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Wedding Tips



 Some Wedding Tips to Save You Money $$$$$$

Get your priorities right. Write them down and number them. Focus on the top priorities that you just MUST have. If you don’t really care whether you have it or not – don’t. It’s as simple as that. Save yourself hassle – and money.


Serve a themed drink instead of having a bar. Make a cocktail that works well with your theme and stick to it. As most weddings are in the heat of summer, serve lots and lots of iced water, jugs of water on tables with slices of lemon or lime and rimmed with crushed ice. Even set rose petals in ice cubes or mint leaves in ice cubes and use them to decorate jugs of water. 


Order a smaller wedding cake and keep the decorations simple but elegant. No criss crossed hearts all over the body of the cake. Keep the body of the cake itself plain and get mum or aunty Flo to make an extra cake to supplement guests’ slices to put under their pillow. Also, make your own cake holders for this purpose. Home made decorations put a personal touch that is greatly admired and appreciated. You can also serve your cake as the desert and save a great deal on catering. Also, think outside the square for the cake. My daughter had a home made pavlova cake, with 7 thin layers of pavlova filled with cream and strawberries. The cake was served as desert. Extra pavlovas (the ones that cracked) were kept aside to supplement the desert. Or, when ordering the bouquets of flowers, have a large spray made for the top of the cake and simply place on top of a plain iced cake with a plain silver ribbon round the side – stunning, but simple and saves dollars.


Forgo the button hole flowers for men, and the sprays for the mothers. Just focus on the bride and bridesmaids. No one will notice and you will save heaps. A nice coloured tie for the groomsmen will make more of an impression than a button hole rose.


Make your own place cards and table centre pieces. The internet has millions of ideas. But do make them early. No last minute hassles. This should be one of the first things to cross of the ‘to do’ list. Choose things that do not require last minute adjustments.


A coloured table runner to match the wedding theme can simplify the table decorations and cost a lot less. Make sure it is no-iron, no-crush material. This also can be home made. Matching serviette colour can also make a big difference and simplify table decorations. Remember, less, well done, is more.


Rope in your rellies to help with wedding preparations. Everyone has an artistic aunty; a cousin or uncle with a flash car; a photographer in the family; a good cook who can make the cake; a dressmaker; a hairdresser; a florist; even rellies capable of catering for the whole thing. A family wedding is delightful. And everyone will be very honoured to be asked for help.


Cut the number of bridesmaids/groomsmen. This will save on flowers, gifts, sometimes even the dresses. Ask your would be attendants to do something else to help – read a poem, sing a song, make the invitations etc. They will be just as honoured.


Cut the number of guests. Maybe have the cutting of the cake and a glass of champagne straight after the wedding ceremony on site, mingle with the guests and have photos taken. Even a few bickies and cheese if you want to stay a while. Then take just a few close rellies to an exclusive dinner afterwards.


No gift – guests pay their own. Invite your guests to pay for their own dinner instead of gifts. Most couples live together and already have a house full of possessions. Rather than put your guests to the task of finding something you still need for a gift, simply invite them to pay for their own meal at the reception.


Wishing Tree – Invite your guest to contribute (money) to a Wishing Tree or Wishing Well and indicate on your invitation that you would prefer monetary gifts. This saves your guests from a lot of effort trying to buy a gift you might like when most couples today already have a house set up to their liking. Use the contributed money to pay for wedding expenses.


Borrow your friends’ cars instead of wedding cars.


Make your own invitations and keep them standard size to fit standard envelopes.  


Save at your venue:

 Book your favourite venue slightly out of season and you could save big dollars.  Even consider having a winter wedding for bigger savings still. Most venues in Mudgee have beautiful log fires on winter evenings, and winter days in Mudgee are often sunny and mild around noon to 3pm. So take a chance. A fur lined, velvet cape might be less expensive (and more romantic) than a wedding venue in peak season.


Consider booking your venue for a Thursday evening and making a long weekend out of your wedding. A long weekend in a beautiful tourist resort is a great attraction for any wedding guest, and they’ve already paid the fare to get here, so why not make the most of it? The bride and groom might be persuaded to stay on for the weekend. A BBQ breakfast the next day at a local park, or an elegant breakfast cafe, then take in the local sights. In Mudgee, of course, you have all the wineries to visit as well as art galleries, boutique shopping, tiny historical villages, and surrounding natural national parks. What a memorial event!


Book the same venue for your wedding reception and guest accommodation if you can. This can have big savings all round, transport, extra rooms, discounts etc. In Mudgee, see if the venue is linked to a particular winery and include your wedding wine and the discounts should roll in.


