How Much Does It Cost To Get Married?

How Much Does It Cost To Get Married?

How much does it cost to get married?

For many couples this is an important factor and is often a reason why couples keep delaying their wedding day. However, there are ways to keep costs down and still have a day to remember.  Besides, not everyone wants a traditional wedding with all the trimmings – some couples would rather just slip quietly away and have a no fuss wedding somewhere special.  Keeping it Short and Sweet.

I have conducted Surprise Weddings at pubs, backyard bbq’s, park picnics – and even, most recently, in the middle of Christmas Lunch when all the family were gathered together, glass of wine in hand. (That was fun!)  Go to my Reviews to read what Donna and Ed had to say about their Christmas Day Surprise Wedding.

I conducted a Simple Marriage Ceremony at the Crystal Room in Burswood Towers last year, which was perfect for this particular couple. The groom was shy and hated crowds, so their parents paid for a night at the Crown Towers as their wedding present. We met just before sunset and went through the 5 minute ceremony, with 2 staff members as witnesses. The views were magnificent. The couple had a memorable dinner and a wonderful mini-break in a fabulous setting. Next day, they joined their parents back at home for a family lunch. Perfectly lovely and no need to mortgage the house!

So how much does a simple, registry style wedding cost in Perth?

  1. Midweek, simple ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. Less than 10 guests.  From $300.
  2. Weekend, simple ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. Less than 10 guests.  From $350.   (Mid to late afternoons will cost a little more).

If you want something more traditional, then I can create a beautiful, fun and personalised ceremony for you. We would work together on this, so that we tell ‘your story’ and have your guests feeling truly present with you and hopefully having some fun – and maybe even a few tears – along the way.

How much does a traditional wedding cost in Perth?

  1. Midweek, traditional ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. $450 – $600
  2. Weekend, traditional ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. $550 – $800

In summary, there are a number of ways to keep costs down.  Some ideas below:

  1. Have no guests and no reception.  Elopement Style Wedding. At a park, at a restaurant or the beach.
  2. Have a Surprise Wedding.  This way you can keep things very simple at a gathering that has already been planned.
  3. Have a Traditional Wedding – but be creative with the timings.  Monday – Thursday will bring savings all round, as vendors will usually discount these days.  If a Saturday or Sunday, sometimes you can negotiate a discount for morning or lunchtime ceremonies.  Having a lunchtime reception works particularly well if there are young children involved.

Remember, you can always have a simple, registry style wedding now whilst funds are tight – and then have a Wedding Celebration (or Renewal of Vows) later.  Complete with Wedding Dress, Bridal Party, Reception etc…  How much fun would that be!

If you would like a chat about some of these options, I am happy to run through some of these ideas with you.  No ‘hard selling, I promise’ 😊   Just click on the name here…. Liz Hayes Celebrant.

Perth Weddings

Budget Weddings

Budget Weddings

So it’s 2019.

And you have met the woman or the man of your dreams. The one you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Yes, you want to get married, but money is tight.  What should you do? Do you keep waiting for things to get better and keep saving up for that dream wedding?  Or do you bite the bullet and get married now?  Facing the challenges together, growing as a couple and building your solid financial wellbeing together, side by side?  For better or for worse.

Things to consider:

I have a couple of suggestions…. So that you CAN draw that line in the sand and face the future as husband and wife earlier than you thought.

1.     Meet with a Celebrant (mobile registry office 😊 ) at the park, with a bottle of champagne, some cheese and biscuits and a bunch of roses from the garden.


An Elopement Ceremony by the Swan River maybe? Or at the beach?  What could be more romantic.  <3


After this, perhaps you can just let people know what you have done and leave it at that – or you can invite everyone to the pub for a celebration drink at the weekend?


2.     You want something more ‘weddingy’?  Wedding outfits, Cars, Reception, Bridal parties etc.  A wedding ceremony with family and friends as your witnesses?  Well, why not try to plan a budget wedding?


