Some lovebirds just want to get hitched as quickly as possible, but young Aussies are taking it to a new extreme with a wild “quickie” wedding trend.

The half-hour, no frills ceremonies are a step up from a traditional courthouse elopement and a very far cry from the traditional white wedding. They include a celebrant, all of the legal necessities and a small amount of celebratory fanfare.

Get in touch — chloe.whelan@news.com.au

News.com.au spoke to one Brisbane “micro-wedding” venue, Wham Bam Thankyou Sam, which aptly names its package “The Quickie”.

For just $1900 — significantly less than the $36,000 the average Aussie spends on a wedding — loved-up couples can wed in front of 12 guests at a Las Vegas-themed events space. Wham Bam Thankyou Sam provides a confetti cannon that explodes upon the couple’s first kiss as newlyweds, and the whole affair is done and dusted in just 30 minutes.

For a bit more cash, couples can opt for one or two-hour ceremonies that include more traditional wedding staples such as catering, booze and a bridal bouquet.

Wham Bam Thankyou Sam co-founder Amey Rosenthal said she came up with the idea with her longtime friend, Kady Capewell, after the pair noticed a gap in the market for couples who wanted more fanfare than is included in a courthouse ceremony but less than a full-blown wedding.

“Kady and I have worked together for years. One night she sent me a message, completely out of the blue, suggesting the idea of Wham Bam Thankyou Sam,” Ms Rosenthal told news.com.au.

“Over a cocktail, we nutted it all out on the back of a napkin. We loved the building, and its beautiful characteristics, so we’ve really drawn on that to create a space that’s truly one of a kind … It caters to couples who want to do things differently and have a wedding that is totally unique.”

Wham Bam Thankyou Sam’s Vegas-inspired decor will stay until March 2024, when the 45-square-foot venue will be decorated in a new, yet to be announced theme.

“No matter what the theme is, we can promise it’ll be something that hasn’t been seen before,” Ms Rosenthal said.

“One thing that won’t change though is the quality. The fit out, along with our furniture, is completely custom made, so while the theme is temporary, the space still invokes a sense of permanency.”

Earlier this year, a professional on the frontline of Australia’s wedding industry warned high-end retailers will suffer as Aussies cut back on their discretionary spending.

Helen Manuell, owner of the eponymous Helen Manuell Bridal Couture, said demand for her intricate handmade wedding dresses had dried up so drastically she was learning a new profession.

The Melbourne woman, 53, said she used to have orders for nine dresses a month. Now she’s lucky to get one dress order in two months and has let all of her staff go.

“It was pretty obvious, as soon as the RBA starts mucking around with the interest rates, the first thing that’s going to go is the luxury end,” Ms Manuell told news.com.au.

“Wedding dresses are a luxury. Couture, hand made wedding dresses like the ones I make are beyond a luxury.”

In June, two mid-tier bridal shops collapsed just days apart.

The Bridal Atelier went into liquidation, impacting at least 99 weddings as it shut down its Sydney and Melbourne stores. Just two days later, Adelaide boutique Bridal Fusion by Mascia also closed permanently with its owner filing for bankruptcy.

Get in touch — chloe.whelan@news.com.au


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