Broke-Ass Tag: wedding themes


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 have to admit that I did see a lot of cool and fun themes on Pinterest, and I toyed with the idea of having a beach themed wedding… for about 30 seconds. Themed weddings don’t have to be cheesy, and they are perfect for some couples, but the idea made me feel like my hands were tied. I felt like my options were limited and I wanted the freedom to be creative and be able to incorporate our styles and personalities into all aspects of our wedding. So, I decided that instead of picking a theme I would choose a color scheme and one or two decorative motifs to give the ceremony style and continuity.

How many shades of pink are there in the world?

My sister bought me a wedding planner for Mother’s Day that contained a sheet of cardstock with different colored tiles that you could punch out. Best idea ever. I could easily create different color combinations with the cards, and make a list of the combos that I liked. No muss no fuss. Obviously, the planner didn’t have every shade of color, but it had enough to get my creative juices flowing. If the planner had come with too many options, I would have been overwhelmed.

Sorry orange and green, but you ARE the weakest link. Goodbye.

I knew right off the bat that I didn’t want anything to do with orange or green shades. They are perfectly fine colors, they are just not for me and never have been. My first thought was to do something classic. So, I combined blush and white and threw in a soft gray for an accent color. Next, I thought it would be nice to do two or three shades of one color and then throw in a white or ivory as an accent. So, I decided on shades of pink, purple and blue. Finally, I thought it could be fun to go with bright colors that popped, and so I chose vibrant shades of pink, purple and blue. After mixing and matching for a while, I came up with five options that I liked and focused on narrowing that list down.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I tried to imagine my ceremony and reception decked out in decor in each of the five color schemes that I put together and immediately I was able to cross off the pink, purple and blue groupings. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like having various shades of the same color was a little too boring for me. So, out they went. Now, it was a grudge match between classic elegance and exotic beauty. Both options were gorgeous and provided me with all kinds of decorating ideas. I felt like I had a winner with each color scheme, but I kept going back to the blush, white and gray. As fun as the other combo was, I couldn’t picture myself surrounded by decor in those colors. Whereas I could easily imagine myself surrounded by blush flowers, crisp, white linens and silver/ gray accents.

And the winner is …

In the end, it was no contest. I decided to go with the blush, white and gray. It is a timeless color combo that always looks great together and never goes out of style. Plus, there is a little something for each of us. The pink is beautiful and feminine for me. The gray is sleek and manly for my fiance. And the white ties everything together. Perfect — well, it’s perfect for us. Once I made the decision, I ordered some card-stock samples and fabric swatches to see my choice in action. I was not disappointed. The colors look great, and I can’t wait to start coming up with decorating ideas.

Okay Pinterest, I’m ready for you now!

How did you settle on your wedding colors? Did you know what you wanted going in or did it take some brainstorming?





  • 11/29

    It’s time for me to narrow the list and select a wedding photographer! These are exciting times. There’s just one small issue: There are so many photographers in this world! Photographers that are my friends, photographers that I have worked with in the past, photographer referrals from past brides and I only need one. 

    I made a list of four photographers to review for our big day. I reached out to each of them, gathered quotes and called all four armed with my checklist to discuss their services.

    After countless hours of conversations, we made a decision. A decision that would change the course of all of my planning and the theme for our wedding. The photographer asked me one simple question that sealed the deal: “What is your love story?”

    Our love story, yes that’s it! The lightbulb came on. Now all of the Pinterest ideas can come to life in a very special budget-friendly way. 

    Let’s start with the engagement photoshoot: 

    The Preparation: Travis and I sat down and discussed what matters most to us as a couple. I made a list and sent it to my photographer. In a nutshell: service, authenticity, travel and relationships.  

    Preparation Part 2, Getting Ready: scheduled my wedding day makeup trial, a win win (plus, I planned to attend a gala on the same day, so my makeup was a triple-whammy). I didn’t do anything fancy with my hair, just went to my normal hair appointment the night before and ensured that we picked a style that would look good all day.   

    Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Day Makeup Trial

    Makeup Artist: rayaroxmakeup

    The Big (Engagement Photoshoot) Day: 

    9:00am: meet Rayna Wooden of Rayna Wooden Photography at our first location.

    • First location: place of our first kiss

    Real Bride Ciji''s Engagement Photoshoot

    Reenactment of the First Kiss! Photo Credit: Rayna Wooden Photography

    9:45 a.m.: outfit change and off to the second location

    • Second location: Michigan + Texas = Atlanta

    Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot2

    Home is where the heart is. Photo Credit: Rayna Wooden Photography

    10:45 a.m.: outfit change and head over to the third location

    • Third location: We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us

    Real Bride Ciji's Fiance poses for the camera

    Travis poses for the camera!

    11:30am: Last change and last spot

    • Fourth location: The fondest memories are made around the table.

    Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Shoot 3

    We love a great meal with friends & family in Atlanta’s “Little Italy”

    Ended the day with a group selfie, a glass of wine and a great meal at our favorite restaurant. 

    Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot crew

    The crew!

    The Aftermath: what in the world are we going to do with all of these pictures? 

    Lessons learned:

    • Select a wedding photographer who includes the engagement photoshoot in the package. We had a wonderful time getting to know Rayna and are excited to continue the love story at our wedding! 
    • Schedule your wedding makeup trial for the engagement photoshoot. I don’t wear a lot of makeup so it was good to get a visual and I got to see if my makeup would last all day and in outdoor conditions. 
    • I love a great theme and I was struggling to make all of my Pinterest ideas come to life. Kicking off “our love story” theme has made so many aspects of the wedding planning process a no brainer and I am so excited to watch the vision become a reality.

    I can’t wait to see our pictures!

    How did you decide on a wedding photographer? What were your main factors?

  • 5/18

    Celebration Balloons from Beau-Coup As my fiancé and I are in the home-stretch to the big day (17 days to go, June 4!), I've been reflecting on the ups and downs we've had in the last year planning our wedding, and there's a big, obvious headache that sticks out. What I'm about to state may be controversial, but here goes: you do not have to have a…

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    We had some great requests for color scheme inspiration on Facebook, but this one from Lily stood out as an interesting challenge. She's looking to pair dark purple and warm orange over ivory, accented by rose gold in a Midsummer Night's Dream-meets-carnival theme. To me, the great Shakespearean play reminds me of Greek-style flowing dresses, floral crowns and an organic feeling while carnivals are bright and showy…

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    OK. Can I tell you girls a secret? My wedding was perfect, and lovely, an we had a grand old time, and were successfully married. But. As much as I love my wedding, I have to confess... It wasn't my Dream Wedding Day. Now, don't get me wrong... All my dreams came true. And I married the man of my dreams. But cutting our timeline…

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    I saw a Roller Derby match tonight (the Blitzburg Bombers killed it, by the way).  Roller Derby is unstoppably cool.  It kind of makes me feel like an eight-year-old girl staring at a bunch of sixteen year-olds, who simply by virtue of their age seem cooler than Steve McQueen and Debbie Harry combined.   Derby chicks are so freakin' cool. [Photo by Mike Rubino] The…

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    Did you ever see the movie Bride Wars? [If you haven't, stop now... and pat yourself on the back for your discerning taste.] In it, the eponymous warring brides meet with a wedding planner, and the first item of business is to share their wedding themes. The brides spout off well-rehearsed nonsense phrases: one seeks "elegant minimalism with romantic textures;" the other "classic traditionalism with…

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    If you followed my wedding plans, you know there's nothing I love more than custom illustrations. They add a level of personal flair and uniqueness that truly befits a  unique wedding. We had custom drawings done for our save the dates, our invitations, and even for our maps and thank you cards (more to come on those later) - but if I could go back…

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    I just love the way Mehndi looks on a bride. Its such a lovely, delicate and sometimes surprising detail with big impact. (image source) How frickin' sweet are those shoes? Mehndi is an intricate henna application typically done to the hands and/or feet of brides of mid-east/eastern descent, but is gaining popularity among other cultures for its beauty, and is even making appearances in fashion…

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