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Love costly for nuptials budget

Comparing the changing style of wedding gowns over the years at Mary Vidler Bridal Gowns in Lismore are former owner Mary Vidler (left) and current Janelle Power.
Comparing the changing style of wedding gowns over the years at Mary Vidler Bridal Gowns in Lismore are former owner Mary Vidler (left) and current Janelle Power. Cathy Adams

IT WILL be a budget wedding for Goonellabah couple Tenielle Bryant and Matt Lewis when they get married in March.

“We are buying a home so it won’t be a big wedding,” Ms Bryant said.

“We are holding the reception in a local restaurant with only 64 guests and I am doing all the table settings myself.”

In fact, with a hairdressing girlfriend doing her hair, an aunty doing the photography and cars borrowed from relatives, Ms Bryant believes the cost of their wedding will come in at well under $10,000.

“We haven’t done the final budget yet, but at the moment the cost seems around $6000 to $8000,” she said. “I’ve heard where some weddings have cost $25,000.”

In actual fact, according to Bride-to-Be magazine, the latest ‘Cost of Love’ findings reveal the average Australian wedding can cost a couple just over $48,000, about the same as an average annual income.

Mary Vidler, previous owner of Mary Vidler Bridal Gowns in Lismore, said when she first started her business back in 1957 the average cost of a wedding was only around $500.

“People used to buy big wedding gowns and then make the christening dress for their children from them,” she said.

“The veils would become covers for baby bassinettes.”

Styles of wedding dresses have also changed from three-metre long trains, high necklines and leg o’ mutton sleeves, according to Ms Vidler, to strapless or shoestring straps and low backs.

“When I got married in the cathedral we had to dress modestly,” she said. “You weren’t allowed to show any bare shoulders.”

Even the style of bouquet a bride carries down the aisle has changed over the years.

“From the ’60s to the ’90s there were the long-sheath bouquets,” Ms Vidler said.

“Today brides will carry just a round cluster or posy of fresh flowers. A bouquet in the ’60s would have cost the bride $5.99.”

Current owner of Mary Vidler Bridal Gowns, Janelle Power, said veils were once heavily embroidered.

“Now they usually just have piped edging with crystals sewn in,” she said.


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