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Our Super Chic $45K Los Angeles Wedding in a Tropical Warehouse

Churros are better than cake.

Helene, marketing manager & dale, account manager

sum-up of the wedding vibe: Unique to our style and so much fun!

Planned Budget: $40,000
Actual Budget: $45,000
Number of Guests: 150
Location: Millwick, Los Angeles, California
photographer: Jenna Rae Weddings

Where we allocated the most funds:

We had a pretty good idea of what we envisioned for our wedding. We wanted the vibe to be modern, clean, minimal, and effortless. The Millwick was the first and only venue we checked out and immediately fell in love. With a great venue, a great photographer was also necessary. Jenna Rae has the ability to capture organic and tender moments while making the simplest shots look super cool. We knew she was the one from the start. Videos have always been an important way we as a couple saved memories from small trips to big vacations, so a videographer was without a doubt a must on our list. Enter, STYRO. Andrew is by far one of the most talented videographers out there. We allocated the most funds to these three vendors, but they checked off all our boxes and were worth every penny.

Where we allocated the least funds:

It’s easy to want everything on your dream list, but it’s not so easy to pay for all of it. Knowing what was not a “must have” helped us decide how much of our budget should go where. Lucky for us, our friend, Emily, is an awesome designer and generously offered (don’t worry—we took her to a nice dinner) to design our paper goods, and they seamlessly fit into the look and feel we wanted to capture.

Our wedding planner, Margaux, also helped source these amazing tiles and had the brilliant idea of sticking magnets to them to serve as our seating chart. They also doubled down as chic party favors for our guests to take home. We were happy Margaux was able to stretch our dollar.

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What was totally worth it:

The venue! It was so beautiful and green on its own, so we didn’t need to add much more to it. However, as minimal as it was, working with Revel Petals really tied everything together. Not to mention my dried bouquet is still sitting pretty over a year after the wedding. Before the wedding, I was really stressed about finding the perfect dress, as you do. I was only exposed to traditional-looking wedding dresses that didn’t excite me until I met Dawn from Atelier. She and I designed a custom dress over the course of a year and it was uniquely and perfectly me. Plus, the cost was similar to what you could get off the rack! So, if you have the time and wearing designer is not important to you, look into getting something custom made. It’s such a fun and creative process.

What was totally not worth it:

The wine and beer. We were able to bring in our own alcohol and thought we would have more wine and beer drinkers. We ended up running out of whiskey and had to make an emergency run to get some more because the people wanted to party! The plus side to this was we had about a four month supply of wine and beer to enjoy at home.

A few things that helped us along the way:

We planned 15 months in advance. This helped alleviate any pressure to lock down our dream venue and we had plenty of options to choose from for our wedding date. Having more time also meant not being forced to book our vendors back-to-back. We were able to space out our deposit payments, which really helped us financially. And let’s not pretend we planned this wedding on our own. Margaux and her team at Harmony Creative are so organized, creative, and just fun to work with. I didn’t want to remember the planning process as stressful or a burden. Having Margaux work with us full-time meant I didn’t need to wrangle all the vendors to make sure they signed their paperwork, or set payment reminder dates, or run to multiple craft stores to find the perfect colored paper.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Don’t be afraid to make the wedding exactly how you want it even if it means being a little unconventional. Having a cake cutting ceremony wasn’t important to us, so we didn’t get cake. Instead, we had fresh churros onsite and no wasted cakes left on tables. It’s safe to say the churros were a hit. Also, if you’re on a budget, find a venue that allows outside catering and drinks. This helped us save a ton of money and gave us permission to again make the wedding more personalized.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

We loved how much everyone enjoyed our wedding. Our DJ, Andrew from Hi Def Event Group, spent a good amount of time with us before the wedding to make sure the music was going to set the right vibe. Annoyingly, we had a very strict “do not play” list for him, but Andrew was so patient and thoughtful. Dale and I bonded over music early on before we even started dating. It was at these shows where our relationship really flourished, so having a solid DJ to set the right energy was crucial. Overall, we were extremely satisfied with all of our vendors. Our goal was for our friends and family to have the best time and we are so thankful for everyone involved that helped us achieve that goal. I always rolled my eyes at people that said their wedding was “the best day ever.” I mean, how can the very first day as a married couple be the best? Is it all downhill from there? But my God. It really was the best day ever.

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