Broke-Ass Tag: Wedding planning


To do notepad available from Etsy seller marrygrams

Here’s the thing: I’ve been gifted with a degree of creativity and innovation, however, I’m really, really bad at delegating.

With a project as colossal as a wedding, this is not a good thing. I’m pretty sure if I try to micromanage every little thing, I’ll be so busy that I wont have time to enjoy one the the most important days of my life. Not to mention I have finite time, energy and brainpower, and I’m a pretty miserable person to be around when any of those resources have been depleted.

Knowing this, and in the interest of, you know, equality, my partner and I divvied up some of the responsibilities. So far he has been put in charge of catering, rentals and rehearsal dinner planning. However, he brought it to my attention that I have the tendency to meddle outside my own realm of responsibilities. Little friendly questions about “have you emailed this person yet?” “Did you look into that thing yet?” I’m not so good at trusting that he can handle it, even though he has proven time and time again throughout our relationship to be very capable and responsible.

I am also extremely blessed to have many wonderful people who have asked repeatedly, “How can I help?” My answer is always, “Oh you’re so kind. There’s nothing right now, but I’ll let you know when something comes up.”

In truth, I have been actively avoiding thinking about what things I will need help with, because I don’t want to give up control over anything.

Why am I so afraid to give up control?

I’m sure that part of it is the importance surrounding the day. Our wedding is a big life event. People will remember things. We will look at the pictures 10, 20, 30 years down the road. There’s been a ton of money and time spent on it.

Of course I want it to go well.

Or, perhaps, because I have been so fierce about not wanting to make my wedding about other people’s expectations, I feel a bit guilty asking them to help if they haven’t had any input. Or, I’m afraid they might overstep.

Maybe its all of these.

Or, maybe it’s because I realized that if something were to go wrong, I wouldn’t attribute to a failure on our part, I would attribute it to failure on my part, and I think that’s the rub. 

Wedding planning is still considered by many as to be the bride’s job.

I’ve been working hard on trying to not internalize that expectation, but it happens, the same way that when I invite guests over and the house is messy, I often find myself fearing that they automatically are judging me for the state of the place, not my partner. Therefore, when I catch myself spiraling because I’m afraid that Ev is going to forget to tell the caterer we need dessert spoons, I catch myself imagining a scenario in which the oversight is discovered, and imagine that all guests turn their eyes to me.

Judgement. Gasps. Pearls clutched.

The elaborate facade of me as a capable adult, as a capable wife, crumbles before everyone’s eyes.

Obviously I know this is incredibly silly and dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point — even when we’ve made a conscious effort to reject theses views, their shadows can hold on for a long time after we’ve tried to let them go.

I’ll start by letting someone help me fold some table cards. Even, even if they end up slightly crooked. If there’s someone in attendance at my wedding who judges me for that, well, they probably at the wrong damn wedding.

How is the division of labor in your planning going? Are you having a hard time letting projects go?


  • 4/20

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    Reader Sandra commented on this post looking for a floaty dress for her 30th anniversary vow renewal:

    “Just found “Can’t Afford It” today. Wonderful! My husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in 2018, and would like to have a vow renewal and small party. I really like Inga Nataya’s “River Fairy” dress in Lilac, but $900 is too much for me to spend on a dress. (My original wedding dress, veil and shoes cost less than $300). I love the Edwardian look of Jenny Packham’s Azalea as well. I’d only like to spend $400 or less, and I hope to be able to wear the dress again to occasions like a graduation party or someone else’s wedding.
    Also, I’m 52 and love vintage clothing. While I love the floaty look of the above dresses, I don’t want anything too youthful.
    Hoping this is not all impossible!
    Can you help? Thanks!!!”

