Well we are engaged and now the avelanche has begun of future bills :)

So without really knowing where else to turn, I find myself in your capable hands!!!

Does anyone have any experiences with sourcing venues etc at a reasonable price? Locations - brisbane / Sunshine Coast hinterland / maybe Sydney

Thank you all!


  • +4

    You should provide more info. Budget, number of guests, needs & wants, etc.

  • +10

    Or think outside the circle. We got married at home, in the lounge room and only invited immediate family. Then we went out to dinner and everyone paid for their own meal. (Does that make me the OzBargain King now? :)). That was 25 years ago and we have still a great relationship.

    TL:DR The marriage is far more important than the wedding.

    • +1

      Did you use the entertainment book at dinner buy main get one free? Obviously not telling the family member your meal would be free…

      • I wanted to but I don't think they were thing back in the 90's. :)

        • +1

          Oh entertainment book was very much in existence in the 90s

  • Wedding can be really costly. So better ask yourself if you want to start a married life with debt or just go with what you can afford. Venues are cheaper depending on the season and days of the week. Like if you do it on a sunday it can be up to 50% cheaper than saturday.

  • +2

    Go to Registry office and just sign the paper then have a bbq , wedding nothing but stress, costly, and most people don’t enjoy.

    P.s. did this myself, spent the diff on a holiday and a nicer rjng, just my opinion

  • +1

    Been married twice.

    First time, my ex insisted on a traditional wedding (I wanted nothing more then a normal birthday party). Even though I'm crafty and made nearly everything, the cost was pretty high just because of the cost per head for food/drinks. Then because it was a traditional wedding, everyone felt like they could provide their 2c (even non attendees) as everyone has a different opinion on what a traditional wedding is. ("How is you wedding going?" "Oh, you're doing that???") Then there were complaints on the day, especially from ex-MIL. And more complaints the next day. And that's only the stuff we knew about. My ex was so annoyed after all that effort, some people (including his own mother) had the gall the act like that… For some reason it seems to be socially acceptable to complain about someone's run-of-the-mill wedding whereas if someone decides they want everyone to chase live chickens in a barn for their their 40th, no one bats an eyelid.

    Second time around, my hubby and I didn't even get engaged - we just decided to turn my upcoming birthday into a surprise wedding since we already had close friends and family from both sides of the country coming over. As it was a birthday, we just had the "birthday crew" attend (closer friends/family) rather than all friends/family. For the close family/friends over east who originally declined the birthday, we told on the downlow and they helped pull off some aspects. The atmosphere was completely different - it was just a fun party, and at 1/8 of the price of a traditional wedding. Food was basic nibblies, we spurged with cocktails, literally no decorations and no one cared/noticed, had a mound of discounted Ferreros instead of a cake (we're not cake people), and even got a free hotel room for the night from the photographer/videographer (mostly because they're awesome, partially because our wedding was shorter & simpler to work for). Oh and my dress was cheaper than even hubby's suit because I got a nice, cheap prom dress from the US I can wear again. And saved money as didn't need an engagement ring - wedding ring is a ring I'm comfortable wearing every day.

    After doing both, the traditional wedding has far more aspects to organise (hence more stressful), naturally more expensive as guest numbers tend to be higher and food/drink costs per head are usually the biggest cost, as everyone feels comfortable providing their 2c you'll probably end up with some stuff you don't want because it wasn't worth battling everything, and there will be guaranteed complaints regardless of the extra money and time you've spent. So there really was no pleasing everyone. Going in the second time knowing that, it was completely freeing to just be able to organise the stuff that only mattered to us as a couple and not bothering with anything else. Even if we won lotto and could spend whatever we wanted, we wouldn't have done it differently as the reduced stress/less effort was worth it's weight in gold.

    Tl;dr: People are going to complain no matter what you do. So do whatever the heck you want, ignore everyone else, and odds are people will enjoy it more too!

  • +1

    Thanks for the response, it is really helpful to hear that :)

    I’m inclined to think a lot more broadly now, really is nothing wrong with not doing the hole hog hey.

