Broke-Ass Tag: Rachel

3/8

wedding

I think I mentioned once or twice that our wedding was the best ever, and it really, truly was. From the weather to the food to the dancing and fun, it was everything we hoped it would be when when we started planning it 15 months prior. That said, there are always going to be minor mishaps, and we definitely had a few. I knew there was a 0% chance every single detail would go according to plan, so I had braced myself in advance. Still, I actually surprised myself with how much I just didn’t let the small stuff bother me. I try to be a Go With the Flow type of gal in every day life, and I think that served me well on our wedding day.

Because, you can’t control everything.

My bridesmaid Kelly is an amazing artist, and she spent the night before the wedding making little chalkboard signs stating how I had met each of my girls. They were so amazing and detailed, and we were so excited to take pictures with them. I had them with us in the hotel suite while we were getting ready, and triple-checked that they were in the box of stuff that needed to go out to the venue. Welp … we still managed to forget them. I saw them sitting in the Very Important Box the day after and was so bummed. We got so caught up in the 500 other things that were happening that they just slipped everyone’s mind. It sucks, but it was bound to happen.

Weddings are full of roughly 1,558,256 moving parts, so don’t be surprised when a detail here or there gets lost in the shuffle.

Especially for us Broke-Asses who don’t have the money for a planner or coordinator. Luckily, I still have them and I am scheming for a way to get everyone together so we can take that picture. It will happen … someday.

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My girls are the best … fact!

Our handmade decor is one of my absolute favorite things about our entire wedding (shouts out to my mom Elaine … again!). It was beautiful, whimsical, budget-friendly and a million other adjectives. We were married in front of an old bank barn, and we gussied it up with rosettes and poofs on the doors. These things were hanging up for hours, and wouldn’t you know that a section decided to come loose and fall off right in the middle of our ceremony. At first I was like, “Umm, what’s happening??” but then we all started cracking up at the timing of it all. It was seriously the perfect comic relief in the middle of a bunch of mushy stuff.

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Notice the droopy fans right above me … classic.

My sister, Caty, and Russel’s brother, Alan, gave fantastic speeches after dinner. They were funny and heartfelt and everyone loved them. Well, everyone who could hear them. Our DJ was set up inside the barn, and the range on his wireless mic was juuust a bit too short. And I mean just. They both used the microphone, and there were times during each speech where it cut in and out. They persevered and it really didn’t take away from their amazing words, but if we could go back we’d obviously come up with a solution.

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Russel and I really lucked out when it came to our vendors.

The food was on point, the dance floor was packed all night, and I am obsessed with our photos. Our DJ and photographer were hugely instrumental in helping us nail down a timeline and stick to it. They kept things moving smoothly all day, and were super accommodating when I decided to delay my bouquet toss. It was supposed to happen after we danced with our parents, but it just didn’t feel like the right time. I wanted to give everyone a chance to get a drink and get limbered up out on the dance floor. When it was finally time to do the toss, we ran into a bit of a problem — I couldn’t find the toss bouquet anywhere. My mom was the only person who knew where it was, and not only could we not find the flowers, we could not find her. I got a little frustrated, but eventually she appeared and all was right again. So maybe know where your bouquet is, or at the very least make sure more than one person is clued in on the location.

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So yeah, when I said minor, I really meant minor.

It didn’t rain. We didn’t have a muddy mess. My grumpy old man dog didn’t bite anyone. Did a few small issues pop up? Of course. But they were honestly not a big deal. Were we hitched? Did we have a good time? Did our nearest and dearest enjoy our party? Yes, yes and yes. As long as we kept that in mind, it made dealing with our minor mishaps a breeze.

All photos by Jenni Bella Photography

  • 2/8

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewI am totally married and stuff, but I just realized I never filled you guys in on my amazing bachelorette party. For shame! My bestie/bridesmaid Adrienne went above and beyond and made it the perfect day. It’s such a fantastic feeling to know your friends just get you and want to celebrate with you.

