Wedding Tips

California Bride goes viral for spending $500 on her Wedding

Are We Shaming Intimate Weddings?

If you live in the wedding world like I do, then you’ve probably already heard of the viral wedding of Kiara and Joel Brokenbrough. If not, then let me catch you up. The story is going viral because Kiara and Joel had a low budget wedding that was:

  • On the side of the road – Angeles Crest Highway in California
  • Cost around $500
  • Friends and Family donated supplies
  • Had a low-key reception at hotel lounge where guest paid for their own food

Not A Big Deal Right?


I’ze a married woman now!! 😜 Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see how I pulled this off! YT: KIARA BRK #wedding #weddingtiktok #weddingday #couples

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Bride spends $500 on wedding

Today everyone wants to impose their expectations of what and how a wedding should be planned. This puts unnecessary pressure on couples to want to please everyone, which is totally crazy. I like to remind all my couples and the brides of tiktok to plan their wedding and no one else’s. Unless friends and family are contributing with money and/or labor then their opinion really doesn’t matter.

Everyday on facebook, I see posts from newly married brides trying to sell their wedding decor so that they can recoup some of their money. One particular post really irritated me because they were specifically trying to make money back from the wedding decor to put towards their house fund. I sent this screen shot to a fellow wedding photographer friend and this was her response:

Friend: “Guess that’s a way of getting some funds back.”

Me: “Then don’t spend the money in the first place.”

It’s really that simple and that’s what Kiara and other couples who choose to have low-cost intimate weddings are prioritizing. They want a minimalist approach to celebrating their love. And that’s not anything that should be frowned upon. As an Austin wedding photographer, I’ve photographed weddings of all shapes and sizes from Cruise Ships to museums to a family’s backyard, and you know what they all have in common?

These couples made a conscious decision to celebrate their love story their way

At the end of their day, this is why I love wedding photography. My couples are fulfilled knowing that their love story is being told their way. So here is my advice for all the couples who are are and will be planning their wedding in future:

  • Be sure to plan your wedding the way you want
  • Don’t feed in to everyone else’s opinion on how to plan your wedding
  • All that matters is that you and your partner celebrate your love together.

The next time someone gives you unsolicited advice on how to plan your wedding, just hold your hand and tell them “run me some money”.

And these are the words of wisdom from an Austin wedding photographer that you can trust. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Michael T Davis Photography

PS. If you want more tips from a photographer you can trust, be sure to follow me on TikTok.

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