Broke-Ass Tag: emily


just remember- you're not alone

Being a BAB has been an amazing experience for me. With my limited budget and limited crafting skills (I try, but I’ve learned when it comes to Pinterest fabulous chalkboard direction signs and flower arrangements … I’m better off using my other talents), I’ve had to learn to be resourceful to get what I want. And I’ve also learned that many things we’re told we want, we don’t actually want or need.

I wish I could say

I wish I could say “not my best work” but actually it is my best …

I’ve never heard it said that “No BAB is an island,” but it really SHOULD be said. Unless your name is Martha Stewart (and seriously, Martha, call me back! I want you as a BFF!), there is absolutely no way to plan a wedding all on your own without being institutionalized while screaming “More Tulle!” to the orderlies. Wedding planners are incredible people and life savers for some, but they cost money that could also be spent on an open bar and are out of reach for many of us. This is where your circle/support system/friends and family come in.

I’ve been at the end of my rope several times through this process and I can’t believe how often there is someone there for me. When my friends heard I was reallocating my entire flower budget to getting a great a photographer (because: priorities) and was planning on doing the flowers by myself, one stepped in to offer her substantially better arranging skills at cost. (Yes, my budget blowing photographer is going to get photos of them for her portfolio.)

Another friend heard my crazy idea to have incredibly meaningful spaceships for centerpieces and said she could have them 3D printed for us. (I’m pretty sure all of the pictures of my high school sci-fi cosplays have been deleted. Yeah, they totally have.)

There's always been a lot of space in our relationship

There’s always been a lot of space in our relationship.

My circle has been stepping up left and right to make sure my fiancé and I get all the things that are important to us included in our wedding. People are helping us with invitations, guest lists, dress shopping, accessory loaning and otherwise offering professional or amateur talents that they have for free or with discounts unbefitting their talents so we can stay within budget, stay sane and afford the things that our circle can’t provide.

This help has brought to light what’s actually important about a wedding. Hint: A lot of things the wedding industry really, really wants you to buy at incredibly high prices are not the most important things to insure that you marry the person of your dreams surrounded by friends and family.

By focusing on the people and fiancé I love the most, I’ve learned the power of thinking outside the box. It’s liberating when you open yourself up not to having everything that you’re told is necessary and expected for a wedding. Focusing on the basics means that there are more options available in your budget. We chose a wedding location that will give us everything on our priorities list, even though it’s not the art museum or country club we had in mind.

And the truth is, BABs, you need your network, not to provide you with free or discounted items (although it’s awesome when it happens). You need them to remind you what’s important, help you make decisions and to keep you away from those huge scary guys with the butterfly nets. I’m going to make it the new mantra: No BAB is an island.

Has your crew stepped up in a big way? How are you receiving help where you need it most?

  • 12/16

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewIt’s “Engagement Season” again, and with each passing year there are more and more articles on the latest trends in proposals. Unfortunately, most of the articles are written for men who want to propose, with scant few words spent on us ladies want to do the asking; I was one of those BABs.

    Real Bride Emily's Engagement Picture

    Maren Cotton Photography

    We were ready — my boyfriend and I had talked about marriage extensively and I knew he was getting the ducks in a row, the last one strapped with an engagement ring on its tailfeather. I’m a modern woman, in a modern relationship — it was time to lock that down. But, I felt very alone in the lady-proposing forest. Between the lack of articles and a a few centuries of tradition telling me otherwise, it was tough going. Turns out tradition just means “old”; since my engagement, I have met plenty of married women who have shared that they also popped the question. This is for all those BABs who need a reminder: Do what you want!

    Logistics?  No need to sweat it, I’ve got your back. Just follow these simple steps:

    1. Decide you want to propose
      Beware! Even though we no longer live in the 1950s, many, many people will question the decision of a woman proposing to a man. I told one close friend about my plan and she said “I just don’t understand how that can work.” I did, and it did. Stay strong, ladies!
    2. Let the important people know
      I decided to ask his parents for their blessing (and to pep me up for the big ask!).  I also ran it by his best friend to test the waters in a moment of doubt.  It’s important to talk to people who will give you clear advice and be cheerleaders for you on this mission.
    3. Make a plan that suits your partner
      My fella is more into grand romantic gestures than me, so I decided to take a page from his book. I planned for Third Thursday at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (a favorite museum of ours) where they serve beer, host bands and have a photobooth. It combined our favorite couple spot, a fun “us” event (we take a yearly photobooth picture) and two things we both love: bands and booze. The proposal doesn’t need to be expensive to be grand, and remember ladies: guys have feelings and memories too — they aren’t trout.
    4. Be completely unlike your usual self and keep the plan a secret
      This is seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My fella had no clue and I was bursting with excitement because I KNEW I was going to be engaged soon and wanted to start planning and picking out dresses and … Don’t. Tell. Him. Seriously, DON’T TELL HIM! I made it, but barely.
    5. Get a ring (or not)
      For you, for him, for whomever! Part of the fun of bucking tradition is there are no rules. I decided to be traditionally untraditional: I had inherited a gorgeous engagement ring and was excited to start showing it off!  
    6. Seriously BAB, you’re so close! Don’t give up
      This is where all the doubts and worries kicked into high gear. Was he going to think I “stole his thunder,” like all the well-intentioned but bad advice was telling me? In a moment of weakness, I emailed his BFF (See point 2) and asked what he thought. His reply: “Fella will think this is great!” was the immediate response. And with that I was back on track. Keep calm and stick to your plan!
    7. Ask him already!
      For all the planning in the world, it didn’t play out quite like I envisioned, but it was still magical. My plans went comically awry when we got to the art museum and I realized it was the opening of a DEVO exhibit. My fella, being totally clueless of my intentions, rushed straight past the Asian Art section I had carefully chosen for THE moment and directly into a large crowd gathered around a video of Crack That Whip. After an hour of lego hats and ping-pong paddles, two-headed cars and ever increasing nervousness, I grabbed his arm and pulled him into the closest empty gallery. I forgot my entire script and just asked.

    And … he said yes!

    Use his pets for backup if needed (her yes was my ticket!)

    There you have it — how to magically change your boyfriend into a Broke-Ass-Groom in 7 easy steps. Stay strong, follow your heart and remember: The only rule is that in 2015 there are no rules!
    Now if I could just find some “He said yes!” banners … (Psst: Christen used her Google-fu and found a print!)

  • 12/3

    Blank note cards available from Etsy seller GraceNotesByCindy Being a super-awesome, unique BAB, I was looking for the perfect dress; one that looked great on me and was as off-beat as I am. I decided I wanted a tea length dress to show off my legs and my individuality. One place I was sure I wouldn’t find the dress of my dreams was David’s Bridal.…

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    When John and I began our wedding planning journey, we didn't really have strong feelings about who we should have officiate our wedding. I was raised in a very conservative, regular church-going family, but after high school, I kind of decided that that wasn't really my thing. So we had no family minister or favorite pastor, and we both knew we didn't want our wedding…

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    Ok, you guys, I have to level with you. I have been blogging about weddings for almost 2 years now, here on BAB, and on various other blogs and websites.  I am a professional freelance writer,  and I'm a wedding blogger, by most people's definition of such. I've been engaged for 2.5 years, and I was already looking at wedding pretties for about a year…

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