Broke-Ass Tag: wedding vendors


Affiliate Disclaimer NewOne of the main requirements that Russel and I had when it came to choosing a venue was the ability to choose any caterer/food option we wanted. There were several reasons for this: 1) You can’t have a carnival wedding without fun carnival food and I don’t think most traditional caterers are down with all fried everything; 2) We knew that a lot of companies were likely going to cost more than we were willing/able to spend. I want to feed my guests awesome and delicious food, but I don’t want to go (more) broke doing it. We wanted to be able to research every available option and choose what was right for us.

Etsy bomobob ferris wheel carnival photograph

Photograph available from Etsy seller bomobob

Just a few weeks after we decided to go all-in on our theme, the Holmes County Fair happened to be going on. The timing was pretty perfect, and we were able to walk around and see the different vendors and their options and prices. We sampled a lot of goodies and made a list of what we liked best. We gathered information for the stands we loved and contacted them over the next few weeks so we could see if they would even be interested in doing a wedding — and if our preferred menu was feasible. We got super lucky, because both vendors we talked to seemed excited about the idea and were more than happy to work with us on creating a great dinner.

Our menu:

Shredded beef sandwiches, sausages with peppers and onions, corn dogs, french fries, onion rings, ice cream, funnel cakes and chocolate-dipped cheesecake. I mean …*insert heart-eye emoji here*

Yeah, it’s a lot of fried goodness, but there are also a couple things that aren’t submerged in oil, so I feel good about it. I also feel fantastic about the price. For $12-$15/person, we’re getting all of that yumminess. It even includes dessert — hells yeah! We are getting a small cake for us to cut, but unless someone is dying for a slice, it’s really just there to look pretty and provide us with a stale, frozen anniversary tradition next year. Truth be told, we don’t have a firm price or even a contract in place, because we will be paying at the end of the night when they tally up how much food we went through. We’re totally fine with that since it’s exactly what we want.

This year’s fair kicks off Saturday, so we will be making the trip again so we can try the food one more time, and also see all of the amazing progress at the fairgrounds. Being the first ever wedding at the fairgrounds is scary, but this will be a trial run for the food stands which is super helpful. When they arrive to set up the night before our big day, they will know exactly what they are doing. Bonus!

All in all, I totally suggest looking into food stands or trucks as an option for a wedding or event. We are really happy we went with what we really wanted, and I think it’s going to pay off.

Have you made any wedding decisions that are super outside the box? Share in the comments!

  • 7/22

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    Ring Security Polo Shirt by TheKnottedPalm

    Ring Security Polo Shirt, $22+ by Etsy seller TheKnottedPalm

    Will your ring bearer be the only security at your wedding?

    Hey guys, keep your advice questions coming!

    Dear Lisa,

    My MIL says I need to hire security for our wedding reception, but I don’t really want to pay extra for security and it’s a squeeze for our budget, plus I think it would offend our guests. Do I have to do it?

    Thanks a million!
    Fearless BAB


    Dear Fearless,

    Any unexpected and/or un-fun expense is an unwelcome one. Often couples don’t think about wedding security until late in the game, so when it pops up, it can be an unpleasant surprise. Many couples have never even heard of using security for weddings, but it is quite common in the U.S., depending on your region, venue and the size of your wedding reception. And truly, most guests don’t think twice about it, especially if they’ve ever been to large events or concerts, so I don’t think you have to worry about that angle.

    Pros of Hiring Security

    1. It might be required. It sounds like your venue might not require security, but that’s the first thing to check: Does your venue require security? If so, do they provide it? (and at what cost?) If your venue requires you to have security, then yes, you definitely have to pay for the service. It’s not exactly a “pro,” but it’s a really good reason to do it. Sometimes security is built into the rental fee for a venue so you may not even be aware that you’re getting the service, but if not, always ask if it’s provided and/or required.

    2. It’s their job to have your back. If your venue doesn’t require you to have security, you might still want to consider it. Events can get out of control quickly and without warning, even in groups of the best-natured people (due to high emotions and sometimes free-flowing alcohol over many hours), and you’d be surprised how handy a security officer can be under those conditions. And regardless of your own guests’ behavior, there’s always a slim chance for wedding crashers or uninvited guests, who might cause a ruckus or even steal from the gift table (it happens, y’all). Security officers can shut that down swiftly, sometimes without you ever knowing about it. The point is, security is there as much to protect you, your family, and your guests as they are there to keep guests from getting out of hand.

    3. You can stay out of the drama. Say the unlikely does happen, and a couple of your guests (or even family) get into it, or someone spontaneously acts on a really bad idea. You’ll never have to get in the middle or break a sweat, because security will take care of it — and they are highly trained in doing so.

    4. You’ll barely notice they’re there. Unless there’s a reason for them to jump in and save the day, most professional security officers will be discreet and you might even forget they’re there. Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: Say thank you to your security! Security officers work long hours in a thankless job. If you’re able, it’s a kind gesture to offer them a cup of coffee, some water or even food or cake. 

    What Security Won’t Do

    There are exceptional stories out there about security officers going above and beyond the call of duty (and I’ve met my fair share: one such officer even helped my staff to clean up at the end of the night!), but in general, don’t expect your security officers to be your wait staff, step in to do the job of any of your vendors, hold your hair back or look the other way if you’re the one getting out of control.

    As a wedding planner, I always recommend security to my clients who are holding weddings anywhere but their own back yards (and even then it might be worth it). But I’m a Type-A planner in every sense of the word, and I tend to plan for the worst case scenarios as well as the best possible outcomes. If you’re comfortable without a security guard and it’s not required by your venue, then go ahead and nix that line item from your budget!

    – Party on!


    Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 7/20


    And that's okay! We're a little over two months out from our wedding, so Russel and I decided to check out the progress at our venue this past weekend. It was actually a triple-duty trip to Amish country -- we worked on our invitations, stopped by the fairgrounds, and spent QT with my parents. Our summer has been insanely busy, so we haven't been able…

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    owning your wedding

    The thing with planning a wedding that gets to a lot of couples is that it feels like there are so. many. decisions. that, in the grand scheme of things, seem pretty inconsequential, but when it comes to the event that is your wedding actually make a big difference. It really is OK to waver back and forth between linen colors and wonder if you should…

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    Etsy 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…

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  • 5/17


    Photograph available from Etsy seller StovallPhotography Whelp, BABs. Turns out the hotel contract that I raved about in my previous post got pulled. Last week Monday, I gleefully took my lunch hour to walk up to the hotel to drop our contract off. The hotel was more beautiful than the pictures. The historic look of the hotel would be perfect for our photos. I ended…

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    Photo available from Etsy seller KevinKlimaPhoto Hotels have been my largest vendor disappointment to date. Last year, I was really excited to learn that a brand new, boutique-style hotel was being built directly across the street from our ceremony location and venue. Couldn’t get much easier than that, right? I knew it would be a bit pricey, but was prepared to shell out some cash…

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    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    We talk a lot about taking the stress out of wedding planning and learning when to take a deep breath and let things go, but when it comes down to it, this is an incredibly special day and some things are worth a little fight. As our wedding day slips further and further into the past (almost five months, yo!), the glow of happiness is…

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  • 12/7


    Being a bride and also working in the industry gives me a unique perspective. I'm involved with an online community of bridal professionals and creatives, and I reached out to them this week when my bridal side had questions. Long story short, I was getting some anxiety because I was getting bad vibes from my photographer. Nothing terrible, just not feeling like we were clicking.…

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