Living in a land Down Under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, and take cover.
- “Down Under” by Men at Work
I come from a land Down Under. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s a little known place called Australia, across the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the world (from America anyway!).
Australia from a global perspective / Image via Wikipedia.org
The reason people call it the “Land Down Under” is not just because of that song by Men at Work quoted earlier, but because, relative to the rest of the world, Australia is located “down under.”
Unless of course you use my fiancé, Mr. Big’s, favourite map ever:
The “Upside Down World Map”—Down Under is now Up Over! / Image via culturalintelligenceblog.com
But with silliness aside, let’s continue!
Specifically, I live in Sydney, which is located in the state of New South Wales. But my wonderful fiancé Mr. Big and I will be getting married in the Hunter Valley, which is a two-hour drive from there. For you visual learners:
A map drawn showing New South Wales (inset, right) and the locations of both Sydney and Hunter Valley (inset, left) / Personal image transcribed using Google Maps and designed through Photoshop
Now the thing with Australian weddings that one should know is the difficulty in communicating unique ideas across and planning a “unique” wedding. Unlike America, where trends are accepted quickly and spread just as rapidly, Australia is only really starting to grasp the “rustic,” “vintage,” and “quirky.” Melbourne, which is located in the state of Victoria south of New South Wales, accepts these more readily as the “crowd” there are very much into trends taken from high-end fashion and the like, be it bridal or no.
Unfortunately, New South Wales—and more specifically, the Hunter Valley—does not fit the same sort of “lifestyle.” This is because the Hunter Valley is “country” New South Wales and things such as Pinterest aren’t grasped as greatly.
Mr. Big and I are, and always were, a “quirky” couple and also incredibly nerdy. So it’s been rather difficult planning a wedding while trying to infuse our personalities into it.
For example, I recall mentioning that my maid of honour will be dressing in a different shade of blue from my bridesmaids and got a, “GASP—that is so original. I’ve never heard of that before!”
Cue nervous laughter here.
I’ve also found it incredibly hard to find a wine box for the “wine box and love letter” ceremony we want to do and had to search high and low for parasols for my bridesmaids!
So for those Hunter Valley brides out there, don’t be disheartened, because I have tips:
So those are my tips! Hopefully they’re helpful for those brides planning a “nontraditional” Hunter Valley wedding. For Sydney and Melbourne brides, I also recommend going to at least one session of One Fine Day, a wedding expo with a difference. They give great inspiration for brides looking for unique venues, vendors, and the like! For other brides in Australia, if you can make the trip to One Fine Day, I recommend it too. They have great photographers and videographers there who are willing to travel, so take a punt! You may get lucky. For international brides who are planning on getting married in Australia, One Fine Day has an awesome website with a list of the vendors. I recommend checking that out.
Did or does anyone else have trouble communicating ideas to vendors? Did anyone have a hard time finding things for their wedding?