facebook and old-fashioned snail mail to spread the word.  But you can still keep e-invites looking sharp and in tune with the rest of your wedding day. Use a color calculator to match complementary hues for font, background, and so forth. Feel free to bring graphics into the mix, but don’t overdo it — a little goes a long way on a tablet screen.

Short Notice Treats

Of course, we always want the white cake to take center stage, but extra treats for guests and members of the wedding party to nosh on in the meantime are always a good idea. Alas, wedding-appropriate tasty treats are not always easy to whip up on the fly in a non-industrial setting. In which case, finding an affordable and delicious french bakery nearby willing to take on big orders in a short amount of time is the smart option. The pastries, gourmet cakes and cookies will keep everyone happily fed before the main event a.k.a the wedding cake.

Big Batch Eats

What about the main course — the hot, savory dinner options? This is where the home kitchen(s) can play an important role on short notice. If two families can work in sync, one can take on a pasta dish and the side vegetable, while the other can handle preparing chicken and potatoes. Solicit younger cousins for table setting and serving duties. If timing allows it, have one “test kitchen” day to make sure the seasonings and flavors are optimum. To reduce the pressure to ensure it’s hot and ready (not that you don’t want to aim for that) see if these dishes remain tasty at lukewarm temps.


With a few days notice, a bridesmaid can take on the duty of preparing the wedding DJ for its debut — music streaming such as Pandora or Spotify. Have the designated DJ prepper create a wedding station specifically, plus a few more funky options for pop music favorites to play. Ask around to find a family member with a decent speaker set. Once again, solicit the help of a younger cousin — a trusted one — to manage the music streaming into the night.

Ad Hoc Photographer

Okay — last time we pull the cousin card — promise. These days, just about everyone has a decent camera built into their mobile device. Find a cousin (and by the way “cousin” can be anyone willing to lend a helping hand and has the time to do it — a friend, a niece, a brother-in-law, whoever) with a phone released within the last two years. Provide them with a crash course on photography basics. If you’re not sure, then get a crash course on photography yourself — the online advice available for free is enough to encourage decent photos of the wedding. They may not look like those of your friend’s more upscale wedding, but when you’re working on a tight budget and short time, is that your priority? Laid back, shot from-the-hip pictures of the wedding, albeit with a little guidance, will prove to be as great of mementos, as professional alternatives.

Short Notice Venues for Ceremony and Reception

At last, where to decide the wedding ought to be held. With money tight and time short, the options are going to be limited. However, there are some two-in-one possibilities, which, given their availability to short notice brides and grooms, are both cost effective and easy to secure on the fly. Park gazebos and the surrounding acre or so of ground are often available within a week of making a call. Other ways to achieve a relatively quick outdoor wedding and reception include a family member’s yard (ideal if they’re cooking too) or even a rooftop wedding — though the latter is admittedly not a commonly available space even among a large group of family and friends. Short notice may mean winter time, and therefore a need to be indoors. In this case, you may find traditional venues are available and affordable due to it being the wedding “off season.”

For whatever reason, marriages sometimes happen on short notice. As long as the love is there, who cares? To make the wedding work with minimal time to plan and minimal money to spend, take the aforementioned steps. It’s a great way to get a start on love and happiness — on short notice.

  • 8/31

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewThey add up! I mean when you buy things, they accumulate. Math was never my strong suit, but that is an easy one … and holy shit. It’s adding up. With under a month to go until our wedding, the time has come to concentrate on the little details. My mom and I collaborated on a giant list (109 items!) of stuff we need to do and/or buy. Some of it was already done, which meant there were cute, little check marks next to a lot of things … but there were also a lot of things left to do. It was quite overwhelming at first, but it has been nice to make more checks and get stuff accomplished. Not so nice on our checkbook, but that’s what the wedding fund is for.

    When you’re busy booking a venue, photographer, caterer, DJ, etc., it’s easy to forget about cake toppers and guest books and card boxes. So that’s been the focus the last couple weeks. While it’s stressful to be spending, spending, spending, it’s also fun to receive actual physical items that are pretty and fun and useful. I can’t hold any of the big ticket items in my hands and snuggle them and tell them how cute they are and how much I love them. I mean I guess I could tell my DJ that, but things might get weird. Anyway, here are few of these cuties.

