Broke-Ass Tag: vintage


BABs, can you believe it?! It’s officially been a year since we got engaged. Between wedding fervor, busy summers and the craziness of the holidays, I feel like it’s totally flown by. It has also occurred to me that I haven’t shared the story of how we got engaged!

The whole week leading up to our engagement, I was trying to nail down plans for the weekend, but he was being unusually noncommittal. He’d shrug when I’d ask him what he thought of going out to dinner or seeing a movie. By Friday night I started to get really impatient. He finally told me that we had dinner reservations, and we were staying at a hotel Saturday night. I remember thinking it was rather extravagant for a random weekend in March, but obviously I wasn’t about to complain.

The next afternoon, we packed overnight bags and headed to the hotel. It’s an absolutely gorgeous hotel called the Iron Horse, and he reserved a beautiful corner room. We got ready to go out and called a cab to take us to the restaurant. We were a little early, so we walked around the neighborhood a little, stopping at another restaurant for a drink before dinner.

Let me preface what happened next by telling you that by this point in our relationship, any mention of a house, or a dog or any future-y thing, prompted a slightly snarky, “well, not unless there’s a ring on my finger” from me. Turned out there were quite a few of these future-y things brought up that night over dinner, and it has been brought to my attention that I might’ve been getting a little sassy about not wanting to talk further about this stuff without a ring.

After dinner, he asked if I wanted to go for a walk since the restaurant was along the riverwalk in downtown Milwaukee. It doesn’t get very warm in Wisconsin in March, especially not in the late evening. I remember it being about 35 degrees and windy. So no, I really didn’t want to go for a walk, but he was really pulling out all the stops to be romantic, so I thought I’d suck it up for a little bit.

We do this thing when it’s cold out but still want to hold hands. He’ll take my hand and put it in his jacket pocket to keep it warm. I asked him if we could share his pocket, and he told me “not right now.” I think that’s the moment when I knew something was going on. He would’ve never denied me pocket space.

A little ways down the riverwalk, he stops me and tells me how he can’t picture his life without me, and would I marry him? You know how people sort of talk about getting married before they actually get engaged? That’s what I thought was happening, since we hadn’t really spoken the words officially, so I was like, “Yes, of course!” He then asked me if I pinky swore. And again, I said yes, and went to lock pinkies, and the engagement ring was around his little finger. Turns out the ring had been in his pocket, and that’s why he didn’t want to share pockets while we walked.

First: Adorable. Second: That was super risky on a riverwalk on a cold windy night. That thing could’ve been knocked out of his pinky and be at the bottom of the Milwaukee River right about now.


Once I stopped my uncontrollable giggling, we promptly walked back to the restaurant, eyes permanently locked on each other, and waited for a cab to take us back to the hotel, where we celebrated at the hotel bar for a while.

I think all I’ve ever wanted from a proposal was for it to be a surprise, and for the ring to be something he picked out himself. Both of which came true. It’s still crazy to think that our whole worlds changed that night.

Did any other BABs know their proposal was coming, or was it a surprise?

  • 2/23

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewValerie's completed save the date

    If you caught my last post, life has been a little unpredictable lately, right in the midst of preparing for an industry talk at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and trying to DIY these Save the Dates.

    When I decided to make these myself, I knew that the industry talk was coming, but assumed I’d be able to manage both of those simultaneously. Our unexpected circumstances have absolutely diminished any mental energy I have to complete the Save the Dates. Not to mention, I was way too ambitious about manually stamping the addresses and I mis-judged the amount of materials I need so those are currently en route from Amazon.

    Another issue I’m having is that the ink on the envelopes also ended up a little wonky — I bought samples of the envelopes and cards, as everyone suggests, however, they magically vanished. I remember them sitting on our dining room table, but after that, I have no clue what happened to them. I needed to get started on them, so I just winged it, and hoped for the best. The return address stamp bleeds, and becomes a little illegible. The address stamp pad take FOR-EVERRR to dry, which is fine, but it drastically slows down the process and I can’t leave 40+ Save the Dates laying all over the house.

    addressing save the dates

    I’m definitely not going to say the Save the Dates are a disaster, because they by no means are. I love the way the actual cards themselves came out, and that’s what everyone puts on their refrigerator anyway.

    Real Bride Valerie's Save the Dates

    The envelope is going to get thrown away, so I can get over that. I also found some pretty postage stamps that coordinate well with the elegant/natural/vintage thing we have going on. We hand delivered a Save the Date to both sets of parents, and they seemed to like the way they turned out.

    Valerie found vintage rose stamps to use on her save the dates

    As someone who has always made their own Christmas cards, I thought this was going to be a breeze. I also thought this was going to be a major money-saver, which I can say that it absolutely has not. I think if I could start again, I would’ve left the card the same, but simplified the addressing on the envelopes. I procrastinated pretty hardcore on my industry talk preparation (which was presented Saturday, btw) and it left me scrambling this past week, pushing back any work on the Save the Dates. If you’re going to DIY, keep it simple!

    Any other BABs have DIY struggles?

  • 11/17

    Things are clicking, you guys! I mentioned previously how enamored I was with Relics Vintage Rentals and what an amazing resource they were for cool, vintage décor rentals. We made an appointment a few weeks ago, and have finally started making some decision on items and I couldn't be happier seeing this coming together. The first thing we knew we wanted was chalkboards. We chose two…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    What's a bride to do when she loses her job just before getting engaged? She writes to the BAB team for help, of course!  Dear BAB, I'm reading your book -- like it's the bible. I'm the brokest of BABs -- lost my job right before I got engaged! Our super generous parents have given us $15K to do with as we will, but after being unemployed…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Hello BABs and happy Thursday! Is it Thursday again already?! This summer has gone by so fast! School starts this week -- or has already started -- here in Northeast Ohio, and there's something about back-to-school that always reminds me of the movie Grease. Maybe it's because that's how the movie begins ... Anyway, the tail end of summer's soundtrack is always a Grease medley for me. (Ok now…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! For this week's Five for Friday, we're partnering with Blueprint Registry, a free registry site that helps you set up your wishlist based on the layout of your home. Since Blueprint partners with a huge number of retailers, you can build the registry more with your home in mind and less by the restrictions of one specific store. Which is pretty cool. As…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Daniel and I have three goals with our wedding: keep it cheap, keep it from looking cheap, and keep it unique. During these early stages of our planning, we’ve tried to come up with ways to save ourselves money without sacrificing our vision. Thus far, we’ve come up with several ideas that not only cut costs, but also make our wedding even more uniquely suited…

    Read the full article →


    Panic will always set in when a bride thinks she found the perfect dress and then realizes it isn’t available. This week’s request is from a bride who is looking for a solution. I have found a dress that I absolutely love, but there is no way that I can have it. I fell head over heels for this vintage dress before realizing that it…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Going for a vintage look? It doesn't have to come with a contemporary price tag. I love your blog! It's so helpful to have a more practical guide on getting through this without breaking the bank. I've got a possible CAI/GOI issue. My style is early 20th century, and I found the most perfect (and affordable!) dress from Ruche. I've now fallen in love with…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!