Rachel & chris
Sum-up of the wedding vibe: We just wanted to throw a fancy party!
Planned budget: $12,000
Actual budget: $15,000
Number of guests: 60
LOCATION: Los Angeles, California
Where we allocated the most funds:
Our venue, the Fig House, is a stunning midcentury home that has been converted into a venue space. Their outdoor space was perfect for a warm spring evening ceremony. The interior is filled with gorgeous art and rugs and jewel toned sofas, so we didn’t feel the need to add our own decor. The space really speaks for itself—it felt super comfortable but still fancy and special. Food and drink are super important to us, and we wanted top-notch catering to reflect that. We started with a cocktail hour with cheese service because we wanted to make sure everyone got enough food. There’s nothing worse than going to a wedding and starving the whole time. We decided on a buffet because it felt way less formal than a plated dinner. We wanted our guests to feel super comfortable getting seconds and, even, thirds should their hearts desire.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Rachel’s mom is an incredibly talented graphic designer and she designed, letter press printed, and sent our invitations. We saved on flowers and music by doing our own florals and skipping a DJ. We were also lucky enough to hire a friend who works in events for same-day wedding planning. He greatly reduced his rate for us and was worth his weight in gold!
What was totally worth it:
We had a Thursday night wedding because it saved us a few thousand bucks. Also, we figured our family would be able to make a long weekend out of it. We also skipped a full bar, but were able to concoct two insanely delicious signature cocktails that satisfied our tequila and whiskey needs along with beer and wine. Rachel also designed our florals and executed them with the help of her mom and two creatively minded friends. We took a trip to the LA Flower Market, where we had a blast picking out all the flowers. Plus, the market itself is just such a magical place! Because we made the arrangements the night before the wedding, we had a bunch of florals around our house for our rehearsal dinner. Speaking of! We held our rehearsal dinner at our place and brought in a bunch of pizza from Casa Bianca and decadent desserts from Bottega Louie. We had quite a few family members and friends in from the East Coast so a laid-back pizza party was an excellent way for everyone to mingle and get to know each other in a casual setting before the big day! Chris’s step dad is a huge wine aficionado, so he curated and provided all the wine for our rehearsal dinner. Chris is a musician, and music is a massive part of our relationship, so we decided against a DJ and curated our own playlist. Every song had meaning for us, and we had playlists for each part of the wedding—when guests arrived, the cocktail hour, we even had several dancing playlists from ’90s hip hop to ’50s pop. Our wedding planner totally took charge of when to change things up, and it was perfect!
What was totally not worth it:
Honestly, we can’t think of anything. Oh! We did have sparklers for our wedding favors along with branded matches that we were envisioning everyone lighting as we left the venue in this sparkling haze at the end of the evening, but our venue’s insurance policy was having none of that. But sparklers are just fun to have on hand, so we don’t regret them!
A few things that helped us along the way:
Our families were incredibly generous not just with funds, but also their time and resources. We created a rough timeline for wedding to-dos but tried not to stress if we didn’t meet deadlines. Also Pinterest boards! Especially when we were careening around the flower market, it was so helpful to take a look at our inspiration so we didn’t go too out of control.
My best practical advice for our planning selves:
Embrace the madness. Yes, things will go wrong, but that’s part of the fun. Remember what the day is all about: you’re declaring your love for your favorite person in front of all the people you love most, so just laugh when shit hits the fan. Ask for help, with everything all the time! We are super lucky to be surrounded by creative, amazing, resourceful people and, chances are, you are as well! Cultivate their assets.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
Do we have to pick one thing?! The crazy amount of love you feel from your friends and family! Our cake toppers were also hilarious. Our friend designed two Lego characters in our image—complete with leather jackets. Also, the photographs: Gina Clyne, our photographer, captured our essence perfectly! She is a total gem.
Other things we’d like to share:
Remember to have fun while you’re planning. We had the best time curating our wedding playlist prior to the big day, which led to many a living room dance party and some seriously sweet memories. Take time to enjoy little moments together. After our ceremony, the Fig House set up our own personal charcuterie board and champagne in the groom’s den. We took a good twenty minutes just soaking in the magnitude of our vows before returning to the party.