Broke-Ass Tag: How to Plan a Wedding


If the new year brought you a new big step in your relationship, congratulations! We’re so happy to have you! As you jump into the world of wedding planning, know that it’s totally normal and very much ok to be feeling a little … overwhelmed about where to start, to say the least.


If your head is feeling like a giant cloud full of tulle and fondant at the moment, take a deep breath, smile and remind yourself that this is going to be great. Then, take a look at our suggestions to get you on the right track to a sane, prioritized planning process.

Focus on the big picture.

Take some time to think about what your wedding *feels* like. Is it a big, backyard bash with all of your favorite people? Maybe an intimate cocktail party with your closest family a friends? Make sure to have open conversations with your partner about this so you can suss out any areas you’ll potentially need to compromise. Thinking about the overall size of your wedding helps with other big decisions like the venue and budget.

Identify YOUR priorities and where you’re willing to splurge.

Maybe you know exactly what you want to wear or have long dreamed of a specific venue. It could be that you really want to hire that band you saw together on a special date. If there are big ticket items that you know you’ll regret not having as a part of your day, pick them out, write them down and look into what it will cost, then start building your budget around that. It may mean spending less on other areas, but making room for the things you both want is worth it!

Check out venues and build from there.

Even if you don’t feel like the venue is the most important choice you’ll make, it’s still a good place to start. Reserving a venue secures your date and having a date allows you to book all of the other vendors you want. Venues are also likely to have rules that could end up being a deciding factor on other vendors or elements you want to include. Things like sparklers, including pets in your ceremony and pretty much anything that includes an open flame may be a no-go. It’s up to you whether the location is worth sacrificing something you wanted to have in your wedding.

Don’t put too much stock in checklists.

Timelines and checklists can be great at keeping you organized and helping you plan how to space out big purchases, but they’re not the end-all-be-all of wedding planning. If you’re the type of person who starts the day by making a to-do list, by all means, find one that fits you! Just don’t brand yourself a failure if your stationery isn’t chosen six months out. If you feel confident about a purchase at a time a great deal comes up, think of it as meant to be, regardless of whether or not a checklist tells you it’s “time.”

Above all, trust yourself and your partner because this is going to be a fun ride! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice and find your favorite ways to share your love story.

Are you having a hard time figuring out the next step to take in your wedding planning? Let us know what has you stumped in the comments below!

  • 12/14

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    Now that all the wedding madness is over and we’re getting back to real life (and getting those damn thank you cards out — guess they’re going with our Christmas cards now!), I’d like to pause and reflect on what it’s like going through this whole process for a second time.

    Some Real Bride realness: It sucks to come out as a second time bride. I told you guys from the start, because what good is this blog if we lie to you? But I found myself keeping that little tidbit of information from vendors and salespeople.

    Why would I do a little thing like that?



    Well, for one, there’s a lot of shame in play here. I’m 29 years old, and got engaged for the second time at 28. Even though divorces are pretty common (hell, our two head BABs have both been divorced), and even more common among people who get married young (I was 21 the first time), I felt like a failure. It turns out this happens to a lot of people. No matter who’s wrong or right, or what happened, there’s a sense of being publicly judged as a failure because you couldn’t keep your marriage together. My first marriage was based on low self-esteem and my fear of being alone. Staying in it would have been the real failure. But that’s not something you explain to a random person on the street, and so you end up avoiding the topic with everyone but your close friends.



    For another, just because it was my second wedding doesn’t mean that it was my husband’s second wedding. There’s a strong undercurrent in a lot of second wedding information implying that, once you’ve already had one pretty princess day, it’s tacky to want another. Does he suddenly not deserve to have the wedding he wants because he chose me? A low key, non-traditional wedding that you choose is great. A low key, non-traditional, let’s-not-make-a-big-deal wedding that people want to force you into as punishment for your failures is another.

    He wanted to see me in a long white dress walking toward him in front of all our friends and family while he stood waiting in a tux. And damn it, that’s what we did.



    If you’re a second time bride, you’re allowed to approach your wedding with the exact same attitude every bride should have — trying to create the wedding that you and your fiance want, in a way that you can afford. And best of all? Since you’ve already been through this before, you have a leg up on navigating those confusing waters of wedding planning.

    Are you a second-time to-be-wed? How has the process been for you? Share in the comments!


  • 11/18

    Love must be in the air: Between my graduate school cohort, the assistant lecturers with whom I share an office, and my Facebook news feed, I think I’ve seen about 10 engagements, six weddings, three babies, and one vow renewal in the last month alone. All this love and excitement lately has me feeling a little nostalgic; as a person who had a Pinterest board full…

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    Via Etsy seller ThePartylab So, a couple of Fridays ago, Wedding World opened up to a brand new batch of #TheEngaged. Congratulations, and Welcome Aboard. As BAB's resident wedding planner, I wanted to offer you a few quick start tips about wedding planning. Sticker shock isn't the only thing that's going to surprise you in the next few months. 1. It's Your Wedding, You Can Do…

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    Credit:  Lucky Photographer The first step to having a grown-up wedding is acknowledging that you're a grown-up. And that your guests and family are grown-ups. Marriage is the second most grown-up thing you can do. So, you might as well start now with the day that’s going to start it all off. In the immortal words of Monica Geller, “It sucks, you're going to love it.”…

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    Credit: Beyond the Ordinary The bottom line is the bottom line: Weddings cost a lot of money. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $27,000, although I read one article that said that $16,000 is probably closer. You know, as if that wasn't a bunch of cash, either. I know what some of you are thinking -- you don't have to spend that much…

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    Image courtesy of Larry Donoso Dear Heather, Is, "where the heck do we even start?" a sufficient question? Jessica Dear Jessica, Absolutely! I suggest starting with the trifecta of guest list, venue, and budget, as all of them directly impact the other in non-negotiable ways. The absolute first thing I recommend doing is making an all-inclusive, "if we get to invite absolutely everyone we want,"…

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    Image courtesy of Style Within Reach Dear Heather, I am getting married on 5/24 and we are having a hard time finding a cheap but good wine along with liquor choices. Please give me some ideas! Wants Inexpensive, Nomnom Elixirs Dear WINE, The ability to obtain different types of wine, alas, depends on where one lives. For instance, I live in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania…

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    Banner available from Etsy seller BannerBash Dear Liz, My fiancé and I have been together for eight years and have a 3-year-old daughter. He proposed to me one year ago and we are wanting a Las Vegas wedding.  He has been married before, so he is wanting me to plan everything. I am torn between wanting a simple elopement and having a small nice wedding. Either…

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