Well, I don’t know what’s going on at Australia’s Cheapest Wedding headquarters, but I noticed two things straight away this week:
- There are only 2 couples. Are they running out of people to put on the show? There has to be more people getting married than that. It feels weird.
- The budgeting has kind of been put on the back-burner. One of these brides has a limo. I haven’t witnessed a good bargain in a while. People are spending actual money on real flowers. It’s like I don’t even know this show anymore.
I mean, these are still frugal weddings – everyone negotiates and has friends chuck in freebies, but my trash TV loving soul wants some more shoestring budget action.
Oh well, you can’t have it all, I guess.
This week, we have control-freak Barb, who is very concerned about her DIY decorations, and Finnish tattoo model Sini who is taking the sleepy town of Singleton by storm.
Couple #1: Barbs and Jon, who met online.
The vibe: Is cheery, but also a little… emotional. Barb is described as “not quite a bridezilla but close.” As a total perfectionist, she must constantly resist the urge to micro-manage every little thing. She’s gung ho about the whole thing though, so it should be fun.
The dress: Is a big deal. Barbs got it marked down to $999 from $2,100, and ordered it 2 sizes too small (which just seems like asking for trouble) because she’s planning to lose weight. She’s got a personal trainer, which seems like a big expense considering this is a show about cheap weddings – but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.
She cries when she sees the dress. She cries when she tries it on. She cries later on, talking about it. And thank the frugal wedding gods, it fits. In fact, it’s positively roomy, so she has a lamington to celebrate. Somewhere out there, her personal trainer is now also crying.
The venue: Barb is super thrilled with the surf club venue and they’ve made up for the set price by having DIY decorations. Which Jon is in charge of putting up. Oh my.
She makes him do a practice run, and God help this man if the table runners aren’t straight. EVERYTHING MUST BE CENTRED.
“I’m not even nervous,” Jon says. Yeah, wait till she sees those crooked table runners, mate.
The shindig: Is pretty traditional. This isn’t the kitschy, low cost wedding I’ve come to expect and enjoy from this show, but it is all very elegant and Barb doesn’t divorce Jon immediately upon finding a centrepiece slightly askew.
An old lady wearing a cardigan that matches the table runners smashingly isn’t happy that she has to buy her own grog. She came here to get sloshed, Barbs, c’mon.
The verdict: This was a super nice wedding and I’m chuffed it all worked out well for Babs and Jon – BUT. Where was the budgeting? Where was the bargaining? There was not nearly enough scrimping for my tastes, and I blame it on the TV producers.
Couple #2: Stuart the mining mechanic and Sini the Finnish tattoo model.
The vibe: Is casual. They met in Thailand, which is an Aussie love story if ever I heard one, and their reason for doing the wedding on the cheap is essentially, “why bother spending all that money for one day?” A couple after my own heart.
The entire community of singleton is scandalised by this dress. It’s actually more like booty shorts. Sini then changes into a pretty traditional dress for the second ceremony at the farm, and then later into a leopard print number for the party.
Just as important as the dress is Sini’s bright red hair. She even makes Stuart shave his head, so his ginger hair doesn’t clash with hers. I love this girl, though I’ve got to wonder how much she shells out at the salon to keep her hair that colour.
The venue: Is their neighbour Jackie’s farm. Everyone’s got camper vans parked in the paddock and the shed is kitted out by a friend who organises events. She says it should have cost them $4,500, but because she loves Sini so much, they’re getting it for just $400.
Jackie also generously does all the cooking. She’s got, like, six foil trays full of baked veg out on the bench, so that’s sorted.
The shindig: Stuart starts the day off with breakfast in the pub, complete with weird mint green shots (which Barbs would LOVE), and then gets changed into his suit in the pub toilet.
Meanwhile, Sini does a strut down the main street in her booty shorts/wedding dress.
Out at the farm, Sini arrives on a four wheeler (Matt from last week would be stoked, mate. Stoked.) Stuart reads out some embarrassing texts, and Sini shares just one of the quirky stories that make them cute couple #1:
Sini (in the lounge room): Stuart, I miss you!
Stuart (on the toilet): Sini I’m on the goddamn toilet…
This was a kitschy, cute, cheap wedding and I liked it. But there was still a distinct lack of bridal budgeting spreadsheets, and I didn’t hear Sini rattle off a single price.
Sometimes I miss Crystal.
This bride likes nice things and she will have them, budget be damned.
Missed last week’s episode? Find my recap here.