Anna and Adam’s August wedding in Burbank was a DIY celebration on a tight budget. I love the elegant simplicity of their wedding, which was captured by Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography!
Planning a wedding is hard. Planning a wedding with no money is even harder. Planning a wedding with barely any money and working full time is painful. I’ve put together some thoughts on each of these categories talking a little bit about the journey Adam and I made while trying to do this with no idea how we’d pay for it and only the weekends to research. When even the DIY projects or suggestions were becoming too costly, we became very lucky to finally have our parents help us and to find the hidden talents of our friends. Otherwise things could have been a LOT more difficult. We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such talented friends and loving family. We managed to make an extremely tight wallet – less than even the cheapest research was budgeting – work for us and look like a $50,000 wedding.
We are not religious, and we wanted something that was celebratory instead of stuck on old tradition and with a long stuffy reception. We wrote our entire ceremony from beginning to end. Our best friend married us, and we made it just as long as we needed, and just short enough to know it kept everyone’s attention. This wedding was so completely us it was hard not to cry the whole way through. The reception we wanted was fun, light, and entertaining – no long heavy dinner, instead appetizers and an open wine/beer bar; a live rock band; a storyboard for everyone to help us write our future together; and the company of our dearest friends and family. That was all the celebrating we needed and it was amazing.
When I began researching photographers, it was overwhelming. Everyone was pricing at least $1500 and up to start (labor cost only), and anyone cheaper than that just didn’t make us feel like it was worth spending the money on a photographer. Then I came upon Holly Steen. Holly’s eye caught mine in a heartbeat, and despite thinking that we could never afford her, I just had to email her and tell her how much I loved her work. Surprisingly, she got back to me and insisted on meeting and seeing how we could make it work! And we did! Holly was a dream to work with and extremely professional.
We picked the most delicious cake pops in town!! We were thrilled with the service and taste of Surprise Surprise. They just opened up a little over a year ago or so and their business has been booming with the popularity of cake pops. We loved the pricing for such delicious treats, and considering we were only doing appetizers for the event, this went with it perfectly! Tons of fun and everyone loved them!
We really didn’t want to get a DJ. There’s something so much more explosive about a live band, and that’s how we felt we needed to express ourselves for that evening. Finding a band was tricky. There are so many outlets for bands, cover bands, and it’s hard to know where to go to find legit groups that can offer close to what you’re looking for. I can’t even remember how we found a few of the bands we met with, but Get Back Rock was actually suggested to us by our photographer, Holly. We’re so happy it worked out, because A) we found this amazing band that plays exactly what we’re looking for and were eager to learn the songs they didn’t already know, B) they had worked with Holly so we felt really comfortable that they would work well together, and C) WE’D HAVE AN AWESOME ROCK COVER BAND playing our wedding! Everyone loved them and had a blast dancing to a live band!
My dear friends Elizabeth Gray Hershberger, Jennie Lake and Juliet Brown were an amazing team running around the downtown LA wholesale flower market and putting the gorgeous arrangements together. They offered to help with the decor early on, and they came through tremendously. We couldn’t have been more thrilled and pleased with how beautiful the choice of flowers came together, and I owe them the best friendships in return. They put their hearts into making the decor look like a million bucks, and it showed through every inch of the way!!
Kelly is a dear friend of ours and she is an extremely talented stained glass artist. We told her just a little of what we wanted and it turned into gold before our eyes – the stained glass candles vases she made for us was the highlight of the decoration. It accented our flowers and the styling of the entire event beautifully. We couldn’t have been happier with what she produced for us.
I have to say, between the heavy research I did on my own, and the decision making that the two of us made, we were extremely happy with how everything turned out. For nearly 7 months we put everything together ourselves, and although at times it was overwhelming to think of all the details that needed to go into the bigger things, we felt very confident in what we had pieced together. By the last month we had the fabulous Juliet Brown join our little team as the Day-Of Coordinator. She took all the work we did and made sure everything ran as smoothly as possible. Which it did! Juliet has been a good friend of ours, but we were lucky that she already works within the Event Planning/Coordinating world, and has helped with many events before. She made us feel like pros for getting us as far as we were when she stepped in, but we knew that the magic and ease of that final day was because of her hard work and support. ~ Anna
Desserts: Surprise, Surprise Bakeshop ~ Los Angeles, CA
Band: Get Back Rock
Flowers and Event Design: Elizabeth Gray Hershberger, Jennie Lake and Juliet Brown
Decor: Kelly Harris, Seaside Glassworks
Ceremony and Reception Location: Ramsey’s at the Club ~ Toluca Lake, CA
Headpiece: Musarra and co.
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaids Attire: Karoza Design ~ Glendale, CA
Rings: Modern Ring ~ Burbank, CA
Photography: Holly Steen, Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography ~ La Crescenta, CA