Broke-Ass Tag: peacock


Hold on to your hats, Broke-Asses! We’ve got one serious Real Broke-Ass Wedding here. Budget: $8000. Guest count: 100. Massive DIY. A free dress (!!!) and pure ingenuity. Are you ready to see what Heather and her childhood sweetheart-turned hubz, Shane, have in store for us? You are? Well then, let’s get to it.

Name: The Follies of a Day, or The Marriage of Heather and Shane

Occupation: Writer, Blogger, Mommy, Step-Mommy, Wife, oh… and Ophthalmic Technician

Wedding location: Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center, Mansfield, Georgia.

Wedding Date: October 29, 2011

Budget: $8,000

How would you describe your wedding:

I would describe it as freakin’ awesome, so kick-ass it required paramedics. It was a DIY extravaganza, and everyone pitched in to make the day unforgettable. It was a mis-matched mix of both of us, and that was exactly what we wanted.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. Everything had built up to that moment.

It was where I stood in front of all my near and dear to marry the first boy that I ever kissed from way back in 1993, back when I smelled like Teen Spirit, and drew his name on my Chucks. We were kids back then, and life eventually took us down different paths, and changed us from awkward eighth-graders into adults capable of real, deep commitment.

Our time apart made us who we are, gave us both the gift of children and then brought us back to each other to work together in all things with the spirit of compromise. Our ceremony was the moment we pledged to never break the bond of friendship and love that had begun almost two decades before. It was beautiful, and it was made just for us.

The preacher read “On Marriage” by Kahlil Gibran, and Shane crafted our beautiful vows. The wedding party processional was to the Pink Panther theme song, which set the mood for our loving, yet quirky wedding. I walked down the aisle to The Imperial March (which got a chuckle from the guests).

After we sealed the deal with a kiss, we walked out as a married couple to Let’s Get It On.

What did you splurge on?

I really did not splurge on anything. I spent more than I wanted to on a DJ, but he threw in karaoke for free and did a great job, so it was worth it. I think I was very level-headed about the money spending thing. I am a legendary cheapskate. I can pinch a penny so hard that ole honest Abe cries, so it was really very hard for me to “splurge” on anything. I did not even buy a wedding dress! Everyone told me that I could spend on a dress, but I couldn’t justify that when there was a perfectly free and pretty one being offered by my sister-in-law.

One of my friends actually asked me if I was going to find a way to register at Goodwill! That is how deep my cheap streak runs, it’s kind of notorious with anyone who has ever met me.  My mother and I would search for the best deal, use a hobby lobby 40% off coupon every day of the week, or we would just find a way to make it ourselves. For us money was tight, but even if it wasn’t, I could not spend that much money on one day. My car only cost $3,000 and I use it every single day, so it was really hard for me to swallow the cost of something that only lasted for a few hours. The marriage will go on, but the wedding is only one day.

That does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that I could not have an absolutely fabulous wedding, I just knew that I did not have put us all in the poor house to do it. Luckily, I am moderately creative, I had the advantage of previously working in the special event industry, and I had helped all my married friends cut corners with their wedding budget, so while this was my only wedding, it was not my first rodeo.

What did you save on?

I saved on everything. I made my own wedding favors with my sister-in-law’s help.

My mom also worked tirelessly. She scoured the Internet, she hit all the thrift stores and clearance bins she could find. We were quite a team. There was a ton of DIY. The centerpieces, the bouquets, boutonnieres, guest book, favors, veil, hair, makeup, photo booth and all the décor was DIY.

I even coupon shopped for my bridesmaids’ gifts! I made them wedding day survival kits with lip balm, Bath and Body works lotions, body spray, razors, toothbrushes, and other toiletries that I got for free or next to free with coupon cleverness! I found pretty blue Pashmina shawls for $5.00 each and put it all in an insulated picnic bag that I got on clearance for $7.00 each.  I was one savvy sista for 14 months leading up to the big day!

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect?

I will preface this by stating that I am no prude. I like to party with the best of ’em, and I did. Let’s not get this twisted, most everyone at the wedding was awesome, they were adult party people who behaved normally.

Some were not. Unfortunately, those that were not, belonged to my bevy of bridesmaids. Bless their hearts. So this leads up to what would have been different: The bar would have closed much sooner. We only served beer and wine. The theory was that by not having any liquor at the bar, it would cut down on any drunken calamity. That was not the case. It may be partly that there was too much alcohol available, but it is also partly due to the fact that some people may not know how to behave. Either way, it got a little crazy, but I was in my happy place and the ridiculousness did not really sink in until after we got home from our honeymoon. That is a good thing.

