Posts in the 'Wedding planning' Category

Real Bride Jubilance: When DIY turns into BUY

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the wedding industry – it’s deceptive. And tricky. Wedding magazines and blogs show you amazing photos of the cutest weddings, and the whole thing was done on $3 and full of amazing DIY projects. You get sucked in, you find some how-to’s, you pin some things on Pinterest, and you think “I can do this! No problem!”

Yeah … that shit does NOT always work out like you think it will. I thought I could do these “simple’ projects:

  1. Paper flowers
  2. Chalkboard signs
  3. Table numbers
  4. Escort cards
  5. Our broom for the Jumping The Broom ceremony

I may have gone a little nuts in Michael’s buying stuff for these projects.

So what happened when I tried these projects? Let me tell ya …

My first DIY trial was this relatively simple tutorial for tissue paper flowers. I figured they would be cute in the centerpieces and our high-tops at the cocktail hour. Starting out, they were pretty easy, until I discovered that  unfolding layers of tissue paper without it ripping is hard, like calculus hard. I ended up spending up a couple hours making only a few flowers *sigh*.

Real Bride Jubilance: When DIY turns into BUY

The fruits of my paper flower labor. Could this pass for a real flower for you?

After the paper flower drama I was a little scared to try something else, but I bit the bullet and took advantage of a 40% off everything coupon at Michael’s to get supplies to put together our wedding broom.

Short history – “Jumping the Broom” is African American wedding tradition that began in slavery. Slaves could not legally wed, so they used jumping the broom as their way of signifying marriage, as the new couple “jumps” into their new life together. Today many African Americans jump the broom as a way to recognize their heritage and ancestors. This is a tradition my fiancé and I are both excited to carry on and I was excited to put together our broom.

At Michael’s I got some pretty ribbon, some purple and green flowers … and then I couldn’t find a broom anywhere in the store. Turns out, they don’t carry them anymore except during Halloween. Bummer. And whack. Think about all the money they are missing out on! Anyway, I decided to improvise with some grass looking material that I figured I could secure into a broom shape. It seemed like a good plan … until I tried to actually secure the grass. Turns out, this stuff sheds like CRAZY and it looked really bootleg.

In the words of Sweet Brown: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

And that’s when I decided to support some small business owners on Etsy. I found a lovely shop who sold some beautiful wedding brooms, Romancing Juliet. I placed an order, and in only a week my broom showed up at my door. Color me surprised, I was expecting it to take much longer!

Real Bride Jubilance: When DIY turns into BUY

Our wedding day broom in our wedding colors of mint, lavender & gold

Etsy has completely saved my entire life. I don’t have to worry about getting things done, cause I can PAY people to do them  instead. Who knew? My broom is now taken care of, along with our table numbers and escort cards.

I did finish one DIY projec: the chalkboard signs. That was super easy and actually pretty fun to do. I painted two coats of chalkboard paint onto wooden pieces and then wrote my messages using a chalk pen. I may redo the Escort Cards sign – all I need to do is paint over it!

Real Bride Jubilance: When DIY turns into BUY

Chalkboard signs! Easy to make … or remake if needed

In the end, I ended up trying my hand at a few things, but I also learned that my best skill is finding great vendors who can bring my ideas to life.

Have you had any DIY projects that turned into duds? What about any ideas that were just easier to pay for than attempt to tackle on your own? Tell us in the comments below!

How to Love Your Wedding



It works better if you love it.

-Danielle La Porte
So, you’re at least a couple of months (or so) into planning your wedding, with a few months (or so) to go. It’s been a bit much, and not quite what you expected. And with so many moving pieces and so many unknown unknowns hiding in the back corners of any choice, it’s easy to start resenting it . The money, the time, the checklists. One of my new brides expressed all of this during our first consult, and I asked her, “Do you love your wedding?” And she said, “Not right now. I love the idea of it. I love what I want it to look like.” Well, that’s a start. “But I don’t really love it,  there’s too much to get through to get there.”

In the quote at the top, Danielle was not talking about weddings, specifically, but if she was, she’d still be right. Planning your wedding works better if you figure out how to love it.

