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Modern Outdoor City Wedding in California

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Sabina + Brian

San Diego, California
- 06/21/2023
Total wedding budget $35,000

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Stationery
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Miscellaneous
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Flowers
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Venue
  • Planner
  • Photography
  • Catering
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Total wedding budget

Did you do any DIY Projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?

We enlarged pictures of us from the 90’s and our engagement to use as decor. We also used shells that we had at our home around the venue.

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Since this venue is on stunning San Diego Bay, we incorporated shells and ocean decor into our event. We did not want to take away from the incredible view and the gorgeous setting. We also incorporated blue votives throughout the venue.

My husband’s brother who introduced us in 1991 officiated our wedding!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment of our day was our vows. We have known each other for over 30 years. We both have had previous marriages and our children are teenagers. There were many guests that were brought to tears during the ceremony.

On a funny note, there were herons mating in the tree over us in the middle of the ceremony! People cracked up. It ended up being a great and funny addition.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We chose to not do a formal sit down – and this was received with elation from our guests. People really do not want to be forced to sit with people they do not know!

Instead of gifts for our guests, we did a photo booth where each guest kept a strip of photos and the other strip was places in a memory book where they could leave a message for us. We used the Bay as our background.

What was your biggest splurge?

Our biggest splurge was paying for alcohol for everyone all night. We did not want to nickel and dime our guests. We wanted our guests to leave and know they were part of a great party celebrating our love.

What was your favorite detail?

There were many romantic details around our ceremony. Being married by my brother-in-law who introduced us, being walked down the aisle by my mother and having our children walk together down the aisle after the ceremony to show the blending of our family, were all very special. We had my mother’s favorite flowers, purple irises, as our floral arrangements.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

We knew how we wanted people to feel about our celebration and that helped drive our decisions. We wanted it to be about celebrating our love, our friends and our family.

We took our time and 6 weeks before our wedding, 99% of everything was done.

I think it’s important to take away one thing that you feel will not really add to the evening.

A special note from the photographer:

Sabina and Brian met over 30 years ago in Connecticut and bonded over their love of rock music. Sabina was attending college in Pennsylvania at the time and would travel back home to Connecticut for holidays, vacations and to see one of her favorite local bands, August West. The drummer was none other than Brian! They quickly became friends and started dating in 1993. In 1994, Sabina left for Mexico and Brian moved to Jamaica – and they decided to part ways. They both went on to lead separate lives, got married, and had children; however, they always described each other as “the one that got away”. Fast forward to January 2019 when they reconnected through social media and have been together ever since! 

After 2 years of dating for the second time, in 2021 Brian proposed to Sabina during a trip to Hawaii for her 50th birthday. It was a complete surprise, but one that was destined in the stars.

Sabina and Brian have become very close family friends of ours over the past few years. Our kids are even best friends! Needless to say, we were over the moon when they asked us to capture their wedding day: the next big step in their epic love story that was truly 30 years in the making.