Tanuja, Account Manager & Charley, Director of Development
sum-up of the wedding vibe: A giant party with our closest friends and family.
Planned Budget: $40,000
Actual Budget: $81,000
Number of Guests: 175
Location: Seal Beach, California
Where we allocated the most funds:
Our funds were allocated to the venue, then the DJ and drinks. We had our DJ for two nights, including the henna ceremony on Thursday, and wanted to make sure he created the best party vibe, so we went all out. A large portion of funds also went to our rehearsal dinner, since it was about a hundred people and Charley’s parents rented out the Steakhouse at Parker’s Lighthouse in Long Beach.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Our wonderful photographers provided an amazing discount for us that allowed us to fit a videographer into our budget. That would not have been possible without them, and I am so thankful!
What was totally worth it:
Our Baarat was spectacular! When my sister got married she didn’t have one, but I always knew I wanted Charley and his family to dance into the ceremony and keep that tradition alive. A year into our engagement Charley started to get nervous about coming in on the horse, but I am so glad he powered through, because that was probably the best part of the wedding. We also had two suites at Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Long Beach for two nights, which turned out to be amazing because after the wedding we were able to head back there and keep the party going with close friends. Having a videographer was important not only to us but to my parents as well. Videography is a HUGE thing in India, and this allowed my mom to share our wedding with relatives who couldn’t be there. We opted for a package that included a highlight reel and thirty-minute video.
What was totally not worth it:
Nothing. We loved everything we decided to get for our wedding and don’t have any regrets on having something that may have not been worth it.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Being a part of multiple wedding groups on social media helped me with ideas and feedback. My older sister, Puja Brownell, and I talked a lot during this process since she just previously got married. Having her support made the process a lot easier.
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Don’t go overboard with multiple outfits and treating yourself because it’s your wedding, because it ALL adds up.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
Our confetti cannon during our first dance! Our open reception concept! Having our bridal party walk down to the Princess Bride theme song. I honestly don’t think I can pick one favorite thing because there were so many small details that really made our day so special and fun.
Something else we’d like to share:
Our dream wedding would not have happened without the help and support of our parents. Growing up in a strict Indian household, my sister and I were always told we would have an arranged marriage. I am so happy that my parents love Charley and that we were able to have an Indian ceremony, because that was extremely important to my parents. I would give anything to relive that day again!