Bride stuns in $47 wedding dress and gets married on a $500 budget

Los Angeles couple, California is making viral news for keeping the wedding cost at $500

Joel, 30 and Kiara Breakbrough, 28 first met in Vegas in 2016 and kept in touch through social media. They reconnected in 2018 to start dating shortly afterwards.


Joel and Kiara were drawn together by their shared spirituality. They got engaged in December 2017 and tied the knot on February 12, 2022.

Joel, a high-school basketball coach and P.E. teacher, said that their wedding was a “dream come true.” teacher, said their wedding was a “dream come true.” The event marked their official union as husband and wife, and it went exactly as they had hoped.

“You have a wedding, with witnesses there to witness you, vowing to your spouse, vowing to God that you guys are going to stay together for life,” Kiara told Good Morning America. “And then you celebrate with food, drinks and dance. And that’s exactly what we did.”

Guests looking on as Joel and Kiara Brokenbrough are getting married

Initial plans were to have a wedding at a courthouse, which was fast and easy to plan. But Kiara wanted something more.

Kiara, a social-media manager and content creator, had passed through the Angeles Crest Highway area several years prior while driving to a concert. She remembered the area as a place she wanted, so she made it happen.

Kiara and Joel got married in the roadside location for free, and they didn’t need to purchase a public permit because they had less than 75 guests. The couple invited only 30-40 family members and close friends.

Many of these loved ones contributed their support to make the wedding a success. Kiara’s god-mom gifted her flowers, her sister gave her a runner, and her god-sister provided the cake.

Joel and Kiara Brokenbrough dancing at their wedding reception

After the wedding, they headed to a dance club in Ontario called Misty’s Lounge for the reception, where they “ate, drank and danced.” They didn’t have a reservation, but the group went there as soon as it opened. Guests were happy to pay for their food or drinks.

“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 the budget-savvy bride. “I didn’t hear anyone complain.”

The arch that was used as a background for the project was their biggest expense at around $200.

Kiara Brokenbrough's $47 wedding dress bought from Shein

Kiara went to her first wedding dress shopping in January. She tried on a variety of gowns, some as high as $1,500. Shein, a budget-friendly fashion retailer, provided a $47 bridesmaids gown.

“I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress because I had the mindset I’m gonna wear this one time for a few hours,” she explained in a TikTok video documenting her dress-shopping experience.

Joel also chose something affordable for his wardrobe. He spent about $100 on a Boohoo suit online.

The couple managed to keep their wedding expenses at only $500.

Joel and Kiara Brokenbrough in their wedding attire

“Couples need to realize that the wedding is about the bride and the groom, first and foremost,” Joel said. “It’s not about the people who attend or who is invited.”

The bride and groom wanted to keep their wedding expenses “as minimal as possible” because they didn’t want to start this new chapter in their lives in debt—an idea that they hoped other couples would glean from their now-viral story.

“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,” Kiara said.

The newlyweds documented their low-cost wedding journey on social media, which you can find on Kiara’s Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Watch Joel and Kiara’s wedding video below.

***Did you enjoy our feel-good and positive story? By simply subscribing to our site and sharing our stories, you can help us support each other.