LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles couple is now a viral sensation after spending only $500 on their wedding day.
Joel and Kiara Brokenbrough met back in 2016 in Vegas and kept in touch on social media. The two reconnected in 2018, and began dating shortly afterwards. The couple said they both connected over their spirituality, and were engaged for one month before getting married on February 12, 2022.
"It was so refreshing being at that wedding, seeing her and seeing how much we thought of us, how much we wanted this to happen so for it to happen was a dream come true," said Joel.
Their original plan was to have a courthouse wedding because they knew they did not have much time to plan, but Kiara wanted something different.
"I was like we should do an elopement with family and then I thought of that place [Angeles Crest Highway] and then I said let me see if it can happen and did my research and it could," said Kiara.
Kiara had driven through the Angeles Crest Highway area years prior heading to a concert with friends and remembered it as a place she wanted to get married. The couple did not need to purchase a public permit because their guest count was under 75 people. The couple only invited 30 to 40 relatives and close friends.
"Our village is strong. People paid to fly out here to come to a wedding, and they knew if they wanted food and drinks, it's available for purchase, and they knew that," said Kiara. "I didn't hear anyone complain."
The couple's biggest expense was an arch for the background that cost around $200. The couple's loved ones chipped in for some items like flowers and a cake. Their reception was held at Misty's Lounge in Ontario. They did not have a reservation, but the group went to the lounge as soon as it opened, and guests paid for their own food and drinks. Kiara spent $47 on her wedding dress from Shein, and Joel spent about $100 total on his suit from Boohoo online.
"If I want to go out, I can still wear the pants, the vest, and the bowtie if need be," said Joel.
Joel said couples need to realize the wedding is about them.
"Couples need to realize that the wedding is about the bride and the groom, first and foremost. It's not about the people who attend or who is invited," said Joel.
The couple said they did not want to go into debt prior to marriage, and hope their wedding day inspires other couples to save money.
"Don't let a budget stop you from marrying that person. If you feel like you need to get married, let our wedding be a sign to you that it doesn't take all that and it can definitely happen," said Kiara.
Kiara is a social media manager and content creator, and hopes to become a full-time content creator. Joel is a former professional basketball player who played in several countries and now coaches basketball at North Hollywood high school along with teaching P.E. at several schools. He hopes to someday coach at the college level and mentor young men and women about their purpose.
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