The back story

Before we start our little adventure, let me bring you up to speed…

I’m a typical Caucasian Aussie, born and bred. Like a lot of us, I don’t have a large family and most of them live in the UK. My partner was born in Macau and his family arrived in Australia as refugees from China in the early 90’s (that’s right, we have a really cute baby). His family tree seems to include a large portion of the Western Sydney population and there are also a few branches that extend across various other continents.

Our wedding is a small, intimate affair of just our closest family and friends…. all 150 of them.

I was adamant that we weren’t going to spend over $5000 on our wedding day. We initially thought we’d have a get together at home, a glammed up bbq, of sorts. I sat down to nut out the logistics and searched for some budget DIY inspiration – being an interior designer/stylist, I thought i’d have no trouble doing it myself. I quickly realised that 150 people won’t fit in our backyard and DIY for 150?… I CBF…

Who really has time to DIY anyway?

At the same time, and much to my surprise, a lot of our overseas and interstate invitees (who I thought would not be keen on making the massive effort and investment to attend our wedding day) responded to our save the date to say they would love to come.

If you’ve got a number of guests making an effort and a large investment to spend the day with you, you at least have to put in some effort yourself, right?

So our plans had to change. We considered a destination wedding because some of the packages seem too good to resist, but with a number of guests at either extremity of the age spectrum it made things very expensive and difficult for a lot of the most important people.

Our main considerations were as follows:

  • Accommodation for guests travelling from interstate and overseas
  • Far enough away that people who are only turning up for the free food and alcohol won’t bother to make the trip, but close enough that people can make their way home afterwards (we thought around an hour away would be about right)
  • Somewhere that allowed us to arrange our own catering to keep costs down
  • Somewhere that was flexible with it’s noise curfews – we didn’t want to be told to pack up and go to bed at 10pm
  • Must have a nice view – because this means that you don’t need a lot of decor
  • Must have an indoor space to hold a sit down reception for 120 people, or an outdoor space large enough for a marquee (My thoughts on outdoor receptions will come in a later post)

I trawled through a lot of options and made a lot of phone calls to discover that there really isn’t a lot that will satisfy all our needs (I will include my venue research in a later post). We finally stumbled upon a gem, a manor house retreat set on a large bushland property with 20 guest rooms that is run by a lively bunch of hippies exuberant creatives from Nimbin.

We will probably spend about $130 per head for our wedding (around $15,000 in total). Far removed from the original $5000, albeit much more realistic and still well under half the national average.

I realise this is still a lot of money and don’t worry, I will be showing you ways you can have an awesome wedding for a lot less. We are happy though with our compromise and are looking forward to an awesome weekend!

Next up… The first steps to planning your wedding rebellion


  1. Libby · June 9, 2015

    This rocks Jo! I can see it becoming a book, so keep it up because I love it!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessie Ansons · June 9, 2015

    Yay! I love this so much! You write really well 🙂 Awesome job.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s