Broke-Ass Category: Wedding Advice

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If the new year brought you a new big step in your relationship, congratulations! We’re so happy to have you! As you jump into the world of wedding planning, know that it’s totally normal and very much ok to be feeling a little … overwhelmed about where to start, to say the least.


If your head is feeling like a giant cloud full of tulle and fondant at the moment, take a deep breath, smile and remind yourself that this is going to be great. Then, take a look at our suggestions to get you on the right track to a sane, prioritized planning process.

Focus on the big picture.

Take some time to think about what your wedding *feels* like. Is it a big, backyard bash with all of your favorite people? Maybe an intimate cocktail party with your closest family a friends? Make sure to have open conversations with your partner about this so you can suss out any areas you’ll potentially need to compromise. Thinking about the overall size of your wedding helps with other big decisions like the venue and budget.

Identify YOUR priorities and where you’re willing to splurge.

Maybe you know exactly what you want to wear or have long dreamed of a specific venue. It could be that you really want to hire that band you saw together on a special date. If there are big ticket items that you know you’ll regret not having as a part of your day, pick them out, write them down and look into what it will cost, then start building your budget around that. It may mean spending less on other areas, but making room for the things you both want is worth it!

Check out venues and build from there.

Even if you don’t feel like the venue is the most important choice you’ll make, it’s still a good place to start. Reserving a venue secures your date and having a date allows you to book all of the other vendors you want. Venues are also likely to have rules that could end up being a deciding factor on other vendors or elements you want to include. Things like sparklers, including pets in your ceremony and pretty much anything that includes an open flame may be a no-go. It’s up to you whether the location is worth sacrificing something you wanted to have in your wedding.

Don’t put too much stock in checklists.

Timelines and checklists can be great at keeping you organized and helping you plan how to space out big purchases, but they’re not the end-all-be-all of wedding planning. If you’re the type of person who starts the day by making a to-do list, by all means, find one that fits you! Just don’t brand yourself a failure if your stationery isn’t chosen six months out. If you feel confident about a purchase at a time a great deal comes up, think of it as meant to be, regardless of whether or not a checklist tells you it’s “time.”

Above all, trust yourself and your partner because this is going to be a fun ride! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice and find your favorite ways to share your love story.

Are you having a hard time figuring out the next step to take in your wedding planning? Let us know what has you stumped in the comments below!

  • 10/28

    dinosaur centerpiecesWeddings — planning them, paying for them, putting them on — are kind of an ordeal. Even the simplest of soirees can have a lot of moving parts and when those parts get to rolling, the unsolicited advice starts coming in. Seriously: death, taxes, unsolicited wedding advice.

    Plenty of people out there have already explained that it’s important not to take these opinions (or thinly veiled demands) personally, but it’s worth mentioning again … don’t take it personally. However, depending on the source of the advice things can get a little … contentious between you and your partner and nothing drives a wedge quite like [*ominous music*] in-laws.

    Personally, I love my in-laws. They’re wonderful people who brought me in and treated me like family, but family can get under your skin. Through all that love, I still managed to get really. fucking. sick. of all of the opinions my mother in law expressed.

    That’s too expensive! Well, we’re footing the bill ourselves.

    Why September instead of the spring? Um, it’s just what we wanted.

    You should just go to the courthouse! We’ve already put a large and non-refundable deposit on the venue and damnit, I want our pretty prince and princess day!

    When your future in-laws start grinding your gears, your first instinct will likely be to bitch to your future spouse. Don’t. Even the most practical of people can feel personally attacked when you speak ill of their family. Hanging on to your frustrations silently can be damaging to your, well, sanity, so find neutral ground to talk about your irritation before it turns into out-right anger.

    Start by mentioning the family member’s advice or opinion without embellishment. “I feel like your mother dislikes the colors we’ve chosen.” Give your partner time to react and consider whether the family member is criticizing a choice you made together. If you find yourselves firmly on the same page, ask for help. “Since we agree, would you please remind her that we made this decision together and we’re very happy with it?” Having a unified front with your future spouse is a good way to let a persistent parent know that their son or daughter is also involved in the planning and their preferences are being heard.