What was your biggest challenge in planning?

Spending money. It is one of the hardest things for me to do, honestly.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?

I learned that this is, by far, one of my favorite things to do. I just think in terms of savings, so it was easy for me to save a lot and really be creative. I love to plan events. I love the details, and it warms my happy heart to see it all come together, cheaply.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

That it all came together and I married the man of my dreams are a given, so here are my other favorite things:

1.    Our ‘First Look’ shoot.

2. As I write this my grandfather is very sick. He is 89 years old, and one of the most amazing people that I have ever known. I am very grateful that he got to see me get married.

3. Our DIY Photo booth, it was great entertainment for the kids and the adults.

4. Dancing with my Daddy, I boo-hoo’d like a blubbering baby, but it is one of the most cherished moments of my life.

5. All the time I got to spend with my mom while we worked on this DIY day!

Top 5 least favorite?

These are numbered in reverse order, kind of like Letterman’s Top 10. Feel free to hear his voice while reading these with a rim shot following each one …

5.    My officiant calling in sick the day before the ceremony. With. No. Voice.

4.    My bridesmaid that decided to read a very long, and questionably relevant poem as her toast at the reception. It lasted well over 10 minutes, and people snorted trying to withhold their laughter at the ridiculousness of it. Someone actually began to heckle her. That someone was my father. She then drank like a sorority pledge at a kegger and passed out in the foyer.

3.   My almost bridesmaid, who is also my cousin, that dropped out of the wedding on her RSVP card.

2.  My other bridesmaid, missed the bridal party photos, and showed up just in time to walk down the aisle, she then got hammered and cursed at my brand new sister-in-law during the reception.

1.    Oh, and this one takes the cake! My maid of honor left in an ambulance due to the cussing bridesmaid from #2 falling on top of her, resulting in a concussion. Bahdoomching!

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?

That I should just pick any bridesmaids dresses regardless of price because it was my day and they needed to wear whatever I picked. I went with a $42 dress from Target because I did not want my girls to waste money on a dress for only one day. I just couldn’t make myself pick something expensive, and I think that I made the right choice.

What was the best advice?

The best advice that I got was to take pictures before the wedding! We had a “first look” shoot on a peninsula at the lake near our ceremony site. We had almost 2 hours before the wedding with just Shane and I, and it was awesome.

We left the crazy crap storm of DIY wedding prep behind us and just enjoyed taking pictures together with no big time crunch. We got to show off our personalities, and goof off together before the wedding. We then took pictures with the rest of the wedding party before the ceremony, so that during the cocktail/appetizer hour we just took photos with family and headed into the reception. It was one thing that went absolutely according to plan, and I am so thankful!

Any other bits of wisdom?

Make sure that you pick your wedding party wisely. I love all my ladies, but it did hurt my feelings that many of them could not hold it together to celebrate normally without looking like a college freshman or without the need for Emergency Medical Personnel.  Also, make the best of the good and the bad. There will be some things that go wrong; hopefully your mishaps will be smaller than mine, but just roll with them because that is part of the beauty of life and of love.

Budget breakdown?

Venue: $750 ($500 for the wedding/reception and $250 to go in early the day before to decorate)

Breakfast for the wedding party the morning of the wedding: $174

Appetizers after ceremony: $503

Buffet dinner: $1535

Restaurant Equipment rental: $330

Bar cost: $500

DIY Tea Favors for 100: $85

Cakes: Free, made by my amazing mother-in-law!

Photography: $700

DJ: $900

DIY Photo Booth: $100

Peacock Feathers: $150 (used for centerpieces, bridesmaid bouquets, cake topper, misc. decor)

Invites: $100

Groom’s Attire: $90

Bouquet: Free. DIY with gifted brooches

Flower girl fairy wings: $2.00

Flower girl dresses: $25 each from Macy’s.

Boudoir pics: Free. (I had my two best friends help me put together a pin-up girl-inspired shoot for the hubby’s wedding day gift)

Dress: Free (the dress was purchased from by my sister-in-law for her wedding, but she found another dress before her big day and didn’t wear it. I didn’t even have to alter it. LUCKY ME!!)

Hair: Free (I watched YouTube videos to learn how to do my own hair, and I then practiced styling it before work in the mornings, so that I knew I would be able to pull off the look  even under tight time constraints.)