Do you have more money saving tips? Please email me and let me know so I can include them. Let’s help each other. (Click here)


Wedding Tips

Choosing your Celebrant

Your Marriage Ceremony is your wedding. The party after is to celebrate that ceremony!

So you want your Marriage Ceremony to be beautiful, dignified, professionally performed with every detail attended to, and yet you also want it to be relaxed, happy, easy flowing and comfortable.

You want your ceremony to be the focus of your Wedding Day and a ceremony that you will remember fondly for the rest of your life. Choose carefully.

If you choose by price alone, you might be disappointed. Some celebrants do as many weddings as they can in one weekend to make their prices cheap, and they rush from one to the other, anxious if they are late, making others anxious in the process. Details of who you are and your own special ceremony on your own special day can get fuzzy.

If price is ruling your choice, you are better to cut down somewhere else rather than your celebrant. A relaxed, attentive, composed celebrant, with all the time in the world for you, is crucial. Then you will feel relaxed, composed, with all the time in the world to enjoy your Wedding Day. After all, the cost of your celebrant is one of the smaller costs of the whole wedding package - and your ceremony is your wedding.

Choose a celebrant who is highly professional, but at the same time relaxed, easy to get on with; someone who will value you and your needs rather than their own agenda. This is your wedding! This is your big day. You have dreamed of this day all your life and you will look back on it all your life. You want to have the fondest memories of your very special Marriage Ceremony.

A celebrant should seek to please you. Your ceremony should reflect you and your values in life. You should be given every chance to contribute to and direct your ceremony. Your celebrant should make suggestions and give you choices and facilitate your wishes to present you with a ceremony that is unique to you; that fulfils your every dream for your wedding day. A ceremony you feel relaxed and comfortable with.

You need to be able to trust your celebrant implicitly. You must have faith that she or he will conduct your ceremony in a most relaxed but dignified way and that all legal requirements will be met efficiently.

Your wedding is not about price, and you should not consider exorbitant extravagance just for the sake of it. Your wedding is about you, as a couple, and the rest of your life together. Be true to yourself; be true to your budget, spend wisely and remember, the most simple ceremony can be the most memorable.

A lavish wedding can be wonderful if it is done well, but a simple, quiet, small wedding can make an astounding statement as well.  I have conducted small, intimate weddings  in the bush, in a garden, at a B&B, on a property, in a winery, on a hill overlooking a fantastic view, or just at the bridal home - and every one of them has been beautiful, romantic, special and memorable.

If you can afford a big wedding, enjoy the privilege, but there are all sorts of weddings in every size and shape and you should choose a wedding that does not strain your budget or your relationships.

Some couples save a lot of money by getting married quietly, with just themselves, the celebrant and a couple of witnesses, then go back to their families and have a party at home. In the old days this was called an 'elopement', but these days it is just regarded as a personal, quiet wedding and the idea is quite popular.

Others save money by having a morning or afternoon tea with just the wedding cake and a glass of champagne for the majority of their guests directly after the ceremony, then go on to a quiet intimate dinner with a select few afterwards.

Some couples choose to marry mid-week with a small wedding party.

Some people ask friends to help with the wedding cars, photography, music, MC, makeup, nails, hair, flowers, even cooking and the reception. Friends feel privileged to be asked and a homey family celebration can be most pleasant. Most people have some very talented family and friends.

A number of brides choose their wedding dress on Ebay. This can amount to huge savings and the dresses can be quite stunning. A dress that has been worn for a few hours by another happy bride will look no less stunning on you than a new dress.

Some couples have the biggest celebration of their lives, with every luxury and every detail. If this is you, and you can afford to do so, enjoy. But remember, the most important thing is that you and your friends and family are able to relax and enjoy your very special wedding day.

Day or Night
It has become tradition that weddings take place in daylight, mostly for the photographers sake. But a wedding lit by a full moon, or even a dark starry night with mood lighting, can be very romantic and dramatic. A good photographer can handle any lighting. So do not limit your choices to daytime necessarily. If you have a fantastic night garden, or you are a romantic that enjoys a full moon, take advantage of it and think of an evening/night wedding.

Inside or Outside
It has also become a tradition that Civil Celebrants conduct weddings outdoors, which, although beautiful, should not cut out other options. Some indoor venues are stunning;  and a bridal couple might prefer an indoor venue, especially in the heat of summer, or rainy or windy days. Civil Celebrants can conduct a wedding anywhere, so don't limit your options.

Even though you are using a Civil Celebrant, your wedding can be as traditional as you like. It can be completely formal, or very casual, but plan well and have a practise before the day so everyone knows what is expected of them. You can never get everyone to a practise beforehand, so be content with whoever you can get, but try and get your music person to be there if you can so he or she knows when to play music and when not to.

