Jeana, community college Program Manager & Graham, director/producer

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Steel Magnolias Deep Southern charm meets chic and queer Oakland.

LOCATION: Oakland, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

Venue, photographer, wine, flowers, and food.

Where we allocated the least funds:

  • Extra up lighting, $100.
  • Cake, $100: We were so lucky to have our friends make it!
  • Unlimited churro cart for dessert, $300: That way we didn’t have to have a big cake with plates and utensils to feed everyone.
  • Ceremony decor: The green swag from our florist was pricey, but for $100 my incredible maid of honor bought and returned all the rugs and arranged all the ceremony altar arrangements herself!
  • Invitations: We built a comprehensive website so we could have a really nice save the date and invite but not a whole suite of paper.
  • Place settings and rentals: We rented plates. We bought the chargers from Michael’s, because it was cheaper to buy than rent, and we can re-sell them. We used heavy gold plastic silverware instead of renting, and we bought Mason jar glasses that people could use for the sweet tea station, sodas, etc., and then take with them. It worked as a favor and we didn’t have to rent glasses.
  • We used the same chairs for ceremony and dinner.
  • Flowers: I did corsages for the ’maids (not bouquets). We saved a lot doing that, and it was absolutely chic and gorgeous and served major Southern debutante vibes (I was into it!).

What was totally worth it:

Flowers: The flowers. Natalie was AMAZING. She really went above and beyond to give me what I wanted within my budget. She was a dream to work with.

Photos: Our incredible photographer! Jamie Thrower of Studio XIII Photography is wonderful and so talented.

Venue: Choosing a venue that comes with a coordinator, the wine, and wine glasses was so worth it (and we could provide our own beer and other non-alkie drinks). It just made everything very smooth. Their staff was great, the venue was high end with beautiful wine, but we could still save by not having loads of hard liquor. (The venue is wine and beer only. Our best man filled his trunk with booze and made a “car bar.”)

Coordinator: It was also worth it to hire a month-of coordinator (in addition to the one provided by the venue). It was the best $1,800 we spent, because they ran the day like clockwork.

What was totally not worth it:

Photo booth: We got a cheaper option, and it was cute, but I honestly think unless you get a fancy one, just skip it. You won’t miss it with a good photographer!

Wedding Warriors TC

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