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.
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!)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!)
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!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- DJ: Greg Rackley, Maximum Impact Productions
- Photographer: Sarah Loud, Loud Love Photography
- Dress: Maggie Sottero Corinne from Bridals By Susanti
- Venue: Luce Loft
- Bar: RG Bar Services
- Coffee Bar: Go Espresso Go
- Donuts: Donut Bar San Diego
- Flowers: Flowers A La Carte
- Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Hawiza
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!