Broke-Ass Tag: Real Wedding Planning


Real Bride Katie It's Time for a Planning Pause

Hey everyone, long time no see!

I’ve been absent for a little bit because it felt dishonest to write up a post about wedding stuff when I’ve been too wrapped up in other life things to think about it much.

But then I thought — hey, why not write about that?

The big bad WIC would like us to believe that we should be thinking about our weddings every hour of every day, for the entire time we are engaged. Ain’t nobody got time for that, yo! Well, that’s not entirely true — if you got time for that, and it makes you happy, then by all means, do it! But don’t feel ashamed if you don’t. For a lot of us, that’s a whole year of your life — or more! — and lord knows life doesn’t slow down just because you’re getting married.

To be sure, there are some things that need to be done quickly. If you wait too long on date and venue, you’ll have to compromise on one or the other, and that can be really frustrating. But worrying about table decorations that I won’t need to use for another 10 months, when I’m in tech week for a musical featuring 50 children and 25 adults? No. No ma’am, that’s not happening.

The point is this: control your checklist, don’t let it control you. Once my show closes, I’ll probably take some time over the holidays to reorganize mine. It’s going to go from most important to least important, rather than by the timetable the Internet gives me for it. My goal is to complete all the things that I put on it, and in all honesty, that probably won’t happen.

But is anyone going to care?


Don’t get me wrong — I love wedding planning, and my Pinterest board is just as crazy as everyone else’s. But I want it on my time, when it makes me happy, or when something is urgent.

We’ve been very over-scheduled since about August, and we’re finally due for a break. The stress has been a LOT for us to handle, as it’s worn us down physically and emotionally, leading to bigger fights than we’re used to. It’s so important to me to keep wedding stress contained in its own little box that I can open when I feel like I can handle it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for doing the same!

I will be back! And soon. I have save the dates and invitations and our engagement pictures will come in and I haven’t even thought about a cake yet and …

  • 11/10

    Hello fellow brides (and all you grooms and moms and bridesmaids and not-yet-brides)! I’m so excited to join the Broke-Ass Bride brigade as a Real Bride. In 2013 two of my best lady-friends got married within six weeks of each other, so I thought I was MORE than prepared for wedding planning. While helping my friends do research I’d been furiously pinning dresses, venues, photographers, the whole nine yards, so I wouldn’t have to go through all the stress of research when it was time for my own big day. Needless to say I had a bit of a rude awakening when it was my turn; I had no real concept of all the tiny little moving parts that all have to come together before you have a wedding, and how expensive each of those tiny little parts can be! But we’ll get into that later – first, the fun stuff.

    I moved out to Los Angeles over 10 years ago now for college. My two roommates and I all decided to stay in L.A. together, so we moved out to our first off-campus apartment about a month after graduation. The building was a small, three-unit complex on a quiet residential street, and the other tenants happened to be six awesome guys, also in their early 20s. As we moved in, one of them, Nick, was just getting home from a long day at work and saw me struggling with some boxes. He immediately ran over and helped carry my things up the stairs, and when we finished asked if I wanted to go get a beer. We struck up an instant friendship over a drink and a game of darts, and now, almost seven years to the day later, we’re getting married!


    Circa 2010, but we’re still just as excited!

    Nick proposed this past April at the kitchen table. We had just finished dinner when he pulled out a puzzle and asked if I wanted to have a game night. As I started to assemble the pieces, I realized the puzzle was a picture of the two of us. Nick likes to do fun projects with photos, so while it was obviously really sweet and creative, this wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary. By the end though, we saw that one of the corner pieces was missing. Looking annoyed, he ran into the other room to go look for it, hoping maybe it had fallen out somewhere. I heard him shuffling things around, but just a few moments later I saw him come back into the room out of the corner of my eye. When I turned my head to ask about the puzzle piece, he was down on one knee, and tucked inside the ring box was the missing piece that read “Marry me?”


    Can I tell you how much I love my ring?

    So, here we are! Our wedding will be June 20, 2015, in Pasadena, California. I just started a Master’s program this fall, so between my school schedule and both of us working full-time, there were only about five weekends that worked for the wedding — all, unfortunately, in what is considered Prime Wedding Season. We’re aiming for around 80-100 guests, and our budget is a whopping $12,000 for absolutely everything. I don’t mean that sarcastically, either! $12,000 is a HUGE amount of money — but apparently not, as it turns out, for a Southern California wedding. According to The Knot, the L.A.-area average is around $37,000!? Well, I’m taking the stance that MY BUDGET IS ENOUGH.

    I’ve been an avid reader of the site for a while now, but I decided to apply to be a Real Bride after I’d been budget-shamed by a few vendors. One even told me to “come back when I get more money.” Luckily, after only a handful of tearful meltdowns, migraines, and angry rants against our entire modern society, we found the most perfect, outdoor/indoor, flexible, affordable venue. That same weekend I found a gorgeous dress that had just been put on final sale, and about a month ago we locked in an incredible, budget-friendly photographer, with whom we’re finally doing our engagement photos this weekend. Now I’m stuck in catering limbo, but … we’re getting there. And you’ll get there too! Everything seems to be falling into place pretty perfectly, but there has been a lot of legwork involved to get us to where we are. I can’t wait to share my journey with you in more detail, and I hope my experiences will help show that YOUR BUDGET IS ENOUGH to have the beautiful, wonderful wedding of your dreams.

    Elissa Stooker
  • 11/6

    Hello again, BABs! While we very (im)patiently wait for our wedding album to appear, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite wedding related things: PRESENTS! No, not for us. But for our amazingly awesome wedding party members. I love, love giving gifts and finding amazing deals! If you've been following my posts for a while, you know that I don't like things…

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    Before I get into our final preparation/countdown phase and begin to lose the rest of my mind, I have a funny little story to tell y'all. LONG STORY SHORT: Two of my bridesmaids are knocked up! One was planning to do so and the other temporarily forgot what causes pregnancy and well, SURPRISE! So I will be twice aunted again and I am thrilled, thrilled,…

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    This past Labor Day weekend marked the one year anniversary of being engaged to my Jersey. He was taken by surprise when I mentioned the milestone, completely in awe of how quickly the time has whizzed past our faces. Even to me, it doesn't seem that long ago that he was still living in New Jersey and I was completely clueless to the fact that…

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    Here's what I have to say about our engagement photo shoot. It was hotttttt. Unfortunately, I don't mean that we looked hot (even though we totally did). I mean that when you live in Atlanta, Ga., and you battle schedules and wind up with a shoot at 5 p.m .in the beginning of August ... well ... you best be prepared to sweat. And sweat…

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    As my moniker suggests, I am a full-on musical-theatre-loving, jazz-handing, amateur dramatist. For those unfamiliar with my post code (zip code for you American readers), Bristol is a hot-bed of creative people. So I am incredibly fortunate that two key parts of the wedding will be deftly handled by talented people we both know and love. First up: Photography. All the blogs I have read on…

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    My name is Emma, and I am a fiancée. In real life I work in marketing for a publishing company, and my fiancé, Michael, works in insurance. We live in Bristol, England, and have been a couple for 11 years. We have a date in mind for our wedding - October 8th, 2015. And yes, that is a Thursday. More on that in a forthcoming…

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    Let's face it, BABs. Flowers are freaking expensive. Yet so, so lovely. And one must be incredibly talented and crafty to pull off wedding decor sans flowers. Unfortunately, I am only mildly crafty and have the patience of a child when it comes to DIY-ing anything, so I knew that some of our budget would go to flowers. So, how are we going to keep our…

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