Sabrina & William's DIY and donuts loft wedding

My Urban Eats Truck
Photos by Loud Love Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Sabrina, Coffeehouse Manager

Her offbeat partner: William, Chef

Date and location of wedding: Luce Loft, Downtown San Diego, California — January 8, 2015

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We planned our wedding on a tight budget in an expensive area. By doing a lot ourselves as well as finding the venue of our dreams that didn't have a restricted vendor list, we were able to pull together a really fun party during which we also happened to get married. Planning was an exercise in compromise, as we wanted our parents to be happy with it as well. We planned it as a party, not a wedding, so we prioritized budget items that would most directly benefit our guests, and through being flexible, and dedicated to making a lot of things ourselves, we make it all fit in a budget of $10k.

WERKKKKKK!

I really cannot reiterate how much the guys loved the drinking horns!

DIY Info Board

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Batter Up!

With my partner being a chef, food was super important to us. Here's the menu:

  • Fried green tomato grilled cheese with tomato soup shooters
  • Feta, watermelon, and mint skewers
  • Fried quinoa sliders with hummus and red bell peppers
  • Kobe beef sliders with bacon jam, butter lettuce, and heirloom tomato
  • Pulled pork sliders with jalapeno slaw and orange aioli
  • FRIED PICKLES (All I ate all night!)

ALL THE DONUTS!!!

We served delicious donuts from Donut Bar San Diego instead of cake. My mom was pulling for a traditional cake, but I stood my ground on this one. We did have a small cake to cut, and it came from the same bakery my mom and dad's wedding cake came from!

You can't have donuts without coffee right?! We found an amazing coffee service, Go Espresso Go, that provided a nice boost of caffeine for our guests toward the end of the night.

Hair and Makeup by Hawiza Sharpe

Hair and Makeup by Hawiza Sharpe

One of my favorite parts of planning was seeing everything I made come together. Our apartment was craft supply hell for almost the whole time we were planning. There were some things I had made that I ended up scrapping. I had set a deadline for myself to have everything done and glue guns down by the Sunday night before. Lo and behold I was gluing things the night before.

Ceremony

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was ridiculously short, maybe eight minutes. Our friend, a Dudeist minister, worked with us to write it, and all of us were like, "let's make this as quick as possible." When my partner and I sat down and made a list of all the things we wanted our wedding to be at the very start of the planning process, PARTY! was at the very top of the list. For us, the ceremony was just a time to make it official, and we wanted to keep some of our love for just us, so as a result, we had a super quick ceremony. We were both so happy we did, because we were both so nervous that we almost forgot what we were supposed to repeat after our officiant, even though he had just said it!

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The Toast

Cheers!

Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was our budget, which is a situation not uncommon to planning a wedding. We had our wedding on a Thursday in the off-season, and by doing this we not only saved on our venue cost, but some of our other vendors as well. We made sure to send our invites out extra early so that people would have extra time to arrange days off for a weekday wedding.

When we contacted vendors, we respectfully asked if discounts for off-season and weekday weddings were available. Luckily, many of our wonderful vendors were willing to work with us on our budget. Also, knowing the limits of one's DIY availability is critical to knowing what to try and do yourself to save money. By using a venue that allowed us to choose our vendors, we were able to have a friend's food truck provide the food and hire a bar service and provide our own alcohol. Being able to choose our own vendors was a huge factor in managing our budget. My ring was also a huge budget saver. I got a gorgeous Swarovski crystal ring for $90.

Table Set Up

My favorite moment:
One of my favorite moments happened before the wedding even started. My sister and I got to the venue to set up, with the wedding party and my almost husband showing up a little later. Gradually, everyone had to start leaving to get ready, and Will and I were the last to leave. Right before we both left, we looked at each other and said "Its finally happening, we made it happen." It was actually the only moment all night where we both got all teary and verklempt. We got engaged a month after we met, and every time it seemed like we were in a financial position to pay for a wedding, something would happen. It was even to the point where many of our family and friends told us outright that they thought we would never actually get married. Four and a half years later, we finally were able to throw a rockin' party!

Bride and groom used pout! It was not effective! Cake Smoosh!

My funniest moment:
The funniest part for me was when we did our cake cutting, I stepped back onto the hem of my dress and went down like a ton of bricks. Luckily for me and my head, my newly minted partner saved the day and caught me just inches from the cement floor and pulled me up.

Picking up Sliders

My family didn't get my unwavering love for fried pickles, which were served with dinner. They thought the guests wouldn't like them. The fried pickle goodness ended up being a huge hit, with people going back to the food truck for seconds (and for some people, thirds and fourths!)

DIY Vard Box and Guest "Book"

Table Set Up

Welcome Table

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Research your vendors! Our wedding would not have been a success if not for our amazing vendors. We did not have one bad one, and it made the day so much easier. Knowing your budget and knowing the general range of what services cost is a good thing to keep in mind when planning your wedding. For instance, we knew our DJ and photographer would be our top priority vendor-wise, so we made sure we left room in our tight budget for them. Things like flowers weren't quite as important to us, so my sister and I did the table arrangements to free up budget room, and had a wonderful florist do the bouquets and ceremony arrangement. Our bartender was super charming with all our guests, and to our surprise, took pictures all night and gave us 300 extra pics of the wedding!

First Dance

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Good lord, her hair is fierce. It's photos like these that make me want to give up my mermaid hair dreams and go back for the chop.

    4 agree
    • Thank you! Its actually super short now, and blue gray! Go for the chop, it's even easier to play with cool colors when you can just cut off the old color! 🙂 (I may be a bit biased as a short hair afficionado!)

    • Thank you! I had wanted all black, and my mom wanted traditional. We found the dress on clearance, and I fell in love immediately. Word of advice, bustle yo dress! I didn't, and the bottom was shredded after traipsing through downtown! 🙂

  2. I'm so happy to see what you did with the champagne glasses! I had the idea for my wedding but was unsure how it would turn out. Glad to see it looks great. The whole wedding is beautiful!

    • Bride here! Thank you so much! The glasses were a hit, and made for some cool pics. Just a word of advice, seal them with clear spray on sealant on the glitter part. I almost didn't and then a few days before when I was packing everything to take down to the venue, I realized the glitter was sticking to hands more than the glasses. One can of sealant did all 85 and barely any glitter comes off once its sealed. This also makes them easier to clean. 🙂

  3. This woman has amazing skin. I have no idea how to do makeup. Any radiance tips? Your wedding looked like an incredible joy-filled delight. Congrats!

    • Bride here! Airbrush will be your best friend! My skin is actually fairly pitted from teenage acne scars, as well as having GIGANTIC pores. My wonderful makeup artist did a base foundation, then airbrush, and then powder. It stayed on all night, despite the fact that I was sweating my ass off from dancing!

  4. This wedding looks amazing in so many ways (HOW HAPPY DOES EVERYONE LOOK?!?!?!).
    And verklempt is now my new favourite word.

    • Thank you! It was such an amazing time, I was super bummed out for a few weeks after that it was over. Major wedding withdrawal, but I was also super happy to be married. 🙂 My inner dramatic drag queen makes me say verklempt A LOT. C'mon verklempt!

  5. I'd love to hear about how service worked from the food truck! Did your guests eat all at once or as they wished throughout the evening? We're having a food truck at our May wedding (totally a party) and are still unsure! Did you have table assignments? Or just sit wherever?..i'm envisioning a more eat somewhere and then meander off to another part of the party situation for us…

    I'd love to hear any tips!

  6. Hi! I'm looking at the same venue with similar budget. What vendor did you use for the furniture?!

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