My wedding journey started just as you’d expect. We got engaged. I got excited. I began planning my dream wedding. (Notice how I didn’t say ‘us or our’ ha)
Like most girls, I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. Ceremony in the amazing Queen’s Hall at the State Library of Victoria. Reception in the stunning old world ballroom at the iconic Trades Hall (it’s not usually hired for weddings but has great family significance)!
As I began to get into all the planning, it became evident pretty quickly that my dream day was going to cost a pretty penny, almost seventy thousand of them to be exact – money we certainly did not have!
I remember going dress shopping with my mum and absolutely falling in love with a Lazaro dress. It was absolutely what I wanted and I would have paid anything to have it. That is until the lady told me how much it actually costs and unless I sold an organ on the black market, it was sadly well out of my price range.
So as the numbers added up, it became obvious that my ‘dream’ day was out of the question and perhaps I needed to plan something much more within our budget!
We toyed with the idea of having our wedding abroad or even just interstate. Making it a smaller affair and a little bit more casual. But again, once we crunched the numbers it still added up and we felt bad putting those costs on other people.
We even threw around the idea of skipping an engagement party to try and justify spending more on our wedding. But it was only a few weeks away and we had already planned, booked and sent out invites for it so we cancelled it we would end up losing that money anyway.
That’s when I made a passing joke to my then fiancé that we should just save ourselves the money and get married at our engagement party. We both had a laugh, but of course, it wasn’t actually possible (even though it actually could have been a great idea). But with so little time to plan it (I had no wedding dress at this point), it would be impossible to pull off.
A few more days went past, and with this idea now burning in the back of my head and I began to think. If I couldn’t have the perfect wedding I wanted, then I didn’t really care – and being married to the love of my life was what was most important.
I also became resentful of the costs involved. Again, if I couldn’t have the ‘dream’, then I didn’t want to spend the money! It was all or nothing and to be honest, I was just over it. So that crazy idea of getting married at our engagement didn’t seem so crazy after all!
With just a week before our engagement party, we told our parents we were planning on getting married the day of our engagement party. To no surprise, they were all totally on board with it. Seeing as we didn’t yet own a home and we’re still finding our feet financially, I think they were secretly happy we weren’t going to be spending tens of thousands on a wedding.
I’m still not even sure how we managed to pull it together, but we did. In just a few short days I found a dress, got it altered, found a ceremony venue, found a celebrant and organised the friend taking photos for our engagement to come to the photos at the wedding.
We invited our immediate family an wedding party, and everyone else was just going to be surprised at the engagement party.
And if you forget about the part where my husband’s groomsmen’s took him on the last minute bucks the night before and brought him back only a few hours before the wedding, it actually all came together pretty well.
That was over three years ago now, and still to this day I do not have a single regret about our decision.
People often ask me if I wished I had “proper” wedding, and I can honestly say we have now realised all the hype and commotion surrounding a wedding just wasn’t for us (See how I say ‘we’ now).
A few months after our wedding we invested our money into buying our first home, a few months after that we found out we were having a baby, something we might not have been able to do or have been as excited about if we had a huge debt from a wedding looming over us!
It feels like everything worked out how it was supposed to and if I could do it all over again I’d do exactly the same thing. Except I might have given myself a bit more time to plan it – haha.
Since then, so many people have said that’s what they wish they had done and even some say we were their inspo to elope or have a surprise wedding! Just goes to show you don’t need to spend thousands to have a memorable day!