Broke-Ass Tag: Canada Bride


Rehearsal Dinner Napkin available from Etsy seller MemorableWedding

I finally had some time last weekend to buckle down get our invitations ordered, printed and mailed out, and our wedding website fully functional. This had me feeling the pressure like crazy — now that people are actually going to RSVP to this thing, I really have to have my sh*t together (but to be honest, I never feel like I really have my sh*t together).

One of the things I’m trying to figure out is whether or not to have a rehearsal dinner.

As far as I’m aware, the purpose of the rehearsal dinner is for all the people participating in the ceremony to participate in a practice run, and then for everyone to have a nice dinner. Our ceremony isn’t fully put together yet, but we have a basic idea that it’s going to be pretty much just us and the officiant. We’re eschewing most traditions: Our wedding party is too numerous to stand at the front with us, and we likely will avoid a complicated processional. We will be involving only two family members to do a reading. So, the idea of the rehearsal seemed a bit … unnecessary. However, I liked the idea of having a night-before event, because a lot of people attending the wedding are people coming from far away whom we don’t get to see nearly enough, and we want to spend as much as time with them as possible. However, paying for dinner for a ton of people is a significant expense.

So, what to do?

We decided on a “casual night-before social” (it’s a working title) where we would reserve a bunch of tables at a local bar for a couple of hours, and invite all attendees to pop by for a drink and maybe a bite to eat with us. Since our guest list is only about 70 people, many of whom I know aren’t coming in until the next day, we figured it wasn’t an impossible scenario. We would ask that people pay for their own drinks and food (as much as I felt a twinge of guilt for this, I remember how much our costs for catering and wine for our wedding day, and that guilt went away swiftly). I’ll ask the servers to do cash-and-carry for everyone, so I can ensure they get taken care of, and nobody mistakenly assumes it’s paid for. That way, we have the opportunity to spend time, without breaking the bank, and without excluding anyone. Hopefully it will go well — I guess I will find out!

How have you worked around the expenses of a rehearsal dinner without eschewing a get-together entirely?

  • 2/6

    stickitI want to talk about body image. The pressure to look “perfect” in your dress on your big day. Bridal boot camps! Shredding for the wedding! Your 28-day pre-wedding detox diet! Finally drop those last 5/10/20 pounds for your big day! Blah blah blah.

    I’m going to get real with you for a sec. I have more than my fair share of body image issues. I struggled with disordered eating as a teen because I hated the way my body looked compared to the images I saw in magazines and on TV. Over the years I wasted time, money and endless mental energy on my pursuit of the socially acceptable thin body. By my mid-20s, I recognized it as the oppressive crap it really was and I began to reject it. Therapy helped. Yoga helped. Getting really angry at the system helped. Then, I began body-building several years ago as a means of re-evaluating my relationship with exercise, as I still really enjoyed the positive impact on my sleep and mental health. I began focusing on getting stronger, not skinnier, and I began to look at eating as a way of nourishing my body rather than constantly trying to trick it into burning fat for fuel. This was my recovery – for many others it can look different.

    However, when I got engaged, things changed.  I couldn’t help the nagging feeling that my dress would sit nicer on my hips and upper arms if I lost some fat there. I started upping the cardio and cutting the carbs. I started staring critically at myself in the mirror again. I got irritable and started snapping at my partner, sort of taking away from the romance of it all.  Then, I had a conversation that not only alerted me to what was happening to me (that I was beginning to relapse), but also, how much of a money-suck I was about to buy into.

    I’d been attending a bootcamp class for about a year. I really enjoyed the fast pace, it got my heart pounding, released anxiety and got me thisclose to being able to do an unassisted pull up. Then, one night, I accidentally drop the f-word while I was chatting with the instructor – “fiancé”. I’m pretty sure the moment he realized I was getting married, I transformed from a person into one of those brown sacks with a giant dollar sign on it that cartoon robbers steal from banks. He started pushing personal training on me, dropping comments about “getting ready for the big day.” In the moment, I briefly considered it – he was a really good guy, and I liked the idea. Then the comments got more personal – how much weight do you want to lose? First off, I felt massively stereotyped. Hey man, I thought, you assume that because I’m female and getting married I automatically hate my body and want to lose weight? Further, your plan is to exploit that in order to make bank? He insisted the only way I was going to see “drastic changes” in my body was to come at least twice a week, with the price tag of approximately $480 a month. Sorry, dude, I didn’t (and never said that I did) want to make any drastic changes to my body. I walked out feeling uncomfortable as hell, and by the time I got home, I was pissed.

    Ladies, the pressure to look perfect on your big day is real, prevalent and damn expensive. Being female in the first place is expensive, mind you; being a bride increases it 20-fold. Aside from the makeup, hair, dress, jewelry, shoes, you’ve got to have to have “the body” too.  Not to mention the boot camp-style classes that will allegedly give you the perfect body also result in super calloused hands and feet, plus shin bruises from box-jumps and dead-lifts gone awry. Add the cost of manicures, pedicures, and spray-on body concealer. Remember, you want to look fit, but you don’t want to in any way advertise you actually worked hard to get there!

    Needless to say, it’s a losing game. If you are trying to plan this “perfect event,” managing a million expectations and budgeting while at the same time are spending hours in the gym and being hangry, well, that sounds like a terrible recipe for disaster. I’m not doing it. I will keep exercising because I love how it makes me feel, but I might be going someplace else.

    Don’t buy into the BS, ladies. Be whoever you want to be on your wedding day.

  • 1/9

    As I mentioned in my first post, I've planned to make my own wedding cake. I realize this is not an easy undertaking, and have been warned by multiple friends that this could add additional stress to my wedding day. DIYing is awesome, but making a cake is something you have to do basically the day before and can end in multiple disasters. However, I…

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    I want to talk a little about our broke-ass approach to our engagement. Ever since I saw the movie "Blood Diamond" in 2006, I decided that I wanted an engagement ring with an ethically sourced stone. Mind you, i was 19 and single at the time, so my thought process pretty much stopped there. Flash forward nine years, Evan and I had been living together for…

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    Hello everyone! My name is Holly, and I am a Broke-Ass Bride. I guess it's important that before we get going on the creativeness and the snarkiness, you get to know the woman behind it. I'm in my late 20s, I'm a graduate student and I live in a large city in Canada with my fiance and my our dog. I love cooking, baking, yoga,…

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