Australian couples no longer have to choose between a mortgage or matrimony with 'micro weddings' allowing the betrothed to have their layer cake and eat it too.
With the average Australian wedding costing $36,000 savvy couples are opting for a stripped-back ceremony and a mere handful of guests.
Amanda Adams and her partner chose to be surrounded by a tight-knit group of loved ones on their micro-wedding day.
"I find with larger weddings, having been previously married myself, it's always a massive guest list, questions of who you should or shouldn't invite," she said.
"It was fun, low key and we had the best time.
"We laughed the whole afternoon. After the formal ceremony we all headed out to our favourite restaurant and enjoyed a meal together, stress free and extremely affordable."
In the post-COVID wedding boom, owner of Ballarat's Ivory Haus Laura Feldman observed that couples were eager to get married without the bells and whistles of a traditional wedding.
"After all of the lockdowns and the uncertainty that came with that, we found that there were people that wanted to just hurry up and get married," Ms Feldman said.
According to the annual wedding Industry report 2022,18 per cent of couples had a small restricted ceremony and postponed a larger reception.
A further 44 per cent were forced to reduce their guest numbers.
Micro-weddings have accelerated in popularity with venues across the country offering affordable packages that include a ceremony and photography.
At Tumbling Waters retreat in Stanwell Tops NSW, micro-wedding packages are available from $2,450 during the week.
Owner Sonja Keller said a small wedding could be more special.
"One of the nice things about having a micro wedding here is that everything is on the one site. So they have the ceremony, the reception, the accommodation, photography all in the one place," she said.
"They don't have to travel very far. It's just once you're here, you're here."
According to the Australian Bridal Industry Academy, the average wedding spend in NSW is from $37,108 to $41,245 while couples in Victoria pay an average of $36,358 to $37,430 for their wedding.
In Tasmania and Queensland the average wedding cost starts at around $26,000.
"Back in 2019, I would have told you that it was young couples that perhaps had come from a broken family, they didn't want to have to invite mum and dad because they can't be in the same room together, or maybe it was a second marriage," Ms Feldman from Ivory Haus said.
"But now it's anyone, so many people are doing it."
Tamworth-based marriage celebrant Rianna Winter said regional couples could struggle to arrange traditional services due to a lack of local resources.
"In rural areas like Tamworth it's pretty hard to do a registry wedding because you've got to go down to Parramatta or find somebody that will do it, and it can be really cold and clinical.
"It's a hard process logistically, whereas if you can find a local celebrant like me I can deliver something that's really personal," she said.
"So they get a beautiful script, have a handful of really close people that really care about them and it just works out really well, it's really special to them."
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Ms Winters said for many couples, the photography was the most important part.
"People don't want to waste the money on something massive. They want the beautiful photos to treasure."
The peak times for weddings in Australia is between March and April and September and November.
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