Broke-Ass Tag: Real Bride stories

Archive Page 2

8/8

Credit: Little Wedding Extras

It has come to my attention that I may be a cheap-ass rather than a minimalist. Earlier this week, a friend called me in a crisis asking me for ideas on favors she might be able to do for another friend’s bridal shower. She was out of time, trying not to spend a lot and trying not to put forth that much effort. Other than being proud of myself for being the person she called to help her brainstorm on how to meet all those objectives, I was befuddled and admitted:

“I’m not even sure we’re doing favors for the wedding.”

Nonetheless, like a good friend, I hopped on Pinterest and we had a quick brainstorming session. Of course, I got some ideas for things we could do for favors, but all I kept coming back to was, “How much are those going to cost?”

Now, we, as a collective group of Broke-Asses can appreciate the self-reflection of “how much does that cost?” But I’m wondering if I’ve taken it too far. I’m wondering if my refusal to pay for “trivial” things (favors, an aisle runner, chair covers, most everything in any article with a title that includes “must have”) is making me look more like a cheap-ass and less like an economically-minded minimalist.

I think this also falls back to my last post about being an anti-bride.

I never dreamed of my wedding day as a girl. I did indulge in college with my suitemates on a $10 Knot magazine and we all took turns flipping through it and earmarking pages with all the pretty things we liked on them. But that was pretty much the sum of my “wedding fever.” I can’t say I didn’t have “groom fever” that may have been mislabeled as “wedding fever” — a common misconception, IMO. But since Timo proposed, my approach to all things wedding has been to be as practical as possible.

Part of me wonders if I will regret not splurging more (more, as if we aren’t already spending $10,000) and “investing” in the little things. But when I seriously think about it, my final thoughts at the end of the day are that I’d rather save money because we’re probably just going to forget about trivial details and be able to actually invest our money into memories we will have on our honeymoon … like diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Do people actually care about favors?

Side question: How many coozies is it socially acceptable to own? What happens to discarded coozies? Is there a coozie heaven? Why are coozies so popular?

Also, I am making it a point not to get caught up in the hype of all the MUST DO things. I don’t care about a sit down meal and as Timo said, I’d rather serve delicious food than overpriced “good” food. I don’t care about putting our wedding hashtag on everything. I don’t care about chair covers. I don’t care about table numbers or place cards. I don’t even care about a send off, despite knowing how cool some of the photos could be if we used glow sticks or sparklers.

At the end of the day, I want to be married, maybe have a few good pictures by my very well-paid photographer (OK, wayyy more than a few based on how much I’m paying him), maybe video evidence that we wrote our own vows and promised “for forever” and have gotten to eat the BBQ and cupcakes we are paying for. Oh yeah, and maybe to have a few adult beverages and not completely fail at the first dance we are paying to learn.

This is where my groom comes in.

If he cares about these things, I tell him to act on these tasks, otherwise, it becomes a money saving opportunity.  For now, I’m going to cling tight to my title as a Broke-Ass Bride and use it as a cost-savings opportunity.

PS. I swear that if he tells me in the next three months that he wants to do coozies as a favor for our guests, I’m going to throw the coozie drawer (yep, there are so many they have their own drawer) at him … with LOVE.

 

  • 8/7

    So, one thing I wanted to wrap my head around before I got into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning was my list of DIY projects. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to do a test run for each project so that I could determine if:

    1. I had the skills or could learn the skills needed to create the item. I consider myself a crafting veteran, but I haven’t done EVERYTHING.
    2. I had the time needed to create all of the items before the wedding without pulling out my hair from the stress.
    3. I will actually save money by doing it myself, or if the money and time would be better spent on buying it ready made.

    I’m lucky in that I have a lot of family and friends who have offered to help with my various projects. But of course, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity. So, while I have the option of outsourcing various projects to my loved ones, I want to use that option sparingly. My wedding isn’t the center of their life, and I don’t want to stress them out with a million projects.

    I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.

    So, with that said, I sat down with my wedding binder and wrote down everything that I could possibly DIY. I’m not going to do all of them, but I wanted to see what my options were. Once I wrote everything down, I started moving items into two buckets:

    1. DIY Projects – these are projects that I felt my fiancé or I could take on ourselves.
    2. Outsource To Family & Friends – these are projects that I have asked people to take charge of because it involves a skill set that they already possess.

    I love making lists, it’s a sickness.

    Putting my inner crafting goddess to work.

    I’ve always loved decorating for parties, from my mom’s 50th birthday to my daughter’s 1st birthday and everything in between. I love, love, LOVE it! Therefore, decorating for my wedding was a no-brainer. Immediately, I placed ceremony décor and centerpieces into the DIY projects bucket. Next, I added stationery to include: Save-The-Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards and Thank You cards. I made the invitations for my daughter’s baptism, and I felt with enough time, they wouldn’t be a problem. Then, I added the backdrop for the sweetheart table. I’ve made backdrops before, for personal use and work events, and I felt that making one for the wedding was doable. 

