For many couples today, the idea of spending around $30,000 to $50,000 for the average Australian wedding is just crazy.

They have other priorities such as a mortgage, children, holidays or they simply can’t see the value in spending so much just on one day.

So, what are the options?

1:  Elope overseas- grab your partner and head off to an exotic destination and tie the knot there.  Advantages – great holiday and you get married without the fuss.  Disadvantages – issues with different countries laws, will the marriage be recognised in Australia, language barrier when chasing paperwork, organising everything remotely, sometimes family not happy.

2. Elope in Australia – Arrange a small ceremony locally or in another state.  Advantages – Easy to arrange, 100% registered and recognised in Australia, still have a holiday (if away from home location), affordable and no fuss.   Disadvantages – one month waiting period (so can’t just run off and get married), need 2 witnesses, sometimes family not happy.

3. Arrange a small wedding locally – Simply cut the list of guests to to immediate family and besties and chase up reception options that don’t add on the ‘wedding tax’ (there are many in Canberra that are reasonably priced).  Advantages – affordable, celebrate with those you REALLY care about, easy to arrange, no stress in organising.   Disadvantages – not the fairy tale wedding

4.  Go ‘off-peak’ – Choose a non Friday or Saturday and you will be surprised at the savings!  Go for the bigger wedding but try a Sunday or during the week wedding.  Advantages – you get the bigger wedding but at a lower cost, more flexibility, extra long weekend for guests.   Disadvantages – arranging it all, still more expensive that a small wedding.

5.  Combine your engagement and wedding into one party – This option is becoming increasingly popular.  Couples invite guests to their engagement party and then surprise them with a celebrant arriving and performing the actual marriage ceremony.  Advantages:  Cost effective, great fun, good ‘shock’ value.   Disadvantages – Some may not come as it is only the ‘engagement party’, friends who can’t keep a secret

So if you are mulling over how to get married, start looking at what is important to you in terms of the wedding itself.  Do I want a big wedding, or do I want just my loved ones to share in the celebration?  Do I have the time to organise it all?   Is it easier to have a professional planner do it all?  What is our budget? (then double your answer!!)  What is the time frame to get married?  Where do I want to get married? (some couples have a tiny ceremony here and then head overseas for a larger ‘wedding’ on a beach or in their home country.)

Once you have thought about these things, feel free to call us and we can provide some advice on the way forward based on our 17 years experience in the Canberra wedding industry.