Broke-Ass Tag: Budget Wedding

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Jane B. Writes DisclaimerReal Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

Credit: Carole Cohen

The word cliché is the last word you want to use to describe your wedding. But the fact of the matter is weddings are full of clichés because they are time-honored traditions.

Most weddings have a number of similarities since they consist of traditional elements that are largely shaped by religion, law and cultural norms. Some brides buck tradition, but even the most unconventional couples work in a few of these incredibly awesome wedding clichés.

Wedding Sparklers

At one time throwing rice at the bride and groom as they made their big exit was the trend. However, pictures of the couple dodging pellets didn’t make for the best photo ops. Today people are using festive wedding sparklers instead. These are specific sparklers for weddings and add a fun element as well.

Sending a couple off in a sea of sparkles became popular about five or six years ago. That’s when people started to see specialty made, long sparklers that guests hold to create an arch of light for the bride and groom to walk through. Needless to say, this now cliché trend has staying power because the photos look amazing.

Wearing White

Brides are starting to branch out from wearing solely white on their wedding day, but walking down the aisle in a colorless ensemble is still the norm. Wearing a white dress isn’t really a matter of choice for most brides, but rather it’s a symbol rooted in tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840.

Way back in the day, wearing white on your wedding day signified a woman’s purity. In other words, it represented virginity that would soon be a distant memory (although it probably already was). Despite the newfound acceptance of pre-marital sex, the vast majority of wedding dresses are still white. Today, most brides simply consider the color to be symbolic of the event, not their virginity.

A Whimsical Veil

Most brides have no idea why veils are part of wedding day attire, but they wear them anyway. Maybe it’s because we have so few opportunities to show off fancy headgear these days.

If brides knew the real reason why this tradition was started, they certainly wouldn’t consider a veil to be a necessity. Veils were first worn by ancient Greeks and Romans who thought it would protect a bride from evil spirits that were jealous. We’re not sure who was putting evil spirits on the guest list, but we’ll gladly take advantage of our one opportunity to rock a veil.

Towering Wedding Cakes

Really you only need one reason to splurge on a huge wedding cake – it’s delicious. Another reason couples still make cake a feature of the reception is because guests expect it. You can always save a little on the main course if you provide guests with a huge chunk of wedding cake at the end.

There’s also the cake cutting tradition that isn’t possible without something to cut. Just be sure to get a few pointers from the baker before the wedding. Towering cakes have been known to topple over or collapse because they were sliced into at the wrong spot. Another delicious tradition that isn’t possible without a cake is freezing the top tier and eating it on your one-year anniversary.

June Nuptials

June has been a popular month for weddings since calendars were first created. These days it’s a top pick because the weather is relatively nice, and it’s easier for families to travel since kids are out of school. Originally, Roman couples got married in June because Juno was the goddess of marriage and childbirth.

A DJ That’s Obsessed With Classic Jams

After you’ve been to a handful of weddings it starts to seem like there’s a DJ manual that guides the music selection. At first, you tap your foot lightly to the familiar tunes and settle in for the typical wedding reception playlist. But after a few glasses of Champagne, you find yourself out on the dance floor.

That’s why classic jam DJs are so great. Even if the setlist is a little dated, guests young and old know the music. The songs are classics because they’re awesome to dance to, and that’s the DJ’s top priority.

Today a lot of brides are bucking tradition and doing their own thing, which we fully support. But if you enjoy certain wedding traditions there’s no reason to feel pressured into avoiding them so your ceremony doesn’t come off as cliché. Embrace the traditions and put your own twist on them so they’re more meaningful and special.


  • 10/27

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewToday’s CAI/GOI request is for a seriously gorgeous Galia Lahav gown. Reader Jasmine commented on this post asking for some help finding a “Loretta” lookalike. She writes:

    Hi! I too am in love with a Galia Lahav “Loretta” dress. Would like to keep my budget around $3000 (and lower if possible :D) but there might be some wiggle room if truly necessary ;). I am floored by this dress, like it is the epitome of a dream dress for me but it’s upwards of $10,000. I hope that you can help me out, cuz I clearly have champagne taste, and while I’m not much of a beer drinker, I definitely only have ‘cheap wine’ money lol. Thanks much!

    We can get you some pretty good “wine” for $3,000, Jasmine! For similar gowns, I searched for mermaid silhouettes with a body-hugging lace bodice and tulle skirt. I kept an eye out for gowns with extra volume in the skirt and lace up top. Let’s check them out!

