How Much Does Being a Bridesmaid Cost?

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Krystin Hogan Photography

Having been a bridesmaid in three weddings before planning my own, I had very strong ideas about what I wanted for our bridal party. It was very important to me that our wedding party had a very clear understanding of what we were expecting from them, particularly my bridesmaids. Given my personal experience, there is typically one bridesmaid (or groomsman) who ends up being surprised at the financial obligations. (Full disclosure: during at least one wedding, that bridesmaid was me.) So let’s talk about how much it really costs to be a bridesmaid.

CNN released an article a few years back that announced that it costs about $1,695 to serve as a bridesmaid. This number is absolutely staggering! But for an engagement that lasts a year or more, it’s easy to spend a little here and a little there before it all adds up. For the purposes of this article, I calculated bridesmaid costs for the three wedding parties that I have participated in, as well as my own wedding party’s costs. Every wedding is going to have a unique breakdown of costs, but I found myself wondering how my wedding (and the other weddings I have participated in) compares to the national average. By my account, bridesmaids are expected to contribute both time and money for a variety of events and tasks throughout the planning process. This article will exclusively discuss the financial contribution.

Engagement Gifts: $30

It’s not necessary for every engagement, but it is typically expected if you’re invited to an engagement party. Across four weddings, this cost an average of $20. Being in a younger social circle, my recently engaged contemporaries only plan engagement parties about 50% of the time.

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All About Lace: Lace Wedding Dresses for Any Bride, Any Time

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Awake Photography

If you’re reading this now, you’re probably getting married in 2014. Or maybe even 2015. You’re a modern, 21st century bride with modern, 21st century taste and style. In which case, you may be thinking lace is so last century. Lace is more your grandmother’s table cloth than your wedding dress. Right? Wrong. Think again! Lace isn’t old or outdated. Lace is timeless. And so are lace wedding dresses.

That’s right, lace wedding dresses! Lace wedding dresses never go out of style–whether it’s 1914 or 2014. And not only is lace timeless, it’s versatile. Lace comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures so you can pick the perfect one for you.

Check out this list below of gorgeous lace wedding dresses to inspire your own wedding dress shopping.

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Wildflowers Photography

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Bryce Covey Photography

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Caroline Lima Photography

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Josh Gruetzmacher Photography

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Erin Hearts Court Photography

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A Romantic and Rustic Farm Wedding by Amber Gress Photography

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Oh boy, do we have a treat for you readers today. This Monday just gets better and better, doesn’t it?! First, we launch our iPhone giveaway (learn about entering here), and then we get to share this breathtaking romantic and rustic farm wedding with you all! Kallie and Michael’s wedding day took place at the bucolic Sawkill Farm in upstate New York. Captured magically by Amber Gress, Kallie and Michael looked stunning and 100% in love. The beautiful scenery of Sawkill Farm, Kallie’s elegant boho wedding dress, and the rustic, intimate feel of the entire day makes this one of our favorite weddings we’ve ever featured on Wedding Party.

And can we just say, it looks like the two of them killed it on their first dance! You’ve gotta love a couple that makes their wedding day truly their own with the small, unexpected details. Read on to see more of this gorgeous day!

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Dispel the Bad Juju: The Truth Behind Pre-nuptial Agreements

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Gillian Stevens

People treat divorce like it’s the molding, limp banana that’s been sitting at the back of their fridge for a couple of months. They don’t want to see it, they don’t want to touch it, they turn their nose up on it and completely ignore its existence! That’s why I feel like there’s a lot of stigma attached with “pre-nuptial agreements”, because no one EVER makes a pre-nuptial agreement unless it’s JUST IN CASE. When there’s a “just in case” caveat thrown into your relationship before you and your future spouse even enter the marriage, it just seems like bad juju floating around in the atmosphere.

But let’s be real here. If life was perfect, the Amy Poehlers and Will Arnetts of the world would STILL be together (but it’s not, so excuse me as I wipe a tear with a ripped out page from the tabloid sitting on my desk). Sometimes, life is going to throw you off the ledge and it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re staring at your financial statements then.

Plus, a marriage is not just an emotional and legal union, but it is also a financial union — if financial advisors are saying it’s a smart move, who am I to deny the opinion of an expert just because of just-in-cases? Hence, I’m going to give a quick and dirty rundown of what the fascinating mythos & processes behind pre-nuptial agreements, and why you should or shouldn’t have one.

The History of Prenups

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This couple broke tradition for UK royals by NOT signing a prenup | The Telegraph

A prenuptial agreement is made between two people about to wed and dictates how marital assets will be divided if the marriage either ends in death or divorce. Essentially, it’s like insurance for your marriage — if your marriage ends up getting dents and bumps, you’ll want to make sure that you can emerge from it relatively and financially unscathed.

As relevant as the stigma behind prenups is right now, pre-nuptial agreements have been around for a LONG, LONG time. According to Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair and Lasting Contract by Katherine E. Stoner & Shae Irving:

“People have been making prenuptial agreements for thousands of years. Scholars tell us that the practice dates back to the ancient Egyptians, and that prenups have existed for many centuries in Anglo-American tradition. In previous times, the parents of the bride and groom negotiated the agreement on the new couple’s behalf.”

As impressed as I am about the fact that people actually took time to write a book about prenuptial agreements, I’m even more impressed with the fact that even the ancients had in mind some sort of policy to preserve their inheritance and wealth. But, if you really think about it, it DOES make sense — in a world where wealth is hard to come by, people are willing to take measures to ensure the safety of their own belongings. And that sentiment has not changed on single bit today.

So why do people automatically think of pre-nuptials as a gateway to divorce? Well, not ALL marriages are split 50/50 (more on that) like we commonly hear, but there are state laws dictating how to divvy up marital assets by equitable distribution if marital assets are left alone. How would you feel if you had a spouse making significantly more than you do, but telling you that he/she wanted a prenup to make sure that his/her expenses were in order just in case the worst possible scenario happened?

I’d feel pretty sh*tty.

But put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What if you were the person making significantly more money than the spouse, and your marriage ended up in disarray? As much as I’d hate to admit it, I would want to make sure that my assets were well-protected and that I come out of this marriage with the minimum amount of damage.

It’s easy to see pre-nuptial agreements as selfish and setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun, but marriage is essentially the beginning of a new life — why would you want to enter it unprotected and unprepared?

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