Broke-Ass Tag: friends


A couple of weeks after my wedding, I was sitting with my cousin at some sort of family event when she turned to me and said “Would you do it all over again?” I think she was surprised (happily) when Matt and I said we absolutely would. She said most of the time when she talked to people before, they said it wasn’t worth the stress/time/energy/money/drama/etc. I think part of the reason we can still look back on the day and everything that came before it so positively is because we did plan our wedding the Broke-Ass way.

Julie and Matt in the Photo BoothUs having a blast in our last minute splurge, a photo booth! Everyone else loved it too, it was packed all night! Photo by SK Photography

Our wedding was the culmination of a lot of hard work on both of our parts. I worked crazy hours the summer before the wedding, and Matt was working multiple jobs at the time. It was a labor of love for sure. We also worked really hard to find solutions to make sure our priorities were met. There was a lot that went into it and it made the day of all that much sweeter. We could finally relax and just enjoy the day with the people we love surrounding us. Any bells and whistles we had were about either representing ourselves or adding to the enjoyment of our friends and family, not because we “had to have” them or “it’s just what people do.” We did things our way. We even ended up going over our original budget by a little bit … but we did in a measured and purposeful way.
Photo booth images from Julie and Matt's Wedding

We got some pretty nifty souvenirs out of it too! Photo by SK Photography

As happy as we are with our wedding there are a few things we would do differently. If money wasn’t an issue, there’s a list a mile-long of people we would’ve loved to have there. I wish I had taken my dress from the people I bought it from and ran. I wish I hadn’t snapped at my mom at one point while we were taking family photos (it was just one quick snappy answer, but it was still not right). The thing is, money WAS an issue, and we will hopefully get to celebrate our new life together with the people that we couldn’t invite at other times. I didn’t realize the dress shop was an issue until it was too late and I can’t beat myself up over that. The moment with my mom happened quickly and was over. It really didn’t affect the way we interacted the rest of the day, and it was borne out of my mom having the same priorities as me at heart. She wanted to be sure my guests weren’t starving while we were busy taking pictures. I was kind of snippy with her because I knew that my guests were being served something and that we had scheduled the photos at that time as well.  If we had been on the same page, we would’ve been fine.

I stressed a lot before the wedding too. Do I regret that? I don’t know, honestly. Part of it is just who I am. I’m nervous by nature and dealing with any kind of social situation freaks me out a little bit. Of course the thought of being surrounded by a bunch of people was going to worry me, even if it was a bunch of people I knew and loved. We were worried about how everything would turn out … and in part we took extra care to make sure that wasn’t the case. We had awesome people we were working with that worked with us to allay those fears. We also got much closer to a bunch of people in our life because they were there for us through it all and really showed us how many people really love us.

Julie and Matt surrounded by friendsUs having a great time with a few of those people that love us (and that we love back!) Photo by SK Photography

In the end, we had such a successful day for a couple of reasons: We prioritized what was most important to us and kept our eyes on that throughout the planning process; we didn’t let drama get to us; we surrounded ourselves with people that love us; we picked vendors we liked who listened to us … the list goes on. The most important part of it though, is we can look back on it with pride and our heads held high. I think no matter what your budget is, if you can walk away from the day feeling like your money and time (and of course all those other things) were well spent on all the things that matter most to you and your spouse, you’ve planned a great Broke-Ass wedding. I know for us, it was well worth it because we stayed true to ourselves, made sure our priorities were met, and didn’t fall into the WIC trap of believing we needed anything more than we wanted. We trusted our choices and embraced and were understanding of our limitations. We have some pretty amazing memories thanks to all these things and I wouldn’t trade those in for anything in the world.

  • 6/19

    Vanessa and Brian's Warehouse Wedding || Photo: Onelove Photography

    Credit: onelove photography

    Yay! You’re engaged! You’ve told your family and friends, have booked your venue, are working on your stationery and are planning a grand dress shopping excursion. You’ve asked your dearest friends to stand by your side on your big day, which was met with an emphatic “Of Course!” You start gushing over the details when you meet your best for lunch or happy hour and you can’t wait to recruit her for help in the projects and brainstorming and drink endless amounts of bubbly.

    Except … she’s obviously less than thrilled. Sure, there was excitement in the beginning, but now her response to anything is reduced to one-word answers: “Cool.” “Neat.” “Sure.” “Yep.”

    Um. Huh.

    Look, your friend is still stoked for you — I can pretty much guarantee that — but here’s the thing:

    No one loves your wedding as much as you do. Except maybe your partner.

    And here’s the other thing: While they totally shared the over-the-moon moments in the beginning, if you’ve been planning for a while, your wedding has become a little bit of old hat to them. They have their own lives, their own concerns, their own dramas. Things are more important to them than your wedding day, because really, your wedding day doesn’t really affect them outside of the responsibilities they agreed to. And they might just be sick of hearing about it.

    Friends who are single, in long-term relationships with no sign of marriage on the horizon (if that’s what they want) or friends who are in the throes of financial hardship tend to be especially prone to wedding ambivalence. I am hesitant to call it jealousy, because that implies a twinge of ill-will, and I am hard-pressed to believe your homie harbors any of that biznizz for you.

    This is also not to say that you are oversharing or being dismissive of feelings, because you’re probably not. But there probably has been a lapse in communication about when, exactly, your friend’s level of giving-a-shitness lessened. You’re still bracing for the storm of confetti while they’ve already got the dress and don’t have much to do until it comes time to plan your bachelorette bash.

    So how do you deal?

    Well, first, acknowledge it. Gently. If you notice those one-word responses creeping in, pause and ask her if everything is all right. Tell her that if she doesn’t feel up for talking about wedding stuff, you don’t have to talk about wedding stuff right then … but then make a point to bring it up at a later date when she’s feeling more gusto about it. And if you’re up for it, let her know that you feel like she’s a bit disinterested, but let her tell you why if she is. Don’t force her into a corner. And be ready to acknowledge that you’ve pretty much been spewing all things tulle, confetti and peonies for months now while many other topics have gotten swept under the aisle runner.

    And recognize boundaries. Schedule wedding-specific talks, and make a point to have lady dates that include zero mention of weddings. This will put the focus back on the important shit — your friendship.

    If you’re already doing this and still seeing the rebuffed responses, then ask. Nicely. Ask your friend why she seems to be so much less interested — could be that she has something going on in her life that she hasn’t told you about because she’s afraid of raining on your string-quarteted procession.

    Most of all, remember that you’re friends, and friendship is a valuable thing whether you’re single, engaged, married, widowed or divorced. Be gentle to one another and keep in mind that your amazing life moment may be stirring up some not-so-awesome emotions in those nearest and dearest to your heart. Be there for them so they’ll be there with you as you say your vows and for all the days beyond.

  • 5/4

    Having a videographer at our wedding was very important to us from the start. My memory, especially in times of overwhelming emotion, is not so great, and I wanted to capture not only the words that were said, but how they were said. But by the time we got around to booking a videographer, many we inquired with were already booked for our date, or…

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