    Lastly, I stuck the selfie-station and the paper flowers in this bucket as well. I’m a little worried about making all of the paper flowers I need to decorate the ceremony and reception space. So, I might end up making some and buying some, or swap them for something else. We’ll see how the test run goes. As for the selfie-station, I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, so I have more work to do. However, I know I want to make it myself.

    Next at bat: my fiancé.

    I chose two projects that I had my heart set on, but doubted I could do them by myself. Since my fiancé is a whiz at building things, I asked him to build the ceremony aisle arches and door-frame ceremony entrance. I know you are probably asking yourself, what the hell are those? I wanted to give my ceremony aisle that wow factor, by adding some arches draped in fabric. Something you don’t see often. Since we plan on the ceremony being outside, I wanted to create the illusion of “entering” the ceremony space. Hence the doorframe.

    My blueprint for the ceremony aisle arch that my fiance is going to build.

    Outsourcing: No need for references.

    The first project I added to this bucket was the wedding cupcakes. At first, I was going to do them myself. I used to work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator so I knew I could make them. But, I was worried about the timing and being stressed on my wedding day. One of my bridesmaids was also a cake decorator, so when she offered to make them I said, hell yeah! She’s going to do a tasting and everything, just like going to a bakery. I can’t wait. 

    Next, I added the wedding signage to this bucket. My sister/ bridesmaid got a Cricut last year for Christmas, and it has upped her crafting game significantly. She doesn’t want to be “in charge” of the signage, but she can take the lead. Then, when she is busy, she can pull me in, which is just as good. If I had to do all of the signs by myself, I probably wouldn’t do half of them.  

    Finally, I added the ceremony canopy where we will stand while we say our vows. My future sister-in-law/ grooms-maid is going to knock out this project for us. She is also handy, like her brother, and I thought she would do a great job with it. We are going to tag team it, she’s going to make the frame, and I am going to make the drapes.

    My plan for the centerpieces, this is an early draft.

    Don’t rush me, I’m still thinking about it!

    Now, there are three projects I’m still mulling over, and I go back and forth on them:

    1. Flowers – I don’t want to make my bouquet, but I am unsure about doing the flower arrangements. If I can get some reasonable quotes, I would prefer to hire someone to take care of them, and not have that hanging over me. If I had more experience with flowers, I wouldn’t worry so much, but I seriously lack a green thumb.
    2. Favors – I want to have some type of edible favor, but I don’t want the stress of baking something in the days leading up to the wedding. That’s why I outsourced the cupcakes. I am mulling over the idea of using candy, and have to hit up Pinterest for some more ideas.
    3. Bridesmaid tank tops – I like the idea of my bridesmaids having matching tank tops on while we get ready the day of. I love those pictures and think it would be fun. However, I don’t know much about making them, and I haven’t researched ordering them, so they are still an unknown at this point.

    Commence with the crafting parties!

    Now that I have my list, I can start testing projects. My plan is to do a few each month so that I have time to come up with alternative ideas if needed. I would like to have a game plan in place by the New Year, so I can create a crafting timeline. I will make an offering to the crafting gods, in the hopes that they will bless this massive endevor. Luckily, nothing is set in stone and if some projects have to go, then they have to go.

    Wish me luck!

  • 8/1

    It's really weird: Growing up, my little sister and I did not get along together at all. We are five years apart and at a young age the difference is unforgivable. In more recent years we are both coming to the realization that it's possible that we are both humans. It's a strange tingly new feeling. We actually talk to each other now and hang…

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    7/24

    After I got engaged, I spent a lot of time day dreaming about what my wedding might look like. I imagined the ceremony decor, reception centerpieces, flowers, and so on, but I never imagined a theme. I always thought themes were for proms, birthdays, and holiday parties, but a wedding … not so much. Themes can be beautiful and fun … for someone else. I…

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    7/18

    For the most part, I've snapped myself out of my wedding planning funk. I've emailed my wedding coordinator to nail down a time for next Friday's meeting to discuss menu, cake, setup, decorations, and the first half of the payment for the wedding. Chris is hopefully going to be able to take a day off (or at least part of one) to come with me…

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    7/17

    We’re in the home stretch for the wedding now. The countdown is at seven weeks. Last week, at the eight-week mark I had a mini panic attack about how close the wedding was and how much was undone. To calm myself, I sat down and tried to do two of the larger tasks that were left. I was finally able to tackle the program and…

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    7/12

    I have hit my planning plateau. I was told by many vendors that I was waaayyy ahead of the game when I was looking for our essentials in January with a wedding in November. That didn't bother me one bit. There were days when I felt like all I thought about was Wedding. I won't lie, it was annoying. I felt like other things in my…

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    7/11

    Well, it’s less than two months away from the wedding and the final pieces are starting to fall into place. I’ve had dress fittings and alterations, we’ve ordered our wedding bands, we’ve finally finished our registry and Honeyfund, and we’ve started purchasing decorations. One other thing that we’ve also started accumulating is board games. Yup, Ev and I are board game geeks. Well, we’re actually…

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