    Make your feelings known without insulting mom or dad. The constant barrage of suggestions and requests that many couples get can be frustrating and stressful, so don’t be afraid to explain that. You do want to be careful of jumping into more inflammatory language. “Your dad is really pissing me off,” or “I can’t stand your mother,” can leave your partner feeling stuck in the middle between two of the most important people in his or her life. If you feel the push of a parent, your betrothed will likely feel the squeeze from both sides.

    If they care about their parents’ opinions, care with them. If necessary, find a compromise, but try giving the benefit of the doubt. Remember that you are in this together and the pushiest of parents are often very close with their kids, even after they’ve become adults. You don’t want to form a rift over things like stationery or a string quartet. If they’re insistent about something, ask why. They may have a good reason. If an inlaw is pushing a family tradition, it’s likely because they see you as a part of their family.

    That being said, know where to draw the line. Don’t fold over cultural or religious elements when you and your partner specifically want to include or exclude something. Don’t get bullied into something you hate. Don’t put up with being personally insulted over a choice you and your partner have made. Most in-laws mean well, but it’s an unfortunate fact that some of them don’t. If you start getting that feeling, put them on the spot. Explain that you and your fiance(e) are trying to plan an event that pleases everyone with everything is causing both of you a lot of stress. If the idea would cause a financial burden, make that plainly known. If it’s time to bring out the big guns, this is the line that worked for me: “I love you and I don’t want to fight with you. I love your son with all of my heart and this is something we decided on together. May I ask you to support us, please?” Worked like a charm!

    Are you having issues with an in-law? What has worked to break the tension? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 10/18

    Some ladies dream of the perfect wedding dress, others dream of the Prince(ess) Charming that will meet them at the end of the aisle and many dream of the minute that they will say "I do." Before I joined the sorority of engaged ladies, I too dreamed of the above but the most pressing dream and the images that keep me up at night are the…

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    Cash Wallet, $56 by Etsy seller BlackArrowStudio I've been wracking my brain to come up with some truly epic wedding advice for you, BABs. This being my last advice post for The Broke-Ass Bride for the moment, I'm feeling some (self-imposed) pressure to get it right! ? I hope you enjoy it, and remember that you can always reply in the comments or email BAB directly…

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    I’m 75 days into the happiest time of my life. I’m floating on Cloud 9, the new accessory on my left finger continues to sparkle and the engagement glow is bright, everything is just as I imagined it and I am itching to plan the wedding of my dreams. There’s just one small challenge ... the budget! Professionally, I have planned thousands of events for…

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    Marathon Runner Cake Topper, $205 by Etsy seller Clayphory Pre-post disclaimer: If you're looking for fitspiration, you've come to the wrong place. This is not a post about losing weight, working out, or changing your appearance for your wedding day. Instead, this post contains tips to (hopefully) keep you from passing out on your wedding day. These are general tips, not medical advice. As always, consult your doctor or nutritionist…

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    Maybe someone is about to be deployed, or perhaps it’s slightly less dramatic, like the fall semester is about to begin. There are many reasons why couples choose to get hitched on the fly, and in most cases, money is a factor -- or lack thereof anyway. Fortunately, there are ways to pull off a great broke-ass wedding on short notice, as the following guide…

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    It's kind of a no-brainer when it comes to saving money -- full open bars are a huge money sink. Not only are they expensive, but if you're DIYing the B-A-R, you have the impossible task of reading people's mind to figure out just how much gin, tequila and bourbon you need to have ready to serve up. In general, the fewer choices you have,…

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    Credit: Lucky Photographer from Kate & Daniel's Real Wedding One of the decisions that can significantly impact your wedding budget is about how you'll serve your guests. This applies whether you're serving dinner, appetizers, cake and punch, breakfast-for-dinner or any other type of meal. So let's break down some of the options, shall we? Buffet Pros: This is typically a more cost effective option if you want to offer…

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