Early in 2017 I received an email from a client breaking the news that her fiancé and her had decided to postpone plans for their wedding sighting drought as the reason. In May I received another cancellation that was again due to the costs that go with surviving in a drought.
A wedding is definitely not something you can justify spending $20k on at the best of times let alone when you're under tough financial restraints. We are bombarded with images of the over the top weddings of celebrities and social media influencers all the time. We've been conditioned to aspire to the circus that is one of those weddings as if somehow it makes us better people. I hear brides all the time saying "I just want it to be nicer than...." or "I think … could have been better". WTF?!
A wedding, in case the whole point has been lost on you, is about celebrating the unity of two people in love. Let's peel it all back and just stick to the whole point- celebrating love!
Not wanting engaged couples to feel as though they can't have a beautiful day because their budget has significantly plummeted due to the drought (or any other reason, let's be real we're not all farmers) I set out to see if it was possible to have a wedding in the Dubbo region for $5k. IT IS POSSIBLE AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO SKIP THE GLAMOROUS ASPECTS EITHER!!
I've sourced who I consider to be the BEST local wedding vendors and have compiled a template for a $5k wedding.
You can download it here!
Do you need someone to help you "officially" tie the knot? Today you're in luck! I've found yet another amazing rural wedding celebrant hiding away in Cloncurry.
Check out the interview below:
TRB: Let's get into it Bre, help The Rural Bride tribe get to know you a bit. Tell me a bit about yourself.
BRE: My name is Bre Fagan (I’m 30 next week!) and I live on a magnificent cattle station, just north of Cloncurry. I am originally from the NSW Mid North Coast, but have been living and working on properties in NW QLD for the last decade! You can usually find me in the station schoolroom, delivering distance education to my two fantastic students, via School of the Air. I love the ability to play a major role in the development of remote children’s education. It is such a rewarding role… I can’t call it a job because it never feels like work. Much the same as being a Celebrant!
I live here with my awesome partner and our two pupperoonies, Minnie and Sadie. I have been lucky enough to travel through the states, visit Fiji and call Canada home for one glorious year. No matter where I wander in this world, I always find myself returning to the North West. The dust gets into absolutely everything up here; your car, your house, but mainly your heart.
TRB: So, you're a celebrant. Tell me what made you want become a celebrant, when did you officially become authorised and what do you love about being a celebrant?
BRE: I had been thinking about becoming a celebrant for many years, as I love public speaking and I’m a giant sucker for a good old love story! It really wasn’t until two great friends of mine got engaged that I decided to actually dive in. In 2011 I set them up and we always joked I should be the one to marry them. In in 2017 they got engaged and so of course, I had to become a Celebrant to put the ‘official seal’ on my matchmaking effort! Their wedding was the first ceremony I had ever performed. I was also the bridesmaid and MC, so that was a full on gig! Nothing like diving in the deep end!
Photo by Image Photography
I was authorised as a Marriage Celebrant in January 2018 and since then have performed five Marriages and one Naming Ceremony, ranging in places from NSW, Normanton, Mount Isa and Cloncurry. I have three more marriages scheduled for the end of the year, in Karumba, Georgetown and Townsville. I absolutely love travelling all over Queensland to provide my clients with an unforgettable ceremony!
I am so chuffed to be able to perform so many ceremonies in my first year of registration. Given I am a newby in this field, I love that so many people are already trusting me to provide a knock out ceremony – and feedback from couples, guests and photographers who have watched me in action would already show I am doing just that! The fact myself and most of my clients are geographically remote, also makes the number of ceremonies I will perform this year amazing! There is an upward trend of people staying locally to get married and I believe this is thanks to the uprising of so many incredible wedding vendors out west, such as Vicki Miller Photography, Lindy Hick Photography, Flinders and Mitchell Florist, Blossom Shoppe and not to mention general friends and family who are stylish enough to knock up some great arbours and decorations! I’m so humbled to be part of that fancy little circle now too! (Being the only Registered Celebrant in the Cloncurry area helps too!)
Photos by Image Photography
TRB: When you’re meeting with a couple for the first time, what are you trying to sus out and work out with them for them?
BRE: The most important thing when I chatting to a couple for the first time (given our big gorgeous region that could be face to face, via phone, skype or email), is making sure that our vibes suit each other. I think it is so important to make a ceremony the kick start to a brilliant day, so I want to provide a service that is full of cheers, laughter and a few happy tears in those special raw moments of love.
In our first meeting I explain my ethos to the couple and they will share with me how they want their day to roll too. If we both decide to swipe right, I get the ball rolling by first completing their NOIM and then I send them off with a short questionnaire which I ask them to complete and return without the other person seeing their answers. I base the ceremony on these answers to make sure it’s full of their personality! I often persuade my grooms to get writing with the promise of a six pack on submission. So far, my grooms have blown me away with the hilarious and sweet content they return! Anything for a beer, huh?!
TRB: Why do you have to lodge the NOIM before the big day? How long before does it need to be lodged?