    I love sports. Other than the whole marrying Russel thing, my top 2016 moments were watching the Cavs win an NBA championship (I cried happy tears on June 19th … I did not cry on my wedding day), celebrating with 1,000,000 other Cleveland fans at their parade, and the Indians going to the World Series – we even got to attend games six and seven. (Let’s not talk about the results, okay??) So yeah, sports are a big part of my life. When it came time for my bachelorette party, Adrienne decided on a baseball game and a night on the town — AKA the best time ever for a girl like me. We have a minor league team right in Akron, so we got to keep it local, which was a huge bonus. No hotels, no major traveling for most of my girls and no trying to figure out which bars are the best, etc.

    We started by meeting at my friend’s office before the game (shouts out Laura W.!) so we could hang out and I could open gifts. Her office is right across the street from the stadium, so it gave us a chance to meet up, plus there was free parking which was amazing. In case I haven’t mentioned it, my friends are legit and they got me so many amazing goodies. Shirts, koozies (I collect them), alcohol, gift cards, penis party favors galore, and two of the greatest items on planet earth — I am sure of it. My sister and her girlfriend turned a wooden bat into a Sh-Bat — basically a shotski but baseball style. It is the gift that keeps on giving, and any time I take it someplace, everyone loves it.

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    Adrienne, me and my sister/MOH Caty taking root beer moonshine shots. (Photo from me)

    Adrienne got me my other favorite thing in the world — a Chambong. Champagne is my favorite beverage, and I had been wanting one forever. Yes, it is amazing in real life.

     

    After our office shenanigans, we headed over the the ballpark. We had an entire section blocked off for us, and our tickets includes a buffet of amazing stadium food. We were also right next to the tiki bar in right field, so the drinks were flowing all evening. Two of my girlfriends volunteered to do ribbon dancing on the field between innings, we got bobbleheads…it was just fantastic all around.

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    Most of my ladies and Webster the mascot. (Photo from me)

    Post-game, our shuttle took us to a festival with a live band and two bars that we love. I don’t remember much from the end of the night, so that must mean everything went according to plan, lol.

    It really was a wonderful day, and I love that my girls and I are all in agreement on fun, low-key parties. Weddings are expensive enough without adding trips or other pricey activities to the mix, so we are all for keeping it local and cheap. Btw, if an out of town weekend is your thing, I totally get it. I love to travel and take girls trips, but that was the last thing I wanted to do in the weeks leading up to our big day. Everyone has to do what works for them, and my girls did exactly that.

    How did you and your crew keep your bachelorette simple and sane?

     

  • 1/25

    It's a little crazy, right? An entire wedding with fun, games, coloring and more with hardly a kid in sight. Yeah, it was a bit weird, but we knew all along we wanted a kid-free wedding, so even after picking our theme we stuck to it. There were several reasons for this: 1) It's cheaper -- the fewer people, the less money we were spending…

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    1/10

    I mentioned a while ago that we planned to use fake flowers when it came time for bouquets, bouts, corsages and decor. So that's what we did. Other than my bouquet, every other piece of flowery goodness was made with artificial flowers, and we were insanely happy with how they all turned out. We had two separate seating areas since dinner was outdoors, and dancing…

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    12/20

    Our wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed. There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to…

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    12/6

    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing?…

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    11/22

    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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    11/8

    Okay, so my last two posts were suuuuper boring, but I really wanted you guys to know about that slip. I really think its a game changer for sheer backs, low backs, etc. Now on to the fun stuff. We had a wedding! It was amazing! I am married to the love of my life! You guys ... our wedding day was absolutely fantastic. From…

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    10/26

    Hiiiii! I know, I know ... it's been a while! That whole wedding and honeymoon thing really keeps a girl busy. Last time I checked in, I was a week or two out from my wedding and was finally having my meltdown moment. I was having the hardest time ever finding the right undergarment for my dress, and while I never found one that was…

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