My Plan to Feed Our Wedding Guests with Boxed Hair Dye

In an attempt to be grown ups and not put ourselves into a massive pile of steaming debt, B and I recently implemented a Wedding Savings Plan. Included in said plan? The horror of horrors, make your skin crawl, how am I actually going to SURVIVE through this…

a Budget.


I know, I know, you’re all like “shut up you stupid brat, everybody in America has one of those.  Get over yourself and your ridiculous obsession with buying things.”

Whatever.  Over the last four years of gainful full-time employment, I’ve very successfully managed my money while holding onto my (somewhat) excessive shopping needs.  All without having to deny myself the ‘perfect pair of pumps I just simply can’t live without’ or being drug out of a store kicking and screaming like a two year old.

(Ok, maybe once or twice)

So after reviewing a couple months of expenses, we found a few areas where B & I can both make manageable changes to our daily habits to build up our little wedding fund.  B’s been packing his lunch rather than eating at Subway everyday, and has started taking home-brewed coffee in a travel mug rather than feeding the nasty Starbucks beast everyday.  These little sacrifices add up (nearly $200/mo!) and you barely even realize anything’s changed.  That is until someone gets mercury poisoning from eating canned tuna 5 days a week…

(disclaimer : neither of us has mercury poisoning.  at least not yet.)

Obviously B rebutted my Subway/Starbucks proposal with a shopping adjustment on my end.  Fine.  I can handle that.  I wear jeans and a tshirt to work everyday.  Other than running clothes, I get ‘dressed up” MAYBE once a week.  If I’m lucky.

So I’ve reigned in my Sale Rack go-go-gadget arm, and (almost) always steer my Target cart right past the clothes and shoes to the cleaning/grocery/ladybusiness parts of the store I’m SUPPOSED to be there for.  It’s honestly not been that bad.

After seeing the fruits of our budgeting-labor the first month, I got ambitious.  “This is easy!” I thought.  We could totally save more money, by making other little changes here and there.  We clipped a few coupons, ate out a little less, and then I got the brilliant idea…

 “Hey, I could save us like $130 if I quit the salon and started doing my own hair again.  You know, like I did in college!  It looked really great then, all fried and damaged, hacked up with a pair of desk scissors, always that disgusting shade of brassy yellow/blonde…”

I swear I wasn’t drunk.  Really, I wasn’t.  Not when I got the idea, or when I bought the at-home highlighting kit, or when I actually applied said highlighting kit and snip-snipped until I had a counter full of hair.  I mean c’mon, I’ll deal with slightly less-than-perfect color for $130 into our wedding savings (Hello, that’ll food&beverage like 1.4 people!)

I'd definitely put "$100+ free with purchase!" if I were the L'Oreal marketing team...

I didn’t take a photo of the finished product.  I just could not capture the true horror on film for you.  Sure, my roots were covered, I no longer looked like I belonged in a trailer park.  Yay.  Instead I could have been dropped  in the African safari and been taken in by the leopard pack within 20 seconds.  It was spotty and orange-y and B.A.D.

(Around this time I begged B to go get a gallon of Sbux so I could go to the salon and not feel guilty for disobeying that stupid, blasted, no-good budget)

Since I’m no quitter, and also because I haven’t found a go-to stylist here yet, I marched my leopard-spotted head over to Target and got another box of “fool-proof” dark blonde dye.  I deemed it time for a change from my life-long bright blonde, and honestly, I didn’t know how else to cover up the disaster of a mess I had going on without pulling a Britney and shaving it all.

(Thought about it, but wasn’t sure it’d grow past a bowl cut by wedding time)

'Mommmmmy...? What are you doing??'

It turned out alright.  B says it “is definitely still blonde.”  I say he’s full of shit, and so is Clairol Brass-Free Dark Blonde.  But, you be the judge :

(left: fake smile, right: true feelings)

So I mean, it’s not terrible.  I don’t hate it.  But it’s definitely a change and DEFINITELY not blonde.  Whatevs.  Those 1.4 wedding guests better appreciate the sacrifices I made to feed&beverage them…

Sarah Soon-To-Be (the less-blonde version)


9 thoughts on “My Plan to Feed Our Wedding Guests with Boxed Hair Dye

  1. looks normal in the picture, just less blonde thats all. i havent found a good stylist around here either if it makes you feel any better. or blonder.


