Dress: Jane Bon Bon

Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins

Shoes: Milu

We’re now just over a month from D-Day, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being just a smidge nervous.

Originally,Β when The Sophisticate and I started planning our wedding, it started with the idea of a low-key, casual event. Trestle-tables-in-a-park, everyone-brings-a-plate style. I was handballing ideas around like “helium balloons!”, “Fairyfloss machine!” and “Photobooth costume dress-ups!”, and anyone looking at my notes would be hard-pressed to tell if I was hosting a Hipster Wedding or an eight-year-old’s birthday party.

When the opportunity to stage the event at my Uncle’s property TerraraΒ our ideas evolved into something a little more elegant, to suit the extraordinarily lovely surrounds, though we were still keen to hold on to the no-fuss feel for the day. After all,Β in the very sage words of one of my readers – “It’s only frosting. It’s the cake that matters”

I’ve kept repeating that mantra to myself over the last few months, but whether it’s the onslaught of Wedding Conversations (seriously, it’s all I talk about, I’ve officially become the most boring person ever) or an overdose of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, I’m starting to feel nervous that my low-key, casual, no-fuss wedding might be…. well… not Weddingy enough.

We’ve made a few decisions that have raised some eyebrows (from the look of the thing, to how we’ve decided to document the day, to our compete disinterest in having a “first dance”) and a few things we’ve had to back down on (we won’t be doing our own music). A few of our ideas turned out to be WAY more expensive than we’d anticipated (*cough*Photobooth*cough*) so we’re trying to be a bit more inventive.

We’re very lucky in that we’ve been able to enlist some of our incredible friends and family to help us on the day, which is what we wanted in the first place; somehow it makes it feel more special to have our loved ones involved.

And I’m trying to remember Toni’s frosting analogy rather than succumbing to the “Most Important Day In Your Life” malarkey, because, let’s be honest, not everything’s going to go off perfectly without a hitch, and I’d hate to look back on the day and remember only the things that went wrong.


73 thoughts on “Nerves

  1. I am guessing you have a photographer lined up? I do wedding photography (not professionally as such but have done about 10 weddings over time) and would love to shoot your style if you need someone. Even as a second shooter. For nothing of course.

    1. Hi Bri – that’s incredibly generous, but the wedding’s MILES away in the South Coast. Thankyou though, truly! If we were having it locally I’d totally take you up on that offer!

      1. I don’t live in Melbourne so if you want to drop me a line and see if I live anywhere near where you are having the big day you can get me the email attached to this reply : )

  2. I got married in September and had the exact fears and nerves… We did a lot of things that raised eyebrows and were very nervous about music, families getting along, food etc… It’s natural to feel this way… But the only thing I can remember now is smiling at my groom and saying my vows and hearing his and the smiles on the faces of our loved ones in the crowd as they cheered… I can honestly say I have no idea if anything actually went wrong, because it didn’t matter… It was the greatest day… And no doubt yours will be the same… Make sure you take a moment on the night with your new husband away from everyone just to soak it in.. It goes so fast…

    1. Thanks Sam – I’ve heard that it’s good to take some quiet time alone with your partner if you can. He’s such a social creature I’m not sure I’ll be able to steal him away for a quick snog behind a tree, but I’ll do my best!

  3. I did all the wedding-ey things that were expected of me and I look back and wish it was more “us”.

    My only advice is get the best photographer you can afford.

    1. Thanks Candice. A very good friend of ours – he teaches photography at University – offered to do the photography for us. I haven’t seen much of his work, but The Sophisticate trusts him, and so do I. Of course, not getting a professional photographer is one of the things raising eyebrows, but they’re SO expensive!

      1. I completely agree here Lilli – we didn’t want a professional photographer and a lot of people said “really???”

        I was married in July 2011 and we had a professional photographer for two hours only ($100/hr) with all images to become our property. We also gave everyone who brought a digital camera to the wedding a blank CD in a stamped, addressed reply-paid CD envelope so they could easily send their photos to us.

        The result was loads of fantastic photos with a handful of good quality pro pics at a fraction of the cost, and I can make my own album somewhere like

        Our reasoning was that you only need half a dozen really good photos to put in frames, the rest are just memories for getting out and showing the future kids.

        The last thing we wanted to do was to waste our special day in endless wooden poses for a pro photographer.

        I hope you have a fantastic day – enjoy every delicious moment.


