An Australian Wedding for $2K: Jenna + Ben

Yep, you read that right! It is possible to have a beautiful wedding for under 2k (in fact we shared another beautiful wedding that was in this same budget last week too!) Jenna + Ben were married on the South East Coast of Australia. They were married at the Sydney Australia Temple and then had their reception on the banks of a river in a barn. To keep the cost down and help make the wedding more personal, every aspect of the wedding was handled by the families with almost nothing being outsourced – with the exception of their talented photographer, Tim Coulson. One job you really don’t want your family to take on – unless you happen to have a great photographer in the family in which case, lucky you! :) Jenna grew up as a country beach girl and Ben a suburban boy and they are both close with their families. They really wanted their day to reflect that and have the wedding they dreamt of (while trying not to care what others thought of their nontraditional wedding). Congrats to Jenna + Ben for having a wedding that was perfectly you guys! :)

bridal party by the water


Most memorable moment of your wedding day? Our most memorable moment of our day was being sealed together in the Sydney Australia Temple (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) where we were sealed for time and all eternity not just “till death do us part.”

tin shed wedding

tin shed wedding

tin shed wedding

bride and groom, beach

bride and groom, beach

From Jenna, For my wedding dress I wore a strapless dress with an attached ballero jacket. My shoes were $25 dollar flats (no body sees them anyway!) I asked each of my bridesmaids to buy a purple dress well within their budget and one they would actually wear again. My Mum and I did my hair and I did my own make-up.

bride and groom, beach

bride and groom, beach

Jenna’s beautiful brooch bouquet was from her friend Hannah Murrin (the brooches were donated and then arranged into a flower bouquet).

bride and groom, tall tree

bride and groom

bride and groom

tin shed reception

tin shed reception

bride and groom cutting cake

bride and groom exit

Any advice for those planning now?
Simple is always best. We had our guest raving about our wedding to everyone they knew even weeks after the event. One quote from a guest “it felt like being in heaven with the birds and the sounds of the river and it was like we were all as one.” Our wedding was simple but beautiful, make your wedding reflect the couple you are. You do not need to spend a fortune to make your wedding your dream day. Our wedding cost us about $2000 and that’s including EVERYTHING. I borrowed the bouquet, we got friends to cater. Remember the day is about you. Also we were very strict with our guest list and only had family and extremely close friends. To enable the other people you care about be apart of it all, invite whoever you want to your engagement parties. We had two, one for Ben’s side and one for mine.

Also when deciding where to take your photos, choose places that have meaning to you. We had them at the beach where Ben proposed and on the piece of land I grew up on. We are an interracial couple, so we both have different cultures. However our advice is don’t let cultural traditions interfere with plans. If you don’t want it to be cultural and traditional then make it know at the beginning of the planning and stick to it. Many will disagree but remember at the end of the day it your wedding.

Your photographer is the key to helping capture those precious moments that you don’t see as you’re flying through the day and Tim Coulson did just that. It shouldn’t be a photo shoot where you are put in ridiculous poses that don’t reflect you. Tim captured real moments and made them look beautiful. It is also important for your photographer to capture photos of the people who are most dear to you, and without telling Tim he captured beautiful moments of grandparents and nieces that are very dear to us. For the guys: don’t always give into what the girl wants. Put your foot down on where you feel you can save money. Like wise for girls.

Thanks so much for the great advice you two and we wish you both the best!

photography: Tim Coulson // venue: Sydney Temple; Gerringong Boat Harbour, Berry, NSW; Drift Wood Shed Terara, NSW // catering: Charles and Mele Tupou catering // music: We used our own ipod in which we had made up our own wedding playlist

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  1. Beautiful images and the other thing that I love is it goes to show what you can do on a budget! Nothing about this wedding looks budget – it looks stunning. Also, love the Brooch bouquet!

  2. Wow to the budget, wow to the beautiful couple & setting, the bouquet, the support of family & friends. Best of all amazing advice. Love what was said about doing it the way you want without pressure re: culture, etc., keeping it intimate & having a wedding people will be talking about well into the future. Inspiring!

  3. Thank you for showing that a wedding doesn’t have to be over the top. I don’t get spending the cost of a house for four hours on ONE day. This is by far one of the most elegant, breathtaking weddings you’ve featured on your blog.

  4. So pretty! I love the idea of a laid back and intimate reception. It is about the couple, after all. Why make it stressful?

  5. It was a lovely wedding. My husband and I did our wedding on a $2,500 budget, so I totally get this thought process. Simple is always better.

