A $35K Chinese-American, Filipino-Australian Industrial, Garden Wedding in Brooklyn

A garden grows in Brooklyn

Charisse, Human Resources Assistant & Kevin, Administrator

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: A celebration of home, through the coming together of our two colorful origins (Chinese-American/Filipino-Australian) in an industrial yet lush garden-like, bohemian Brooklyn setting.

Planned Budget: $27,000
Actual Budget: $35,000
Number of Guests: 200

Where we allocated the most funds:

Our venue was the big splurge! Followed by catering (be prepared to spend here if you plan on booking a blank-space, no-service venue).

Where we allocated the least funds:

We spent the least on hair and makeup for the bride/bridesmaids, which were done by a friend and the bridesmaids to themselves.

What was totally worth it:

Because it poured down on our wedding day, our indoor venue was well worth the freedom from a plan B hassle. Next, our floral arrangements, which were done by a team of friends, was an amazing labor of love. (The cherry blossoms branches had everyone in awe!)

Last, our photographers Dave and Dez were incredibly accommodating, capturing the electricity of the night and the most sensational portraits despite the gloom of a rainy Friday in Brooklyn.

What was totally not worth it:

Although we loved the combined effort of those in our community, we would never feel comfortable to ask favors from so many people again. We had friends who were driving back and forth, toiling through Friday traffic in New York, coming early for setup, staying up all night to prepare decor, and staying late for takedown.

We also regret not having our friend in videography make our wedding film, especially after seeing his release of a film he made for our photographers, Dave and Dez, of their wedding.

We were pretty satisfied overall.

A few things that helped us along the way:

We weren’t the most productive we could be until we gave ourselves deadlines to meet and a schedule to follow. Second, a budget sheet is absolutely necessary when you know that money is tight. Without the two of these to provide structure, it is impossible to keep track of all the details thrown around.

It was also liberating whenever friends would extend encouragement to us, sacrifice time for us, and show us grace when we were pulling our hair out with wedding stress.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Do not kill yourself with every detail. Figure out what you each care about the most and delegate the rest to friends and family who have willingly offered to help. It is better to put your 100 percent on what is most important to you than to toss 50 percent at everything.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

The two of us have lived all over, so we both have had the blessing to be a part of a multitude of communities. It was our absolute joy to see people we love from all over the world gathered in one place. We had also envisioned that our talented friends within our communities would have a hand in our wedding, from the creative elements to the heavy-lifting: our wedding favors were white chocolate and matcha bark with raspberries and pretzels made by a friend (Sweet Luxe Fine Desserts). Our wedding monogram was personally made by a groomsmen. Our florals were prepared by one of our titas (Tagalog for aunt). Our photographer was a Chicago-based friend Kevin grew up with, and the list goes on. This added an intimate touch to each part of the day since most of our vendors were people we had relationships with.


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