Super excited to have a rock on your finger, but not, er, quite so thrilled about the mountainous pile of wedding-planning tasks (and potentially 12+ months of near-meltdown moments) that lie between you and your stroll down the aisle? We may just have found the solution: why not eschew tradition and throw a pop up wedding!
Image: Etienne Reynaud Photography
Say what? Well, a pop up wedding is basically a miniature, fast-forwarded version of the old-fashioned nuptial affair (and yes, it comes with a miniature price tag, too). Think a super short time frame between booking and saying “I do”, and some helpful planners to organise all those pesky details for you – so you can get back to more important things, like pinning Maldives pics on your ‘Honeymoon Porn’ Pinterest board.
And this new trend is catching on, big time. Clever new company Gold Coast Pop Up Weddings recently partnered with QT Gold Coast to create a pop-up wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day. The offering involved an official wedding ceremony; ceremony venue and styling; ceremony music; a 30-minute photo shoot; a wedding cake and a champagne toast – all for less than $2000!
Wow is right – so we asked the founder of Gold Coast Pop Up Weddings, plus one of the couples who tied the knot at the Valentine’s Day pop up event – Mady and Steve, to reveal all.
The clever people behind Gold Coast Pop Up Weddings give us the lowdown on what a pop up wedding really entails…
Can you give us a run-down of what your pop-up weddings involve?
Gold Coast Pop Up Weddings are all about providing seriously fun and affordable mini weddings. For under $2000, we offer a new way for couples to say, “I do” – or “I do, again”. Our packages include everything you would expect in a wedding day but condensed into a small amount of time – that is, one hour. Couples simply choose a time slot at one of our pop-up wedding day events, round up their closest family and friends (or their entire guest list!) and enjoy an amazing Gold Coast venue with a celebrant, photographer, stylist, mini wedding cake and a champagne toast.
Is it really possible to hold a wedding for under $2000?
Normally it wouldn’t be possible but because our couples share the cost of a venue, a celebrant, stylist, an 8-hour photography session and a cake maker, the cost per wedding is drastically reduced. It’s true that all of the one-hour packages at Gold Coast Pop Up Weddings are under $2,000 and there’s a variety of venues and dates to choose from. As well as the option to join a pop-up wedding day event, couples can also choose to book a private pop-up wedding where our team delivers tailor-made packages at their venue and on their date.
What was the idea behind pop-up weddings?
Our founder, Bree Nicholls, is a registered marriage celebrant who has worked in the wedding and events industry for over 13 years. When she saw how pop-up weddings were trending internationally, she decided to set up a dedicated pop-up wedding service for the Gold Coast. Bree too spent upwards of $20,000 on her own wedding – and always thought that if she had her time again, she’d do things a little differently.
Has the concept taken off quickly?
We’ve been inundated with enquiries since our launch in 2014. From first timers to old timers, we are noticing that this idea is something that’s really appealing to all generations. We’ve already confirmed bookings into 2016 and for our annual Valentines event at QT Gold Coast.
Can you tell us about your recent Valentines Day Pop Up Wedding Day event?
This event at QT Gold Coast was our very first event, and it was a huge success. Two couples tied the knot on the hotel’s outdoor Calypso Terrace. In terms of location, the QT Gold Coast caught our eye to host the Gold Coast’s first pop up wedding because of its mix of contemporary and retro styles.
What has the feedback been like?
Both our couples who married on Valentines Day said how easy the lead-up to the day was. Rather than having the added stress of organising suppliers, paying hefty bills and arranging a seating plan, they were able to relax and just enjoy being engaged. And, the money they saved along the way allowed them to have an amazing honeymoon!
Why is there a market for pop-up weddings at the moment?
The average cost of a wedding in Australia is now over $40,000, so couples definitely want to keep their wallets in check and sometimes weddings are put on the back burner after children come along. But as well as being affordable, a pop-up wedding also enables the focus to shift to the most important part of a wedding – the ceremony. We’ve also seen a ‘back to basics’ trend emerge, where couples are craving that small, intimate and personalised celebration.
What are the benefits of a pop-up wedding as opposed to a traditional wedding?
There are so many benefits: saving your hard earned dollars that can be spent elsewhere, replacing the stress of wedding planning with a focus on saying “I do”, being able to have a wedding in a venue you couldn’t otherwise afford and even surprising family and friends with a spontaneous wedding! We have several exciting pop-up venues for 2015 to be announced soon, including a secluded park location, a beachside resort and an island escape.
Loved-up newlyweds Mady and Steve got married in a pop-up wedding on Valentines Day 2015.
How did you meet?
We met while working at an event for a mutual friend.
Can you tell us about the proposal?
It was Valentines Day and Steve took me out to dinner where we went on our first date. After dinner we went home and he took me up to our roof top which looked over the Sydney Harbour, popped a bottle of champagne and dropped to one knee. It was all very romantic!
How long were you engaged before you got married?
Two years to the day!
Why did you guys decide to have a pop-up wedding?
We had a baby between getting engaged and our wedding, so planning it fell to the bottom of the priority list and it looked as though we were going to have to elope. Then I came across pop-up weddings on the QT Facebook page and it was the best of both worlds – eloping, but with our closest friends and family!
How did your family and friends react when you told them about the idea?
They were absolutely over the moon, as it meant they were all able to be a part of the day.
Can you run us through your wedding-planning process?
I had a wedding Pinterest board going from the night Steve proposed, so I knew exactly what style I wanted! I showed it to Crystal from the QT Events Team and she took it from there. I honestly didn’t have to do anything! Bree, our celebrant, made choosing vows so easy, it was a few Skype calls and emails and it was sorted. I loved only having a small amount of time to organize it, as it meant when a decision about something was made, that was it no time to turn back and change it. This made it extremely easy, as I couldn’t fuss or sweat over the small stuff.
Tell us about your big day…
It was all very relaxed. Everything was done, so we didn’t need to worry about the little things. I just woke up lazed about with some of my girlfriends, then started getting ready from about 1pm. From then on the afternoon flew by and before I knew it I was walking down the aisle. We had fun during the ceremony, it was all over pretty quickly and then we got to go celebrate with everyone after some photos. Besides the birth of my daughter, I can easily say it was the best day of my life.
What was the most memorable part about your big day?
I really don’t think I could choose one particular part of the day. I know it sounds cliché, but the whole day was memorable and perfect!
Do you have any advice for brides considering a pop-up wedding?
Just that if you are considering, do it! It is a fun, stress free way to have a wedding. Everything from planning to the actual day was just so laidback, we had the best time.
Would you consider having a pop-up wedding, Wedding Clubbers?
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by Rebecca Hanley