Veil/Snood: $3.00 I bought a ½ yard of ivory lace fabric, cut it into a teardrop shape and bobby pinned it in my hair.

Flower Fascinators: $1.49 each from

Shoes: Free (I received a $30 Target gift card at a bridal shower and purchased my shoes there for $24.99)

Misc. décor expenses: $1500

Total $7,522

Venue: Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center

Food: Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center

Photography: Melody Ward, Kenny and

DJ: Mike Worley

All wedding DIY: Me

The Broke-Ass Bride is always looking for rad-tastic Broke-Ass weddings to feature. Interested? You can submit via Two Bright Lights or by emailing us directly!


  • 1/19

    Oh! Was I drooling? When this beauty of a wedding landed in my inbox, I just stared … and stared … and stared. Heather and Jacob had a stunning peacock-infused and SUPER budget-friendly event in Seattle. They are one handsome couple and the camera sure does love them. Get your bib ready and throw some plastic over your keyboard, because you’ll be sure to soak it with your own dribble.

    Name: Heather and Jacob

    Occupation: Café/Wine Bar Manager

    Wedding location: Tacoma, Washington

    Wedding Date: April 2, 2011

    Budget: $10,000, but I think we spent around $12K

    How would you describe your wedding:
    Our wedding was a total expression of our personalities. It was fashionable, funky and creative but with lots of traditional and personal touches. I knew I wanted to go with peacock feathers, and choosing them opened the door to a beautiful, jewel-tone color scheme. We chose over-the-top venues, fun outfits for our wedding party, but maintained tradition by marrying in a chapel and having our pastor marry us. We both wrote our own vows … we were both crying so much we could hardly make it through the ceremony!

    What was your favorite part of your wedding? I think listening to my husband’s wedding vows. I had not heard them before that point, and he was crying so hard … it was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I was so full of love at that moment!

     My favorite “material” part of the wedding was our flowers. My bouquet was amazeballs!

    What did you splurge on?
    Photography and invitations.
    Photography is really the only thing that really lasts forever, so we knew we wanted great photos. To me, invitations are really important because I believe they set the tone for the whole event.

    What did you save on?
    My dress was a sample gown that had been in the shop for six months and had never even been tried on. I think the owner was dying to get rid of it (guess no one else liked it!) so she gave me a huge discount.

    I won an essay contest and got $300 off of our invitations (they still were pricey), we had a friend cater the wedding, and we DIYed as much as we could. I spent 13 hours the day before the wedding making our centerpieces and ceremony décor. I also made all the cake stands for the candy bar and had friends and family members make dessert. We even borrowed a cotton candy machine from a friend and spun our own cotton candy!

    I also made all the table numbers and table squares, escort cards, the wishing tree and the bridesmaid’s hair fascinators. I had a whole year to plan, and I was literally working on crafts for an entire year!! Day of, I had friends do my hair and makeup, and stayed at a hotel that my parents’ friends own (free!).

    Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect?
    Honestly, everything went so smoothly that there isn’t anything I would change. We had help from a lot of friends and the day went off without a hitch. I still don’t get tired of looking at my wedding photos … I am still in love with the whole event!

    What was your biggest challenge in planning?
    Definitely having such a small budget for a wedding with 230 guests. We both had help from our families, but we still paid for most of the wedding ourselves. It took a ton of time, energy, and research to find the most cost effective version of everything. I probably spent thousands of hours on the Internet !! There were times when I thought it LITERALLY would not be possible, but it is! I managed to juggle full-time school, a full-time job, and planning a wedding and still did not come out completely broke!

    What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?
    Organization. I am definitely more of a “free spirited” person than an organized person, but if you are planning a wedding on a budget, organization is key. You need to keep track of coupons and sales, as well as network with people. I used the homie hookup on whatever I could, and I think that’s part of the reason we were able to have such a beautiful wedding on a budget. We used connections through friends at church, our parent’s friends, and Facebook friends! I made lots of excel spreadsheets to keep track of how much we had spent and how much we had left to spend. I had to keep track of every tiny expense, even if it was 5 dollars!

    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
    1-the way my bridesmaids looked together. I think their dresses were amazing, and paired with the peacock fascinators, funky hosiery, sky-high heels, and lime green flowers… I don’t think I have ever seen a cooler bunch of bridesmaids!