    Can't Afford ItGalia Lahav Loretta back Galia Lahav Loretta front Galia Lahav’s “Loretta” Gown, “Tales of the Jazz Age” Collection, ~$12,000

    Get Over ItLIMITED EDITION Oleg Cassini Tank Lace Mermaid Wedding Dress at David's BridalLIMITED EDITION Oleg Cassini Tank Lace Mermaid Wedding Dress (Style: CWG709), $1,099.99 at David’s Bridal

    Leigh Gown from BHLDNLeigh Gown By Eddy K (Style: 39250873), $1,600 at BHLDN

    Truly Zac Posen Criss Cross Back Wedding Dress at David's BridalTruly Zac Posen Criss Cross Back Wedding Dress (Style: ZP341638), $949.99 at David’s Bridal

    Rosa Clara 'Estrada' Beaded Mesh Lace Mermaid Dress (In Stores Only)Rosa Clara’Estrada’ Beaded Mesh Lace Mermaid Dress (In Stores Only) (Style: 5104082), $2,962 at Nordstrom

    Judil Lace Gown by etsy seller RaraAvisAngeEtoiles“Judil” Wedding Dress, $2,188.48 by Etsy seller RaraAvisAngeEtoiles

    Illusion Deep Plunge Neckline Lace Trumpet Gown at David's BridalIllusion Deep Plunge Neckline Lace Trumpet Gown (Style: SWG681), $799.99 at David’s Bridal

    Rosa Clara 'Volga' Beaded Tulle Trumpet Dress (In Stores Only)Rosa Clara ‘Volga’ Beaded Tulle Trumpet Dress (In Stores Only) (Style: 5104083), $2,312.50 at Nordstrom

    Katie May Charleston GownKatie May “Charleston” Gown (Style: KATIM30009), $1,650 at Shopbop

    Beaded Venice Lace Trumpet Wedding Dress at David's BridalGalina Signature Beaded Venice Lace Trumpet Wedding Dress (Style: SWG723), $958 at David’s Bridal

    Casablanca Casablanca “Daffodil” Gown, $1,550 at Shoptiques

    Oleg Cassini Strapless Mermaid Wedding Dress at David's BridalOleg Cassini Strapless Mermaid Wedding Dress (Style: CWG737), $1,158 at David’s Bridal

    Teini Lace Wedding Gown by etsy seller RaraAvisAngeEtoiles“Teini” Lace Wedding Gown, $2,121.48 by Etsy seller RaraAvisAngeEtoiles

    Rhinestone Drop Waist Wedding Dress by Camille La VieRhinestone Drop Waist Wedding Dress by Camille La Vie (Style: 42423-4267W), $1,600 at edressme

    Oleg Cassini Lace Cap-Sleeve Trumpet Wedding Dress at David's BridalOleg Cassini Lace Cap-Sleeve Trumpet Wedding Dress (Style: CWG750), $1,258 at David’s Bridal

    Lovely tulle-y, lace-y, mermaid-y goodness! In my humble opinion, the Casablanca “Daffodil” gown is pretty darn similar to the Galia Lahav “Loretta” gown. Even the back views are on par! What do you think, Jasmine? Any of the above got you thinking “cheap wine” might not be so bad after all? Let us know in the comments!

    Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you. Please be aware, though, that because you guys love this column so much, we can often build up quite the queue and it may be a while before we can get to your dream dress. Rest assured, though, Team Broke-Ass is on the case!

    *As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
  • 10/14

    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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    Real Bride Lucinda married Chris under sunny skies and amidst a gorgeous northern Massachusetts backdrop in a classic wedding celebration. After DIYing some seriously huge aspects of her wedding -- including her wedding dress, veil, signage and paper flowers for decor -- the couple celebrated with family and friends while the talented Maria Burton Photography captured their day. In a typically super expensive wedding market (about $40K on…

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    Since my wedding is a year away, I have not actively started the DIYing that I plan to do. I have also experienced my fair share of being totally non-committal in choosing our wedding venue. While on vacation, we found one, and it is gorgeous. It's n an island in Georgia, overlooking my favorite thing on Earth: the ocean. The ceremony will take place under a…

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    Quote on Canvas available from Etsy seller TheAngelPaperie I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I've been noticing a trend that concerns me -- not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB's Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she…

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    Our first official wedding correspondence is going out in a week or two (as soon as I get around to DIY-ing them) -- our Save the Dates. Everyone we’re close to knows that we’re getting married. It shouldn’t be a secret or surprise to anyone when they arrive in the mail. It’s also not as if our wedding and getting married doesn’t already seem real;…

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    One of our sneak peek photos provided by SK Photography One of the things I was most excited for as my wedding approached was the free time I was sure I’d have once everything was said and done. For the past four years, any time Matt and I weren’t at least trying to think about the wedding, I felt an overwhelming amount of guilt. In…

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    Hey Broke-Asses! It's that time of year again, where instead of Five for Friday, we'll be compiling some seriously rad gift guides for y'all. From the fun to the funny, the quirky to the practical and all of the budget ideas in between, I've scoured the Interwebz to find those perfect gifts for someone -- or everyone! -- on your list. We all have that one…

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