12/15 {Meet Mallory} Hello there, Lovelies!

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Well, hi there! You’re looking spry today! My name is Mallory, and I’m your new DIY Real Bride, here to invite you along with me as I build a huge, bad-ass theme wedding on a Broke Ass budget, by hand.

mallorymurphy-6581Photo courtesy of Swoon Over It Photography.

In the spirit of letting you get to know me a little better before I ask you to put your faith in my wedding advice, let me tell you a little more about myself. I’m a country girl from a big, loud, crazy and close-knit Irish family. I moved to NYC and went to school for art and film. I met the love of my life in the dark room {we were doing homework} and he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride in that same dark room a little over a year later.

Engagement Ring

If I had my way, I’d live in a coffee shop full of novels and free wi-fi and cute puppies and babies – none of which I’d have to take home with me. I don’t have my way, though, so instead I live with my future-in-laws {including my future-sister-in-law} and all our cats, which is a rip-roarin’ good time. In my downtime, I’m a dedicated cook-from-scratch chef, always looking for fun new ways to pay homage to butter and bacon in my culinary conquests. I freelance write and maintain two websites {11Eleven11 – about my personal wedding} and {MoxieMissives – lifestyle} while chain-watching all sorts of great TV online. My taste in pop culture intake is questionable; my dedication to shoe-shopping is not. I am sarcastic, scatter-brained, impulsive and keep my life full-to-the-brim. There are few things I like more than down comforters, fuzzy slippers and chocolate cake. I think the boyfriend jean is the kindest invention ever presented to womankind, and that Spanx is the most useful.

My future-husband {affectionately termed The Groom} works for Marvel Comics, which means I’ve grown accustomed to replica statues and developed a love for witty tee shirts. He is a man abundant in patience and snarky remarks, the perfect balance to my unique brand of crazy and sassy. The two of us are nerds in all the right ways – comics, movies, television, books {me}, music {him}. We make an exceptionally awesome team, and I mean it when I say I don’t think the universe could send me someone better suited to tolerate me for the rest of our natural lives. It’s very refreshing.


I’m planning a big wedding. I’ve tried to come up with a witty or clever way to say that, but really… that’s all there is to it. It’s important that you know two teensy, tiny, minor details on top of that: I get really nervous at big parties with lots of people, and I am easily the most awkward person alive when I’m the center of attention. So this should be fun. When we got engaged, I didn’t really know what I wanted in a Big Day because – and here’s my dirty little secret – before I met James I didn’t really care or give it a lick of thought. I was too busy being smart – writing a thesis, graduating with honors, sleeping in the study room, working 40 hours a week. Girls who have been planning their weddings from age six have a huge advantage over girls like me, who enter Engagement with the general idea of, “Something, something, something… “I do!”… happily ever after.”

{And then we’ll walk off into the sunset together.}

All the stuff that’s supposed to come in between? … Meh. Needless to say, since that blustery morning when The Groom asked if I wouldn’t mind his video-game addiction long-term, my feelings about my wedding have changed considerably. The problem is they’ve evolved from “Meh!” to “Right, so… I’m having a huge party where I’m the center of attention but mark my words, I am not… and I mean not … paying that much for that.”

Incredulity and disbelief at the cost of a wedding, sure. Really, though, my message here is one of Hope. I’ve committed to crafting a lot of my wedding {everything but the dress and the cake, to be specific}. This is revolutionary because The Artistic Gene skipped me in my family, and I am a hopeless klutz. I tend to glue myself to things, and I’m not allowed to play with hot glue or sharp scissors and more than once, The Groom has fielded phone calls that start with, “Don’t be mad! I’m pretty sure I don’t need stitches, but could you buy gauze and duct tape on your way home?”

It’s a wild ride, getting married on a small budget with big dreams. Whatever your reasons for being economically stringent, whatever your vision is for your dream day, whatever your level of craftsmanship is when you join us – my promise to you is that I’ll do my best to give you the most practical, most helpful, most honest advice and insight into what it takes to plan a big, beautiful wedding without breaking the bank or frying your nerves. Because I know what it feels like to make the decision to do that with little more in my back pocket than a wild imagination and a prayer.

It was very nice to meet you. What do you say? Same time next week? I’ll bring the cookies if you bring the coffee.

Looking forward to it.


  • Welcome Mallory! So pumped to have you on Team Broke-Ass!

  • Mallory…you and I are going to be good friends! I am planning (ehem, WE are planning) a June wedding for 230 people for under 10K…So I can't wait to hear everything you'll have to share! I also can't wait to prove people wrong that a beautiful wedding for a large group of people does not have to cost the same as a car!
    Oh, and I hate being the center of attention too! I'm only doing this because the attention will be split 50/50…
    Check out my blog Pretty Haute Mess if you get a chance…I always include some wedding ideas among my interior design posts…

    • Becca

      so i'm not crazy?! 200 people, july, NJ, under 10k… im still a little skeptical myself, but it must be done!! and people like you girls make me feel more confidant that it's possible!

      • It can be done! I'm sure of it! 😉

        • Make sure you share your story as well!! We haven't set a date because I'm a scardy cat hahahaa

  • What a warm welcome post! I feel like we're already friends 🙂 Looking forward to the next one Mallory!

  • splendidmishap

    Welcome to our family, Mallory!!!=) I can't wait to hear all the details on your wedding!

  • Mallory! Welcome to the Family! We have entirely too much fun over here and it looks like you’re going to fit right in.

  • Welcome to the Broke-Ass Team, Mallory!!

  • Dear Mallory,
    You sound awesome. Let's be friends. Or if that's too creepy from some random internet stranger, then well, I look forward to reading your posts because we sound pretty similar. Hooray!

  • Nuvea

    Well, I'm planning a wedding for 100 for $4,000, so you're not the only crazy one here. When people told me I couldn't do it for less then 10 grand, I took that as a personal challenge. So far, so good…