  4. I was totally like that a month before my wedding. Yes., things don’t go to plan but trust me you won’t remember anything bad! In fact my wedding went in such a whirl that I could barely remember any of it & relied on friends to tell me! Plus no matter how unconventional the day is you’ll find everyone will enjoy themselves. In fact in my experience the less conventional a wedding the more fun it is! Cx

  5. I totally agree with Claire, your wedding will be very special just because it will be your day, and at the end of the day you won’t remember any wrong thing, believe me!! (sorry about my bad english u.u)

  6. Hey Lady! I got married a little over a year ago and really wanted a photo booth, too. Based on what some of my FB friends were doing, I just created a back drop (my mom had made a beautiful wedding quilt for us), put out our old halloween costume components, some random props, and made mustaches on a stick. People took pictures of themselves with their own cameras or the disposable ones we provided. It was the hit of the party and practically free. My husband and I completely departed from the expected wedding traditions and LOVED our wedding day. Hope the same is true for you!!

  7. I just got married on September 23rd, and I had what I thought was the most non-wedding wedding ever! We ran away to the beach with just our immediate family and each of your best friends. It turned out perfect! We knew from the beginning that we did not care a bit for traditional weddingy type things like first dances, bouquet tosses or speeches. So we had a quick ceremony on the beach, my step dad even got ordained online to marry us, and then we had a little party at a beach house we rented. My brother did all the cooking and I ordered the cake from a local grocery store.
    Of course stuff went wrong, I forgot to give the MOH my husband’s ring, so midway walking down the aisle, I stopped and went back for a do-over! None of that matters now, all I care about is that we are finally married, and that we did not start our married lives by going into debt for a wedding.
    But we did splurge on a fantastic honeymoon!

    1. LOL, that does sound fun. The Sophisticate and I can’t take the time off for a honeymoon straight away, so we’re thinking later in the year when we’ve got a bit more leave/money!

  8. Sounds like you need to go over and read for some reassurance. And maybe even the A Practical Wedding book.

  9. There’s always going to be *someone* who doesn’t like something about your wedding. It’s pretty much inevitable….so please don’t get stressed about something like that. I’m not even married! Haha – but I’ve read enough of the weddings section on Vogue to know that negotiating through people’s opinions of your big day is a minefield.
    My friends had an amazing wedding in Fiji – and while it probably wasn’t cheap (though everyone paid their way to get there), the best thing about it was that it was really casual and friendly wedding without any fuss.

    1. Thanks Esz – Hopefully everyone will tell me that they loved the wedding, and people who get snitty about no first dance / no professional photography / mismatched groomsmen and bridesmaids, etc can keep it to themselves!

  10. I recently went to a wedding and they wanted the photo booth dress up idea but what they did instead was have a Polaroid camera that was available for the a similar effect. It also encouraged guests to mingle – eg Can you take our picture…
    just a thought..

    1. I like that idea Melly – The Sophisticate has one of those mini polaroid cameras, so we’re thinking of setting up a dress-ups box and just letting people go for their lives!

  11. Lilli, you’re going to be fine and as the years pass, you’ll only remember the good and the funny! It’s what will keep your marriage going for a long time! All you should worry about is showing up and looking as beautiful as you always do. That, I’m certain, will be more than enough for the Sophisticate! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Lilli, We’re getting married in march (just around the corner from Terrera!) and are going through the same issues. People who should be the most supportive react toward our ideas/plans with shock and then make even more crazy suggestions. We’ve learnt to put the foot down and paying for it ourselves has helped but I still need to kep reminding the critics that the most important thing is that the Mr and I get married, everything else is… Frosting! Good luck, do what you want to do and I’m sure it will be perfect. Jess x
    Ps- I should add that most people seem to get really excited at the idea of the “non traditional” wedding, which is how it should be!

  13. Hi Lilli,
    I had a non traditional wedding – married in one of the gardens at the Hyatt in Canberra, cocktail reception afterwards. We didn’t have a band, no music for different stages, no speeches from a swag of people (my hubby thanked everyone and my dad said some words and that was it), no first dance and definitely no throwing of the garter/bouquet. Everyone who came has said that it was one of the best weddings they’ve ever been to! Don’t stress. It’s your day and don’t let people make you think it’s not as special because it’s not traditional.
    Enjoy it because it goes so quickly and will leave you wondering where the day has gone!

    1. Thanks Kelly! The gardens at The Hyatt are so beautiful – I’m sure you had an amazing day. I’m under strict instructions to chuck the bouquet at my sister, so we’re doing a flower and garter toss. Hopefully the traditionalists will be satisfied with that!

