Broke-Ass Tag: bridal shower

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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 my 13 year old sister, so I don’t count her as a shower planner) the planning is rough to say the least. Since I love lists I’m going to give you a list of things to do, as bride, about your bridal shower (this is a mix of things I did and wish I had done):

  •  DELEGATE. Since I’m having two showers, one in my hometown (San Diego) and one in his hometown (Valencia), I delegated my San Diego shower to my maid and matron of honor since my maid of honor lives there, and my matron of honor is familiar with my family. I delegated my Valencia bridal shower to my future sister-in-law who lives in Valencia. This doesn’t mean that they can’t all give input on both showers, just that we’re minimizing two big problems: too many cooks in the kitchen and someone feels left out.
  •  Help your ladies find a venue. Most of the time this isn’t necessary since your grandma or friend or something will volunteer their place, but if your ‘maids aren’t familiar with the area of your shower or your family give, them some help. I suggested my grandma’s house for the SD shower because none of my ‘maids has a place big enough to host it, and I didn’t want them to feel nervous about imposing or anything silly like that.
  • Don’t let your mom plan the whole thing. Remember that this is not your mom’s responsibility — she is more than welcome to help, but she is not the hostess or the organizer. My mom has a tendency to get overwhelmed so I told her specifically: “This is not your project, if the girls have questions they can call you, but this party is not on you.”
  • Paper invites are always nice. My sister-in-law asked me if I wanted to do paper or e-vites for the Valencia shower, and I said paper or a combination. So we sent paper to the people we thought should get paper (my mom, the bridesmaids, etc.) as well as the older or technologically challenged guests. We sent e-vites to Michael’s mom’s friends (from church and school) and other people that we know check their emails often. The nice thing about e-vites is they make RSVPing easy as pie. You open the email and just click yes or no.
  • Make sure they know where you’re registered. On one invite we put “You can find Jess’ registry at” and on the other we put “Jess is registered at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Crate & Barrel, and Anthropologie.” I think that either is fine, but the second option may be easier for non-tech friendly guests.
  • Do. Not. Stress. This is the hardest part for me. I’m constantly worrying: “Is everyone feeling included?”; “I hope nobody is left out”; “Did I forget anyone?”; “Is my grandma too stressed?”; “Should I be helping?”. This is not your job. Unless they tell you otherwise, everything and everyone is fine. Your job is to show up, have fun and open presents. That’s my mantra, “Don’t worry, you’re only there to smile and open presents. Everything will be fine.” I whisper it as I go to bed.

I hope that helps all of you! If there’s any go-to advice that I missed about bridal showers, tell us all!

  • 4/11

    Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 5.50.07 PM

    Photo courtesy of Christopher Duggan

    Dear Heather,

    Our wedding is this coming August, 2014. Due to a job loss, our financial situation has changed majorly. I  have a venue – Maestro in the Bronx, NY – which  I love. I’m on a minimal budget of $8,000 and postponing isn’t an option. My venue, which comes with a videographer, eats up most of my budget and I’m downgrading my video package to raw video, but that’s only because I can’t break my contract with my videographer; they have already threatened me with legal action if I want to cancel, which would mean I’d have to pay 25% of our $6000 for no services. They got us when we first got engaged and offered us a free 3-day hotel stay and cruise gimmick, and I didn’t know to read the whole contract. This was obviously a hard lesson to learn. I tried cutting the guest list but I really have to find another option. My fiance proposed to me at my church school site, so I must invite not my whole congregation, but a good size. No offense to our church, but we just got our church building, and I wouldn’t have it there because there’s no drinking or playing mainstream music allowed. It’s not the wedding I imagine; I want to party. My dress is under $500. I have a friend taking my pictures for $400, a DJ for $600 and a make up artist for $75 each. I have to pay for my two of my bridesmaids because they want their faces done, too. Thank the lord my maid of honor said she would do her own. I’m paying for that because I can’t do the bridal luncheon or the spa day they wanted and they are on their own with their hair. I have no idea what I’m going to do for transportation and no family to ask for a loan. I’m doing the centerpieces and invitations on my with my Cricut cutting machine; It’s small, but it will have to do. I have a bunch of scrapbook paper and more craft supplies, so I want to use what I have and hope people will take them as favors. I haven’t even figured out how I’m going to have a cake and so many other things I’m sure I am leaving out. I so wanted this to be a day of love, but it seem to be turning into what one of my bridesmaid said that hurt my feeling so much: “You’re going to have a tacky wedding with all this arts and craft stuff you’re doing. It’s going to look like you had your students put together your wedding.” If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

    $8000 Bronx Wedding

    Dear Bronx,

    For the majority of weddings, venue and catering take up 50% of the total budget. I’m hoping that the $6000 you’re paying for your venue covers catering. If not, you’ll likely be better off paying the 25% penalty and walking away from that venue, or it will decimate your budget. For all the other folks out there – read your contracts carefully!!! I cannot possibly stress this enough. Bronx learned her lesson; please learn from her.

