Broke-Ass Tag: North Texas


Affiliate Disclaimer NewI knew BAB and I were going to get along when I saw the tagline “Creativity is our Currency.” Creativity is something I pride myself on, and when I can glean from the imagination of other awesome people, I’m usually set to create something truly impressive.

The hand-craftedness of the majority of my decorations was something that began as a ploy to save some major cash (oh, and save, I did!), but as the months went on, I developed what I can only describe as a deeper connection to my wedding day. When all of those projects and ideas came together in one place for one purpose, I was able to look out across this scape that I not only imagined, but crafted in many ways from scratch, and feel a whole new level of love. I remembered my now-husband peeking over my shoulder as I finished up signs, trips to Michael’s for more supplies and spending time with my family and friends making sure everything came together. There is plenty of love in any wedding regardless of how much you hand make, but for me, making something for someone has always been my highest level of love.

The largest DIY undertaking by far was the flowers. All of the flowers. Every centerpiece, bouquet and boutonniere started as a cardboard box FedExed to my house, before being unpacked, stripped of thorns (THE. WORST.) and eventually trimmed and arranged. It was an undertaking. There were tears. It was worth it.

Bridesmaids Bouquets || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

I’ve always been pretty big on flowers and having beautiful designs within my budget was more important to me than a lot of brides. The arrangements were a mix of cymbidium orchids, Picasso calla lilies, pink garden roses, Burgundy Moonlight carnations and dahlia (which was actually a substitute when the blooming kale didn’t arrive). Rather than purchasing wholesale greenery, I filled everything in with rich, ruffly kale. From the grocery store. $1.89 a bunch. Eight centerpieces, a bridal bouquet, three bridesmaids bouquets, six boutonnieres and a lot of flowers left over for miscellaneous decorating cost me just over $700.

Bridal Bouquet || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Of course my centerpieces were arranged in my very first DIY (not to mention what got me started with BAB in the first place): the faux mercury glass compote bowls that came out to around $4 each. I’m still in love with them!

Shannon's DIY Centerpieces || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photo

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

In lieu of traditional favors, we purchased boxes of 12 wine glasses from Bed Bath and Beyond for 10 bucks a piece, then I hand painted them with alcohol ink in several colors that complemented my palette. I bought four packages of three colors and those tiny bottles took care of 108 glasses and 18 different candle holders (did you see the fun video on Instagram?) BEFORE they got sent to a friend to help her paint votive holders for her wedding. Each piece had three colors that blended together to create a gorgeous (not to mention trendy) watercolor effect and there are guests STILL commenting on how gorgeous they were.

DIY Painted Wine Glasses || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photo

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Having a deep, inexplicable attachment to handwriting, I definitely wanted to do all of my signage. Keeping with the watercolor motif, I used a wet brush technique to create a splatter design on an easel canvas that’s slanted so it stands on its own before writing over in gold paint pen. If I had to do it over again, I would have used more muted colors so that the gold popped a little more, but I still loved the final product.

Hand-Painted and Lettered Signage || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Keeping with the handwritten, watercolor theme, I also hand-wrote my envelopes with a calligrapher’s pen, but swapped four watercolors for traditional ink. Yes, a great many of those went in the trash after they were opened, but the number of people hanging onto theirs for a keepsake makes me feel completely validated in spending all of that time and effort overachieving.

Hand-Lettered Envelopes || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Of course, there was the last minute DIY that I wasn’t expecting when I realized I’d messed up ordering my cake. It wasn’t planned and it was a total pain, but you know what? I kinda like the way they turned out. Gold, glitter and pearls make everything better in my world. After my amazing crew of helpers topped two cakes and a homemade creation with some of the left over flowers, I think they turned out wonderful!

Target cakes made beautiful! || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

If you love to create, create for your own wedding. It feels so personal and it’s an amazing bonding experience with those you love. If you don’t, talk to the people in your life who do. For most of us, the opportunity to contribute our talent is a real honor.

I’ll be back in two weeks with some step-by-step information on how everything was made. In the meantime, remember that creativity means a lot of things and it is totally a valid currency!

