Broke-Ass Category: Robin


Having transitioned from Broke-Ass Bride to plain-old Broke-Ass Married Person, this will be my last weekly column on this site.  Being on Team Broke-Ass and writing for this delightful audience has been an absolute blast.  This is one of my very favorite corners of the internet.

Do I have any parting words of wisdom?  Basically, I can sum it up as: This is all worth it.  Both the expense (even when you pull whatever strings, play whatever cards, and call upon whatever angels to limit said expense) and the brain-consuming, energy-tapping, emotion-sapping obsession that comes with planning a wedding are worth it in the end.  We need huge happy events like weddings to pull together our people, or we’ll only see all our families when someone has died.  Starting your marriage with the bliss of a wedding will give you the perfect springboard for a happy life together, and having those wonderful gooey memories will help you keep perspective when your marriage gets hard.

Wedding planning can make your relationship stronger.  Wedding planning requires you to mesh your values with your partner’s.  It forces you to interact with each other’s families.  It provides seemingly endless opportunities to practice conflict resolution.  All of these skills will help you have the best marriage you can.

And wedding planning can make you a better person.  You might find a crafting passion you never knew you had.  Or a knack for event-planning that will make you the go-to gal when your office needs a shindig or your best friend wants to throw her boyfriend a surprise party.  You might learn how to budget, how to negotiate, how to barter.  Maybe you’ll just figure out that you look really good in white.  In ways big and small, planning a wedding can be a positive force in your life with benefits far-outlasting your actual wedding day.  Again, this is all worth it!

Before I shuffle off, I once again want to thank Dana and all the other fantastic people at the Broke-Ass Bride for sharing this platform with me, and of course, thank all of you for reading and commenting.  I wish you all crazy-fun, minimally-stressful, completely-affordable weddings, and happy, fulfilling, lasting marriages.

  • 10/30

    Halloween and weddings are surprisingly similar.  Both put a lot of pressure on us to be crafty and clever, and force us to wear potentially very weather-inappropriate clothing.

    Halloween can provide a bounty of things to re-use at your wedding.  For example, the fabric from my costume last year (the Statue of Liberty circa 1890) became the top of our wedding chuppah:

    And then of course there’s the bonanza of items for a silly photo station you can cull from friends and family’s Halloween costumes, or from the closeout sales at those pop-up Halloween stores the day after Halloween.

    So it’s only fair that your wedding can provide materials to reuse for Halloween.  Here’s some ideas for how to repurpose your wedding duds as Halloween costumes.

    If your dress is trashed or you are willing to trash it:

    • Runaway Bride. The classic, of course. Pop on some running sneakers and a sweat band.  For an added touch may I suggest a falling-apart up-do?
    • Bridezilla.  Sure, it perpetuates one of the most obnoxious stereotypes about weddings there is, but there is something undeniably fun about pairing a fancy white gown and rubber lizard hands and a monster mask.  COUPLES COSTUME BONUS:  Have your partner dress up as a half-destroyed skyscraper that got in your way.
    • Miss Havisham.  For you literary types, the ultimate bridal gown re-usage is emulating Dickens’ jilted bride who never took her dress off.  Age makeup, a few cotton-batting cob webs, and a general air of despair complete this look.  Make a piece of moldy cake out of styrofoam for the perfect accessory!

    If your dress is too precious to expose to the wilds of a Halloween costume, you can still re-use some of your bridal accessories.

    • Dye your veil black, put on your best LBD, let some mascara run down your face in faux tear tracks and go as a Sexy Widow.  COUPLES COSTUME BONUS: Have your partner dress up as a ghost. It’s a Halloween classic!
    • Disassemble your brooch boquet, arrange the pins all over a black turtleneck with handwritten price tags, and go as a Jewelry Case in a Vintage Shop.
    • Garter as headband + Goodwill formal wear with wine stain + microphone with which to make a mortifying speech = Drunk Best Man/Maid of Honor.  If you celebrate Halloween the way I do, you won’t have to do much acting to sell this costume.

    Have a happy Halloween, folks! Do you have any more wedding ensemble costume ideas?  Share in the comments!

  • 10/23

    Something you need to understand about wedding planning is that it is OK to shamelessly steal from other people's weddings.  You NEED to steal other people's wedding ideas.  In the world of weddings, there is nothing new under the sun.  Don't waste your energy trying to be original.  You are going to need to conserve that energy just to pick exactly what wedding ideas you…

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    Ah, the table visits.  The part where your wedding reception starts to feel like a  round of speed dating.  Visiting every table during dinner service is a great way to be sure to spend a little time with every one of your guests, which is part of the reason table visits have almost universally replaced the receiving line.  But it's still tricky business: you don't…

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    No matter how you break down your wedding day schedge, there's almost definitely going to be some time that is solely dedicated to photography. For some camera-shy people, this is a nightmare, but a necessity if you want to have a Christmas present for Grandmammy this year.  For other people, posing for photos is a fun side adventure on the wedding day where you can…

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    I’ve covered the experiences of the engaged wedding guest and the about-to-be married wedding guest.  This weekend is my first go at being a married wedding guest. I would have worried about going to a wedding only a few days after my two month anniversary dredging up unpleasant comparisons and regrets about my own wedding, were it not for two things: 1) My wedding was…

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    The week before your wedding is generally an insanely stressful time.  So you'd think you'd want to have as much done as possible heading into Hell Week.  And you do want to be sure that everything VITAL is taken care of well before your wedding, and everything that is even a little important is squared away a week or two in advance.  But I think…

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    Last week I listed some of the things from my wedding that I didn't mind spending extra money on.  This week, I'm going to give Broke-Ass Nation what it REALLY wants: reassurance that you'll have no regrets about taking the cheap route. I can honestly say that there isn't a single thing I wish I had spent MORE money on for my wedding.  I'd bet…

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    In wedding planning, you'll find you spend more money than you planned to on a lot of things.  Sometimes when you get to the bottom line, you just feel like a bad Broke-Ass (like I did after our DIY invitations, or makeup shopping).  But sometimes the things that you spent more money on than you intended feel, in the end, completely worth it.  Here are…

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