    Sandra, first off — congratulations on your soon-to-be 30 married years! For your renewal dress, I’ll focus my search on simpler “floaty” dresses without trains and won’t limit it to just traditional white gowns. The River Fairy gown has a soft shrug overlay with sleeve look, and I’ll see if I can find this kind of versatility in the dresses in my search, and keep it from going to “young” looking.  I’ll also keep an eye for some Edwardian dresses, which is also a lovely style.  Let’s see them …

    Can't Afford It

    Inga Nataya River Fairy in Lilac

    River Fairy dress in Lilac, $900 by Inga Nataya

    Get Over It

    Nordstrom - Embellished Lace Gown 319

    La Femme Embellished Lace Gown; $319 at Nordstrom

    ASOS - Lace Paneled Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress 113

    Lace Paneled Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress in blue; $113 at ASOS

    ASOS - Needle & Thread Daisy Embroidery Maxi Dress With Cold Shoulder 376

    Needle & Thread Daisy Embroidery Maxi Dress With Cold Shoulder; $376 at ASOS

    Macys - Adelyn Rae Lace Maxi Dress 148

    Adelyn Rae Lace maxi Dress; $148 at Nordstrom

    Macys - J Kara Beaded V Back Capelet Gown 289

    J Kara Beaded V-Back Capelet Gown; $289 at Macy’s

    Macys -Adrianna Papell Beaded Mesh Gown 349

    Adrianna Papell Beaded Mesh Gown; $349 at Macy’s

    Macys -Adrianna Papell Embellished Popover Xapelet Gown 369

    Adrianna Papell Embellished Popover Capelet Gown; $369 at Macy’s

    Dillards - JS Collection Romantic Ruffle Sheer Matte jersey Gown 258

    JS Collections Romantic Ruffle Sheer Matte Jersey Gown; $258 at Dillard’s

    Dillards - R&M Richards Sequined Lace and Chiffon Jacket Dress 130

    R & M Richards Sequined Lace & Chiffon Jacket Dress in Lavender; $130 at Dillard’s

    Dillards - Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Sequin Lace Organza Riffle Tiered Gown 219

    Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Sequin Lace & Organza Ruffle Tiered Gown; $219 at Dillard’s

    So what do you think, is there a dress here for your vow renewal, Sandra?  I wish you 30 more years of married bliss.

    Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you. Please be aware, though, that because you guys love this column so much, we can often build up quite the queue and it may be a while before we can get to your dream dress. Rest assured, though, Team Broke-Ass is on the case!

    *As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
  • 4/17

    Work has calmed down a bit in the last few weeks, so Ev and I have started putting some official wedding prep in motion. I managed to wrangle everyone's address, and after entirely too much obsessing, I picked out an invitation I liked and customized it. We are just waiting on our engagement photos to come back so we can post them up on our…

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    I teamed up with For the Chef, who provided me with a few good tools, to work to create healthy meals that fit into tight schedules. When you're knee-deep in wedding planning, running from this appointment to that, testing out different vendors, planning various parties and generally trying to keep your shit together, one of the first things that tends to fall by the wayside…

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  • 3/24

    BHLDN Gift Sets, $50 – In Dot or Solid (Comes with a tie, tie bar and pocket square) Dudes! Have you heard about the new collab between BHLDN and The Tie Bar? For those who may not know, BHLDN is the wedding collection by Anthropologie. They're pretty major in the bridal scene (obvs your fiancée has read about them here, here and here) and it…

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    I think I mentioned once or twice that our wedding was the best ever, and it really, truly was. From the weather to the food to the dancing and fun, it was everything we hoped it would be when when we started planning it 15 months prior. That said, there are always going to be minor mishaps, and we definitely had a few. I knew…

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    Hair trial I have reached a weird point in my wedding planning. It's March, and all of the boxes are basically checked. Venue, check. Dress, yep. Hair trial, been there. Vendors, nailed it. It's basically empty nest syndrome for wedding planning. I keep glancing over my shoulder and looking around expecting some giant forgotten thing to come knock me on my ass. All you ever…

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  • 2/21

    After spending six years in the military, I'm known to apply my military training in daily life, even after getting out. For wedding planning, I liberally applied the strategic planning cycle theory. Mostly unintentionally, but once I realized what was happening, I went with it. The down side is that I begin to use military terminology around people that have no idea what I'm talking…

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