  • 10/29

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    It’s crazy to think it’s been just over a month since over a year of work and worry and celebration and joy culminated into our beautiful wedding. In that month I’ve had a little time to go over what went wrong because when you read that something will go wrong, yeah, they’re right. Plenty of things from small snafus to (seemingly) dire disasters popped up in those last few days, but there are a few things you can do to keep those troubles tamed and come out looking like the blissful bride or gracious groom we all hope to be.

    My motto, mantra, life affirming statement – whatever you want to call it – became, “All I HAVE to do is get married.” I don’t know how many times I said this, but it was probably in the eleventy billion range.

    Have you seen the meme, tweet or Facebook status explaining that free time just makes the one posting nervous that he or she has forgotten something? This got SO. REAL. during the last few days leading up to the wedding. There was a lot of shrugging my shoulders and saying, “I think I’m done.” But what’s a traditionally large vendor that people more or less expect to see at a wedding? A cake. I brain farted the most epic brain fart on the cake. I had made early arrangements with a friend who does wedding cakes here and there, but typically only for people she knows. She broke her leg a couple months before the wedding and was concerned she wouldn’t be healed enough to be hobbling around the kitchen, so she hooked me up with her former employer. Y’all, I didn’t just drop the ball; I dug a hole and buried the ball in the backyard for safe keeping and just forgot. My wedding cake was two eight-inch round, undecorated cakes from Target, plus one I baked myself, then decorated with edible pearls and glitter. And you know what? It was fine.


    I ordered my flowers from wholesalers then assembled them myself with some help from our fearless leader Christen, my mom, sister, aunt and a dear family friend. As the self-proclaimed World’s Worst Delegator, I forgot to explain to leave a few stems of each flower untrimmed so I could build a big, cascading Meg-like bouquet. The longest stems I had were only about eight inches, resulting in a much smaller bundle of blooms than I had hoped. And you know what? It was fine.

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff Photography

    Pardon me for getting a little personal here, but I had an uninvited aunt show up THE DAY BEFORE our wedding day. You know, THAT aunt who typically shows up every month. Yeah. I was bloated; I was crampy, and I was smack dab in the middle of my monthly boob swell. So much so that my dress, despite dieting and exercise and ordering the size that was supposed to fit didn’t zip all the way. Hips went in, dress zipped up over my waistline, then about mid-back just said, “Haha, NOPE!” The ceremony was delayed and we were scrambling like mad to get this thing cinched just another half an inch while my friends and families destroyed their fingers pulling, but it just wasn’t going to go. My MIL had given me a handkerchief to carry with my bouquet. I shrugged and smiled and said I’d carry a tissue because this little white square just got promoted to a more noble cause. My crew adjusted and pinned what was supposed to be a completely closed back dress into a keyhole. No one seemed to notice, so you know what? Even that was fine.

    Notice my bridesmaid's face... Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    Notice my bridesmaid’s face …
    Photo by Shaina Sheaff Photography

    At the reception, we had a dance semi-choreographed that I imagined being YouTube gold. I was a dancer for many, many years, so this was something that was pretty important to me. We were supposed to start off in a slow, sappy waltz, then go into the dance scene from “Guardians of the Galaxy” while everyone, in my mind, clapped and cheered. Well, as we walk in and start getting in place over the first couple bars of the first song, one of my more … outgoing … older family members jumped up and told my husband of less than an hour to “show some propriety” and grabbed his hand, moving it from the middle of my back to basically under my armpit. Caught in a haze of concentration and bliss, this interruption came out of nowhere. We were confused and concerned before we realized he was just trying to be funny. We missed our cue. We never quite recovered. I could hear one of my mother’s friends commenting that it was obvious we had practiced something and were thrown off. We just danced and laughed and kept going, even though I was mostly trying to quietly call the choreography through a ventriloquist’s smile (not a talent of mine). And you know what? Yep, still fine.

    It was all fine because I got to marry an imperfect man who is perfect for me. We celebrated our love in a meaningful way and joined ourselves together forever. We smiled and hugged everyone and walked off into the night as husband and wife. I did the only thing that I needed to do that night: pledge to be with the only man I can imagine growing old with. There were plenty of frightened, frustrated, embarrassed tears in those last few days, but after a month, they’re just funny stories to tell to the people who complimented us on having such a “smooth” wedding (someone actually told us this!).  And you know what? It was more than fine. It was perfect. It was us.