Broke-Ass Tag: wedding themes


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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 theme for your wedding. There, I said it.  But let me clarify a bit further.

Getting sucked into the world of wedding magazines and gorgeous Pinterest photos early on in the wedding planning process is so, so easy. I think it was the very next day after we got engaged that I ran out to the store to scoop up all of the wedding magazines available and devoured them as quickly as I could. Every night I came home from work and read wedding websites to get an idea of the type of wedding I wanted to have, took polls to find out “what kind of bride” I was and started pinning up a storm of “real wedding” ideas. Eventually, my head was spinning with everything I consumed and I had no idea where to even start to pull together a plan for our wedding. One thing was consistent though: every single picture, every single bride on “Say Yes to the Dress” had a wedding theme.

“You have to have a theme,” my sister said. She was planning on designing our invitations and wanted to make sure they were consistent with what we are planning on doing to decorate our venue. I told her the only thing I could think of based on things I saw that I liked combined with our personal tastes: “umm … modern French garden party?” It sounded good, and it wasn’t a cheesy cliché wedding theme that everyone and their best friend has done. Perfect.

The best part was when I asked her what her theme was at her wedding, she said she didn’t have one. So … yeah, not sure why I felt the pressure to have a theme. More on that later.

Fast-forward several months to us planning out how to decorate the venue based on what we had available in our budget. Since we were DIYing our flowers for the centerpieces, we had a good chunk free in our budget to play with. Oh, the ideas I had — large topiaries flanking the aisle, strung garlands of carnations hung on the archway for the ceremony, a backdrop of giant paper flowers for our guests to take photos in front of, seed packets with everyone’s names attached for the place cards, even a large, distressed trellis with garlands of fake flowers to display behind the cake table. My biggest fear was all of the ideas we planned on ending up being too difficult to execute and would look, you know, lame and not like those weddings I saw on Pinterest. On top of that, once we started tallying up how much it would cost to buy or make these ideas, it ended being pretty pricy and we were stuck scratching our heads about what we would do with some of this stuff after the wedding. The biggest kicker was that these ideas didn’t really bring us a lot of joy and they felt forced — this wedding was starting to not feel like us.

martha stewart

After a night of tears of frustration and not knowing what to do with our limited budget as the days ticked closer, we went back to the drawing board: What did we ultimately want our wedding to be like and how did we want our guests to feel. We wanted a happy vibe throughout the whole day and just wanted our family and guests to have fun and celebrate with us — that’s ultimately the point of our wedding and what’s most important to us. And that’s how we decided to decorate our wedding, with what makes us happy: giant 3′ balloons everywhere for the ceremony and reception in our wedding colors, giant tissue poofs and streamers, a crazy-fringed backdrop for photos with props we’re borrowing from a friend’s wedding and word-balloon garlands at the bar.

That’s the point I’m trying to get at — do what makes you happy, not what you feel you “have” to do or what the wedding industry/Pinterest/your friends/your family tells you or makes you feel you should do. If having a shabby-chic wedding theme makes you excited and feels like you both as a couple, then go for it by all means. But you may find while planning your wedding that pigeon-holing yourself into a theme may be more expensive to pull off, stressful and not at all what you wanted. And that’s damn OK — it’s your wedding, and you can do whatever makes you happy.

Have you felt pressured into making a decision that’s just not quite right for you?

  • 5/4

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    We had some great requests for color scheme inspiration on Facebook, but this one from Lily stood out as an interesting challenge. She’s looking to pair dark purple and warm orange over ivory, accented by rose gold in a Midsummer Night’s Dream-meets-carnival theme. To me, the great Shakespearean play reminds me of Greek-style flowing dresses, floral crowns and an organic feeling while carnivals are bright and showy with lots of light and sparkles. We scrubbed the interwebz for some dreamy inspiration to bring these two great ideas together.


    1. Get your guests geared up for the party with these Eventide rose gold foil stamped invites from Minted ($260 for 100 invitations).

