Feeling bummed about the cost and overwhelmed by the scale of your wedding plans? Newlywed Sarah’s big dreams for her relaxed estate wedding came with a task list and price tag to match, so she knows exactly what that’s like! Here she shares her story and sage advice for planning a beautiful celebration within your budget.
“The planning process was a real mixed bag. The first few months were fun – picking venues, selecting vendors, teeing up meetings. As soon as ‘The Budget’ reared its ugly head, things started to get stressful. I’d been living in a happy dreamland and wanted to bury my head in the sand when it came to what we could actually afford.
I entered my panic-attack-prone stage of planning. As a bride who suffers from anxiety, I would advise you to ditch the lists with hundreds of items to check off. Instead, break things up into digestible chunks. I started with a general list with things like ‘Flowers’ and ‘Music’, then moved on to a ‘To Do Soon’ and a ‘To Do Later’ list until they eventually merged. My wedding dress stayed as ‘Dress’ on my list rather than finding a dress, ordering it, attending fittings, etc. If you think about every aspect together it becomes too overwhelming!
The only arguments Jules and I had during the wedding planning was over the budget. ‘It’s a once in a lifetime event’ versus, ‘it’s one day of our lives.’ My advice would be to get comfortable with compromise. I had to move past the initial disappointment of realising how much floral canopies, gold cutlery and chandeliers really cost. My husband wanted a fancy car but we realised it wasn’t necessary given the ceremony and reception were at the same venue. When I did find a dress that made me cry tears of joy, I had to say goodbye to it because it was double my budget. I realised I could afford a videographer with the money I would save, which softened the blow. I also wanted to spend a month’s rent on shoes but realised that no one would see them in my dress and I could buy cute, cheaper heels and re-wear them.
We agreed not to scrimp on the venue and catering as guest enjoyment was our number one priority from the start. We knew as long as everyone was eating good food and drinking good wine, they’d be happy!
One of my favourite moments of the day was walking into the reception and seeing all my fantasies from the past year come to life. The main thing I stressed over was what the vibe of the day would be. It was exactly how I’d imagined but somehow even more magical! Looking back, those chandeliers wouldn’t have been ‘us’.”
See how Sarah and Julian’s relaxed estate wedding unfolded in our free online magazine!
Photography: The Evoke Company | Venue: Bendooley Estate | Planner: For Thy Sweet Love | Styling & Flowers: Decorations by Jelena | Wedding Dress: Hope X Page | Bridesmaids: Shona Joy | Hair: Simona Janek | Makeup: Makeup by Megan | Suit: Peter Jackson