Real Wedding on a Budget
May 1, 2008

Our next Real Wedding for the day is not only fabulous, it was all done on a budget of UNDER $7000. Amber of Amber Events in Los Angeles sent me the images and the details, as she just knew you guys would love this event...


Some fun details from Amber...

Dan and Dana’s wedding was held in the courtyard of the 75 year old Irene's Adobe at the 29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms, CA by Joshua Tree State Park. The pair have been going to the Inn for 4 years for an annual desert getaway and when they got engaged, they knew that they wanted an intimate destination wedding, and so the funky Inn fit them perfectly.

Dana, who is, in fact, my sister, was the ULTIMATE laid back bride and pretty much left it to myself and her husband to plan. Her husband designed and printed the invitations, and Dana only specified to me that she wanted candles everywhere. Lots of candles. Since she gave me total free reign of the decor, I filled the courtyard with 50 or more luminaries, twinkle lights, candles, wild flower arrangements in mason jars and floating candles in mason jars. I normally don't do flowers for my clients, but since this was my sister, I did everything I could for her. I brought the flowers out in coolers from the Los Angeles Flower Mart!

With only 25 guests in attendance, the weekend was so stress free and such great bonding and team effort with family & friends. Everyone arrived on Friday and all of the setup for the wedding was completed that day. I sent our dad out to the desert with a trash bin to collect the sand for the luminaries. Our mom made her famous pineapple upside down cake for the reception. Saturday morning, wedding day, the 25 guests went out into Joshua Tree State Park and hiked on the boulders. After the hike, the guys played horseshoes and Bocce Ball throughout the afternoon and the girls did a Yoga session by the lagoon. After Yoga, Dana had a relaxing massage before hair and makeup. Hiking, Yoga, Massage, and a Wedding! Now that's what I call a good day!

At 6:00pm, Dana was escorted into the courtyard by a guitarist playing and singing “Pretty Woman”. The guests could hear the music start from across the property and come closer and closer. The ceremony was beautiful and touching and there were no dry eyes in the group as they spoke the vows that they had written for each other. The reception was wonderful and laid back with a wonderful vegetarian dinner prepared by the 29 Palms Inn restaurant. The organic vegetables are grown right there on the property!

The entire wedding came in way under $7,000. Dana's dress was $99 on sale at a Los Angeles boutique managed by a friend of hers. Their rings from the Los Angeles jewelry wholesale mart. Her wedding coordinator & florist happened to be her sister. Her photographer, Lori Evelyn ( is a close family friend and shot the wedding for a room for the weekend. The dinner was a buffet with a simple vegetarian pasta dish, salad, fruit, & rolls, and the alcohol for the bar was brought in by Dana & Dan. The guitarist was a friend.

Most of my weddings are large, formal 200-300+ people affairs in ballrooms & estates in the Los Angeles area, yet I know that this was not my favorite wedding just because she is my sister. Dana & Dan had a wedding that reflected 100% them and that is what shines through on the wedding day. They threw out all of the rules and had a gorgeous day. The "Flower Dogs" were just icing on the cake!