I love the simplicity and beauty of small weddings, and Karen and David’s captures the best of what small weddings offer. Self-confessed introverts, the couple knew they wanted to keep their guest list small. This option gave them flexibility with their budget, and they put together a lovely wedding and reception at an LA hotel. I love all of Karen’s advice, so make sure you read her questionnaire below! xoxo, Jessica
Karen + David
May 23, 2015
Los Angeles, California | The Culver Hotel
What was your budget?
Our maximum budget was $10,500 and we came in under budget! We budgeted $125 for cakes; $250 for air plants; $2500 for photographer; $1,5000 for wedding outfits (dress, suit, shirt, shoes, cufflinks, etc); $5,000 for the ceremony and reception; $300 for hair and makeup; $100 for stationary and postage; $300 for wedding rings; $300 for welcome bags; and $500 for gifts.
How many guests did you have?
We had a very small and intimate 23 guest wedding. Keeping our wedding small was really important to us. We’re both introverts and didn’t want to be the center of attention for the day. With such a small guest list, it felt more like having a wonderful dinner party with our favorite people.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We could not have pulled this wedding off without David’s family, which is full of kind, generous, and talented people. David’s older brother officiated the ceremony, his sister made our porcelain favors, David’s mother made my veil, and David’s brother-in-law played music for our ceremony.
My “something old” was a handkerchief David’s Nana sent to me. She’s 101 (!) and couldn’t be at the wedding, but it was wonderful to have a token of love from her at our wedding. My “something borrowed” was a diamond necklace my aunt inherited from my grandmother. I didn’t see the necklace until our wedding day, but it went perfectly with my dress.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We only incorporated things that were important to us. We didn’t care about flowers (not to mention the drought in California) so we went with air plants and I made boutonnieres. We didn’t need a fancy wedding cake, so we got a couple of delicious cakes from our favorite bakery; I didn’t get my dress at a fancy bridal shop; I got it online from Nordstrom. There’s this idea that if you’re having a wedding that everything has to come from a wedding shop, but “wedding-y” things are everywhere!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Make a budget, stick to it, and stay away from Pinterest and bridal magazines! You will go nuts trying to make every cute thing out there and you’ll blow your budget.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurges were the welcome bags and gifts. Since everyone who attended our wedding came from out of town on a holiday weekend, and so many people contributed to the wedding with their talents, we wanted to show our appreciation.
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail from the day was the favors. Dave’s sister made all of them and they were so unique and special.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
The most memorable moment of the day was exchanging vows. We wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other until it was go time. There were lots of happy tears during the vow exchanges. It was really sweet.
Photographer: Casey Brodley • Dress: Nordstrom • Suit: Hugo Boss • Hair and Makeup: M. Bird Studio • Cakes: SusieCakes • Stationary and Calligraphy: Posh and Prep • Venue: The Culver Hotel • Air Plants: Etsy • Favors: Kit Bessenbacher • Music: Paul Bessenbacher from Opus Orange • Bridesmaid dress: David’s Bridal • Veil: Handmade • Shoes: DSW • Boutonnieres: Handmade