weddings

Wedding of the Week: How Caitlin and Josh got married for less than $9000 on New Year's Eve.

Welcome to Wedding of the Week, the five-part series lifting back the veil (see what we did there?) on real weddings from our Mamamia readers.

Each week, we’ll deep dive into one Aussie couple’s wedding day to bring you all the details about the important stuff – the dress, venue, food, flowers, photography and words of wisdom.

Oh, there are lots of beautiful photos too.

This week’s Wedding of the Week is Caitlin and Josh’s backyard New Year’s Eve wedding. Enjoy!

The basics.

caitlin and josh wedding

Who: Caitlin, 27, and Joshua, 32, from NSW.

Wedding date: December 31, 2017.

Number of guests: 118.

Total cost: $8,700.

Photography: Leia Fae Photography.

Caitlin and Josh's love story.

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"We met one night at a mutual friend's house. Fast forward another six months when we met again at a party, Josh cracked jokes and I added him on Facebook the next day where we spoke for months before finally dating.

"In April, 2016, we welcomed our first son Cyrus. Cyrus was a very welcome surprise but by the beginning of 2017, the desire to get married was strong, as was wanting to buy our first house. We never got engaged - one night we decided to get married, and we did seven months later.

"We'd always talked about having a small backyard wedding so we could avoid spending a fair whack of cash which could be better used elsewhere. Now, we have two boys, are still saving for that elusive house and have the best memories of our 2017 New Year's wedding party."

The wedding dress.

Wedding dress: Dress bought online for $200, tailored by Stephanie’s The Perfect Fit.

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"I knew I wanted a simple boho dress. It had to be long and have sleeves, and preferably, some lace too. I found the perfect dress online, so I ordered it two sizes too big so alterations could be made for it to fit perfectly."

"My mum attended a couple of these alterations fittings which gave us that 'shopping for the dress' experience."

Caitlin's bridal hair, makeup and final touches.

Wedding makeup: Sephora.

Wedding hair: Jess from Milk & Honey Hair & Beauty.

Wedding shoes: Novo Shoes sandals, $35.

Wedding accessories: Leaf Crown by Tina at The Petite Posy Shoppe, jewellery from family.

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"My wedding style was boho luxe, but on a budget. I wanted to feel comfortable, and not to spend too much money on my look, but also look like the best version of myself. Aside from the leaf crown, which I wore in place of a veil, I wore a necklace Josh gave me for Christmas, and my grandmother's pearls and Josh’s grandmother's brooch on my bouquet."

The bridal party.

Groom and Page Boy outfit details: Cotton On and Cotton On Kids.

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caitlin and josh wedding

"We chose against having a bridal party. We both have large immediate families and lots of friends who we wanted involved on the day. To simplify things, we kept it just us and [our son] Cyrus up there at the altar. Cyrus (reluctantly) carried the rings down the aisle, and then insisted being held by one of us for majority of the ceremony."

The ceremony and reception.

Ceremony venue: Reserve at the back of the couple's rental property.

Reception venue: Couple's backyard.

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"At the rear of our rental is a reserve, so we built an arbour, set up chairs and ran power from the house to have our ceremony out there. After the ceremony, guests were directed into the backyard to begin drinking and eating."

Flowers: The Petite Posy Shoppe.

Stationary: Invitations and signage made by the bride.

Catering: Woofy’s Food Cart.

Wedding cake: A gift from a beautiful friend topped with flowers from The Petite Posy Shoppe and a cake topper by Arlo & Co.

Decor: Wooden signage by Arlo & Co, DIY lighting, and all props and furniture supplied by the couple and their family and friends.

Entertainment: Spotify playlists managed by a friend on the day.

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The moments that made Caitlin and Josh's wedding day special.

"The whole day was so memorable and we just remember being overwhelmingly happy and grateful to be surrounded by so many people that love us. Our vows were really special, and parts of our ceremony were based on the Harry Potter quote 'Even after all this time. Always.' That just set the tone for our marriage."

"Our first dance, which Josh did not want to do, was hilarious as Cyrus had to be up there dancing with us, so it took the pressure off us a bit. But really, the party at the end was immense, everyone had such a great time and because it was at our house, the festivities continued well into the early hours of the morning."

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Would Caitlin and Josh do anything about their wedding differently?

"We had a lot to do on the morning of the wedding as we did it all ourselves, and it was raining the morning of, which was stressful, but it turned out to be the perfect day."

"With the help of friends and family (after I accidentally cut the power supply to the fairy lights), the day ran so smoothly and was the perfect big party we’d always wanted. We had a contingency plan for everything so it all worked out kind of perfect. Having it at your house and having resources on hand mitigates a lot of the risks involved with a wedding.

"The one thing we'd do differently would be to prepare proper speeches. We both winged it, but we should’ve prepared to let the right people know how much we appreciated what they did for our day.

"Money-wise, we spent big on the things that mattered to us: photography and food. The rest, we strung together ourselves. We didn’t see the need to spend above and beyond for one day when we made it our kind of perfect on a tiny budget.

"My advice for other brides is: It’s one day, and no matter how it goes, it’s the day you marry the love of your life. That in itself is pretty bloody special."

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caitlin and josh wedding

Vendor recap: Photography: Leia Fae Photography, Ceremony and reception venues: couple's backyard, Flowers: The Petite Posy Shoppe, Catering: Woofy’s Food Cart, Decor: Arlo & Co., Wedding makeup: Sephora, Wedding hair: Milk & Honey Hair & Beauty, Groom's outfit details: Cotton On.

All images supplied by the couple and Leia Fae Photography.

Planning a wedding? Our Hitched wedding planning podcast can help with that, listen to all the episodes below:

Want more real wedding content? Read more here:

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