Oh my gosh, y’all. This wedding. So many fun and colorful details. You’re gonna love it!!! Red and aqua is one of my most favorite wedding color schemes because it’s so playful, retro and fun! There are so many amazing DIY details in this wedding to drool over – many created by the bride herself – and she’s got tons of great advice to share as well, so don’t miss out on all those details in the interview below. Love this red and aqua wedding!! xoxo Jessica
Kate + Sean
June 25, 2011
Pascifica Palisades, CA | Temescal Gateway Park
What was your wedding budget?
For the most part, Sean and I were paying for the wedding ourselves. Therefore our personal goal was to spend $10,000 or less. But our parents did chip in on a few things,which helped us to splurge on a few things.
$12,790 Actual total
($10,315 Our Total Out of Pocket)
- $3000- Venue (Ceremony site, reception hall, park ranger, cleaning fee)
- $4100- Catering (Food, Tray passed apps, and bartenders)
- $700- Alcohol (our own shopping trip to Costco- My father paid for this)
- $1000- Dress (Sample sale- My father paid for this)
- Free- Day of Coordinator- Free, it was a friend
- $300- 2 Production Assistants $150 a piece for the day (I work in TV so I knew some people)
- Free- Day of Coordinator (It pays to have friends!)
- Free- Wedding MC (It pays to have friends!)
- $300- DJ (Friend of Wedding MC)
- $775- 3 hours of photo booth time(Sean’s parents paid for this)
- $375- 5 hours of dance lessons
- $1300- Rentals (Tables, Chairs, dance floor, bar, bar linens, coffee maker, bar tables)
- $600- Supplies (DIY decorations, fabric for table cloths, supplies for bridal accessories)
- $150- Hair and makeup
- $300- Tux
- $265- Private Event Insurance
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We had so many creative personal aspects to our wedding that it’s hard to keep track!
1. We created our save the date was made to look like a movie poster. Sean was holding a rope that held me dangling off a cliff where I was saving “the date” from shark-infested waters.
2. We created our own invitations and how they were bundled. Using tiffany blue computer paper, I figured out how to fold everything up to make a pocketed envelope that was bundled with ribbon.
3. Throughout our year of engagement, we folded 1,000 origami cranes for good luck. It’s an ancient Japanese custom that “bestows blessings for a long, harmonious marriage.” Neither of us are Japanese, but we both liked the idea and it was a true labor of love in every since of that phrase. It takes a very long time to fold 1,000 cranes. Crane’s appeared on our invitations, were strung up in strands in our reception hall, extra large ones were dangling from the trees at our ceremony site, and we had a bunch in a large jar at our guest book table for our “Guess how many cranes are in this jar” game. The winner received a $ gift card.
4. Instead of table numbers, we had movie themed tables. We printed our favorite movie posters from the 80’s on 4×6 cards of photo paper and placed them in table number holders that we ordered from Amazon.
5. Since we were at a park, we didn’t need to buy flowers for centerpieces, we instead went quirky with it and made red yarn pom pom flowers that were arranged in in clear or spray painted alcohol bottles. Luckily my friends drink a lot so the donations came rolling in. Also hanging tissue paper pom poms are perfect for adding color and they are super cute.
6. My sister in law, Nicole, created our cake toppers out of bakeable clay. We love owls, and had a tiffany blue cake decorate with a tree with red flowers. She also made “Color us happy” cards for our guests to color in. She rendered a “coloring book” style photo of us and then made a bunch of printouts. We had crayons on all the tables.
7. Our favors were mason jars full of our favorite stuff from the 80’s. Garbage pail kid cards, army men, mustaches, play dough, nerds, gob stoppers. We created thank you labels for the top of the jars that matched our wedding invitation theme.
8. We tied twine between two trees outside of our reception hall and hung up wedding/ couple’s photos of our family members and closest friends using clothes pins.
9. For decorative pop of color that could also be enjoyed by our guests’ tummies, we created a fun candy table for the reception hall. We collected jars and vases and filled them with fun colorful candy and the centerpiece was a layered cupcake holder full of color macaroons.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
The biggest thing we did to save money was going as DIY as possible. If we could make it, we made it! And if we didn’t have time to make it, we asked our friends to make it!
1. We created our save the dates, invitations, and thank you cards with Photoshop and then had them printed for an affordable price.
2. I made my own feather broach hairpiece and my own rhinestone belt for my dress. Bridal accessories are such a racket and buying supplies online or downtown is cheap. I may have sat for 2 days straight on my couch sewing rhinestones to a sache, but man did I save hundreds of dollars!!!
3. We made all of our decorations and centerpieces and hosted several crafting parties with our pals.
4. There are some rentals you can make yourself….an expensive rental is table cloths!!! Our colors were tiffany blue and red. So red yarn pom pom centerpieces went perfectly with the tiffany blue fabric we found in our downtowns fabric district. We purchased two bolts of fabric. You can find instructions online for creating your own tablecloths BUT there are easy “no sew” ways. For instance, circular tables can be covered using two large square pieces of fabric….lay one down, then where the angles are exposed lay the other one on top accordingly.
