Broke-Ass Tag: Wedding planning

5/24

One thing you may or may not know about me from my writing is that I do my very best to have a positive attitude in all parts of my life. It’s something I adopted at a time in my life when I was particularly miserable in a former job and it surprisingly has been making my life happier ever since. This is far from an easy task, especially when it feels like life is always throwing wrenches in your plans (such as the full four years that I was engaged before getting married right up until the big day itself) but in many ways, it’s what has helped me keep my head above water, even in the worst moments of my life. Sometimes I find myself indulging in negativity and I need to remind myself that that gets me nowhere. Other times I need an external reminder and I’m blessed enough to have an awesome husband and family that are able to bring me up when I fall into that.

When I first found out I was going to be writing as a Real Bride for the Broke-Ass Bride, I did what I do for everything in my life … I Googled resources for how to be the best I could at it. Specifically I think I Googled “how to blog about your wedding in a way that would be helpful to other brides.” One of the first results I found said that it was important to stay positive, and not use it as a space to air grievances about loved ones. Given my predisposition I had already adopted years earlier, this was not difficult for me to do. Some might think by not going negative with some of the stories of where I was at in my wedding planning at a given time might be giving off a false pretense that things are better than they really are or that somehow, I’m being less “real” in what I have to say, but I’d argue that’s not really the case. For one thing, being negative about the process as I was going through it isn’t helpful to anyone. ALL brides face challenges when they are planning their wedding, whether they have all the money in the world or are trying to plan on a shoestring. Constantly focusing on the things holding me back wasn’t going to help anybody. Talking about what I could do and had done to be proactive about solutions on the other hand is helpful because it shares an idea with someone else and maybe even gives them the inspiration to keep trying to find solutions for that work best for them despite any adversity they might find themselves facing.

Not getting negative about friends, family members, vendors and others related to your wedding is just a good practice to keep in all aspects of your online life. I see people do this a lot in Facebook wedding groups and it’s a big reason I’ve stepped away from those sites, and also why I’m writing this in the first place. I know it can feel great to get your frustrations out in writing and hey, it’s even better when other people commiserate with you because they’re going through the same thing, but that relief might be short-lived while what’s written on the Internet lives forever, even if it’s deleted. What happens when the person you’re talking about discovers what you’ve said? Even if you’d say the same thing to their face, who wants to be talked about on the Internet when they don’t have the opportunity to defend themselves? You might be shocked at how quickly something you say gets back to your Great Aunt Sally, despite the fact that she doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer. As for complaining about vendors, you also have to be careful as your comments could be taken as defamation, even if you’re just trying to warn other brides.

matt299Could we have relaxed and had fun like this if we had the weight of worrying about negativity on us? Photo By SK Photography

Positivity helped me get through wedding planning (along with writing about my wedding planning) but not just straight up blind positivity. I am not Pollyanna by any means. Sometimes circumstances do suck. Sometimes people fall short of your expectations, or hurt your feelings or do any number of things that would make you upset at them. Sometimes you might feel like you’re not getting what you paid for from a vendor. It is very likely that over the course of your wedding planning you might find yourself faced with these frustrations, whether they are based in reality or wedding fever-induced paranoia. Instead of focusing on how wrong things are going, seek out answers to make things better. Focus on the things you have going right. Sit down and list out what you’ve got under control if you have to. When you find yourself in conflict with people, instead of rushing to the Internet to complain, step away from the situation for a moment. Ask yourself what role you play in the conflict. Did you communicate your expectations clearly with this person? Is there a chance there is a miscommunication? Are there things going on in the person’s life that might be making them act differently? Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. In the case of vendors, go back over your contracts to see if you might be misunderstanding something. Give yourself some breathing room and maybe even write a letter that you never send. Talk to them when you have cooled off and talk in a way that isn’t accusatory, but reconciliatory instead. Talk in person, or over the phone so you can hear their tone and don’t lose any of the social cues we miss when we talk via text or emails.

It’s very easy to fall into negativity when you’re planning your wedding, especially with how insurmountable it can seem at times. I got married about six months ago. When I look back on it, this time last year, part of me still didn’t believe we were really going to pull it off between money, time and yes, even personalities, but here we are today. We made it work. We found the silver lining in every cloud that came our way and we managed to keep just about everyone in our life happy. Falling in love and getting married are a few of the most positive choices you can make these days in the cynical world we live in. Continue the trend of positivity throughout your wedding planning too and it’ll make the celebration of your love even better.

How do you manage to stay positive when wedding planning gets you down?

  • 5/20

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewEtsy TheAngelPaperie These are My People Quote on Canvas

    Quote on Canvas available from Etsy seller TheAngelPaperie

    I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I’ve been noticing a trend that concerns me — not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB’s Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she was an online wedding gown retailer — her gowns were made by seamstresses overseas, but she was not the rip-off, knock-off business you’ve read about on Buzzfeed. Rather, like a very large majority of retailers across all sectors, she outsourced the manufacturing of her gowns overseas to cut down on costs and save her customers money. And her customers are primarily brides working with smaller budgets, so her advertising with us was kind of a no-brainer. I had thoroughly done my research before agreeing to work with her, because we try to ensure our partnerships aren’t only good for us as a business, but for you guys as consumers.

    One of our primary goals here is to provide a safe space for businesses and couples of all ilks to come and connect. Not every wedding business is cut from the same cloth and they tend to cater to a wide range of customers, just as not every couple is the same and will make decisions best for them based on their budgets and wants. But finding the right people for you when there are a million and a half websites and options out there can be tricky. So we try to help and support both you and those businesses.

