Weddings are a special occasion of life and form indelible memories to be cherished forever. The families of the ‘to- be’ Groom and the ‘to-be Bride are overwhelmed with the idea of making the occasion a wonderful and special one. Australia is a continent of extreme landscapes varying from the sheer beauty of the deserts to sunny beaches, bustling cities and colorful natural parks and gardens.
Beach and Garden weddings make for excellent venues in natural settings. For beach weddings, a mid-sized boat can be hired and decorated with long flowing streams of natural leaves or small sprigs of colorful flowers decorating the periphery of the boat. The word ‘Welcome’ can be written in different languages in bright colors on a long rectangular handmade paper and put up across two wooden bamboo poles erected on each side of the boat. An alternative could be an artificial bamboo partition rented and set up on the beach like a door frame. This can have colorful balloons stuck across with the words ‘welcome’ written in a balloon arrangement. The seating arrangement can be made unique with a few boats decorated with leaves and flowers and covered with plain cotton cloth for the fun-loving guests or simple wooden rented chairs and one centre table for the cake-cutting ceremony. Flower –pots brought from home can be used to border the boundaries of the venues. One can involve family members and even some close friends in creating the wedding stationery and hand-made invites which can be customized. The RSVPs can ask for attendees to name a few of the favorite songs. One single CD of all the favorite songs can be created and played for everyone to dance to their special song. A home computer with good speakers can be arranged to play the desired music adding to the ambience. Old coke bottles wrapped artistically in used newspaper can adorn the tables. These can be made colorful with home-made color paper flowers in each of them. Each bottled vase can have a customized tag of the attendees. The bride’s wedding attire can be a simple dress embellished with a broach of delicate carnations or a long white gown with a delicate lace finish. This can be tailored to perfection by placing the order with the local tailor who could be skillful at wedding dresses or one of the grand old neighborhood ladies who takes exclusive stitching orders for wedding gowns and dresses. This helps excessive spending at boutiques which may not have something of your choice or may not be able to deliver on time. The couple can exchange customized tungsten rings which are durable and long-lasting. The wedding cake can be baked. It could be a chocolate cream cake with powdered nuts forming a layering on the chocolate throughout the cake. If a close friend is a good baker the order of the wedding cake and other baked snacks and treats can be given to the friend. You can be rest assured of the hygiene and the love a friend will put into the effort. The friendly neighborhood caterer can be made to create a kitchen façade to serve home-made delicious snacks. ‘Do It Yourself’ water cooler bars can be arranged for thus saving expenses on bartenders or you could simply fill up one of the boats with enough drinks to serve all. Two empty match boxes creatively decorated with colored papers on a paper plate can be used for the rings. The guestbook can have a nice green tree on a either recycled paper / names of the groom and bride on the first page of a recycled book. Guests can leave behind a thumb print under the names written in the guest book. Green stamp pads for the thumb prints are not expensive and this lends a nice memorable touch to the guest book.
A similar setting can be created in a garden where instead of boats, one can arrange for a number of hay bales made sturdy with a wooden plank covered with plain cotton cloth for comfortable seating instead of tables.
A family open van can be used for storage of drinks. Drinks can be arranged for in decorative wheel barrows positioned across the garden. The wheel barrows can be decorated with leaves and flowers to hold chilled beers and other drinks replenished from the open van. You can have separate wheel barrows for beers and soft drinks. You can arrange for a folding table with a backdrop stating ‘Bottoms Up’ set up on one side with glasses carrying name tags of the guests. All they will have to do is pick up their glasses and help themselves to drinks.
In case your guest list includes a number of attendees from other cities, an old vintage bungalow can be rented. This would help you save money on the décor, lights, music, cooking and also have accommodation for your guests.
If you plan to have a separate reception and on the beach itself you can have an arrange for a long tent like arrangement with a table and chair setting with ‘on-the-spot cooked –food’ being served. The same can be done in the garden setting with colorful light streaming hanging from the trees and livening up the place. Giveaways can be heart-shaped cookie hampers, decoratively created with name tags of the individual guests. These can be either baked at home or again given to a close friend or the neighborhood baker.
In case you want to keep the reception restricted to family only then you can possibly have it arranged in your backyard. The décor can be a colorful streaming arranged in a criss-cross fashion making for a paper roof covering. Lights, home-made food and drinks catered by family can set the pace for an informal ambience with soft music being in the background.