  6. I do love the brooch bouquet, too!

  7. The Brooch bouquet is divine . A beautifully photographed wedding. Tim Coulson is the BEST !

  8. she pulls off a long sleeved gown so gorgeously!

  9. I think I need more info on how that amazing dress factored into the budget! It looks like two grand alone!

  10. Amazing! Can’t believe they did all this on such a modest budget. Well done! Absolutely love the bouquet!

  11. would love to see a breakdown of the budget…as i honestly cant see how $2k would pay for everything they have there..including the photographer! The DIY and self catering is awesome but Tim Coulson alone charges $3k per wedding. Maybe the $2k budget didnt include everything? just the reception?

  12. I love this, such a sweet Wedding and beautiful couple!!! I payed for my wedding and I was a young 20 year old student, so the funds were small. I spent $1500 dollars on my entire wedding and loved it! :) All of my friends and family donated there awesome time and amazing talents!

  13. Beautiful photography! And the 2k budget…this is brilliant! Definitely want to see more of these low-budget/high-style weddings/posts. Thanks, GWS!

    The French Bouquet–

  14. I’m very glad to see a budget wedding and it looks gorgeous. However, you said they pretty much only outsourced the photography.

    Well this is from the photographers website, “pricing…I cover the whole day, and for that, pricing starts at $3000 (including all images).”

    I’m not sure I understand how the wedding cost $2,000 when the photographer alone starts his pricing at $3,000. Not to be a stickler – heck under $5,000 is impressive to me. I just thought it was important to be open about the costs of things.

  15. Beautiful! I adore brooches! Also, the image with three is quite lovely. You could come back for anniversaries, and get the same shot and document how the tree grows as you guys do. <3

  16. I’m so glad everyone is loving this wedding! Kristen and Clare – as for your questions about the budget, I did just receive an email from Tim that I think will help with that. You are correct, he does charge 3k per wedding but this couple were friends of his and they worked out a special price. He did vouch that their total wedding cost was right at 2k.

    If you are looking for a great photographer, but can’t afford their price, you might be able to have them photograph only a few hours of the day (like this couple did who really wanted the great portraits) or maybe by getting married on a not as popular day such as a Thursday or Sunday. Hope that helps!

  17. such an awesome idea! very cool post

  18. 3rd shot from the bottom the photographer gave her antlers!!! ha!

  19. Hi I am Jenna’s mom and I just wanted to share some ideas that weren’t listed. A good place to hire things for the wedding is from amateur theatre groups. You can hire a variety of their props for a small fee. The place settings cost $15 each. I went to a $2 store and bought the items. The ring of flowers had orange flowers and I plucked them out.

  20. That last image just makes me smile and they were smart to invest in a good photographer. Lovely wedding for a beautiful couple… all the best!!!

  21. What a beautiful wedding! I did a double take when I read the 2K wedding headline. Since I am planning my own wedding, I always love to read different ways couples did a wedding with a strict budget. How very frustrating to see that headline and then just out of curiosity click on the photographers website and see his packages start at 3K! So, I guess the 2K budget isn’t realistic at all, in addition, it is only 2K if you just so happen to have a friend who is a caterer and supplies you with all the food, plates, utensils, etc. I highly, highly doubt that the wedding pictured was only 2k in total cost. The dress, accessories for both bride and groom, let alone their photographer would easily cost double that. Just overall disappointing to see things like this when in reality you know that they must have spent more than 2K!

  22. Hi Philia-

    You are most definitely right, the wedding above surely cost more than 2K BUT that is all the couple spent! That is why I just love it – the wedding looks like it cost way more than it did! :) It’s great to show others planning that there are ways to save on budget.

    The photographer is a friend of theirs, so he gave them a discount. To save on catering, you could have friends and family bring food for a family style meal like they did. You can find amazing dresses that are totally affordable on sites like and ebay. Her gorgeous bouquet was on loan from a friend.

    The couple were proud that they only spent around 2k and they wanted to share their lovely wedding with others and let them know it is possible. Hope that helps clear some things up! Be sure to read their advice also as I think that might help with your questions.

    Thanks so much!!

  23. Thank you for your reply Jen, I will definitely stay tuned for more money saving tips!

  24. This is such a beautiful wedding! It looks so relaxed outside in nature… it’s lovely!

  25. Congratulations guys!
    It’s so great to see you incredible wedding. We are trying to do our wedding on the cheap to. S far so good, keeping under the 2k range! It’s so nice to see it is possible and keeping it looking great!
    Thank you for the inspiration. :)

  26. Love the photograph. So beautiful. I can feel the love through the photo. i shell say it is the sydney best wedding photographer.


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