Our $23K Wedding Was Modern and Bohemian (and Just So Joyful)

This ’fro plus flower crown combo is on fire

Becca, writer and editor & zach, engineer and musician

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: A laid-back and playful California wedding with a focus on food, friends, and family.

Location: Sacramento, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

Food, drinks, and photography. Food was super important to us. And from the first time we saw Melissa’s work (on APW!), we were excited about her eye for the realness. Meeting her sealed the deal, and we knew we were a great match. We’re so grateful to her!

Where we allocated the least funds:

Florals and favors, which we didn’t have. One of my favorite aspects of working with Natalie at Belle Flower was that she didn’t bat an eye at our limited floral budget. Without a bridal party, we just didn’t need that many flowers. Natalie came up with the most beautiful centerpieces and bouquet and flower crown, and we didn’t worry too much about what we were missing. We also chose to have our wedding at a restaurant, which made our lives so much easier. We didn’t have to rent chairs, or tables, or flatware, and this brought our costs down considerably.

What was totally worth it:

Having our dear friend Isaac officiate the ceremony. Holding the ceremony and reception in a space that truly felt like us. Being engaged for more than two years while we saved and let our vision for our wedding come to life. Getting ready together at home, just the two of us.

What was totally not worth it:

How much I stressed over having our wedding adhere to the Pinterest-fueled vision I had of a moody spring wedding. When we look back at our pictures, they’re so much more colorful, fun, and alive than I ever imagined. Melissa captured so much joy and silliness in addition to the dark, moodier navy and gray accents.

A few things that helped us along the way:

We took a lot of wisdom from A Practical Wedding, both the (first!) book and the site. We asked ourselves a million times: What do we want our wedding day to feel like? Also, my parents graciously helped us with the food and alcohol, which was a huge help (their gift is represented in our overall budget). Making decisions together and finding joy in the planning process.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

A quiet moment we both appreciated was our drive from our house to Mulvaney’s with our giant balloons in our backseat. It was one of our only moments alone together throughout the day, and we were able to just breathe and take it all in. Another favorite was when Zach had to ask Isaac to repeat a line of his vows… We all laughed!

Suggested Listening:

Levitation” by Beach House

Something else we’d like to share:

If you ask a friend to officiate your wedding, be prepared to potentially be super involved in planning and writing the ceremony. Isaac and I stumbled through the process together, but it was definitely a learning experience that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. However, writing our own ceremony also gave us incredible flexibility and the ability to add unique touches. For example, for our readings, we chose passages that were important and meaningful to us, from writers Jonathan Safran Foer, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Margaret Atwood.


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