Here are a few ways to start:

Replace the word “overwhelmed” with the sentence “I have a  lot of options.”

It’s the difference between feeling trapped, or feeling like you have choices, because you do. And you have time to go through them, one at a time. Embrace the Pretty. Focus on what you like, instead of what you don’t. And if you have to move on, do it believing what I believe: You will find what you want and need. Because you will.

Replace the word “worry” with “decide.”

Full-stop on the anxiety. A wedding cake isn’t the next thing you have to worry about, it’s just a decision that you have to make … out of the many options that you have. Embrace the Pretty or the Yummy, ask the questions, and trust yourself to ultimately make the right decision.  Because you will.

Replace the word “dread” with “anticipate.”

This is the huge one. And tough, I know. So many things haven’t worked out, it’s hard to take a deep breath and walk through another door hoping for the best. Meet it halfway – hope to see something cool, even if the cool thing ends up being a story about how awful it was! When you’re really at ready to throw something off of something, think about all the people that you can’t wait to see on your wedding day, and all the fun you’ll have, even if the bouquet you wanted is twice as much because peonies aren’t in season. What are you looking forward to on that day? It’s okay if the answer is, “for the planning to be over.” But until then, wait, what did that caterer just say to you??

Replace the word “how” with “when.”

“How am I going to do this?” One Google search and phone call at a time,  like I do. Again, avoid feeling trapped, take back the control and schedule the time to get it done. It could be during lunch, you can shoot a phone call or email out once you get home, but pencil it in. That’s how you do it.

Celebrate everything.

You booked your venue. Awesome. You found three photographers that you can afford whose work you love.  YES. Got through your first bridal shop visit? That calls for at least one margarita break. Found $4 gold chiavari chairs? Brush that dirt off your shoulder, woman. Celebrate each crossed off checkbox, no matter how high up on the list it is. And look for stuff to celebrate. You’d be surprised how quickly that will become a habit. {Eds. Note: We HIGHLY advocate keeping a cheap bottle of bubbly in the fridge at all times during your engagement.}

And most importantly, on your wedding day, CELEBRATE. First of all you made it – because of course you did – but most of all because this is a day that you filled with your choices, that you filled with things that you love, and people that you love. My favorite part of every wedding is watching you have a good time, sometimes despite yourself! Give up, stop worrying and enjoy the day. The love and the fun will all be there waiting for you.

And, there’s your pep talk for the month! What was your last wedding win, and your last wedding frustration? How did you celebrate, or pull yourself out of a funk. Let me know in the comments below!

And if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,




Baby Got Back: Gorgeous Gowns with Great Rear Detail

The past few years of wedding dress fashion have been rife with killer details, but few grab my attention like the ones with absolutely gorgeous designs on the back. So much emphasis tends to be put on the front of the dress, but let’s be real, your back will be facing half your guests during portions of the ceremony, not to mention both the walk up and down the aisle. Why not make sure the rearview is just as gorge as the front? So, in true Broke-Ass detective fashion, I hunted down some absolutely stunning designs that you won’t want to turn your back on (see what I did there?). From illusion details to plunging — yet not overly sexy — lines, each one of these dresses has a back to die for. Here are some of my favorites that I found (Note: Some of these are designer, some are actual broke-ass friendly. All are ones I love.):

D1848_main_zoomEssense of Australia

I love the mixture of the buttons and intricate lace detail, combined with the illusion aspect.

BHLDN Valentina Gown


Ruffles usually don’t do anything for me, but this silhouette is so sleek that the back was truly unexpected.
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Monique Lhuillier

In my opinion, a well-done cowl back is a lot more alluring that a plunging cowl front.

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Naeem Khan

I’m a sucker for a good open back dress that still has an air of modesty.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.43.41 AM

Two by Rosa Clara

While butt-bows aren’t a top pick, the styling of this dress is kind of Kate Spade reminiscent and feels playfully classy.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.39.49 AM


Fine mesh and ivy-like lace detail gives this airy dress a super-feminine feel.

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Jenny Yoo

This take on ruffles is a little more toned down, but no less unexpected.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.54.34 AM

J. Crew

Swiss dots, man, get me EVERY TIME.