    Kinda thinking now about maybe just hiring an air BNb somewhere cool with purchased drinks and food (our unit it a little small to hold people over :( )

    • Sounds good - let us know the date and location and we'll all be there.

    • +1

      We've had mates do that with a giant semi-rural airbnb property and it was quite fun as the party just kept going - no noise complaints to shut it down. Close enough to the town for people with families to head back to and those who wanted to keep partying stayed at the house. The airbnb had apparently been used for a few weddings because of that size/layout.
      Or very similar to the airbnb, another set of mates used their rellies property, bulldozed a kinda-flat-patch, and put up a simple marquee. Had a mix of caterers and friends handing out drinks from an esky. Before the wedding started we pitched up tents so we didn't have to attempt doing that blistered, and when we were done went to sleep in the tents.
      Oh and the best wedding cake we've ever had was someone who dressed up a few Woolies mud cakes stacked on top of each other with extra icing - looked speccy and was sooooo moist. We had no idea that's what it was until they surprised us with that.

      • I second this. Those semi rural places are a great place to hold a wedding, with no neighbours to annoy. We also did a woolies bakery mud cake, and had a smaller cake we used for cutting. I think it came to $100 for a full slab.

  • sourcing venues etc at a reasonable price?

    A nearby picturesque park*? Does your unit have a shared garden area? Perhaps a relatives house? Buy a couple of these marquees to keep food and drink under cover.

    purchased drinks

    Buy alcohol from Dan Murphy's, you can return whatever doesn't get drunk.

    I find myself in your capable hands!!!

    Would you also like a massage to reduce your stress?

    .* Some public spaces like beaches and parks do incur a fee to hold a ceremony - make sure you know which ones and either do it illegally, and be aware, or avoid them.

  • +1

    The wedding itself isn't too important, really it is all about that outfit for your lady, having a nice day with friends and family. A bonus if you have some awesome food, that seems to be what the guests remember the most!

    The honeymoon is far more important. Make sure that is something to talk about for years to come! Do a fancy location because it is a good excuse for one! (Nothing against people that just chill in their local area for a honeymoon, that'd be alright too).

  • 2 options -
    1. elope and get the captain of a cruise ship to marry you.
    2. book a Gold Coast penthouse - invite everyone in, get married by Celebrant on the balcony, and then when everyone leaves you have your honeymoon right there. (maybe relocate to a lower floor.)

  • beach wedding?
    cheap and cheerful

  • Congratulations! Our wedding in Brisbane last year was largely DIY, so I have been through the process you're just about to embark on.

    If you're wanting a traditional wedding/ sit down reception the best advice I have is rent the venue and then arrange for catering yourself. Most venues that cater include a large markup when quoting for food and drink. In addition to cutting out their profit margin, by contracting these services separately you can decide which options you're willing to pay for, and those that are just a waste of your cash. If you're willing to be flexible on catering there are also many of food truck/buffet options you can do for as little as $15pp, and self serve craft beer and wine is much cheaper than a bar tab (assuming you want to get married the Ozbargain way).

    There are some fabulous self catering venues in the SEQ area such as Samsonvale Hall, Bundaleer Gardens, Brockhurst Farm, Branell Homestead and Lightspace. We ended up choosing Samsonvale Hall, but you will find you're spoilt for options when you look.

    Places like Wedshed can give you an idea of what is available and how much you'll pay.,s...

    Here are a couple of examples of food vans/buffet food services in the brisbane/sunny coast area. As I recall, these vendors all came in at under $2500 for 120 people.!/catering

    We went with Spanish Paella in the end. The food was amazing and the sights and smells of cooking outside made for a great show.

  • Oh, and its worth noting that if you go for a park ceremony, choosing a location in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area will be much cheaper than an area within Brisbane City.

  • Whatever you do just make it memorable.

    Can be a couple of steaks in the park or Domino's at home or even a shout for everyone at harvest buffet at the star but whatever you do make it memorable.

    My suggestion is book out a Yum Cha place and have a nice 6 hour reception / dinner whatever from 6pm to midnight of whatever food.

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