Being Wed in a Land Down Under

20 Sep
“Living in a land Down Under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, and take cover.”
– Down Under by Men At Work

I come from a land Down Under. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s a little-known place called Australia, across the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the world (from America anyway!).

australia

Australia from a global perspective / Image via Wikipedia.org

The reason people call it the “Land Down Under” is not just because of that song by Men At Work quoted earlier, but because, relative to the rest of the world, Australia is located “Down Under”.

Unless of course you use my fiancé, Mr Bighorn’s, favourite map ever:

upsde-down-map

The “Upside Down World Map” – Down Under is now Up Over! / Image via culturalintelligenceblog.com

But with silliness aside, let’s continue!

Specifically, I live in Sydney which is located in the state of New South Wales. But my wonderful fiancé Mr Bighorn and I will be getting married in the Hunter Valley, which is a 2-hour-drive from there. For you visual learners:

map_NSW_Syd_HV

A map drawn showing New South Wales (inset, right) and the locations of both Sydney and Hunter Valley (inset, left) / Personal image transcribed using Google Maps and designed through Photoshop

 Now the thing with Australian weddings that one should know is the difficulty in communicating unique ideas across and planning a “unique” wedding. Unlike America, where trends are accepted quickly and spread just as rapidly, Australia is only really starting to grasp the “rustic”, “vintage”, and “quirky”.  Melbourne, which is located in the state of Victoria south of New South Wales,  accepts these more readily as the “crowd” there are very much into trends taken from high-end fashion and the like, be it bridal or no.

vintage_melbourne_PDB

A Vintage Melbourne Wedding / Image via polkadotbride.com, photography by Julia Jane Photography

Unfortunately, New South Wales – and more specifically, the Hunter Valley – does not fit the same sort of “lifestyle”. This is because the Hunter Valley is “country” New South Wales and things such as Pinterest aren’t grasped as greatly.

Mr Bighorn and I are, and always were, a “quirky” couple and also incredibly nerdy. So it’s been rather difficult planning a wedding while trying to infuse our personalities into it.

For example, I recall mentioning that my Maid of Honour will be dressing in a different shade of blue from my bridesmaids and got a, ‘GASP – that is so original, I’ve never heard of that before!’

Cue nervous laughter here.

I’ve also found it incredibly hard to find a wine box for the “wine box and love letter” ceremony we want to do and had to search high and low for parasols for my bridesmaids!

So for those Hunter Valley brides out there don’t be disheartened, because I have tips:

  • Make sure you have a clear “direction” in mind. Mr Bighorn and I don’t necessarily have a theme, but as we knew what we wanted, we were able to give our vendors direction on what we wanted and how we wanted it done.
  • Be patient. Sometimes you get frustrated because they don’t “understand XYZ” but it’s not their fault! With the world of the Internet, Pinterest and Instagram, information is taken on quickly by the younger generation and most of the vendors you’ll find in country towns (at least in the Hunter Valley) are used to a different way of thinking. So you city brides, be patient! It’s not their fault. Just stick with the first point and it’ll be aaaall good.
  • Make sure you get it in writing. This is one of those ‘duh’ things, but sometimes it happens that a bride or groom will forget to get it in writing. During times when Mr Bighorn and I weren’t too sure that they understood what we wanted, we got it in writing to read over and ensure that our ideas were understood.
  • Search around, compare, and search s’more. In Australia, in general, and pretty much anywhere in the world, the word “wedding” inflates prices. Therefore, wine boxes are expensive, cake toppers are expensive, wedding parasols are expensive. But with my good friend Mr Google I was able to find places that sold relatively well-priced merchandise for a fraction of the price! So it’s good to search, search, and search s’more! And don’t forget to compare prices too!
  • And finally, try to enjoy the experience! It feels good to share my ideas and inspirations to those who’ve never heard of them before. A part of me does feel bad for “taking” those ideas as my own, but that’s just what wedding planning is, taking an idea and adapting it to either your theme or vision! And of course, I never state that the idea is my own – I’d never be able to come up with something as imaginative or as beautiful as the ideas I’ve seen.

So those are my tips! Hopefully they’re helpful for those brides planning a “non-traditional” Hunter Valley wedding. For Sydney and Melbourne brides, I also recommend going to at least one session of One Fine Day, a wedding expo with a difference. They give great inspiration for brides looking for unique venues, vendors, and the like! For other brides in Australia, if you can make the trip to One Fine Day, I recommend it too. They have great photographers and videographers there who are wiling to travel, so take a punt! You may get lucky. For international brides who are planning on getting married in Australia, One Fine Day has an awesome website (linked above) with a list of the vendors. I recommend checking that out 🙂

Did or does anyone else have trouble communicating ideas to vendors? Did anyone have a hard time finding things for their wedding?

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One Response to “Being Wed in a Land Down Under”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “Cool things to do in the Hunter”, according to GP. | The Wedding Rollercoaster - October 14, 2013

    […] y’all aren’t aware, GP and I will be getting married in the Hunter Valley. It’s a beautiful spot and there are HEAPS of things to do, and I’m not just talking […]

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