ONE local couple who well and truly bucked the expensive wedding trend three years ago is Taylah and Peter Shields.
The thrifty Tamworth duo spent what many would consider impossible – just $1000 on their wedding – by asking their 70-odd guests in attendance to pay for their own food and drinks in lieu of presents.
Other cost-saving measures were also employed: the groomsmen wore jeans, wedding cars and flowers were borrowed, decorations were handmade, invites were given over the phone, a photographer friend just starting out took the snaps and Mrs Shield purchased her gown, for $100, off the multinational internet site eBay.
In fact, the celebrant, at a cost of about $470, was the most expensive outlay, Mrs Shields said.
“We got married in the Botanic Gardens, went to 83 Restaurant afterwards for lunch and The Pub for drinks,” the 23-year-old said.
“My sister-in-law paid for us to stay in Froog-Moore Retreat and we stayed in the dungeon and that was about it.
“We had a good time. We weren’t into that fancy wedding stuff.”
The Leader last week revealed the average wedding in Australia had soared to more than $50,000.
Mrs Shields, who spent just one month planning the wedding, said she initially wanted to wed in secret.
“Mr original plan was to elope and go up to a pine forest with two witnesses,” she said.
“But then my husband’s mother wasn’t very well so we thought we’d invite parents so that his mother could see her youngest getting married,” Mrs Shields said.
After they were told other family members would be upset it they were not invited, they decided to invite family and close friends.
The mother-of-three said it was important for engaged couples to be to remember a wedding did not need to be “traditional”.
“Make sure its what you want and that it suits you guys and you aren’t doing it to please your guests,” she said.