Ben's Blog

Our wedding

Please understand that how much your guests will enjoy your wedding has nothing to do with how much you spend, or how perfect and in fashion your “styling” is or anything like that! It’s all about the “vibe”. And a relaxed vibe is the go. My advice is keep it simple, they are stressful enough 😉

Our wedding…In the 300+ weddings I’ve been to, I’ve see many different types of weddings. From very small with just the bride & groom to 500 guests costing I’d estimate $200,000+. My favourite weddings tend to be the more relaxed, casual party type, in a back yard or somewhere rural/beach.

Being in “the biz” when someone is enquiring with me describes their plans, I have a fair idea what it will cost, lets say $35,000 (the Australian average), but then they say they have a “photography budget” of $1000 – that makes no sense to me…. That is $34,000 worth of dresses, shoes, cars, food, drinks, styling & sparkly things.  And $1000 for what you actually remember the day by…

Well photography to us was hugely important & we didn’t want a big fancy wedding, but we wanted to be able to invite as many people as possible and we had a small budget overall.

Our wedding was awesome & I’ve been to weddings where the flowers cost more…

How did we do it? Photography (which was about 80% of our total cost), videography, venue, dress, flowers, celebrant, hair/make up, rings, 150 people, food, drinks, a “marquee”, guest accommodation, jumping castle & sumo suits – for less than the starting price of a designer label wedding dress.

Photography – Lee Illfield who I originally met through the industry but would have as a friend anyway. This was a harder decision than I expected. Whilst there where half a dozen photographers who’s photographic style I thought would suit us, when I really thought about having them spend the day with us I wasn’t so sure. I wasn’t confident they would get that there was no “styling” no “theme”, wasn’t a “bohemian” or “festival” wedding…just a tongue in cheek dress code of “Elegant Hillbilly”. The day was about family & friends. That is what we wanted photographed, not a 1000 photos of “styling”. Lee we can’t thank you enough & are so glad we chose you!!!

Vidoegraphy – Michelle, a local professional videographer friend who wanted to get experience in weddings.

Food & Drinks – BYO. Yes that is right BYO, bring a plate of food to share & drinks. The effect of this was amazing, the love people put into what they brought & the joy of sharing was incredible. * You may not want to do BYO, BUT you can ask people to pay for their meals and drinks! Yes you can! If I go to a wedding as a guest I have NO idea what to get as a gift & if I was asked pay it would be a huge relief, I would feel better about contributing & not agonise over what toaster to get. BTW that saves you $10-25K

Venue – home

Celebrant – Deb Summer industry & real life friend

Dress – Wendy Palmer a friend of Amrei’s made as a gift!

Hair/make up – Sarah Lambert a friend of Amrei’s a gift also!

Flowers – May Blacker who is 92 and lives in Cobargo

Rings – Dorte Planert in Tathra

Marquee – Cobargo Scouts tent (the bon fire melted it and we had to replace the tarps…)

Jumping Castle/Sumo Suits – local hire (EVERY wedding with kids should have a jumping castle)

Guest accommodation – many people camped and some stayed for a few days which was great!

* What I would do different. Only this; 150 people was too many to be actually able to talk to – guests came from as far as Perth and I said a quick hi. Don’t put the tent to close to the bonfire as the wind can come from a direction it never does and melt the poor Scouts tent – derrrrrrrr! Here is an ironic one – have a list of group photos you want (like I do at everyone else’s wedding) – my family disappeared & the 12 wedding couples of mine who showed me the ultimate honour by coming to my wedding, I didn’t get a photo with – I really regret that.

But that’s it. It was simple & fun & awesome & exactly what we wanted  AND we have all these wonderful photos to remember a once in a life time day!!!