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A Simple Wedding - in several parts


The 23rd of October is our first wedding anniversary. We had a simple wedding (as I’m sure you would expect of me by now), which we mostly planned and paid for ourselves. The months immediately before our wedding were incredibly busy and stressful, and afterwards I couldn’t imagine that I would forget all the details, but thinking back now, with so much having happened in the meantime, its getting a little fuzzy. I’d like to dedicate October to a series of posts about our wedding with some tips for others who want to keep things simple.

It was probably lucky for us that we hadn’t been to many conventional weddings between us. This meant that we didn’t have a good idea of how things were “supposed” to be done and were very free to create a day that suited us perfectly. We were also lucky not to have meddling relatives that wanted to “help”, most of the planning was left to us. If you are a traditionalist, you may be horrified by all the rules we broke, but I do hope it will encourage others to think outside what is expected or commonly done and do whatever makes you comfortable.

THE LOCATION
We took months and months to start planning because we couldn’t decide on the perfect location. We thought about having the wedding at Woodgate Beach, were my parents-in-law live, but didn’t want to make them feel that we were imposing on them. We thought about having it at our property, but the thought of hiring porta-loos and trying to seat everyone so they didn’t have to stare out at our neighbour’s ugly barren horse yard was just too much! We almost gave up and organised a registry wedding followed by a dinner. Finally we came back to the beach idea. We both LOVE the beach and we decided that we could make it work.

With the location decided we could finally set a date and start inviting people. We decided to have the wedding ceremony on the beach in the afternoon (although we would have loved a dawn ceremony, we realised it would be difficult for some of our guests to get there on time) followed by dinner at the community hall in Woodgate. All I had to do then was look up the tide times to find suitable weekends and find out when the hall was free. The 23rd of October worked out to be perfect on both counts, so the date was set.

The hall hire was only about $200 for the Friday afternoon until the Sunday morning. I’ve heard that its gone up a bit since, but that’s still very cheap! That included crockery, cutlery, tables and chairs.

THE GUEST LIST AND INVITATIONS
We wanted to keep things simple and small, which was made easy by neither of us coming from huge families or having huge circles of friends. Neither of us particularly wanted to invite anyone from work. We were able to keep the guest list to 30 people, which was quite manageable.

We decided that we didn’t want any bridesmaids or goomsmen (or any flower girls or page boys for that matter!), but we did ask two good friends to be our witnesses for the official part of the ceremony. As the ceremony was on the beach, Cheryl the Kelpie was able to come too.

I wasn’t interested in spending time and money on fiddly invitations, so I just drew something up in ms word with a nice photo of Cheryl on the beach and all the details. I emailed that to everyone on the list who had email, and only had to print and post 5-6 invitations. Most people continued to RSVP and communicate by email, which made things even easier.

ACCOMMODATION
As my family were all travelling from NZ to the wedding, we decided to hire some holiday houses for everyone to stay in, to keep down costs as so many had to buy air fares and pay for hire cars etc. We chose three houses on The Esplanade (across the road from the beach) and booked them for the week. Most people chose to stay for a few extra days and enjoyed the little beach town and the nearby city of Bundaberg. My husband and I stayed in the houses for a few days and booked our own apartment for the night before and the night of the wedding, so that we could get ready in privacy (yes, I know we weren’t supposed to get ready together!).

A simple wedding part 2 - the dress and flowers

A simple wedding part 3 - the ceremony

A simple wedding part 4 - the reception

Did you plan or attend a simple wedding?  What made it special?  Share your own simple wedding post here.

Comments

  1. we got married in an old blue stone church then had our reception at ascot house in melbourne,then we went echuca for an 8 day honeymoon, I made my cake & my dress, we had 35 people and the whole shebang including hm was 3500..One of the best days of my life.

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  2. Sounds like a fabulous wedding. Can't wait to read about the rest of the details.

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  3. Congratulations. Sounds like an amazing wedding. I love what you and your husband are doing to be self sufficient. I’d so LOVE to do what you are doing. I’m doing my best on our small section. I look forward to reading more of your blog and learning lots from you. I found your blog through Emma’s craving fresh shout out. Isn’t she great? M x

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  4. Ooh fun. I love interesting wedding stories. We had a surprise wedding at our engagement party, so that also kept things simple and relatively stress-free. I can't wait for part 2!

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  5. We too had a simple wedding - nine people including us on the back deck that Oliver built for us, and some lovely food from a local caterer. In truth I wouldn't haved bothered at all! We both forget our wedding anniversary every year and prefer to remember the anniversary of our getting together sixteen years ago - feels like a much bigger achievement! But if you're going to have a wedding, a small personal job is the best way every time, I reckon. Oliver and I went to about six weddings in one year once, and the best ones were the personal ones, at home, nice dresses but nothing fru fru, great company, lots of friends and nice food. Love! It's what it's all about!

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