If you choose a week day wedding, immediately you will cut costs considerably – plus you won’t have the problems with venue availability etc.  Yes, people may have to take a day or two off work – but you’re not asking them to go to Bali for a week!


The British Royal Family always used to have their weddings on Thursdays, but I don’t think it was for the discounts somehow 😊


There are a number of DIY Wedding FB pages; and lots of ways to keep costs down – but the first saving will be on choosing a less popular day of the week.  I recently conducted a full wedding ceremony, with beautiful cars, full Bridal Parties etc, at a popular Perth venue, on a Wednesday.  It was wonderful…  This venue is usually difficult on Saturdays, with several weddings often at the same time. Traffic and congestion can be a problem. But for this wedding, it felt like marrying film stars or VIP’s, with having the whole venue to themselves.  Really special.

Time is not forever and each day is precious.

Wouldn’t you rather be spending it together? And in years ahead, when finances are stronger, you can organise your Big Wedding Day, perhaps with your children as the bridal party?  Your Certificate won’t be a legal one from BDM, but the day itself can be a wonderful affirmation of your love for each other and what you achieved together.  Very beautiful.

Contact me today, if you would like to talk through some ideas and see how creative you can be with this, so that you can work together to make your dreams come true – starting sooner rather than later!

Budget Weddings

Surprise Wedding?

Surprise Wedding?

Can it be done?  How is it done?  Is it legal?

The lovely thing about Surprise Weddings is that they take away all the stress and expense of organising a big event.  Usually a Surprise Wedding will be held at a gathering that has already been arranged.

It can be done in a matter of weeks (4 weeks’ notice to the celebrant needed if the wedding is to be fully legal on the day, so that the Notice of Intended Marriage can be completed).  Or you can arrange the Wedding in a matter of days, if you don’t mind the brief, legalising ceremony taking place at a later date.

I have just taken a booking for a Surprise Wedding to be held at the couple’s home on Christmas Day, with only 10 days’ notice.  We will have a short meeting 3 weeks later for the legal ceremony, with only 2 witnesses.  They realised that as the whole family was going to be together for the first time in years, that it was the perfect opportunity.


1.     No stress or anxiety for you in the planning.

2.     No pressure on your guests to take extra time off work, or to buy presents.

3.     Very emotional, exciting and fun.


1.     Can be difficult to keep the secret.

2.     Guests might be missing, who would have definitely attended had they known it was a wedding.

3.     No presents.

If you think a Surprise Wedding is for you, then contact me on my website:   or phone me on 0424703399.

Surprise Weddings can be such fantastic fun!!  (But no, you cannot surprise each other… that is definitely NOT legal. 😉  Only the guests can be surprised.)

Surprise Wedding!

Your wedding ceremony – some ways to make it reflect you as a couple

Your wedding ceremony – some ways to make it reflect you as a couple

Sometimes there are special words that mean a lot to you….

Like some words from a favourite song?   These are from a song by the Rolling Stones, for example….

If I was the sun way up there
I’d go with my love everywhere
I’ll be the moon when the sun go down
To let you know I’m still around
That’s how strong my love is, baby
That’s how strong my love is

Rolling Stones – That’s how strong my love is

Or it could be that you have always loved Shakespeare’s sonnets?

Or even certain prayers, or readings from the Bible.  Perhaps that classic piece from Corinthians?  You know the one?  “Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It does not envy….”

Your wedding is a great opportunity to incorporate and weave some of these favourite words into your story – reflecting your personality and your feelings about this wonderful occasion.