5. When hiring any vendors, give the new guy a shot. All of our vendors were relatively new to their business, therefore were more affordable, and man they were all fantastic!!
6. We gave friends and family day of duties…free help!!! All of our bridesmaids and groomsmen were assigned tasks and help set up and decorate the venue the day of. We all then got ready together….well, the boys in their groomsmen cabin and the ladies in the bridal cabin.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
The best advice I have for planning a wedding is to do your research. As soon as something is labeled as “for a wedding” the price goes waaaaaay up. But fear not, if you have time and patience you will find a cheaper way that meets your budget.
1. Bridal Bargains is a really great book that gives great tips like; when shopping around for a cake say its for a family reunion. I did that and it brought the quotes way down.
2.If you are crafty or have crafty friends, then decide on decorations you can make, gather the materials and host a crafting party with snacks and drinks. Etsy.com is an amazing place for DIY inspiration. Yes you can buy wonderful things from these artist, BUT it just shows that you can make cool stuff too. Also, Who doesn’t love a reason to spend time with friends?
3. Hire friends or designate duties to family members. Remember they love you and they want to help….and help from a loved one is FREEEE
4. Gather inspiration into one place so you can focus on one vision. Old school binders are great because you can store budget info too, but Pinterest is great to hold your visuals. Gathering ideas in one place helps keep you focused. You must be focused to save money and only buy what you need.
5. Consider taking your bride/groom beauty shot photographs on a separate day. You will have millions of “day of” photographs that are in the moment and with friends and family…give yourself more time to enjoy the party by doing a second session just for beauty shots on a different day. Besides, it will give you a second chance to wear that awesome dress you spent so much time trying to find!!! That is the one thing I wish we did. It would have cost a bit more money BUT our photographers were totally worth it. We couldn’t have asked for better pictures. We totally scored!!!!
What was your biggest splurge?
My biggest splurge was my dress. I enjoy thrift store shopping and deals from forever 21 and H&M, so spending $1000 on a dress was a big deal for me. I know many women go even more extravagant than that, but I just couldn’t do it. So, I found a designer dress at an affordable price thanks to a sample Sale. I went with a Casablanca dress from their Diamond collection.
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail is hard to pin down, because I love all the cute things we made.
BUT if I have to choose one, it would have to be the mini movie,“The story of us” that we played during our reception while Sean and I were taking our “beauty shot” photographs. Yes it does make it easier that Im a producer and that Sean and my helpful coworkers/friends are editors ….but it was really fun to make!!! It was a movie that told the story of how we met and fell in love in a very “When Harry Met Sally” kind of way. We assumed the characters of us as an elderly couple being interviewed intercut with scenes of us acting out how we met. Our first date, that wasn’t a date because we were friends, was chalk full of awkward moments, like when Sean almost blinded me with a lime juice squirt to the eye. The mini movie ends then transitions into a fast-paced photo slide show of Sean and I through our years together with our family and friends.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
We were kids in the 80s, which was an amazing time for iconic movies and music. Therefore, the framework of our special day was comprised of nods to our all time favorite songs and iconic movie moments. We both work in TV, so ultimately we treated our wedding like a production; every moment planned, every detail plotted. So, my favorite moment would have to be the one thing that wasn’t planned or scripted. As a young girl, I was in love with John Cusack’s portrayal of Llyod Dobler in “Say Anything.” Everyone knows and loves the moment when he holds up the boom box blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of Diane Court’s Window. So, I decided that was how I wanted to walk down the aisle…looking at Sean, my Llyod Dobler, holding up a boom box and soundtracking my walk down the aisle to what has to be one of the most romantic songs. Luckily Sean was all in, and so we also decided to make that detail our one big secret…something that was just for us.
Europe’s “The Final Countdown” begins to play, our groomsmen and bridesmaid get into position and then out from behind the podium, Sean pulls out our mp3 playing boom box and Peter Gabriel starts to sing. I was hidden behind the foliage at the park with my father at my side and my mother holding my train. As soon as we rounded the corner the brush, my parents realized what was going on. My dad starts to laugh and my mom says “My god, you watched that movie a million times.” My walk was a long one, but when I finally reached the actual aisle where everyone is seated, I lock eyes with Sean holding the boom box and it’s the perfect moment…Peter voice fills the park “In your eyes.” Then the boom box cuts out and stops working. Sean and I both look at each other like, “What do we do?” Sean puts the boom box down and starts singing right where the song left off and almost immediately all of our guests start singing too. I had been relatively unemotional, in full producer mode, until this point. I start tearing up as my parents walk me down the aisle…my father laughing and snapping off beat, my mom holding back the tears, and Sean just singing away with 100 of our loved ones. How could there be a better moment than that?
Wedding Liability Insurance: Wedsafe // Caterers: Max City BBQ // Photographers: The Big Affair // Photo Booth: Hollywood Photo Booth // Invitations: Prints Made Easy // Dance Lessons: Larissa Bates // Rentals- Industry Event Services // MC & DJ Services: “PK” Paul Kim // Cake: Cake & Art // Dress: Panache Beverly Hills // Hair and Make Up: Anne Caprie Lee // Tuxes: Mens Wearhouse
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.