  14. Hi, long time lurker here! Thought I may as well put in my two cents worth. We got married in NZ three weeks ago, a low key wedding with 46 guests, for less than ten grand Australian. I planned the whole thing from Melbourne, and was seriously stressed about the lack of “weddingness”. We had no first dance, our bestman sorted out the music (ipod), I made almost all of the decorations (no crystal or banners of silk!) and I did all the flowers and cakes. Plus, I didn’t throw my bouquet, I had no garter and we had no “wedding transport”. Up until the day before the wedding I thought it would look awful, and that all our guests would be so disappointed! It went off better than I thought possible, and so many people commented on how intimate, folksy and fun our wedding was, which made me happy.
    As long as people have plenty of food and drink and you love the elements of your wedding it will be beautiful! I know you can’t (I couldn’t), but try to relax and enjoy the lead up, it goes so fast, and congratulate yourself on organising the wedding at all…its like a fulltime job!

    I found photobooths way too expensive too, we brought a polaroid camera and I made some props…people loved it and we have hundreds of great pictures. I would highly recommend it.

    If your interested, you can see our wedding photos here:

    Take a deep breath, it will all be ok πŸ™‚

    1. I love your wedding photos, it doesn’t look diy at all! You should be so please. πŸ™‚
      Where did you get your bm’s dresses from? Kat

    2. I LOVE your wedding! I had been wondering how it went (You’re “She Will Have Her Wedding” Vicci, right?) The photos look lovely, you look lovely, everything looks perfect! I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, but I adore reading about everyone else’s DIY’d weddings. There’s always the most personal and beautiful.

  15. I had more than a year time to prepare my wedding and I still couldn’t get everything as I planned, but in the end it all turned out beautiful. Don’t let the nerves get to you. Be strong and positive. Enjoy every moment because it passes so quickly.

  16. Just remember that it’s about you the the Sophisticate and no one else, never worry about it not being weddingy enough – as long as it’s weddingy enough for the two that is all that matters!

    I got married earlier this year and after going the trauma of being bridesmaid for a complete bridezilla I went completely the other way and decided not to worry about anything except the celebrant turning up to marry us! Anything else that happens on the day can be worked out, even if it doesn’t go the way you imagined.

    All the best, I’m sure it will be a fabulous day – one to look back on for years to come! Can’t wait to see the pics πŸ™‚

    1. Go you! I was a bridesmaid at a RIDICULOUSLY stressful wedding earlier this year, and it taught me a few things I knew I wanted at mine. We’re being married by the boyfriend of one of my bridesmaids – she’ll get him there, so hopefully that’s one less thing to worry about, and you’re right: it’s the only thing that really matters in the long run!

  17. Hey Lilli,
    Just confirming what the other ladies are saying, it your wedding, and its only one day, so do it your way. When I got married our priorites were to a house deposit, a big honeymoon, then a wedding. We had our wedding under $10,000! It was the wedding we wanted. I know people at my wedding didn’t like some of the things we had, no first dance, my dress was simple but classic, we had games etc. But you know what, it was MY wedding, and OUR marriage. the same thing doesn’t work for everyone on a normal day so why should it be the same on your special day? Remember the ceremony & you two are the most important things. Enjoy your day as it will pass so quickly.

    PS Don’t be surprise when you feel let down after the wedding cause you have nothing to plan etc. Its normal! πŸ™‚

    1. LOL, I’ve heard about the wedding come-down! I’m already doing that thing where I look at other people’s weddings on the wedding blogs, and thinking “Oh! I wish I’d planned x / worn a dress like y / put my bridesmaids in z”. I’m looking forward to being about to splurge on unexpected gifts to myself again, rather than everything I buy being For The Wedding!

  18. We’ve just started planning our wedding, and I often feel like it won’t be ‘weddingy’ enough. I realised the other day that I don’t want to be a bride, I just want to marry my partner. I’m very excited about marrying him, but I’d really rather not plan a *wedding*. Just, a party where we get (a bit) dressed up, say our words and then everyone eats food and gets excited for us. It’s not going to be very weddingy, but I think it’s the most *us* option – neither of us are very keen on being the centre of attention for a day, we don’t want a dancefloor, we hate the alternate-serve thing where I always get stuck with the fish etc. But I still worry that other people will judge our relationship based on our wedding and think that we don’t care about the commitment we’re making because we’re not spending a fortune on having a high-fuss wedding.

    The one wedding blog I still read is A Practical Wedding, which is fabulous for its emphasis on how the day feels as more important than how it looks. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Whenever I fret about whether what we’re doing is too low fuss, I think of what they’d say, and I know that if it’s making us happy and our family are fine with it, there can’t really be any problems.

    Also, one thing we are looking at doing still is a DIY photobooth – if you still want to do it, all you need is a computer with a webcam (I think I’ll be using my old iMac), and a $60 piece of software.

