Like many of you, you would have seen ad’s promoting Channel 7’s new reality show Australia’s Cheapest Weddings. As wedding planners we had a personal interest to see what this was all about.
UPDATE: There were rumour that the show was taken off the air. Apparently Channel 7 stopped the show for a bit then brought out the last 3 episodes on the 10th and 17th of November. You can see the episodes of Australia’s Cheapest Wedding on Yahoo7 (at time of the latest update)
Before the show even starts, they claim the average wedding price is around $65,000. This number came from Bride To Be Magazine which is from their 2015 survey. Having planned weddings for many years, anything from a tiny DIY budget right up to the more extravagant budgets, the figure they promote as ‘average’ is hard to swallow and we believe is only being used for show purposes. I am more inclined to believe ASIC’s smart money website or Easy Weddings 2015 annual survey which in my opinion aligns with a more realistic figure of around $36,000.
We can totally understand that the couples on the show have tighter budgets than most. I am not here to say anything negative about any of the weddings. This is because its clear that the couples on the show have financial constraints and all they want to do is get married. It’s actually great to see them being as resourceful as they can.
I actually liked that Zach and Emily’s wedding from Norfolk Island. With a budget of around $0 which in my opinion they pulled off rather well. Originally planning to have an outdoor wedding, had it not been for the storm which halted their chances of any outdoor reception, it would have been amazing with the natural scenery. I love the fact the entire community got together to make this wedding happen. To get that large hall space for only $90 and what they did with the space (with the entire community – in terms of set up and decor) was great.
Crystal and Dan had a budget of only $4,000 and you saw her literally stretch it as far as possible. While she had stretched it a little far in some places, the Botanical Gardens wedding looked rather lovely (especially with the white doves). Personally I believe the suppliers they hired for their big day that never showed up should be ashamed of themselves. Why only half their guests turned up is anyone’s guess.
Russel and Julie who had a backyard wedding had a budget of $2,000. While they were unable to have the beach wedding they always wanted, they opted to have it at the local courthouse. Afterwards they held their reception in the backyard where they feasted on Argentinian food (which believe me tastes amazing!).
While all 3 couples have completely different background they all got married and kept to their budgets. All 3 couples did what we see many brides do daily – they underestimate some of the logistics of a wedding. As well as the benefits of a wedding planner.
Practical Tips That Can Be Used On Australia’s Cheapest Weddings
Below are some tips for future brides on a budget based on things I saw on tonight’s show. These are based on practical ideas from planning weddings for years that could be helpful in relation to the show.
Buying Your Dress Online
While Crystal got her dress online for only $168 there are 2 things you need to do. Firstly order it well in advance of your wedding. This is where part 2 comes in… this is because if does not look like the picture then there is high chance it will need to be tailored or even reinforced. Many of these cheap dresses from overseas do not need adhere to Australia’s strict manufacturing regulations. You do not want the dress coming undone on your wedding day or worse fitting like a misshapen glove.
Budgeting For Your Wedding
I heard many times tonight that they had a tiny budget but you have to. If you do not have the money for the wedding you want, there is no harm in setting a later date. By having it 6 months or a year later you can add more money to the budget. If you are very resourceful with a tiny budget, imagine what you can do with just a little bit more. This way you can have your wedding the way you want.
Ask For Help
If you are doing the entire wedding yourself with your partner, there is no shame in asking for help. Asking friends and family to contribute / help is perfectly fine. People are more often than not happy to lend a helping hand. For example, if you have someone who is a singer or musician they can preform for you. You can even have help with something simple such as picking up something on the day or help put the chair cover and sashes on for you.
Don’t Compromise On A Photographer
We have met couples who were planning to forgo a photographer who said to us “we will just use our smart phones”. The simple truth is while smart phones do make amazing photos, DO NOT DIY this part of your wedding. Photos from a professional will look 10 times better than your smart phone ever will. You will not have regrets (excluding the photographer who sued their own photographer :O )
After watching Australia’s Cheapest Weddings tonight, while the couples may not be able to afford a wedding planner, I do believe that a consultant or even anyone in the wedding industry would have been happy to give them some useful advice. The one thing that you should take away from this is that if you can not afford to have the wedding you wish for right now, just wait a little, save up and then get married. What are your thoughts of Australia’s Cheapest Weddings tv show?
Check out Australia’s Cheapest Weddings on Channel 7 Mondays at 9pm