Our $27K SmogShoppe Wedding Had Tacos and Killer Dance Jams

Plus margaritas and a mariachi band!

Ana, Project Coordinator & zachary, evolutionary biology Ph.D. candidate

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: A day filled with love from family and friends, with awesome dance jams, tacos, and waffles
Planned Budget: $20,000
Actual Budget: $27,000
Number of Guests: 102

Where we allocated the most funds:

The most funds went to photography and the venue.

Where we allocated the least funds:

The least funds went to decorations.

What was totally worth it:

The three parts of the wedding that we think helped make it so wonderful were the venue itself, our photographers, and the DJ. We knew the SmogShoppe was perfect even before we set foot inside the venue! The moment we stepped inside we were transported to a little oasis in the city. It was so beautiful and unique that we didn’t even need decorations to capture the vibe we wanted for our wedding.

We wanted to have some really great photos to remember this special moment. We fell in love with the laid-back vibe of Rad + In Love photos after seeing Rad + In Love on APW. Jaime did a wonderful job capturing the feeling of the day and really understood what we wanted to get out of our photos. They look beautiful, and we couldn’t happier.

We could tell Arturo (DJ Art) was the perfect choice for our wedding from our first meeting with him. We discussed our tastes in music and if there were any off-limits songs/genres, but we left it up to Arturo to come up with the set list. He kept the energy perfect throughout the night and did a great job of getting both of our families out on the dance floor and having a fun time.

What was totally not worth it:

Wedding favors were not worth it. They were either too expensive or too labor intensive, so we went for a low maintenance option. We decorated a closet with paper hearts and set a Polaroid camera nearby with extra film. Our friends and family had a great time taking pictures they could bring home.

A few things that helped us along the way:

We couldn’t have enjoyed any part of the wedding if it wasn’t for our day-of coordinator Kayla from Kayla Vie Events. All we had to do was show up because she took care of everything! Also, we are grateful for support from our families. They helped offset some of the venue and food costs.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Take breaks. If something starts feeling overwhelming, step away and come back to it when you’ve cleared your mind. It makes decision-making a lot easier. There are so many little details to get caught up in while planning, but they really don’t matter in the end compared to the big picture. Take the time to remember why you’re doing this in the first place!

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Our favorite part of the wedding was marrying our best friend. But beyond that, we really enjoyed bringing all of our family and friends together. Seeing everyone having a great time filled us with so much joy. Our wedding was really a celebration of our two families joining together and all of the first and millionth conversations from new and old friends alike.


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