    2. Shine a light on the night with rose gold lanterns from Etsy seller OpenVintage Shutters ($15.99).

    3. You’ll look like a dream come to life in the airy Lucca gown from BHLDN ($520).

    4. Top your wedding day look with this etherial Floral Crown with blush pearls from Etsy seller NoonontheMoon ($125).

    5 & 6. Have your girls channel their inner Greek Goddess with a one shouldered or strapless bridesmaid gown. Both from Target ($79.99).

    7. These purple candle holders from Luna Bazaar are lined in a yellow gold hue, but light a candle and they glow a lovely burnt orange shade from behind the aubergine ($6).

    8. Calla lilies look amazing mixed with a variety of flowers and greens. The mango orange variety from Blooms by the Box are a wonderful color to match this palette ($37.90 for a box of 10).

    9. Blue by Betsey Johnson’s Wed pump is a classic and demure style in a medium high heel that won’t kill your feet, but when they’re covered in rose gold sequins, they bring out the fun, flashy carnival vibe!’s awesome discounted price is reason enough to party ($52.99).

    10. A dreamy night calls for stars and these huge 24″ paper star lanterns from Luna Bazaar are a lovely marriage between the two themes ($7.95).

    11. Reminiscent of crescent moons, the rose gold links in this 1928 Vintage Lace Half Circle stretch bracelet on Amazon adds a pop of metallic without being overwhelming ($22).

    12. Bring out the ivory in your palette with a beautiful show of deep purple with the Picasso mini calla lily from Blooms by the Box ($37.90 for a box of 10).

    13. These rose gold and rhinestone Constellation Earrings from Etsy seller BearfruitBoutique are delicate enough for a fairy and add a whimsical sparkle to a wedding day ensemble ($36).

  • 6/15

    OK. Can I tell you girls a secret? My wedding was perfect, and lovely, an we had a grand old time, and were successfully married. But. As much as I love my wedding, I have to confess... It wasn't my Dream Wedding Day. Now, don't get me wrong... All my dreams came true. And I married the man of my dreams. But cutting our timeline…

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    I saw a Roller Derby match tonight (the Blitzburg Bombers killed it, by the way).  Roller Derby is unstoppably cool.  It kind of makes me feel like an eight-year-old girl staring at a bunch of sixteen year-olds, who simply by virtue of their age seem cooler than Steve McQueen and Debbie Harry combined.   Derby chicks are so freakin' cool. [Photo by Mike Rubino] The…

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    Did you ever see the movie Bride Wars? [If you haven't, stop now... and pat yourself on the back for your discerning taste.] In it, the eponymous warring brides meet with a wedding planner, and the first item of business is to share their wedding themes. The brides spout off well-rehearsed nonsense phrases: one seeks "elegant minimalism with romantic textures;" the other "classic traditionalism with…

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  • 8/20

    If you followed my wedding plans, you know there's nothing I love more than custom illustrations. They add a level of personal flair and uniqueness that truly befits a  unique wedding. We had custom drawings done for our save the dates, our invitations, and even for our maps and thank you cards (more to come on those later) - but if I could go back…

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    I just love the way Mehndi looks on a bride. Its such a lovely, delicate and sometimes surprising detail with big impact. (image source) How frickin' sweet are those shoes? Mehndi is an intricate henna application typically done to the hands and/or feet of brides of mid-east/eastern descent, but is gaining popularity among other cultures for its beauty, and is even making appearances in fashion…

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    Here's a teaser of an image I interpreted into a "Wedding Logo" of sorts.... Fear not - its uses will be revealed, in time..... (I lost the source drawing which inspired this! If its you, let me know! - click to enlarge) But, what does it mean? Well, I'm glad you asked! We chose the Ganesh because he is known as the Remover of Obstacles…

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  • 6/23

    Deciding on a theme was a difficult decision for my meaty man and me. We both wanted to love the Moroccan idea but it felt kind of limiting to us, and we wanted something more unique and whimsical... more us. I searched and searched for inspiration, and then I struck gold. This is what I'm talking about, people! This is the kind of whimsical, vibrant,…

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