    Good luck and congratulations to you both! I know you’ll have a fabulous day, no matter what goes wrong.

    1. Heather, that is a GREAT site – thankyou! I hadn’t come across it before.
      I’m definitely of the non-bridey persuasion. It’s kind of weird, but I’m feeling kind of squicky about being the centre of so many people’s attention on the day too. I can’t imagine that anyone would judge your relationship on your wedding (surely not!) and Australia’s wedding industry is worth $4.2bn, so they don’t really need another $36,000, surely?
      I like the idea of a DIY photobooth – we’re thinking we might do something like that.

  19. Ah – I remember those feelings before my own wedding! We had a very low key, small wedding – 30 people all up, which is small considering my husband is one of nine kids. I wore a red and black outfit, we walked each other down the garden path, no one gave us away, we had dinner for 30 at Chairmand Yip, and had no music or dancing, and only a last-minute impromptu speech from the groom thanking everyone for coming, and a drunken reply from my BIL who said “well done on marrying a top sheila”. The only traditional thing we did was corsages, a bouquet and bombonieri (and that’s only because I’m from NQ and it’s traditional!) Everyone seemed to have a great time, and we had a blast. People told us afterwards they wanted their own kids to have a similar no-fuss wedding.

    I have no regrets about our wedding day except for not having a photographer there during the wedding (he came after) – the whole day suited us, and it was all about us so that made sense.

    Go confidently with the decisions you’ve made! Sounds like you will all have a tremendous time – that property is gorgeous!

  20. Such an insightful piece of writing, Lilli! You obviously have the nuts and bolts fundamentals of what marriage means to you and what the ceremony should reflect about the two of you, so just go forth and enjoy. Some of those traditional aspects (first dance..) dont need to be observed anymore. I didnt even have a ring! I got a necklace instead! And always, you pull a good outfit together. REally like those shoes! x

  21. Oh you used my words…..I am seriously chuffed. That made my day. Normally people are repeating the ridiculous things I say.

    Your wedding is going to be wonderful. Don’t worry.

    And when you do feel an attack coming on, think of our elopement to Vegas with my measly 8 photos and drag queen makeup. So not weddingy and still one of the best days of my life. It was us.

    Keep the wedding you.

  22. Lilli, I got married 3 months ago. We got married at The Tea Rooms Gunners Barracks (not somewhere I had ever imagined). We had 65 guests (more than enough) and came in at under $20,000 – This included dresses, hair, makeup, suits, favours EVERYTHING! Keep it simple and you will be fine πŸ™‚

    1. Good one! We’re a little over that, but we’ve got a whopping 100 guests – no idea how we’re going to get around to all of them in one evening. Hope you had a lovely time πŸ™‚

  23. Hear hear Lilli!
    March to the beat of your own drum.
    This post fills me with quite a bit of emotion (in view of my own experiences) and I don’t know what to say.
    Just don’t agonise over things. Save your money. Keep a big element of yourselves in there. Be true.

  24. We spent waaaay more than the average wedding cost and there are plenty of things I wouldn’t have done again. The things that are important are good food, good wine, great music (can definitely be ipod) and good photos. The things that don’t matter are transport, invitations, bombonnierie, flowers and decorations.

    I don’t regret the money we spent on our big day because we had a lot of fun but we could have gotten the same feeling by spending far less. If we were to do it again I could have halved our expenditure.

    Remember – it’s all about you.

    K xx

    1. Hey Kitty, that definitely sounds like the important things to us: Food and wine will be excellent. We’ve had to get a DJ (we wanted to do our own music, but the venue would rather we didn’t) and I’m going into the photography blind, but The Sophisticate’s photographer lecturer will be doing some for us, and his social circle – and mine for that matter – is full of amazing photographers so we’ll have them upload everything and we’ll cherry pick after the day. HOPEFULLY!

  25. Hi Lilli,
    It is your special day so you have to do exactly what works for you. We did!
    We had no first dance, no cars, we did our own music…in fact whilst our surroundings were fabulous (an old stately home in England) we had a low key wedding with less than 50 guests. We chose to spend our money on the venue and fab food (& drink – not an option you can avoid with Aussies present!) & great photos – we had the most perfect day which cost nowhere close to $36,000.
    I’m sure your day will be wonderful, nerves are understandable but when you are marrying the man you love in the way you both would like surrounded by your favourite people, it will be a day to remember.

    1. Thanks Jo – That’s pretty much what we’re doing. Splurging on an amazing venue, great food, lots of booze. It’s a bigger wedding than I had anticipated, but hopefully they’ll all have a good time!