BRE: It is a legal requirement to lodge your NOIM (Notice of Intended Marriage) at least one clear month and no longer than 18 months, before your wedding date. In Australia we try to protect the sanctity of marriage by requesting a couple to wait one month before they say ‘I do!’, simply to allow both parties to understand the importance of the decision they are making together. Let’s think of it as a ‘cooling off period’ so there is no ‘buyer’s remorse’.
Photo by Hayley Aplin Photography
TRB: How long would you say a standard ceremony lasts?
BRE: From the moment the bride walks in, to the time I send them on their merry way as Husband and Wife, is usually around 20 minutes. I find this is the perfect amount of time to tell their story and share some rocking vows and bling, whilst keeping the guests engaged in every word too! This timeframe depends greatly on how long the couple wants their ceremony to run and whether they want special people recite readings, blessings or poems within the ceremony too.
TRB: What's the best part of the wedding prep and what do you get excited about most?
BRE: The best part of my wedding prep is firstly hearing about my couple’s plans for the big day and delving into the style they’re trying to create. A very close second is receiving the couple’s questionnaires I ask each person to fill in. I use the answers on the short questionnaire to create their personalised ceremony. Oh boy, some responses I get see me in fits of laughter or reaching for the Kleenex!
TRB: What’s your fav thing about a wedding/ceremony?
BRE: Can I say all of it? Because honestly, ALL OF IT! If I had to pick one, the part I get excited for most is the final presentation of the new Mr + Mrs. Before I send them back down the aisle at the very end of the ceremony, I make sure everyone is wound up and ready to explode with love, hugs and lots of cheers! It’s a brilliant moment! It takes me so long to wind down after a wedding because I truly feel alllll the feels, right along with my couple and their guests.
Photos by Cassie Jessup Photography
TRB: Tell me honestly, what takes over your body more as the bride is walking up the aisle to her partner, nerves or excitement?
BRE: As the bride is walking down the aisle, I take this moment to look around at the reactions from all their guests and drink in the happiness! In this moment I have no nerves at all, just a very full heart and perhaps a sneaky watery eye – you know, going out in sympathy with the groom and all!
TRB: Finally, the most important question of all... Why are rural brides just the best?
BRE: This one is super simple... Rural brides are the best because they tend to be super relaxed, fun and uber trendy! A combination I just can't get enough of!
Photos by Cassie Jessup Photography
You guys can stalk Bre's social pages:
Bre has a pretty decent string of wedding related pictures to get your inspo flowing.
You can contact Bre via her socials or email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit her website- www.brefagancelebrant.com
Photo by Cassie Jessup Photography
Let's talk about Ladies Day!
This year the Gulargambone Rugby Union Ladies Day was held on the 21st of July at the McGrane Oval in Gilgandra. Despite the previous day being actually freezing and blowing a gale the weather gods turned it on and I'm pretty sure no one froze to death.
Now, I know the tent says Holden, but the tent was loaned from club sponsor Gilgandra Toyota. Thank goodness we snagged it because the sun was shining and there was a grazing table under there that would not have fared well in the sun.
Oh grazing tables, how I love thee! But I had never put one together before so I enlisted the help of 3 much more experienced gal pals (thanks Amanda, Sal and Kate).
When there is food one must have a drink. We were treated to PIMMS and champagne courtesy of Central Stores. We decided to do a "pimp your pimms" sort of situation with a fruit station on one side of the bar for the ladies to fill their cups with, the PIMMS punch on the other side (poured by responsible people who hold a current RSA of course) and lemonade on the ladies side just in case someone wanted to water it down. Actually speaking of bar, thanks Kaela, Nadine and Tim for keeping us well watered.
Bar, champagne bucket and water cooler all available to hire from The Rural Bride
Thanks to the Armatree Hotel we could all park ourselves on a seat at a table or wine barrel to enjoy the game. At half time a few lucky ladies received some lucky door prizes. The first lucky door prize was donated by Gilgandra Pharmacy and was a lovely hamper of lady luxuries, then there were two Ringers Western gift vouchers donated by OneBucket.
What a great day we all had! I can't wait to see you all at this years event.
P.S. I have other photos supplied by the Gilgandra Newspaper but they wont load for some reason.
In April this year I was lucky enough to collaborate with some amazing local businesses for the Bubbles & Brunch event. I'm sure you can remember my billion insta stories from the day. If you can't, here it is ...
The morning was held in the back garden of local boutique and beauty store- The Beauty Room Warren. The Rural Bride assisted in creating a light atmosphere by introducing floor pallet tables adorned with soft touches and florals from The Meadow. We also took one of our timber bars along to sit the food and drinks on.
It was the perfect venue because it allowed us to browse through the store and make a few cheeky purchases in between sipping champagne and catching up with friends.
The Beauty Room, run by Laura Noonan, were showcasing their new range of fun clothing and accessories in a runway fashion show.
Local milliner Lou Webb paired 4 of her amazing hats with 4 different looks from the runway.
Guests were treated to an assortment of delicious food by Sal from Deer Dingo Catering. Sal's creations curbed literally every pregnancy craving I've ever had and left a sweet taste in all our mouths.
What a successful event. Thanks for inviting us to be part of it.
To check out the social photos visit The Beauty Room Warren's Facebook page and search for the Bubbles & Brunch album.