    Cake topper – I knew I wanted something fun, and a glittery Best Day Ever topper fit the bill. Ours is pink, and will go so well with our sprinkle covered cake.


    Best Day Ever cake topper available from Etsy seller ChicagoFactory

    Confetti poppers – We’re not doing a traditional entrance or exit at any point during our wedding/reception, but I still wanted a fun moment where people could shower us with … something. The pictures of couples surrounded by bubbles, flower petals, etc., are always so cute. So I decided to put confetti push pops on the aisle seats so that people can use them during our recessional. We’ll have a photographer at the end of the aisle, so I am hoping for some awesome pics. I am actually making ours to save some dough, but this is exactly what they will look like.


    Confetti Poppers available from Etsy seller TasselTwins

    Guestbook – Okay, this is not a little item. This is an insanely expensive item when it comes down to it. But I have wanted to do a Polaroid style guestbook for years … like 15 long years. When Fuji Instax came out, I was like OMG, this can actually happen! So we’re doing it. We have a friend to man the camera, and then guests will add their photos to the book and write us a message. We customized our book to match our colors, and it’s so perfect. I am so excited about this!



    Mini Instax Photo Book available from Etsy seller Grimm

    Add about 38 more things (including film for that guestbook), and we’re close to how much stuff I’ve bought recently. But at least it’s good stuff! Stuff that I can actually hold and hug. Our list is slowly but surely being accomplished, and I feel good about where we are at the four-weeks-to-go mark. Our bank account might be crying, but such is wedding life!

  • 8/29

    Etsy BluePoppyGallery It's Not Flesh and Blood Stepson Print

    Print available from Etsy seller BluePoppyGallery I've previously written about ways to include my soon-to-be stepson in our planning process, but now that the big day is almost here, I'm trying to find ways to include him in our ceremony, too. He's at an in-between age where he is too old to be the cute little ring bearer, and would probably think it was babyish,…

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    And that's okay! We're a little over two months out from our wedding, so Russel and I decided to check out the progress at our venue this past weekend. It was actually a triple-duty trip to Amish country -- we worked on our invitations, stopped by the fairgrounds, and spent QT with my parents. Our summer has been insanely busy, so we haven't been able…

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    DIY Wedding Flowers from Sam's Club

    DIY wedding flowers can be a tough project to take on -- especially when it comes to figuring out where the hell to order your blooms from. Putting your trust in a wholesaler you're not entirely familiar with could potentially result in flowers that are a bit off-color (uh, peach and hot pink aren't the same, y'all) and it can be tough to find bulk…

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  • 6/3

    A Real Wedding that Eschews Tradition || Photo: Timony Siobhan

    Longtime Broke-Ass Bride friend Georgia Hardstark emailed us recently about sharing her fun, funky, tradition-eschewing, $16,000 wedding. In the true spirit of The Broke-Ass Bride, Georgia and her husband had the wedding they wanted -- at the venue they loved, in the clothes they adored, with the decorations they actually gave a shit about -- and all within their budget and paid for the wholeshebang…

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    DIY or DIE 3D Geometric Paper Garland

    I cooked this fun little geometric garland project up for Little Wedding Extras, but this has all the makings of a great DIY or DIE project: A.) It's super easy. You trace, cut, fold and glue or tape. Painting is totally optional. B.) It doesn't have to be wedding-specific. I love a project that can be recycled for home use later. (Christen is using this for #babything's…

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    Etsy ChicagoFactory Mutual Weirdness Forever Cake Topper

    Cake toppers are a fun way to add a personalized touch to your wedding reception without spending a billion bucks. Whether you're going all out with a multi-tier cake, are doing a fun twist with individual cupcakes or are turning the whole cake tradition on its head and opting for pie, donuts or some other kind of awesome treat, a cake topper gives your sweet…

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  • 5/4

    Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.19.40 PM

    On top of making my wedding dress and flowers for my centerpieces, I came to the conclusion not that long ago to yes, DIY most of our printable materials for the wedding as well. This isn't because I'm a crazy-insane person that decided to take on even more to DIY during our wedding planning chaos, but resulted from not finding the exact kind of designs…

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