    2- our reception venue. We had it at a history museum and rented out all three floors. When we walked into our reception it was like being on the loveboat—looking up at three floors of balcony filled with our loved ones cheering and applauding us. It was a surreal feeling. I might be biased but I think it was the coolest reception venue ever (especially since it had a mummy display)!

    3- My flowers. They were more than I could have imagined—simply perfect! I even was in love with the flower girl’s dark purple pomander ball! (I used vintage brooches on the front of my bouquet, given to me by my mom)

    4-Our wedding video. A very talented friend of ours did a wedding video for us as a gift—it turned out beautifully!

    5-Having a candy buffet. Because we had at least 30 kids at our wedding, we really needed to do something they would love. Having a candy buffet complete with freshly spun cotton candy was a huge hit! I loved going around and greeting all of my guests and seeing them all with blue tongues.

    Top 5 least favorite?
    1. The fact that it ended! We only had our reception venue from 6:30 until 11:00, and I was really sad when everyone had to leave. The party was absolutely insane at our reception, and I think most of our guests moved on to an after party. I am so glad that people had so much fun! (boring receptions are the worst)

    2. That we couldn’t have live music at our reception. We just couldn’t afford it, and opted for a DJ instead.
    That’s really all I can think of… everything else was wonderful.

    What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?
    Well, we had a lot of unique ideas and almost every single person in my life bashed all of my ideas. People could not believe we were doing a candy bar instead of a traditional wedding cake, or that we were doing a wishing tree instead of a guest book. Someone flat out told me that those ideas were disrespectful to our guests! People also knocked the lime green flowers idea, and the fact that I wanted to wear polka dot tight sunder my dress. However, I think once they saw everything together, they realized they were wrong!

    The best?
    I didn’t get any great advice. However, I am a really independent person and just went on with my planning by myself and didn’t really listen to what anyone else was saying. Planning a wedding is hard enough, you can’t let other people’s negative opinions and comments get to you! I am glad I stuck to my gut because I am SO PROUD of how my wedding turned out.

    If you’ve been married for more than a year, what have been some challenges? It’s been the best 10 months of my life! In fact, we are expecting a little baby girl in May.
    {Eds. note: CONGRATULATIONS!!!}

    Any other bits of wisdom?
    Always go with your gut. Only YOU know yourself best. Don’t let other people tell you “that dress is just not YOU” or, “really? You want your reception in a museum? That’s so not you!” Only you truly know your taste, and if you let other people make decisions for you, you might regret it in the long run.

    Check out Heather & Jacob’s totally gorgeous wedding vid (WARNING: it might make you a little teary)

    Heather and Jacob | Every sunrise and sunset from james dean on Vimeo.

    Budget breakdown?
    Food and rentals: $4,000
    Photography: $2,600
    Ceremony Venue: $300 (score! My husband’s aunt was an employee at the venue)
    Reception Venue: $1200
    Dress: $800
    Flowers: $1,000
    Décor: (DIY) $600
    Invitations: $500
    Candy bar: $200 (lots of DIY, bought candy from bulk website)
    DJ: $900
    Videographer, wedding veil, and desserts were all gifted!

    Dress: Jasmine Collection
    Veil: Vera Wang
    Shoes: Paris Hilton
    Hair Flower: Nordstrom
    Bracelets: Forever 21
    Groom’s Suit: Tommy Hilfiger
    Groom’s Tie: Urban Outfitters
    Groom’s Shoes: Steve Madden
    Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Betsey Johnson, XOXO, David’s Bridal
    Bridesmaid’s tights: Nordstrom
    Bridesmaid’s Shoes: Steve Madden
    Hair fascinators: Made by bride
    Cocktail rings: Forever 21
    Groomsmen outfits: All H&M
    Groomsmen ties: Urban Outfitters
    Flowergirl dress: David’s Bridal
    Ring Bearer’s outfits: JC Penney
    Flowers: Debra’s Botanical Design
    Ceremony Venue: Kilworth Memorial chapel
    Reception Venue: Washington State History Museum
    DJ/Lighting: Adam’s DJ Service
    Photographer: Clane Gessel Photography
    Videographer: James Dean
    Invitations: Peacock Invitations on Etsy


  • 12/23

    I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with peacock. I'm a peacock addict. I love all of the richness in the colors of a peacock feather and I think all of the colors are perfect for a wedding inspiration post. I love the texture of it. And, I would love to plan a wedding around it! Items on this inspiration board on no…

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