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.
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.
A simple wedding part 2 - the dress and flowers
A simple wedding part 3 - the ceremony
A simple wedding part 4 - the reception