Broke-Ass Tag: Wedding planning



Photo: Andie Freeman Photography

Dear Liz,

My fiancé and I are in the very beginning of planning our wedding. Naturally, we started with the venue hunt. But now we have a small problem.

I  found a beautiful venue, it barely needs decoration, and it’s sooo unique. However, they  only have one exclusive caterer, and they don’t impress me. With our budget we would only be able to afford a small buffet, and most likely, we won’t be able to serve alcohol.

On the other hand, there’s venue number #2. It’s a cafe that serves a huge buffet of delicious Italian food, with complimentary and unlimited alcohol! And,it’s about the same price as venue #1. The space is also beautiful, even if it isn’t as unique, but we would have to do a lot more work to make it look the way we want.

What do I do?

Venue Blues

Dear Blues,

I figure I don’t have to tell you that you’re going to get more for your money with venue #2. So, if you want confirmation of that, there you go. You like the food, alcohol is included and you can afford it. If those are your biggest concerns — the wedding bar has some powerful guest-expectation mojo — My head says go for #2, and figure out how to make it work and make it pretty. That is, after all, why God invented Pinterest. Pinterest and preferred vendor lists.

But there’s something about venue #1 … and it sounds like that might be where your heart is, which totally overrules my head. If I’m right, we have a saying in Wedding World, “When in doubt, play it out.” Before you make the final call, crunch the numbers and all the options. Is it the food at venue #1 that you don’t like, or that there won’t be enough of it? There’s nothing wrong with a small buffet, as long as you have enough food for everyone. You don’t have to offer five entrees and three side dishes. Most guests will only pick one entree and go through the line once, very few of them will go back for seconds. No one is going to fume because there’s no salmon or truffle mac and cheese, or whatever. You can keep it simple. If it is the quality of the food itself that’s a problem, talk to the caterer about alternative menus and pick one or two that you’re more okay with. Another benefit to a small buffet — if the food isn’t good, at least you’re serving less of it. It never hurts to ask, always ask. The same goes with alcohol. You can set your guests’ expectations. Can’t afford a full bar, cool, just serve beer and wine. Why, someone might ask? Because that’s what you’re serving. Again, people don’t care if there’s everything, just as long as there is something. Or, if you really were looking forward to cosmopolitans and tequila shots all night, find out exactly how much that will cost, and more importantly, how long you have to decide to do it. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to be right now. If you love the place, don’t give up, yet.

Are you having the same dilemma choosing between two different venues or vendors? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll figure it out. And if you want to find out more about me and my corner of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,

  • 8/24

    Remember this post?

    When I wrote it, I was right about at the 6 month mark. By the time you read this, I’ll be right before the 6 WEEK mark. Holy crap, does time ever fly!

    And I am pleased to report that the checklist has been significantly reduced. 2015-08-21 17.42.40

    Of course, a couple of those projects are still enormous, and I definitely still have *plenty* to keep me busy! I think the hardest part of this stage of wedding planning is dealing with so many balls in the air at one time. For example, since my last post, I have:

    2015-08-15 23.16.16

    2015-08-16 21.12.07

    2015-08-19 17.16.08 (2)

    • paid a visit to our venue to lock down some final details

    2015-08-19 15.46.29 (1)

    • had TWO hair trials

    2015-08-12 22.17.04 (1)

    • and a makeup trial

    2015-08-20 19.26.47 (1)


    It was exhausting just typing all that, let alone living it!

    But the good news is that all these disparate details are coming together to form one amazing whole. The RSVPs are rolling in every day, and despite the stress, we’re getting more and more excited!

    How is your planning coming together?

  • 7/22

    AHHHHHH. That's the sound I made when we stepped off the plane and the Caribbean air hit my face. It's the noise my new husband had mentioned two weeks before when he said, "I can't wait until I hear you sigh in relief on our honeymoon and finally get to relax," during a stressful night of wrapping up our wedding plans. Courtesy of Guys, it's…

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    Jon Black Photography This is what I know about Grooms, having had one of my own and hung out with, like 200 of them. 1. There is one thing. One thing that your Groom wants at his wedding. Might be two things -- Zane wanted steak and to have his suit made -- but there is definitely one. Yours might want to wear a bow tie,…

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  • 6/11

     Credit: Whitney Huynh The song "Que Sera" has been circling through my head a lot lately. Basically, it's about a young girl asking her mom what her future self/life will be like and her mother responding with “Whatever will be, will be." I can’t help but think of it when it comes to my wedding. As a bride, I want to control every little detail of…

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    Our friends over at emailed us with this awesome infographic on wedding day traditions and superstitions. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet to not seeing your betrothed before the wedding ceremony, wedding traditions are long-held standards that seem to be falling by the wayside in modern-day I Do's ... for better or for worse. Here's a brief history of 21 one quirky sentiments couples…

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    Social media, y'all. It's a part of the world. I know there are still a few holdouts -- hell, my friend who works for a popular blog featuring proposals is still a non-Facebooker. I was on Facebook as early as 2004 ... so there's that. But here's the thing: Social media ends up kind of being a dumping ground for all of our thoughts, ideas and…

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  • 4/13

    As I mentioned, I'm trying to keep my wedding small as one way to save money. I want my guest list to be more "want tos" than "have tos."  There are inevitably a few in the "have to" category, mostly extended family. Another perk of having a wedding at a bit of a distance is that it weeds out those that care from those that…

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