Broke-Ass Category: Rachel


Honeymoon Vibes shirt available from Etsy seller TheDailyTay

Hello, it’s me … that Broke-Ass Bride who has been MIA for a bit.

Life has been nuts!

But let’s not dwell on that; let’s talk about fun, happy things … like a honeymoon with your new husband. Russel and I both love to travel. He’s spent time in Europe and Colombia among other places, and I just got back from my third cruise to some fun, exotic locales. But when it came to our honeymoon, we decided to keep it simple — and cheap! Would it have been amazing to take a long trip across the pond or to a tropical oasis? Of course! There are so many places I am dying to see, and getting away for 10 days or two weeks is always fantastic in my book. But because we paid for our own wedding, it’s not like we had a lot of spare change lying around to finance something extravagant, and that’s okay! Our day was awesome, and we do not regret spending what we did. It just meant that we chose to stay close to home, which turned out to be super relaxing and just what we needed.

We’re outdoorsy (hello, engagement while fishing), so it was easy for us to choose a cabin in the woods as our getaway. Luckily, we live a very drivable distance from some fantastic mountain ranges, so we had lots of cool locations to choose from. I am not even sure what swayed our decision, but in the end, we chose North Carolina.

Easy drive, mountains … beer!

I knew I wanted to visit Asheville after hearing so many friends rave about it, so we used that as a guide when selecting our cabin. We found the perfect little place on AirBnb that was only 45 minutes from the city. It was a small, cozy place for two, newly-built, and completely secluded. It had a pond to fish in, plus an amazing screened-in porch that was perfect place to sit and relax and watch for the adorable little deer that were all around. There was a grill, so we stocked up on steak, veggies and other food and made three meals every day, which was obviously much cheaper than eating at restaurants. Bonus! It was also close to state and national parks, so we spent a day exploring the area and going on a long hike. The best part? It was $75/night.

Hell yes!

We stayed Monday-Thursday and then packed up and headed into Asheville for a couple days. We stopped at the Biltmore on the way and took the tour, which was fascinating to me. I like to go on very long and twisty Wikipedia deep dives (as my friends and I like to call them), and I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time reading about the entire Vanderbilt clan and their famous home, so I loved seeing it in person. We were not huge fans of the $75 price of admission … hi, that’s an entire night of lodging for us … but I do think it was worth it.

We got settled into our second-and-also-cheap Airbnb of the trip and then took an Uber into the city to check out all of their awesome and well-known breweries. It was so much fun! We both love beer, so we had a good time tasting a ton of different brews, and the vibe around town is so nice and chill. Burial and Green Man were both excellent, so if you’re ever in the area, go to them! Asheville definitely lived up to the hype, and we’d love to go back and spend more time there.

The end of the week rolled around too quickly, but we truly felt so relaxed and refreshed due to our lazy, slow-paced itinerary. The drive back to Ohio was actually really great. Russel’s old Durango only has a CD player, no radio … and I can only listen to the same discs over and over before they get old. So I downloaded the first season of Serial, and we listened on the trip back. We were way late to the game, but we’re all caught up on both seasons now, yay us!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip.

After the hectic and stressful months and weeks leading up to our big day, it was exactly what we needed to unwind. Add in the fact that five nights of lodging and six days of food and activities were insanely cheap, and yeah … we were happy honeymooners.

What are you doing for your honeymoon? How are you keeping it broke-ass friendly?


  • 3/8


    I think I mentioned once or twice that our wedding was the best ever, and it really, truly was. From the weather to the food to the dancing and fun, it was everything we hoped it would be when when we started planning it 15 months prior. That said, there are always going to be minor mishaps, and we definitely had a few. I knew there was a 0% chance every single detail would go according to plan, so I had braced myself in advance. Still, I actually surprised myself with how much I just didn’t let the small stuff bother me. I try to be a Go With the Flow type of gal in every day life, and I think that served me well on our wedding day.

    Because, you can’t control everything.