Of course, you might like to keep everything simple and stay with a traditional and standard script?  But for those of you who really want to take advantage of Australia’s wonderful Civil Marriage laws (we have the best in the world), there are several opportunities for this creativity during your marriage ceremony, such as:

  1. Entrance music for the bride (or for the couple if walking in together).
  2. Readings, prayers or poems at any point during the ceremony.  A poem can be read for the couple, by the celebrant or by a family member or friend?  A particularly moving song might be played or sung during the ceremony?  The Bride and Groom might like to read a poem to their guests, perhaps!  All things are possible.
  3. The ring exchange can be a great opportunity to add your personality and feelings into the script in a low key way.  For example:
    1. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of the vows we have spoken today.
    2. I give this ring in remembrance of this moment.  It is a symbol of our love: one that is complete, beautiful and endless.
  4. Vows.  This can be the most moving part of the whole ceremony, particularly if the bride and groom choose to personalise these promises.   Legally, there are a few words that need to be said, but after that you can add as few or as many words as you wish, making the vows your very own.  There are some traditional words to be found on several websites – or you can be a ‘free spirit’ and write something completely from scratch.

Usually these will be printed and read to each other during the ceremony, but some couples actually like to learn them off by heart! Mostly it’s a good idea to keep the vows reasonably short, but a letter form can also work well.  During one wedding I was nervous about how the guests might react to the couple reading two A4 pages each!  They made promises to each other, to their children and to their families and friends.  I needn’t have worried….  This was an absolutely beautiful moment – and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house  (including those of the Celebrant!).

Please feel free to ask me if there is anything more I can help with, regarding the crafting of an individual and personalised ceremony for this most joyous event in your lives – the day that you declare to the world that you have chosen the person with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life!

Your wedding. Your way.

Wedding Ceremony - Reflect you as a couple

Australian Wedding Reception? Who sits on the Top Table?

Australian Wedding Reception? Who sits on the Top Table?

Rustic Rivergum Retreat

Wedding Etiquette…. Who sits at the Top Table for an Australian Wedding Reception?

There are some British Wedding Traditions that seem to have been superseded in Australia, by more recent ideas from the USA.  Many of these updated and newer ways are possibly more suited to our less formal approach to Weddings here in Australia however.

For example, in the UK, the bride and her father (usually) would walk down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids.  Here in Australia, we tend to follow the American style of bridesmaids first, with the bride following.  If, however, the bride has a long train or veil, it can still be a good idea to have at least one person walking behind to make sure the train doesn’t get caught on anything.

I remember being the celebrant at one wedding, watching the bride and her father slowly and elegantly walking down the aisle towards me, when the bride’s head was suddenly yanked backward for no apparent reason! There was a shriek from the bride, followed by embarrassed laughter from the guests as it was realised that the long flowing veil had caught on a rough stone.  However, the clips were so tight, that the veil stayed firmly attached – but the father got a real fright as his daughter suddenly seemed to flail away from him!

So always be prepared to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary. 😊

Similarly, in England, a Top Table at a Wedding Reception is usually comprised of the Bride and Groom, along with both sets of parents, as well as Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid.

In Australia, we tend to have the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids on the Top Table, with the parents seated with other guests.

Now there are many reasons to make up your own rules around Formal Seating Plans.  In days gone by, people married in the town or village where they had grown up.  Families and friends all knew each other, so it didn’t really matter where you were seated – you wouldn’t feel lost.

However, nowadays it’s not uncommon for a parent, or parents, to travel from the other side of the world for their son or daughter’s wedding.  Imagine the feeling then, of being placed with strangers at an ‘outside’ table, whilst the offspring sit on the Top Table with their friends, who make up the Bridal Party. Quite often, this arrangement also means that partners of Groomsmen and Bridesmaids might also be sat on an ‘outside’ table with people they don’t know.  So there might be merit in reverting to the traditional English style for this one?

Every situation is different – so take great care with the Top Table seating plan…  Getting this wrong is one of the main fears of every couple when planning the Reception.  (It’s almost worth bringing in a Wedding Planner, for this reason alone!)  One of my favourite Wedding Planners in Perth would have to be Mardie & Co.

Of course another way to avoid this risk altogether, is to opt for a Cocktail Party or a BBQ style Reception, with no formal seating plans….  Your Wedding, the Australian Way!