Broke-Ass Author: Jess


We are almost exactly one month away from our big day. Basically I am in a perpetual state of panic. I wish that I was not working and instead spending every day at thrift stores buying adorable wedding- related things. Unfortunately I am instead working from 8:30-5:30 and spending my evenings making lists of things I don’t have time to do and resisting the urge to drink until I pass out. As much as I would love to spend this post making every reader vastly uncomfortable or typing “everyone elope!” 500 times — instead, let’s focus on vows.

vows emilie rhaupp

By Emilie Rhaupp via Flickr Creative Commons

Vows are hard. You know why you love your almost spouse, but saying it meaningfully in front of everyone you know is a lot of pressure! Not to mention that you have to choose if you’re doing the traditional vows or if you’re writing your own.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted us to write our own vows — they’re more meaningful that way, right? As I looked for inspiration for my vows I started to get scared about Michael’s vows.

What if I put a ton of time and effort into mine and he was just, “Jess –I love you, you’re my best friend. The end”?! Or didn’t write anything at all and then it was just this unrehearsed ramble? Or our vows just didn’t go together?

That said, I decided to give Michael (and myself) a fill-in-the-blank. Now, I know that as a generality Mad Libs are not very romantic, but this seemed like the best option. This way I can make sure that our vow structure is similar, but I’m not telling Michael exactly what to say. He’s still free to tell me (and everyone), in his own words, why he loves me.

Now I know you’re at least a little bit curious what this Mad Lib vow structure looks like so here it is:

– I fell in love with you …

– [Something about you] makes me want to be a better man/ person

– So today I promise that I will be yours in sunshine and in rain

– In times of plenty and times of want

– In sickness and in health.

– And that you will be mine in times of war and in times of peace

– In old age and in youth

– Always

– You are [description] and I want to spend the rest of my life [blank]

(Somewhere in there a quote about love)

And then my vows will be the same (minus the “better man” part).

So ladies — what have you done or decided to do about your vows?

  • 7/1

    Hi all!

    First of all, let me apologize to my friend, Rachel. Rachel got married a few years ago and I was hurt that she didn’t invite me or any of her other friends from junior high through high school. Now, as a Broke-Ass Bride, I totally understand and apologize for being mad.

    OK, let’s talk about one of the most difficult aspects of your wedding: the guests. Who do you invite? Who do you leave off? Do you listen to your parents?

    Guest List.jpg

    Made with PicMonkey

    I think I mentioned before that I split our list and told Michael that his family was his responsibility (a decision that I still stand by). The difficulty of this is in people asking, “why didn’t cousin X get invited?” I dutifully respond, “Michael was in charge of his side of the family, take it up with him.” I love being able to this because I HATE confrontation and I like deferring the blame.

    What I ended up doing, since I have a large family who live locally, is inviting my whole family and a few close friends. We each had 75 invites and 56 of those (on my side) are people I am directly related to.

    What Michael did, since most of his relatives live in other states/countries, is invite his grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but no cousins. He said that most of his cousins he has never met or met once when he was little and he wanted to save his invites for the people closest to him. While I totally respect and understand this choice, it did rub some people the wrong way. Luckily while I tend to be more of a people pleaser and would have bent if people complained, Michael stood strong — which I really admire.

    The other rough subject of invites is plus-ones. We have had a few people that were shocked that everyone did not get a plus one. Even if I could afford for everyone to bring a guest, I wouldn’t want them to! My wedding is about celebrating with the people I love –I don’t want random people there. I don’t want my sister to invite a guy she met that morning at Starbucks to the most important day of my life (this won’t happen because my sister is 13). The question then becomes: How do we keep  our guests from inviting unwelcome guests (and how do we categorize “unwelcome”)? What we decided was that we would allow people to invite their boyfriends/girlfriends as long as they had been dating for at least a year. To minimize our risk further we didn’t send our invites to “Johnny Smith + 1” but rather, “Johnny Smith and Andrea Biltmore.” Then, the thought is, even if Johnny and Andrea break up, he can’t bring a stranger.

    How did you deal with the guest list? Did you get any major pushback?

  • 6/23

    Hello fellow BABs! Michael and I are down to the last 50 days before the wedding and I can’t believe it. Time has gone by SO fast --I’m in full-on panic mode basically all the time. That tiny girl in the hourglass is me. Source My thoughts look like this: “I need to build 10000 things and paint wood into adorable signs!” “Are there any cute thrift stores…

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    Source. When you find your dress, it’s bliss. You’re all, “This is it! I’m ready to walk down the aisle!” False. There’s your hair, your makeup, your veil, not to mention shoes or jewelry. In my everyday life I’m very minimal when it comes to hair, makeup, and jewelry so I knew I was going to need professional help for my bridal look. Lucky for…

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    Fresh Mimosa Bridal Shower Invitations from Minted I’m coming up to my first shower and I’m super excited (I mean: presents!) but also a little stressed. I know that the shower is not my concern at all -- that my bridesmaids take care of it and I just show up -- but that’s really hard for me to do. With my three bridesmaids being in different cities (my fourth bridesmaid is…

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    I know that most of us here at The Broke-Ass Bride are in the whirlwind of planning our big days. I also know how easy it is to get caught up with the wedding and forget to focus on what you want out of marriage. Most of us have at least one role model in our lives of a “good” marriage --something we aspire to -- otherwise we probably…

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    Throughout this wedding process I have thought a lot about what I will tell my future children when they get engaged, especially if I have sons. This is not to say that these are things that Michael is doing wrong -- many are little things that I don’t want to forget. So ladies feel free to give this to your boyfriends/ fiancés/ children, and to any brave…

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    Ok, let’s talk about an important wedding day aspect: Alcohol. There are so many options: open bar, cash bar, no bar, beer and wine only, signature drinks … the list goes on. Some venues make it a little easier on you by giving you restrictions, or you may come from a very religious family where it’s easier to just forgo the booze altogether. Here’s my experience…

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    Honeymoon (n)-: the trip following your wedding that is supposed to be relaxing but you can’t even think about, much less plan, because you’re already too overwhelmed. It seems like honeymoon talk here at BAB is sparse. Probably because we are all broke and stressed and cannot even contemplate planning a honeymoon (at least that’s how I feel). I want to talk about it because…

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