    My bridesmaid Kelly is an amazing artist, and she spent the night before the wedding making little chalkboard signs stating how I had met each of my girls. They were so amazing and detailed, and we were so excited to take pictures with them. I had them with us in the hotel suite while we were getting ready, and triple-checked that they were in the box of stuff that needed to go out to the venue. Welp … we still managed to forget them. I saw them sitting in the Very Important Box the day after and was so bummed. We got so caught up in the 500 other things that were happening that they just slipped everyone’s mind. It sucks, but it was bound to happen.

    Weddings are full of roughly 1,558,256 moving parts, so don’t be surprised when a detail here or there gets lost in the shuffle.

    Especially for us Broke-Asses who don’t have the money for a planner or coordinator. Luckily, I still have them and I am scheming for a way to get everyone together so we can take that picture. It will happen … someday.


    My girls are the best … fact!

    Our handmade decor is one of my absolute favorite things about our entire wedding (shouts out to my mom Elaine … again!). It was beautiful, whimsical, budget-friendly and a million other adjectives. We were married in front of an old bank barn, and we gussied it up with rosettes and poofs on the doors. These things were hanging up for hours, and wouldn’t you know that a section decided to come loose and fall off right in the middle of our ceremony. At first I was like, “Umm, what’s happening??” but then we all started cracking up at the timing of it all. It was seriously the perfect comic relief in the middle of a bunch of mushy stuff.



    Notice the droopy fans right above me … classic.

    My sister, Caty, and Russel’s brother, Alan, gave fantastic speeches after dinner. They were funny and heartfelt and everyone loved them. Well, everyone who could hear them. Our DJ was set up inside the barn, and the range on his wireless mic was juuust a bit too short. And I mean just. They both used the microphone, and there were times during each speech where it cut in and out. They persevered and it really didn’t take away from their amazing words, but if we could go back we’d obviously come up with a solution.


    Russel and I really lucked out when it came to our vendors.

    The food was on point, the dance floor was packed all night, and I am obsessed with our photos. Our DJ and photographer were hugely instrumental in helping us nail down a timeline and stick to it. They kept things moving smoothly all day, and were super accommodating when I decided to delay my bouquet toss. It was supposed to happen after we danced with our parents, but it just didn’t feel like the right time. I wanted to give everyone a chance to get a drink and get limbered up out on the dance floor. When it was finally time to do the toss, we ran into a bit of a problem — I couldn’t find the toss bouquet anywhere. My mom was the only person who knew where it was, and not only could we not find the flowers, we could not find her. I got a little frustrated, but eventually she appeared and all was right again. So maybe know where your bouquet is, or at the very least make sure more than one person is clued in on the location.


    So yeah, when I said minor, I really meant minor.

    It didn’t rain. We didn’t have a muddy mess. My grumpy old man dog didn’t bite anyone. Did a few small issues pop up? Of course. But they were honestly not a big deal. Were we hitched? Did we have a good time? Did our nearest and dearest enjoy our party? Yes, yes and yes. As long as we kept that in mind, it made dealing with our minor mishaps a breeze.

    All photos by Jenni Bella Photography

  • 2/8

    I am totally married and stuff, but I just realized I never filled you guys in on my amazing bachelorette party. For shame! My bestie/bridesmaid Adrienne went above and beyond and made it the perfect day. It's such a fantastic feeling to know your friends just get you and want to celebrate with you. I love sports. Other than the whole marrying Russel thing, my…

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    It's a little crazy, right? An entire wedding with fun, games, coloring and more with hardly a kid in sight. Yeah, it was a bit weird, but we knew all along we wanted a kid-free wedding, so even after picking our theme we stuck to it. There were several reasons for this: 1) It's cheaper -- the fewer people, the less money we were spending…

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    I mentioned a while ago that we planned to use fake flowers when it came time for bouquets, bouts, corsages and decor. So that's what we did. Other than my bouquet, every other piece of flowery goodness was made with artificial flowers, and we were insanely happy with how they all turned out. We had two separate seating areas since dinner was outdoors, and dancing…

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    Our wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed. There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to…

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    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing?…

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    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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    Okay, so my last two posts were suuuuper boring, but I really wanted you guys to know about that slip. I really think its a game changer for sheer backs, low backs, etc. Now on to the fun stuff. We had a wedding! It was amazing! I am married to the love of my life! You guys ... our wedding day was absolutely fantastic. From…

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