Nobody panic, NOBODY PANIC.
I spoke too soon in my last blog – the absolute delight that is Australia’s Cheapest Weddings is gracing our screens once more, at 8.30pm on Thursday nights. And it is back with a bang.
I’m not totally sure what the reason for the break was, but it may have something to do with the fact that some of the couples on the show came out and said the TV producers had misrepresented their wedding and made them look silly.
But no matter what beef these brides had with Channel 7, the show is back, and I get to enjoy some frugal nuptial fun. It may be the end of the world as we know it, as Trump ascends to the lofty position of president elect, but gosh darn it, I am going to enjoy my trash TV.
Everybody take a deep breath and strap in.
Couple #1 Roeloff and Francesca
The budget: He says $3,000, she says $8,000. She readily admits to wanting a “stupidly luxurious” wedding. You can see the panic in his eyes.
The dress: Has been bought online, which, as we know from experience with this show, can go really well, or be a nipple cup disaster. It would have been $5k, but Fran got a knock off for $350. “My dress would be the most important thing,” she says, pulling it out of its bag.
I have a bad feeling about this.
But all is well – the dress is gorgeous.
The venue: Is Fran’s parents property. It’s all very scenic – there’s apple trees and a cherry grove and birds twittering in the background. Very Disney’s Snow White. Fran’s mum, who, as it turns out is a clairvoyant, tells her to “stand over there and feel the ambience” as Fran proceeds to bonk her head on a branch.
Then, lo and behold, the septic tank ruptures precisely where they want to put the aisle. I don’t want to say it’s a sign but…
The drama: Roeloff disappears early on and doesn’t come back for aaages. Then, just as the ceremony is about to start, he wanders off for a beer. And he’s chewing gum. GET IT TOGETHER ROELOFF. Then there’s the whole drama of the septic, it’s going to storm, and there’s no ice for the beer. The horror.
But the biggest drama is that Fran has not left enough time for hair and makeup. If she doesn’t hurry up the limo is leaving without her. Her sister is STRESSED.
The verdict: This is probably the most stressful wedding of them all, but they pull it off. Mostly thanks to Fran’s sister, who whips everyone into shape on multiple occasions. We all need a sister like that in our lives. Fran maybe doesn’t get the level of luxury she might have liked – but I think she comes pretty close.
Couple #2 Ben and Ally (A.K.A Terseus and Aurora)
I just have to preface this by saying that these two are LARPers. Which means they dress up like Games of Thrones extras and swing plastic swords at all their friends. Power to them, but it makes for a bizarre wedding. Even Ally’s mum thinks it’s a bit crazy.
Ok, you’ve been warned.
The budget: Is unclear, but they’re very young, which means probably not very much. They’ve gone B.Y.O so that tells you all you really need to know. They aren’t serving ramen, though, so there’s that. I’m much more interested in their alter egos and their hobby of whacking each other with swords, anyway. Ally explains that in the LARP universe, if you die, you die and “If you win you gain… things.” LOL
The dress: Is a big deal. It reflects the entire theme of the wedding, which means it looks vaguely like something medieval royalty would have worn. They’re even cutting the cake with a sword – but “not an axe, Ben, omg.”
The dress is gorgeous, her Dad is paying for it, and she got it on sale for $800. Not bad.
The venue: This is the Narnia of wedding venues. On the outside, it looks like some boring building where there’s probably a sketchy dental surgery and a greasy cafe. On the inside, it’s a secret garden with flowers everywhere and twinkly lights. They pay just $4,000 for it, and the owner is happy to tell us how they’d usually shell out something like $10,000 for a space like this. But Aslan is pure and wise and obviously a fan of a good frugal bash.
The drama: There is a LITERAL SWORD FIGHT. With yelling. And a crying baby. I’m having flashbacks to the Red Wedding. George R. R. Martin is lurking in a corner somewhere, I’m sure of it. THIS IS SPARTA.
In other drama, there’s singing, and really, guys, haven’t we learned our lesson about this?
The verdict: This was a really pretty wedding, let’s say that upfront. And everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. Plus, Terseus, Blade of the North or whatever, wept like a baby when he saw Ally in her dress, which is adorable. So, if I’m being totally honest, I nearly died from secondhand embarrassment, but these nerds are so in love that it’s impossible not to be happy for them. Do your thing, you dorks.
Couple #3 Alex and Sally
The budget: I’m pretty sure they didn’t say. The whole budgetary thing is really going by the wayside. Where are the spread sheets? The obsessive accounting of every spare cent? The cost-cutting DIY secrets? I miss Crystal.
But Sally’s best friend does say she’s always been frugal, so we can rest assured that her wedding does in fact belong on this show.
The dress: She got it online – which is fitting, considering that’s where she found the groom as well. She paid $300 for it and it’s lovely. So no drama from online dress shopping this episode. I’m glad – Sally doesn’t deserve that stress.
The venue: They’re going full outback, driving 14 hours out to Broken Hill, where Sally is from. A kangaroo and an emu run by, just to let us know we truly are in the real outback now. “It’s a journey to the rest of our lives,” Alex says, and then proceeds to ruin the romance of the moment by farting loudly. You’re all class, bud.
They’re getting married in a… shed? I’m not sure. It looks very pretty once they get all the decorations and pesky seat covers in place.
The drama: Not much. I think they’re just so happy to be getting married that nothing could faze them. Sally has a short moment when her hair wasn’t up to snuff – but she tells them she wants to look “like Donald Duck’s butt” and that sorts it. She also wants to do a bridal waltz – naturally – but the sound system is broken. They persevere, however, and boogey down all the same.
The verdict: It’s a really sweet wedding. Super cute, they’ve both waited a long time for this day and I’m just really happy for them.
What a welcome back episode. If you’re new to the show, check out my recaps of the other episodes here.