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Sue Wong

The vintage feel of this dress makes me swoon (and y’all, check out that price tag!), but it’s the soft V-back that really pulls the whole dress together.



I mean, you guys. We’ve got lace, sleeves, a V-back, feminine and romantic detail … I die.

Have you seen any dresses with gorgeous backs that made you drool? Share them in the comments below!


Real Bride Jubilance: Bridal Burnout Has Taken Over

Replace “job” with “wedding planning” and this is me.

After my fiancé and I got engaged in May, I threw myself head-first into wedding planning. I LOVED IT. I’m a project manager by training and I love doing research. Wedding planning was also my excuse to buy all those wedding magazines I love instead of spending an afternoon at Barnes & Noble thumbing through them with a chai latte. I’m not the only person that’s done that right? Planning was pretty easy breezy and I was enjoying the experience … emphasis on was.

Y’all … our wedding is less than 60 days away … and I’m officially over it. I’m done. I wanna quit wedding planning so damn bad.

There are plenty of things we have left to do, but I have zero interest or energy to do any of it. I come home each night feeling like I should take care of wedding stuff, but all I want to do is sleep. Originally I was excited to do DIY projects; now I just want to buy something from Etsy and call it a day. I got a guest room full of stuff from Michaels that SHOULD be turning into cute paper flowers and chair signs … but for now it’s just collecting dust. Michaels is making a mint off of me buying stuff for this wedding, BTW. I really don’t want to make another damn decision, do anymore research or look at a million options. And of course, now is the time when all the little decisions have to be made. Joy.

Shit has gotta get done … so I’m plugging through, but not as enthusiastically as when I started this damn thing. I vented to a coworker who is also a recent bride, and she told me the secret to getting through this period: delegating. I haven’t delegated anything, mostly because I didn’t want to burden anyone. Whenever you hear wedding stories, you hear about brides who were bridezillas and expected too much from their friends & family.  I vowed that wouldn’t be me and now I’ve got bridal burnout. I hope there’s a cure for that.

Since I don’t give a damn about things like I once did, I’ve outsourced planning the rehearsal dinner to my fiancé and his mom. My Twitter timeline has also responded to my random cries of “where are all the cute blue wedding shoes that aren’t $800???” with links, resources, and ideas. Who said Twitter wasn’t a village? Oh and Twitter also helped me pick a cute dress for my bridal shower too! I’m also counting down to when my day of coordinator takes over all of this madness and I can relax.

Is this normal? Do other brides get this lethargy? Will I ever get my wedding planning mojo back? I hope so cause there’s still so much left to do in the next two months.

Five Good Wedding Planning Habits You Should Probably Start Now

Five Good Wedding Planning Habits That You  Should Probably Start Now

I believe that it’s not enough to simply survive planning your wedding, you should thrive and feel like a Boss while you’re doing it.  Here are five wedding planning habits to start practicing now that will help.

Let’s start with the money, first:

1.Multiplication. Avoid sticker shock that every couple goes through, and  remember that you are buying in bulk. For example, Chiavari chairs  for  $10 each? Multiply by 100 = $1o00. $2000 if you’re getting another set for the reception.

2.Ask about the other STDs – Service, Tax and Delivery. Always. Everyone who is delivering a product – your photographer, your photo booth, your cake – is going to charge tax, plus a delivery or travel fee. Your venue and your caterer will charge tax, plus a service fee. Here in Los Angeles, that’s usually adds up to  30% of the bill, on top of the bill, turning your $85 per person dinner into $110.50 per person. Multiply that by 100 …

3. Your last question to any potential vendor needs to be, “Is there anything else I need to know?” There are many unknown unknowns in wedding planning – the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know, or need to know.  Asking this question will give the opportunity for your vendor to go over anything they might have missed in their spiel, but are mentioned in the contract, or cover concerns other couples should have had. Things like, late fees, open fire permits, parking, vendor meals. That question might lead to more questions, but there are never too many questions. Or answers, for that matter.