    You say you cannot cut your guest list, but I sincerely doubt that’s true. You should invite people you genuinely want to be there. Don’t feel required to invite obligatory guests. You might end up hurting some people’s feelings, but odds are, most folks will understand. Weddings are expensive, and each guest can add a sizable amount to an already small budget.

    You mentioned being worried about favors and your cake. Don’t bother with favors if they’re going to impact your budget. I don’t know anyone, ever, who has left a wedding saying, “Man, that would have been an awesome event, if only they’d given out favors.” As for your cake –  get a sheet cake from a local grocery store. They’re often quite good, and way cheaper than going with a bakery and getting an official wedding cake.

    I’d also consider dropping the DJ and just going with an iPod. It will be more work for you, but it’ll also save you that $600. I just coordinated a wedding recently that used a laptop and a set of speakers, and it was fabulous. When people requested songs, if we didn’t already have them, we could just download them from YouTube. I also wouldn’t worry about providing transportation. Your guests and wedding party can probably figure out how to get themselves from Point A to Point B.

    And now, your bridesmaids. First off, they are not entitled to you paying for their hair or makeup. If they want to have their makeup professionally done, they can most definitely pay for that themselves. Second, they are also not entitled to having a bridal luncheon or spa day, so do not feel guilty about not providing that for them. If you can afford it, anything nice you can do for your ladies is great, but that’s only if you can afford it!

    As for your bridesmaid who called your wedding tacky … I want to use substantially angrier language, but I’m going to be all polite and simply say please ignore her opinion. I have been to plenty of weddings with handmade decorations, and I have consistently loved them! It adds a really personal touch and shows that you put a lot of love into the day.

    Dear Heather,

    I’m on my 2nd wedding, and people keep asking if I’m having a bridal shower or bachelorette party. Is it common to have another, or is it usually foregone?

    I’m a Bride Again

    Dear Again,

    Normally, a 2nd wedding doesn’t include a bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, if you want to have them and have people who want to throw them for you, I say go for it! Two of my friends got married last year and it was a 2nd wedding for both of them. The bride didn’t want a shower, and I was bummed! We did end up doing a low-key dinner for her bachelorette party, but I would have loved more ways to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.

    Some folks might get all judgmental if you have additional celebrations for a 2nd wedding. Those people are just mean. If you are truly concerned about their opinion, though, you could consider doing a “no gifts” shower, if you’re worried about looking gift-grabby.

    And now, I’m going to hop on my soapbox about 2nd weddings, because I just cannot resist. Some people get all cranky about 2nd weddings, about how they aren’t “real” and blah blah blah. This is nonsense. Second weddings involve people who have already been married, been through the life-altering, decimating experience of divorce, and have the courage to try again. They’ve loved, had that loved ripped away, but care about this new person so much that they’re willing to risk that pain all over again. I think they’re brave. So there, society!

    What do you think, lovely readers? Any suggestions for Bronx on how to cut costs? Have you ever learned your lesson from not reading a contract thoroughly? And how about Again? Would you have a shower and bachelorette party for a 2nd wedding? Are you like me, and always looking for a reason to celebrate? Let me know in the comments below!

  • 3/14

    Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! As wedding season looms and you are in the throes of planning, many of you are likely to get a little respite from stress in the way of a fun bridal shower. And of course, since you're the star of the day, you'll want to be dressed for the occasion. The awesome peeps over at Unique Vintage are here to help with…

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    Photo by Teddy James Dear Heather, Hi! Love your website. I just got engaged this past Christmas and have been enjoying wedding planning our upcoming December wedding. Have you done a post on "bridal fee showers" or "greenback showers," as they are referred to in different areas? I would love to see a post on this! I have heard this sentiment shared by other brides…

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    How cute are these before and after personalized rhinestone tanks? SUPER CUTE is the correct answer! Not only does The House of Bachelorette offer these sweet tanks, they have everything you could possibly need for a proper hen party from pretty to provocative, from tiaras to titillating games! Skip  the skeezy shops where the clerks eyeball you up and down when you plop an armload…

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    This past weekend, my friends and family treated me to the most awesomest bridal shower ever! It's a little bit hard to surprise a person that lives out of town, so my shower wasn't a surprise, and I'm sooooo glad that it wasn't. I've heard some real horror stories about girls showing up for their showers looking like a hot mess, and I wasn't trying…

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    It's a new year, which means it's time for new videos! Last year we made a bunch of fun craft and advice videos, and now a whole new batch are done and ready to share. Hunter and I get pretty silly this time around :) First up: How to Make DIY Fabric Poms for your wedding or event! Special thanks to our friends Shabby Apple…

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    A while back I posted a wedding inspiration right here on how to make your wedding as fabulous as the Royal Wedding. And then not too long ago, we had a reader write in about having a bridal shower with the theme of a royal wedding. This is the BEST idea, and it would be so much fun! Ridiculous hats were one of the biggest…

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    There's a lot of ways to reward the ladies in your life - you know, the gals that are gonna hold the tiny bouquets, host your bridal shower, and plan your bachelorette party. Sure they'd love lots of hugs, a few sincere "thank you" cards, etc. etc. But do you know what people really love? Favors. And not the chintzy, plastic tokens that usually get…

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