How We Created an 80-Person Wintery Wedding in the Middle of LA

This is the Hollywood glam wedding you've been looking for

bride and groom jumping in front of a mural

Elyse, Artist & Lewis, Artist

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Magical wintery aromatic forest meets vintage Hollywood with a funky blues soundtrack

Numbers of guests: 80

Elyse + Lewisblack and white photo of groom toastingphoto of bride walking down the hall

Where we allocated the most funds

We allocated the largest chunk of our budget to photography/video and our venue, but in reality our catering and rentals cost us the most.

bride and groom outside togetherbride and groom in front of yellow tree

Where we allocated the least funds

Our venue had a ton of character and was stunning just as it was, so we really didn’t need to spend much of our budget on decoration.

Elyse + Lewisblack and white photo of bride and groom in the car

What was totally worth it

EVERYTHING! Our day was perfect as far as we were concerned. I’m especially glad we made photography and video such a priority, because we’ll have that to help us remember our day for the rest of our lives.

lush outdoor ceremony locationbride walking down the aisle

What was totally not worth it

I really think we made good decisions with our budget and were clear about our priorities. Here are a few things that we cut out or skimped on that I don’t regret at ALL:

We chose to go with an inexpensive wedding cake because we’ve never tasted a REALLY fantastic cake for one hundred people. We supplemented with an assortment of incredible individual desserts made by our caterer instead.

We skipped the photo booth. We preferred to spend time on the dance floor with our guests and wanted our photos of the night to be candid.

We didn’t go overboard with the flowers. If we had a theme at all, it was wintery/forest, so we chose to decorate our tables with aromatic branches of eucalyptus and other wintery greens sprinkled with a few pops of color. This also kept the sight lines low on the tables so our guests could all see each other and converse more easily.

bride and groom laughing during wedding ceremonyElyse + LewisElyse + Lewis

A few things that helped us along the way

We chose to work with vendors whose style and previous work we LOVED and trusted them to do what they do best, so we weren’t micromanaging them or asking them to reinvent the wheel. This freed us up to only focus on the things that really needed our attention.

Elyse + Lewis bride and groom entering wedding reception

My best practical advice for my planning self

Ask for help! Everyone who loves you wants to pitch in and help make this day special for you—let them.

Elyse + Lewisbride and groom during wedding speeches

Favorite thing about the wedding

At one point during our ceremony we turned around and looked out at all our friends and family—that was an absolutely magical moment. Looking out into all of their teary and love-filled eyes we have never felt more loved or supported. It was an incredible feeling.

wedding cake topped with strawberries and flowers Elyse + Lewis

Anything else

I read a TON of blogs as I was planning and not one warned about the astronomical costs of kitchen and catering rentals. We didn’t anticipate those costs when we were planning our budget and were shocked to have to come up with those funds so close to our wedding date. We had a walk-though meeting with our caterer at our venue about a month before our wedding and because our caterer hadn’t worked at the venue previously, she didn’t know what additional kitchen equipment she would need until that meeting. Needless to say, we were all quite surprised. If your caterer hasn’t worked with your venue before, I would strongly encourage you to insist on an earlier meeting.

Elyse + LewisElyse + Lewis


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