Our $18K Wedding In Los Angeles Was Full Of Love (And Tacos)

Converted Historical Church + New Traditions

Rosie, Marketing Manager & Justin, Athletic Director

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Colorful DIY mash-up of new and old traditions in an updated historical church.

Planned budget: $20,000
Actual budget: $18,000
Number of guests: 165
LOCATION: Highland Park, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

The venue! At first we were going to go with something that was WAY cheaper, but it didn’t feel like us! We didn’t want to spend a ton of money, but we wanted the place to be welcoming and somewhere that our friends and family felt comfortable. Ruby Street was probably our tenth venue visit. It was absolutely perfect the moment we stepped inside. We knew this was the one!

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Where we allocated the least funds:

Food! We went with a taco bar, because who doesn’t like tacos? In Los Angeles there are so many amazing taco trucks, so we found a person that gave us the royal treatment and wasn’t too expensive. To this day I still dream about those tacos!

What was totally worth it:

The venue! I thought it was a little over budget of what we wanted to spend on the venue. It was beautiful! It felt unique, special, and fit our personalities. It was in a great location, and we didn’t have to do that much decorating because did you see the incredible macramé wall decor? Loved it!

What was totally not worth it:

The venue required a lot of insurance that we did not expect to purchase. This drove up the cost a bit, and it was something we didn’t budget for. We felt it was wasteful, but it was out of our hands and an expense we were willing to pay for such a great location.

A few things that helped us along the way:

Our incredible family and friends that offered to make flowers bouquets, help us send out invitations, or stay late to clean after the party was over! I worked for a university at the time, and we had incredible students that volunteered to help set up, greet family and friends, and fill the gaps on what was needed! I’m incredibly thankful for them! Without the help of so many who graciously lent a hand on this day, our wedding would not have turned out the way that it did. We are forever grateful!

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Spreadsheets and organization were our BFFs! We kept track of what we spent and what we needed to do. We broke down tasks by month, week, day. It helped us stay within budget and to not stress leading up to the day. For us, by staying organized it allowed us to enjoy the journey and to not stress about all of the details. All of this planning might sound like it would cause even more stress, but for me, when I’m organized I’m less stressed. We also tried to not put too much pressure on ourselves. All of the tasks would get done one way or another, and if not, our marriage was what was most important to us!

Favorite thing about the wedding:

All of our friends and family in one place! I’ve lived most of my life in Southern California, but Justin grew up in Seattle and went to school in St. Louis. I get to see a good majority of my friends and family often, but he doesn’t always get that. I loved seeing his face light up when his people were all there and supporting us! We had people from every season of our lives, and it’s so special to have everyone in one room at the same time celebrating our love! It is definitely a day we will never forget!

Something else we’d like to share:

Our day was perfect and turned out exactly the way we dreamed it would!


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