No money, mo’ problems: Make it work edition

He told you to use the Piperlime accessory wall thoughtfully, but you didn’t listen. Now, he’s not sure about those shoes. He’s just concerned.

Frankly, I am too. That tiara is super fug.

Walking down the aisle is probably the closest you’ll ever get to stomping it to the death down a runway. You really have to make it count. This is your moment to really be the center of attention without people thinking you’re just desperate. You might think that there’s no way anybody will be looking anywhere else, but you would be wrong. I mean, yeah, they’re going to stand up for you when you come down the aisle. But, one or two fierce bridesmaids, and you’ll just look dowdy. I mean, white dresses aren’t the most universally flattering. There’s a reason you’re probably only going to wear one once. And don’t think dressing your bridesmaids in ugly dresses is the way out of this mess. Then, you all just look dumpy, and you’re the one to blame.

They’re talking about how much they hate you.

Attire — 10%: gown, alterations, headpiece, veil, shoes, jewelry, hair & makeup, groom’s tux and suit, grooms accessories and misc.

The good news is, style is not dictated by how much you can spend. Don’t get me wrong, lots of money helps. But, it’s not necessary. The most expensive dress isn’t always going to be the best looking dress. Have you SEEN those really expensive dresses? I don’t know why tacky costs so much. It’s baffling. Like, you’re paying someone for the privilege of looking like an ostentatious, indulgent asshole. You can really go one of two ways here: simple dress/statement jewelry or statement dress/simple jewelry. Trend-wise, both looks are on point. I don’t favor one over the other. I went with a simple dress and an amazing Betsey Johnson statement necklace. But, they both look hot.

Even though you’re going to want to run out right away and pick a dress, my advice would be to get some of your other costs locked in first. That way, when you come in under budget on some items, you can allot more money to the areas where you need it. I bought my dress for less than $400. It was a short dress, so it wasn’t as expensive as most dresses, and I happened to be shopping during a storewide 30% off sale. The planets had aligned. The only downside, was the dress at the shop was too small to cram my juicy booty into, so I had to order it without knowing how it would look on me. If it comes down to it, this is what you’ll have to do. But only do it if you’re really, really sure that you can NOT live without this dress. Most bridal sales are final, and buying multiple dresses just so you can try them on, sort of defeats the point of this whole thing. Another option is buying a preowned dress. I know it doesn’t sound like the most appealing idea, but if you really want that Vera Wang “Diana” dress on a budget, you might want to look at the boards over at and Once Wed. Also, you might want to talk to the seamstress at your favorite bridal boutique. A lot of them actually make dresses, and you could possibly get a really great deal there too. Etsy has a lot of really gorgeous dresses for sale, but unless you live close to the person making your dress, you’ll be buying your dress without ever seeing it in real life. I’m not warning against it, I plan to feature several dresses from Etsy in the coming weeks, I’m just saying be careful. Always be smart when buying online. Check out reviews, email previous reviewers if you can. Do your research before setting the wheels in motion on a wedding dress.

Regardless of where you get your dress, there will be alterations. And they will be expensive! If you have someone you trust to do your alterations, let them do it. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of your bridal shop, and they aren’t shy about charging you. My alterations ended up costing almost another $300. We were shocked, but when it was done, my dress fit perfectly. I didn’t have to wear a strapless bra the night of our wedding because the seamstress was able to construct a cup/boning combination that contained my divine DDDs without incident. I looked like I was about to nip slip most of the reception, but that’s ok. I was going for a certain look. That look being, “I really want to make sure he knows why he’s paying for this wedding.”

Do you? YEAH, YOU DO!

Veils aren’t really that expensive. I bought my bubble veil off the boutique floor, in perfect condition, for 15% off. Those tiaras are crazy pricy though! Whoa! I ended up buying a tiny, Holly Golightly style crown for $17 from the Lifemix in my mall. Look around, don’t buy from the bridal shop right away. Also, don’t buy a feather fascinator. They’ve been done to death. To. DEATH. The only feathers I can condone are floaty ostrich feathers. And I really like feathers. I put one of my flower girls in a feather hairpiece. But she wasn’t trying to look quirky, she looked like a tiny show pony. It was adorable.

You’re really going to have to shop around for shoes. But I can really only recommend buying from Endless or Zappos. They both have 365 day return policies. You don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of different wedding shoes. I have a pair of painfully uncomfortable heels that I’ll be stuck with forever due to a 30 day return policy. If you think you can figure out a way to make them work, you probably can’t. If you think you’ll get used to the pinching/cramping/wobbliness, you probably won’t. It’s just better to find something that fits you properly. It’s boring, I know. What’s the fun in that? Everyone loves only being able to concentrate on their throbbing pinky toes.

I can’t really tell you much for cutting costs on your hair and makeup. Cut those costs too much and it’ll show. Obviously, if you have friends in the beauty industry, hit them up. Don’t expect free services though. This is how they pay the bills, and they’ll cut you a deal where they can. If you have friends that aren’t professionals, but always look hot, ask them to do it. I was that friend for a long time. I’ve been doing makeup for friends and family since long before I was ever schooled and licensed. Or, learn to do it yourself. YouTube is brimming with hair and makeup how-to. On our wedding day, I had my hair done in the morning, but I did my own makeup. Like I said, I have a professional background in this though, so it wasn’t a stressful or new experience for me. In fact, it was really calming to just sit there in the middle of all the commotion, with my makeup and brushes all spread out in front of me, and slowly put on my face. If you get comfortable with your look, you can completely handle doing it on your own. Take some pictures first though, so you know how you’ll look from an outside perspective. You don’t want to get your wedding pictures back and find out you looked like a sloppy whore all night.

Let’s hear it for the boys! And their rentals. Renting a tux can be almost as expensive as buying one. You can totally get them for free though! Men’s Wearhouse will give you your groom’s tux for free if your bridal party rents five other tuxes or suits from them. Groomsmen, ring bearer, fathers, they all count. That’s what we did, and it was a welcome break.

I’m not really sure what “groom’s accessories” is supposed to mean. Pinky rings? Gold chains? Let’s say no.

When it comes down to it, as far as your bridal look goes, you’re going to have to work. In both the “you better” and “make it” departments.

Tomorrow, we’ll tiptoe through the tulips together.

Sexy Photo: Jennifer Williams