  2. It looks fine to me :) Darker than your hair from the engagement pictures. I like to die my hair darker in the fall too. But with wedding budget always in my mind….I will have to color my own hair for at least a year. I have thick long hair so at least 2 hair color boxes for me.

    I do have a stylist that I love, I have gone to her for several years now, she’s in Costa Mesa. I love her but can’t afford it right now. I will go back to her maybe a week before the wedding for my highlights for Puerto Vallarta.


  3. you are TOO funny! It looks fine to me…

    I also cut out highlighting as part of my budget! I haven’t gotten my hair done since May…my mom has her beuatician license so she’s colored my hair from a box twice already…

    My aunt recently gave me the number of her stylist she found in Anaheim who does highlights and haircut for $50…it sounds to good to be true, but I am desperate at this point…Let me know if you want the number! It’s worth a try…(but if you can still spend $120, my stylist is in Huntington Beach and she was AWESOME…but I told her I’m saving up money and getting out of debt…)


  4. I had a really good stylist in Manhattan Beach but the drive is just too far (I’m in North County San Diego now). Not sure what part of So Cal you are in, and also she is kinda pricey (she wasn’t back in 2002! But I went back in 2008 after a two year hiatus and nearly crapped a brick over how much she is now charging) – like $160 or something like for cut and 3 color full weave/highlights. But she is so good with the color you only have to go 4 times a year (full – partial – full – partial; so full only twice a year).


  5. Found you through SR, I live in SoCal and have the most amazing stylist ever. I have blonde hair too so I know it’s tough to find a good one. If you want her info let me know. And awesome blog by the way! :)


  6. It still looks nice! Keep a look out on sites like Groupon and Living Social (if in your area) they have full hair package deals all the time. Also when I highlight my hair (but it’s dark brown) I go to Sally Beauty supply and get the mix and dye there, feel like it’s a step up from in the box and still cheap and I do very thin strips so you can’t see mess ups.


  7. I feel your pain!! Your hair still looks great, though. Have you ever thought of getting it done at a cosmetology school? Like Aveda? I’ve done that in NYC for color (cuts, I really splurge on) and I actually find that they do a better job than most salons, for a fraction of the price. I’m naturally a dark brunette, but I’ve lightened to medium/dark blonde with TONS of highlights and it’s a bitch to maintain. I have to get it done every 2 mos. At the schools, it’s only about $35-$40. And an instructor is there the entire time, making sure it’s done right. They even correct grown-out color that has turned brassy or doesn’t match! :)


  8. Girl, you are hilarious! The blonde looks great! The perfect fall-blonde that every blonde gal should achieve. Your 1.4 guests will and should deeply appreciate their meal for your sacrifice. You’re stronger than I am…

    On a related note, my sister also used a similar Clarol highlighting kit around 7 years ago. She too sported the Cheetah look, hysterical tears, and inability to photograph said adventure. (That must be the side effects they left off of the box). My cousin felt so bad for her that she took her to Aveda for a color fix. $200+ later, she was more child-of-the-corn blonde than cheetah spots blonde. Screw those no-good, crap highlighting kits. Rock your new, hot look!


  9. Three words: MANDATORY BEAUTY MAITENANCE. Some things you just don’t skimp on. Not that you don’t look beautiful with your Rockin’ the Box efforts..cause you are BEAUTIFUL no matter what you do! But here’s how I rationalize my stylist’s fee: $145 every 6 wks ($3.45 per diem) for color that I get compliments on every day, a cut that I can roll out of bed, shake my head, and go..being able to sit in her chair and feel like a girlie girl for a couple hours..and turning my hair over to a PROFESSIONAL so I can look like a SALES PROFESSIONAL. Consider it the cost of doing business. You have to look better than and dress better than your clients when you are in sales. If you’re a stay-at-home babe then you don’t need to care. (however I’m thinkin’ a Doctor’s wife oughta always look professionally groomed) Jenn’s idea about an Aveda school is GREAT. Aveda stylists are always up-to-the-minute on cutting-edge techniques (groan). Plus you might meet your Hair Mate there and you can follow him/her around from salon to salon for the next 20 years like I have done. It’s more important than feeding your 1.4 wedding guests who can come eat off of my plate. We’ll be busy staring at the bride anyway with her glorious mane of professionally maintained hair.



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