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Our $20K Vietnamese and American LA Wedding Mixed Botanical and Urban

85 guests, plus a poolside after party till 3 a.m.

A wedding couple hold hands

MIMI, OFFICE MANAGER & MATTHEW, GLOBAL AGENCY MANAGER

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Botanical haven hidden in an urban sprawl.

PLANNED BUDGET: $15,000
ACTUAL BUDGET: $21,400
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 85
LOCATION: Los Angeles, California

The bride's mother stands watch at the dressing room door A wedding dress hangs in front of a mirror

Where we allocated the most funds:

The majority of our funds went to Millwick. The venue was the perfect size, in a central location, and captured the look and feel that we wanted.

Closeup of the wedding dress train A bride stands beside a mirror as her wedding dress is zipped up from behindA beautiful bride stands and poses for the camera Closeup of a bride getting her shoes put on

Where we allocated the least funds:

The flowers and decorations. We ordered the bouquets, boutonnières, and garlands for the centerpieces from My Wedding Blooms, bought extra flowers and succulents from a local flower shop, and decorated the tables ourselves. The flowers in my hair came from a bouquet!

Close up of a bride holding her groom's boutonniere A bride is walked down the aisle by both of her parentsA wedding guest takes a photo of the ceremony using a film cameraWide shot of the wedding ceremonyCloseup of a bride and groom during their ceremony

What was totally worth it:

Millwick was a splurge, but since the venue was already beautifully furnished and decorated, we didn’t feel the need to add more decorations. Why mess with perfection?! It also definitely saved us from spending more money.

closeup of the mother of the bride during the ceremonyCloseup of the bride putting a ring on the groom Formal photo of the bride and groom with her side of the familyPortrait of the bride with her flower bouquet A quiet moment of the wedding couple as the groom kisses her cheek

What was totally not worth it:

We chose not to have a photo booth and opted to DIY a selfie station with props and selfie sticks for guests to take photos. Unfortunately, it was in a very hidden corner of the venue and no one saw it! It was sort of a bummer to me.

the wedding couple cross a city street as she looks over her shoulder back at the camera example of negative space where the couple is tiny in the frame and swallowed by the big skycloseup of the couple embracing. the bride smiles at her partnerStands in front of a mirror and puts on her earringsFood truck

A few things that helped us along the way:

Hire a wedding planner! As a couple who just wanted a small and low-key wedding, we had no idea that it still takes a lot of planning or about all the little details that it takes to make a wedding run smoothly. Our planner was really good at reminding us what needed to be done and was patient when we were freaking out about things that needed to be done at the last minute.

close up of wedding reception decor wide shot of the reception spacemedium shot of cocktail hour food being passed around closeup of wedding reception table decorwedding guests sign the guest book

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Learn to accept help when it is offered. We wanted to do things our way and wanted to handle things ourselves. As the wedding day approached, we realized there were a lot of things that needed to be done and that we would need help from family and friends. They kindly offered, and we were able to delegate a lot of tasks to them.

closeup of a baby sitting in a front facing baby carrier worn by a male personcloseup of delicious grilled cheese sandwiches during the cocktail hour closeup of the cake toppers

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Our favorite part was seeing two different groups of people meeting and mingling. We had guests travel to Los Angeles from Vietnam, Taiwan, and Canada! My side of the family is Vietnamese and Matthew’s side is American. It was wonderful to see two different cultures talking, laughing, and having a good time!

bride shows a guests how to carve her name and sign the wooden guests book closeup of guests clinking glasses

Something else we’d like to share:

Another favorite memory was toward the end of the wedding when most of the guests were gone except for a few close friends hanging out and chatting. After a long and exhausting week, we were ready to pack up and go home. A friend was staying at the Chateau Marmont and asked if we wanted to continue the celebration. We couldn’t turn down the offer and ended up hanging out poolside at the Chateau Marmont until 3 a.m.! It was an amazing ending to an amazing day!

A quiet moment where the bride and groom kiss

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