If you want a full religious ceremony, you would probably choose to be married in the church of your choice, or ask your favourite Priest/Minister to conduct your ceremony at the venue of your choice. However, a Civil Celebrant can provide you with a Wedding Ceremony that encompasses your cultural and religious beliefs. This can be done subtly or overtly, according to how religious you want it. I usually ask the bridal couple, 'On a scale of  0 - 10, how religious or spiritual would you like your ceremony?'   Any answer is good.  This is your wedding and your answer should be true to your values. The fact that you might not go to church should not influence your answer. Many people believe in religious or spiritual values even though they do not attend church. On the most important day of your life, at the ceremony where you commit your life to your partner in the sacredness of marriage, it is important to acknowledge the values that uphold that commitment. After all, love itself is an intangible, spiritual value.

Non Religious Ceremonies
On the other hand, if you do not have any religious or spiritual beliefs at all, a Civil Ceremony is for you. Your Civil Celebrant will speak with you and find out exactly what style of ceremony you want, the content you want, and create a Wedding Ceremony that fits you exactly; a Ceremony where you will feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease. Civil Celebrants are commissioned to create a ceremony with the flexibility to include all the elements that will make your day a great success and the most wonderful memory of your lifetime. Make sure you liaise with your Celebrant well; share your thoughts; give clear instructions regarding your dreams and wishes for the day. Remember, your Celebrant is there to please you and facilitate a Wedding Day that gives honour and prestige to the celebration of your love and commitment; the kind of Wedding that you can look back on with pride and happiness; a Wedding that is the foundation stone for the rest of your life.

'Giving Away'
Even though the bride is no longer 'given away', most fathers (or privileged family member or friend) like to accompany their daughters down the aisle on the first steps to her new life. This is a special tradition that is still very popular.  Dad usually joins his daughter's hand to her partner, then presses his own around them as a symbol of the first element in the Marriage Ceremony - the joining of hands. So Dad actually performs the first Marriage ritual.

Today, Celebrants will often ask both sides of the family to promise their love and support for the marriage. This has become a new tradition. Parents stand at the given time; the celebrant asks for their support and they affirm that support, then sit down.

If the bridal couple have small children, they can accompany Mum down the aisle, or they can wait with Dad, or the whole family can walk together down the aisle. Older children can be flower girls/page boys or bridesmaids or groomsmen.

New traditions are arising that include existing children in the wedding ceremony. There can be an extension of vows to the children, a unity ceremony and other additions to ensure they feel part of the proceedings.

Remember the choreography, the movement of a wedding is as important as the music and the words. The choreography is the dance, the movement, the visual impact of the wedding ceremony; the music the audible impact, the words the impact on the mind and soul.

So, consider the order of your choreography and the visual impact you want to make carefully.

At the Bridal March in the beginning, the flower girls/page boys come first. Wait about 10 steps, then bridesmaids follow one at a time, 10 steps between them.

The groomsmen will mostly be on the right hand side facing the guests. The bridesmaids will walk to the left hand side, turn and face the guests.

The bride and her father will come last. The bride is on her father's left arm. This leaves his right arm free to shake hands with the groom. It also allows Dad to join the bride's right hand to her partner's naturally.

The groom steps forward and the father shakes the groom's hand, then puts his daughter's hand in the groom's and holds the hands together as the first Wedding Ritual. He then kisses his daughter and then either steps back until he speaks, or joins his family.

Alternatively, the bridesmaids can be accompanied by a groomsman for the bridal march, and the Bride and Groom can walk together. The groomsmen and bridesmaids then part before the Celebrant, the groomsmen going to the right, the bridesmaids to the left. The Bride and Groom stop in front of the Celebrant, face each other and hold hands. The bridesmaids and groomsmen stand facing the guests in a line each side of the Celebrant and Bride and Groom.

Sometimes the Celebrant can stand to the side of the bridal party, or in front of it in the aisle, with the Bride and Groom standing facing the guests in line with their attendants. This looks particularly nice if the party is standing on a platform with stairs ascending. It is all a matter of choice and formality.

Most often, the bride and groom stand in front of the celebrant, in the middle of their attendants at the end of the aisle, facing each other and holding hands. The bride may give her bouquet to her matron of honour at the beginning, or just before the giving of rings.

At the Bridal Recession, the bride and groom walk down the aisle first, followed by the flower girls/page boys, then the best man and matron of honour, then groomsmen and bridesmaids, all linking arms as they walk. The bride and grooms parents immediately follow the bridal party as part of the Recession so they can be first to congratulate their son and daughter at the end of the aisle.


Wedding Advice and tips