In a new series on international wedding planners we welcome Deborah from Just Get Married who is based in Australia and plans weddings for local couples and international clients. Here she gives us an insight into her life as a wedding planner in Australia.

Just Get Married - Australia

Just Get Married - Australia

How does a typical wedding day run in your country?

In Australia weddings follow a very similar schedule of the day as in the UK.

  • A pre-wedding face to face meeting is held a couple of days before the wedding to reconfirm all details of the day and to get to know personally your wedding coordinator and celebrant
  • It starts with the bride getting ready, with hairdresser and makeup artist at her hotel.
  • It is followed by a pre-wedding photo & video shoot of both groom and bride in separate venues.
  • The guests and groom then leave for the ceremony location where our coordinator/photographer/videographer/celebrant are waiting, followed by the bride and bridal party.
  • The coordinator assists guests and groom with the seating. She then greets the bride on arrival and the ceremony starts.
  • Ceremony lasts approx 20 minutes depending on your personal choices, and can be enriched with any wording/vows/ prayers as the couples wishes.
  • During the readings, a candle ceremony takes place with the couple lighting together a personalized candle with 2 separate candles, symbolizing their union. It is a very touching ceremony for the couple and the participants!
  • At the end of the ceremony, the registrar is signed and the couple is officially declared husband and wife by the Australian Marriage Law (valid worldwide).
  • The ceremony may be followed by a butterfly release, champagne cocktail and canapés, Sydney Harbour Mini Cruise, together with after ceremony photography/video coverage.
  • The guests and bridal party then leave with our pre-arranged minibuses, limousines and CLK wedding cars to the chosen reception venue.

What type of location do most wedding ceremonies themselves take place?

In Australia you can literally get married anywhere!  On a beach, in any of Sydney’s picturesque gardens, a luxury yacht/cruiser on the harbour, or even inside the Opera House or on a Sydney private romantic Island! The most requested wedding locations in Sydney are Gardens with a backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour views, followed by intimate beach ceremonies and Island weddings.

What type of location do most wedding receptions take place?

As specializing in Destination Weddings, the Harbour receptions are the  most popular! They offer amazing views, the finest food and wines. Sydney reception venues can accommodate small groups of as little as 5-6 guests to 200-300 guests.

Just Get Married - Australia

Just Get Married - Australia

How many guests are usual to such a wedding?

Depending on nationalities, most of the time it is only the bride and groom with few friends and guests. If either the bride or groom are from Australia, then it can be either around 60 guests both local and from overseas or even 200 guests!

What customs/traditions are most common in your weddings?

Bride and Groom keep a piece of the wedding fruit cake and freeze it until the first wedding anniversary, then eat it as good luck for the years to come. Kitchen tea party is also a big thing in Australia, where bride and all girlfriends get together. The girlfriends bring kitchenware gifts and ‘surprise’ the bride with jokes, games and most of the time a male stripper turns up dressed as  a pizza delivery guy!

What does a typical wedding cost?

Weddings in Australia can be very cheap if you know how to budget it. Our packages for examples, start from as little as AUS$ 2000 including wedding location hire, celebrant, all planning and legal costs, bridal car, flowers, ceremony aisles items etc. Big weddings 38-40,000 (AU$)

How important are independent wedding planners in your country?

Very important! An independent wedding planner works independently on a no-commission basis. Therefore she/he will source venues/suppliers/locations based on your own wedding ideas and styles.  A Local wedding planner has the right local knowledge and wedding expertise to assist you with the right choices keeping it within your budget!

Any anecdotes/comments/tips on planning a wedding in your country.

If you are thinking of a big wedding overseas, hire a local wedding planner from start to end, not only for a few bits and bobs. When overseas, you cannot have control over the planning and knowing how things work there. A local wedding expert has all the right tools and knowledge to deliver the wedding of your dreams in Australia, stress-free hassle-free with 100% satisfaction on the outcome!

Elope to Australia and organize a wedding reception in UK on your return, where photos and videos are shown to the guests. This is perfect for 2 reasons: family and friends don’t feel left out with the great bonus to wear that gorgeous wedding dress again!

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