And then there’s the mindset:

4. Treat this like any other shopping trip. This past weekend, I walked through Bloomingdales – like an idiot – to get to the rest of the mall, and I was stopped dead by an ankle length full-sweeping silk skirt. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that’s My Style. $598? No. I took a picture of it so I can maybe find it cheaper online, and then skipped over to Banana Republic and bought another ankle-length sweeping skirt for $75. My point is, that with every vendor, every service, you have alternatives. The last thing you look at is not the only option you have. It’s not only being able to afford it, maybe you just don’t like it. As an ex-bride of mine once said to the hovering bridal salon sales lady, “I know I look good in it, I just don’t feel good in it!” Feel good in it, feel good about it, whatever it is. If you don’t, move on.

5. Keep reminding yourself that you are not a victim of your wedding.  This wedding isn’t something that’s happening to you, you’re not being forced to pay $110 per person for dinner on a Saturday night. If you start thinking otherwise, or continue thinking that way, you are going to be very, very unhappy through this whole thing.  Throwing a wedding is a choice that you are making. That can be frustrating, or it can be empowering: You get to choose how you’re going to do it, what your wedding is  going to look like, or if you’re going to do it all. You get to say “Yes,” and you also get to say, “No,” and your reasons for doing either are perfectly valid, okay? So, stay empowered and don’t confuse “want to” with “have to.”

You’ve got this.

What are some habits that you’re already starting with your wedding planning? And what do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments below. And if you would like more information about me and my little area of Wedding World, visit

See you at the end of the aisle,


Cool Wedding-y Shizz Around the Web

In this new series, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite wedding-y things from around the Internetz. From inspiration shoots to style boards to DIY and planning tips, these are the things that catch our eye in other corners of the wedding web.

Our girl over at Kiss My Tulle has a rad state-themed series. This year she’s tackling decor, starting with Alabama. #duh


Credit: Kiss My Tulle

Wedding planning can be complicated. MyWedding has tips to simplify it.

Intimate Weddings has bachelorette party ideas that eschew penis straws.

Meg from A Practical Wedding is writing another book. If you haven’t read her first one, you should. It’s good.

I’m not the only one with a serious cat addiction. Chelsea from Tidewater and Tulle got her cats to star in an awesome shoot.


Credit: Tidewater and Tulle

This handcrafted Atlanta wedding on Ruffled is so full of color and #sparklez, I just might explode.

The founder of Offbeat Bride is touring the country with Lovesick Expo, a wedding show that likely doesn’t suck.

Effortless sophistication is exactly right with this dreamy inspiration shoot on OnceWed.

The bride in this multicultural Boston wedding on Pretty Pear Bride has some legit tips on wedding dresses.

The bride’s jacket in this South African wedding featured on 100 Layer cake made me do a double-take. So good.

Don’t feel like wearing a veil? Emmaline Bride has some great alternative ideas.

Downton Abbey is back, and The Big Fat Indian Wedding did a killer roundup inspired by the addicting drama.

Figuring out which flowers are in season and when is tricky. Budget Savvy Bride helps you figure it out.



Credit: The Budget Savvy Bride

What cool wedding things have you seen lately, BABs?

Vintage Dresses Get New Life with Blue-Eyed Boutique

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Vintage Dresses Get New Life with Blue-Eyed Boutique Photo by Emily Delmater Photography


Photo: Emily Delmater Photography, courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique

Vintage dresses and accessories are gorgeous, but can seem a little dated. Because, I mean, #duh. They’re old. But online retailer Blue-Eyed Boutique, who started out as an Etsy shop (and y’all we love us some Etsy), is here to help … and with a shiny new brick-and-mortar store in Biddeford, Maine, to boot.

Blue-Eyed Boutique is the brainspawn of Hannah, who stumbled onto Etsy, sold her slightly reworked prom dress to a woman in France and had a total lightbulb moment. Which, thank goodness, because homegirl has a way with the old and her prices are uber Broke-Ass friendly.
Vintage Dresses Get New Life with Blue-Eyed Boutique photo by Justine Johnson Photography


Photo: Justine Johnson Photography courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique

Hannah started collecting vintage wedding dresses when she was in college and gave them a little tweak here, a tuck there and breathed new life into the dated frocks, bestowing the classic femininity with some modern sleekness. And she’s been having such success with it, that she’s decided to expand her online boutique to a real live storefront.