  26. I got married to my man in 1999…it was simple….and a little flash here and there…..and it was wonderful. What matters is the Love that will be in the air,. That is what people, and you both, will remember! Its all that really matters. 12 years on..we dont really look back on the cake or the music or even the dancing…we look back on how much fun everyone had…because we were all so happy to be there. Yeah Okay it sounds cheesy…cheesy but true πŸ™‚

  27. We had a lovely wedding that was simple and sincere. It cost us about a 1/4 of your average Australian wedding and it was a wonderful occasion because it was so relaxed. The more money you spend, the more invested you are in things being a certain way. When there’s less involved you can step back and let the day “evolve” and unfold in a natural way. In this way, the whole thing can be highly enjoyable.

    While it’s tempting to want things to be “perfect” they only have to be perfect for you. Intuition is a good guide to what is something that has meaning to you or is just decoration.

    1. Thanks, Mary Nanna – I’m the teensiest bit of a control freak, but The Sophisticate is encouraging me to loosen the reins a little big & accept that even though there’s bound to be a few things that won’t go to plan, that won’t mean that it won’t be an amazing day for everyone there.

  28. When I married my first husband I was going to wear pants and a long tunic. We were going to have a casual ‘spilling into the footpath’ outside st kilda wedding. Then there was a church, and the idea of not wearing a wedding dress seemed like a bit more attention-seeking than a white dress, and it ccured to me that perhaps I DID need flowers -if only to have something to hold so my hands didn’t shake. We completely forgot how we were going to get to the church and asked a mate to drive us a week before. We had no plan on how to get home afterwards and didn’t prepare for the possibility of gifts.

    It was a funny hilarious mess. It rained – there wasn’t enough room for us in the restaurant but it was special and very memorable regardless and I think the chaos made it more fun.

    I’m getting married again soon to the absolute love of my life – and we are sneaking off to the registry office. no fuss. NONE. No audience to the vows. He is the cake and the icing. And I love that we are sharing that adventure. Hope your adventure is brilliant and exciting and your future is passionate and peaceful.

  29. I got married in May this year and we didn’t do a lot of weddingy stuff.
    There was no bridal party, no first dance (no dancing at all in fact), speech only from us. We wanted relaxed and casual and we had a great time. I think whatever works for you is the way to go.

    We did a Photobooth too – big expense, but one of the hits of the day.

    Congratulations in advance – it will be beautiful and perfect for you both.

    1. I do love the idea of the photobooth – We’re thinking of setting one up ourselves with a backdrop, maybe some fancy dress props, and The Sophisticate’s mini polaroid camera.

  30. Your wedding costs what it costs, and it can be as weddingy as you like. Or not.

    We refused to have a first dance as well. We don’t dance and I didn’t see the point in becoming something we are not (classical dancers) to start off our marriage. Instead we did karaoke which was great fun and everyone really got into it. πŸ™‚

    1. We’ve pretty much decided to have the MC say “In Lieu of a first dance, The Sophisticate and Lilli invite you all to join them on the dance floor” then hopefully there’ll be such a crush no-one will notice our awkward swaying!

  31. my wedding was perfect, I loved my dress and everything (food etc.) except that we completely forgot to hire a photogrpaher!! lucky for me my husband’s best friend is professional photographer and he volunteered to cover our wedding. But to this day I regret not hiring a photographer and having a conversation before the wedding about the different kind of shots and styles I would have included in my wedding album. Anyhow, don’t stress too much Lilli, wedding is just one of the first celebrations of your lives..many more beautiful occassions awaits you and your man (amen)

  32. Im in my mid thirties and in the last 10 years have been to about 30 weddings! One that stands out the most was a low key organicy wedding where us friends of the couple decorated the outdoor ‘barny’ area with flowers and candles and bunting and it was one of the most beautiful weddings and the most moving weddings Ive been too, because it reflected who the couple are and was about them. Cos it was the day of the do over grand final they had a tv for people to watch, and they mingled before heading off to walk down the aisle together.
    Your wedding will be beautiful, people will love it and more importantly, you and your husband will love it!

    1. Oh God – I remember that flush of weddings – there’s was five in one year a few years ago. So. Many. New. Dresses!
      That sounds like a lovely wedding – I really like the home-made aesthetic that the weddings in all the wedding blogs I read seem to have. I’m too lazy unmotivated busy to do all of that, but I love it.

  33. Aww do not worry. Your wedding sounds utterly enchanting to me (recently engaged, and facing a very short-notice, very small-budget challenge) and I firmly believe that when you do marry your soulmate regardless of the fripperies, the moment you wed one another will indeed be the important moment of your life. All else just will fade into the background. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.