    In the incident with the wedding gown retailer, she had purchased a Facebook shoutout sometime in April. Last week, a woman — who I discovered is the owner of a brick and mortar bridal salon in Kentucky — started accusing our advertiser of being a wedding gown counterfeiter. Though our advertiser responded that she was not a counterfeiter and offered to privately discuss her business with this woman, the comments did not stop. And in fact, the woman pulled in other brick and mortar bridal salon owners to comment as well, eventually leading to a thread about 50 comments deep and genuinely full of harassing and bullying comments. They even recruited a staffer of a well-known bridal magazine and started accusing the advertiser of tax fraud among other unethical business practices. I remained in communication with the advertiser the whole time, trying to support and defend her — because that’s what we do when we’ve vetted a business we believe is a good fit. And we certainly don’t tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind, especially not on our own social media platforms. In the end, the advertiser asked me to delete the Facebook post, which I did, and she decided to close her shop for a while.

    You guys, this behavior lead her to CLOSE HER SHOP. As in, stop her business. That’s not very cool. And in the end, it came to light that the whole ruckus began because the brick and mortar salon owner believes online retailers are a threat to her business — so rather than doing her research, she attacked.

    Here at The Broke-Ass Bride, we have often promoted nontraditional methods of obtaining your wedding gown — whether it’s shopping off-the-rack, buying from online retailers, sewing your own gown or even daring to get your gown from an overseas retailer. We try to provide you with the best information and education possible so you can make the best decision for you and your budget. We know that your budgets vary, based on the figures you give us to work with for Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! and we know that bridal salons may not be the best place for you to buy your wedding gown, given they often have starting prices that are double what many of you would like to spend. For many of you, dropping mad cash on a gown you will wear for a single day is not a priority, so we try to help you find options that work for you. But others of you place high priority on the gown and want the salon experience, and we applaud that as well.

    And this goes beyond wedding gowns. We try to provide you with tips, tricks, DIY tutorials and advice to help you be creative and savvy with your wedding dollars, regardless of your budget. We realize no two of you darling Broke-Asses are alike, nor will your weddings be. You are all prioritizing differently for your weddings, which we well know just from our Real Brides, so we try to include as much information as possible. And we strive to make this a safe, judgment-free community for you to come to, regardless if your wedding budget is $100 or $50,000 (or more!). Budget means different things to different people, and is totally relative depending on where you live, what you do, etc. We stand behind the companies we we work with because we believe they’ll be a great fit for you.

    We often hear the word “tacky” thrown around a lot in Weddingland, and we actually have our comment moderation set up both here and on Facebook to require manual approval for any comment that contains the word, because we feel so strongly about not hurting other people’s feelings. We keep a close eye on all of our social media platforms to ensure everyone is playing nice and you, our readers, feel safe having conversations in the space we provide. Because weddings are stressful, y’all, and the last thing you or anyone needs is for a stranger to openly and wantonly judge or harass you based on the decisions you make that are best for your situation. In an industry that stretches into the billions in revenue yearly and relies on the likes of celebrities and their multi-million dollar nuptials to forecast trends, being a bride with a small budget — whether by choice or by circumstance — can be difficult and shade can and will be thrown.

    But not here. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to work with Broke-Ass couples or you are a part of a Broke-Ass couple, this is your space. This area was made for you. And we try to make it safe so you can be who you are and throw the wedding you want, whatever that looks like and however you accomplish that.

    christen
  • 5/18

    Beau-Coup Celebration Balloons

    Celebration Balloons from Beau-Coup As my fiancé and I are in the home-stretch to the big day (17 days to go, June 4!), I've been reflecting on the ups and downs we've had in the last year planning our wedding, and there's a big, obvious headache that sticks out. What I'm about to state may be controversial, but here goes: you do not have to have a…

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    5/12

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    So, uh, this is weird, even if it is really wonderful. It may not be weird for you if, say, your parents divorced in your childhood as many people's did, but after 36 years and a whole lot of hell, my parents called it quits. That's not the weird part. In fact, I'm about as happy about the situation as an adult kid can be. I…

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    5/9

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Photo: Carole Cohen Before I got engaged, I always said I wouldn't let my wedding take over my  life. I watched so many friends become consumed by their wedding planning process. Every time we hung out would become about some wedding-related activity, whether it be dress shopping or a trip to Michael's. Our dinner conversations would revolve around their latest updates. I vowed this would not…

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  • 4/5

    bridal_sash

    Something that we value is shopping local or independent retailers when we’re able. We love supporting the Milwaukee economy and I’ve sort of made it a personal wedding mission. Obviously, most people’s wedding photographers or florists are local, but I thought I’d share a rundown of how we’re supporting local or other independent vendors elsewhere. Dress: While Maggie Sottero is an international designer, I was…

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    3/16

    barnprogress

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I was pretty overwhelmed when it came time to actually plan my wedding to my fiance, Russel. After sitting on our butts for about two months post-engagement, we finally decided to get to it. We created a guest list and budget, and it felt good to make progress and decisions. We knew choosing a venue needed to be our next…

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    3/14

    Real Bride Amy: The Straw that Broke This Bride's Back

    We're almost at the six-month countdown to our wedding. Most of the major plans are in place. Vendors are booked. Dress is bought. Now it's time to line up all the details. There have been several times during the planning process that I have wanted to throw in the towel. I've gotten over the hurdles so far and moved on, but this past week I…

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  • 3/4

    Pink Iridescent Sequin Backdrop

    Pink Iridescent Sequin Photo Backdrop, $175 by Etsy seller VowWowDecor If there's one complaint I hear from virtually every couple I work with, it's that there's just one little thing (or sometimes a BIG thing) about their venues they wish they could change ... or hide ... or get rid of altogether. Here's what one BAB had to say about her situation:  I was hoping for some advice! I'm getting…

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