How Everyone Chipped In to Manifest Our Romantic LA Wedding


My Irish Dancing daughter stole the show

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

Eve, Writer/Marriage Family Therapist Intern & Kalen, Screenwriter/Creative Executive
sum-up of the wedding vibe: 
A fun-filled day that celebrated both tradition and creativity, brought together friends and family, and invited everyone to wear temporary tattoos

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

PLANNED BUDGET: $30,000
ACTUAL BUDGET: $35,000
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 150 (190 invited, eek!)

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

Where we allocated the most funds

Catering: I LOVE cooking and hosting, and would have done it all myself if that made any sense. We looked for someone that would understand what I would have served if it was in my home on a rainy January night. We wanted delicious food and to serve a family-style meal that was amenable to our many many gluten-free and vegan friends. Jennie Cook’s created seasonal dishes with organic ethically resourced food—exactly what we wanted.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

Where we allocated the least funds

Flowers: We wanted minimal flora, and continued to find florists’ estimates out of our comfort zone. We ended up sending a friend to the Los Angeles Flower Market the day of our wedding; she spent $200 total.

Mason jars candles as centerpieces: We got our mason jars at thrift stores.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

 What was totally worth it

  • Wedding Planner, 150 percent. The cost of the wedding planner is partly what pushed us over budget, but I will stand by that decision for the rest of my life.
  • We hemmed and hawed about a big wedding or a small wedding. In the end, it was totally worth the trouble to have all our friends and family together, especially family.
  • Spray-painting all those toy animals took longer than anticipated, but they were the best escort-cards, souvenirs, and conversation starters, all in one!
  • We also decided to skip the cost of a wedding cake, only paying for a small cake for us (bride and groom) and serving home-baked cookies to our guests. Friends and family chipped in to help with the baking, and we used a recipe of my eleven-year-old daughter. (Recipe equals chocolate chip cookie wrapped around an Oreo. HUGE hit with the guests, huge source of pride for my daughter.)
  • We took extra effort to make sure that multiple generations (from six months to ninety years old) with diverse needs would feel comfortable, both physically and emotionally. For example, while we knew we couldn’t make everyone happy, we were careful about creating a ceremony that would satisfy both our own personal vision and my conservative parents’ ideas of a proper wedding (especially since they were the main sponsors…). The reception had a moving-picture photo booth, a temporary tattoo station, board games, AND dancing.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

What was totally not worth it

We made the mistake of promising ourselves that we would say hello to every guest at our wedding. That turned out to be impossible.

We also took to heart online advice about skipping some wedding “usuals”: we didn’t have programs, wedding attendants, a full bar, or a wedding cake. Those things were not missed.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

A few things that helped us along the way

Our wedding planner, Renee Dalo (Moxie Bright Events), kept us organized with to-do lists which helped us stay on task without feeling too overwhelmed. We also didn’t look back once each decision was made; we didn’t have the time or energy to second-guess anything. Friends were amazing about coming over and helping with the DIY stuff (gold animals, seating tags, cookie baking) and boring things that needed to get done, like breaking down cardboard boxes.

I didn’t have any bridesmaids, but having my best friend (since seventh grade) show up the morning of to help me get ready was clutch. It was a last-minute decision, and I don’t know how I would have handled those hours without her.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding
My best practical advice for my planning self

I’ve always had a hundred ideas and fantasies about my wedding. When it came to the actual thing, I could only choose one. Knowing that it didn’t really matter as long we were married and our guests were fed kept me from second-guessing decisions and kept me moving forward without regrets. (Now my only regret is that I won’t be having the ninety-nine other weddings to fulfill all those fantasies!)

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding

Favorite thing about the wedding

My daughter is a competitive Irish step dancer; she did a traditional dance to start off the dancing portion of the night. I was so proud, and it gave her something special to offer the day.

Also: Dancing with total abandon.

How Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space WeddingHow Everyone Chipped In To Manifest Our Romantic LA Unique Space Wedding


The Info:

Photographer: Linda Abbott Photography | Wedding Location: Downtown Los Angeles| Venue Name: The Unique Space | Wedding Dress: Olvis Trend purchased at Nan Winter‘s in Petaluma, CA | Groom’s suit: Nordstrom’s | Catering: Jenny Cook’s Catering | Cake: Buttercelli Bake Shop | Rehearsal Dinner: Clementine’s |  Hair and Makeup: Lauren Bracco | DJ: Scratch Weddings |  Photo Booth: Moving Picture Photo Booth

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  • VKD_Vee

    THAT LAST PICTURE!!!! 10/10!!!!!!

    • Kayjayoh

      So very much!

    • Kayjayoh

      I had been about to comment on the penultimate photo, then I scrolled a bit more and had to pick up my jaw.

      • FancyPants

        I agree w/ you AND VKD…. but I think my favorite is the “First Look with Friends” (my interpretation)- it captures how EVERYONE is getting married w/ you that day and the deep wells of friend+family-love.

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  • Kayjayoh

    “Knowing that it didn’t really matter as long we were married and our guests were fed kept me from second-guessing decisions and kept me moving forward without regrets.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Were there things I would have done differently for mine? Sure, but everyone was happy, everyone was fed, everyone had fun, and we are married. So the woulda-coulda-shouldas are beside the point, and it was nice to have that knowledge ahead of time. The ability to ask, “is this going to matter” and say “nope” and move on is so freeing.

    • Kingd

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  • FancyPants

    All the joy!!! All the happy!!!!!! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wedding! It is just SO FULL of happy energy- weeeeeeee!!!!

  • Rachelle

    What, no info on the shoes? So badass with the gorgeous feminine lace gown. LOVE.

    • I’m pretty sure Eve just had those in her closet. Aren’t they rad?

    • Eve Sturges

      hello hello, I’m here! I bought the shoes online, and get this: They are Dr. Scholl’s! no joke, most comfortable pair I own. And, I loved them so much that I did just where them all the time leading up to the wedding, so by the time it arrived, they were just a pair I had in my closet!

      • Must find those shoes!! I swear I’ve been passively looking for those for ages.
        Also, these photos are amaze balls!!!! Love love love!

  • Erin B.

    How does this have only 9 comments?! Eve, I was grinning the whole way through. This looks like such a joyful, beautiful wedding. I LOVE your dress and hair!

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  • Emma Klues

    JOY OVERLOAD.