Because the items at Blue-Eyed Boutique are upcycled, they’re also eco-friendly (yay, Earth!) and they’re totally easy on the wallet (yay, BAB homies!). Most of the designs fall nicely under $500.

Vintage Dresses Get New Life with Blue-Eyed Boutique photo by Emily Delmater Photography


Photo: Emily Delmater Photography courtesy Blue-Eyed Boutique

So, Maine brides with a penchant for the nostalgic, get thine booty over to the real, actual Blue-Eyed Boutique in Biddeford to see what Hannah’s got available. For the rest of us poor souls, we’ll just be over here on the website deciding which dress makes us swoon the hardest.

Oh, Hey There New Broke-Ass Brides!

Oh, Hey There New Broke-Ass Brides!

Heeeyyyoooo! Welcome to 2015, BABs! For those newbie Broke-Ass Brides, welcome to the party! For those of you who’ve been partying for a minute, yay! You made it through the hols, hopefully with your sanity fully functional.

Regardless, darling, you’re engaged. And that means you’ve got some biiiig things coming your way. And we’re here to help!

A great place to start would be here:

- A Budget Cheat Sheet for the Newbie Bride

- A Love Letter to the Newbie Brides

- Jumpstarting Your Wedding

- Real Bride Stories

Take your time. Take a look around. There’s a Resources button at the top of this page that has some great places where you can find your wedding essentials. We also have a Contact area where you can holler at us with any questions or suggestions you might have. We’re here to help, mmmkay?

We also have a number of wonderful inspiration posts on the blog, and many, many more on Pinterest. Oh while you’re at it, you should probs follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too. We have all sorts of cool shit.

And we’re super stoked you’re here to play! Congratulations, newbie brides!


Ten for the Weekend: Sweet Deals On Lots of Goods

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Damn. It’s hard to find a good sale after being pummeled with them all during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, of course, I couldn’t leave y’all without a killer Ten for the Weekend, now could I? No. Because that would be not awesome. Below we’ve got M&M’s you can put your face on, hot styles for the fella in your life and more sparkly discounts!

1. Whether your family sets out M&Ms for the holidays or you and your honey are considering a candy buffet, this deal is sweet: $20 off My M&M’s order of $50 or more when you use code MYMMSCASH20 until 12/7.
My M&Ms Personalized Candies
Oh, honey, you’re just so sweet! *CHOMP*
2. Banana Republic has always made some of my favorite winter clothes, but they tend to be a little pricey. But now, you can get 40% off your full-price purchase with code BRXODAYS until 12/7. Restrictions apply.

3. Hunting for your wedding stationery? Take 30% off site wide at Wedding Paper Divas with code CYBER30 until 12/9

4. Help the dude in your life look a little more dapper this season with 30% off sale items at Bonobos with code FROSTY until 12/7.

Bonobos Foundation Cotton Suit Jacket

What’s up, $100 suit jacket?

5. If you’ve been wanting to get a big print of your engagement or wedding photos, now’s the time. Get 25% Off All Orders at this month with code CHEER25.

6. Functional design powerhouse Quirky has some of their best-selling designs on sale for between $1 and $10 for a limited time. 

7. If you’re going to need extra bakeware for the holidays, head on over to Sur la Table and save 40% off select bakeware until 12/7.

8. Whether its for a holiday party or a wedding shower, get personalized gifts at 25% off from Beau-Coup until 12/6 with code FORYOU.

9. A sale a day, everyday: ModCloth is taking 25% off in their Category of the Day sale! Use the day of the week as the code for items in the specified category until 12/7.

10. If you liked that unicorn rug from this week’s gift guide, then go get it from ThinkGeek, where you can save up to 60% on tons of cool shit, like unicorn slippers, soap and rugs. #duh

Magical Unicorn Rug from ThinkGeek

Srsly. SRSLY.

Happy Shopping!