Broke-Ass Tag: wedding vendors


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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 to visit them much in the past couple months. My mom has been working non-stop on wedding stuff, so it was cool to see everything in person. I am talking centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, coloring canvas, ceremony backdrop, and on and on and on. She’s a machine.

    Anyway, back to the venue. It’s kind of a little crazy there. Members of the fair board have been working around the clock to get things done, and they also have volunteers there on a daily basis helping with any and all projects they can get their hands on. I actually felt like a bit of an a-hole stopping by and snapping pics while others were hard at work, but I digress. They’re pouring concrete, moving grandstands, painting, building walls … and a million other things.

    fair entrance

    What will be the main entrance to the fairgrounds…we hope. (All pics by me)

    There have definitely been some surprises along the way, but we expected that when we chose a venue that was pretty much nonexistent at the time of booking. There are two little buildings that were not on the original drawings of the fairgrounds, but I think we can actually use them to our advantage. I think my bridesmaids and I will be hanging out in one while the guests arrive, and the other may be a good spot for a mini-bar that will be close to where all of our yard games are set up. It will be nice to not have to walk all the way up to the main barn for a beverage or snack.

    large barn

    The little red barn was a surprise, but will come in handy. The large barn behind it is our back-up plan if it rains. It’s humongous, so we will be able to have our ceremony and all of our games in there if need be.

    There are some ugly electrical panels scattered throughout the grounds, but there is exactly nothing I can do about them, so I am not even gonna stress. I mean, we need electricity, so really I’m ecstatic they are there. Plus, I think we can put our food stands in front of several of them to block them out.

    fair pano

    There’s my handsome fiance standing near one of the ugly, but necessary panels. I think my ‘maids and I will be in the little red building on the far right. The old bank barn on the left is where the reception will be held, and weather permitting, we will get married in front of it. All the usuals will be inside — bar, dance floor, DJ, tables and chairs, guestbook area, etc.

    We are super jazzed about all of the open space we have to work with. And even if the grass looks like butt, who cares? Hint: not me. Do I seem relaxed? I feel pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

    There are three full weeks until the fair kicks off, so I am very interested to see how everything looks by then. They are certainly busting ass, that much is for sure. Once the fair is over, we will have another seven weeks before our wedding. My mom will have free reign over the old bank barn that entire time, so that should be plenty of time for her to work her magic on the decor. All in all, we are happy with how things have worked out. If it’s not a picture-perfect space, that’s okay. The day itself can still be perfect, and for $400 … yeah, it’s all good.

  • 6/9

    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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    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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  • 5/3


    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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    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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  • 11/23


    Wouldn't wedding planning just be a breeze if you could create a wishlist, share it on one platform and get matched with pros and rentals that fit into your ideal budget? Even better if you earned points toward dollars off said rentals and purchases? Well, you know that if I brought it up, it's because it's a REAL THING YOU CAN DO. No, for serious.…

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