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Usually when I scroll through Netflix looking for something new, I end up watching a British murder mystery. While I love the BBC’s excellent production value and suspenseful storylines, sometimes watching shows about murderers really gets me down. (Wild, right?) But recently I was browsing through the “Recommended for you” section on Netflix for a new show to eat up the entirety of my weekend when I came across a show “Cheapest Weddings.” (Thank you, algorithm!) And after quite the binge I can tell you, this is the best wedding show on television.
Immediately into the title, I clicked play, only to be even more delighted to learn that this unscripted show was not just about cheap weddings, but about Australia’s cheapest weddings. Accents, Aussies, and absolutely zero budget to plan a wedding? I was all in.
Each episode follows couples as they try to throw weddings on micro-budgets. I’m talking spending $400 the Jindalee Bowls Club as your venue. Fun fact: the woman is charge of the Jindalee Bowls club can’t stop advertising her venue to camera. Another fun fact: there are a lot of bowling clubs in Australia.
Sometimes, these weddings are actually successful, like the case of the couple who pretty much enlists the help of the entire population of the beautiful island they live on to contribute to their wedding day. The community donated everything from decorations to “wedding pies” to vegetables from their gardens. I can’t even remember if the couple had a budget at all or were just freeloading entirely, TBH. (Pro tip for budget weddings: when you have a gorgeous, natural backdrop like the ocean, everything seems fancier.) Even when the storm rolls in, everyone is totally chill and just moves the party to the Town Hall for maybe $90. It ends up looking pretty great, and I’m now thinking about moving to this island.
But for other couples, tiny budgets mean a total downward spiral into chaos. Like the Jindalee Bowls Club couple — yes, I cannot stop saying and writing, “Jindalee Bowls Club” — who start with high hopes, but also seem to sort of despise each other from the start. Also, their friends and family didn’t seem all that into their impending nuptials.
The pair can’t even get the balloons blown up in time for the wedding. The band cancels. The mom is “sick.” The Jindalee Bowls Club starts talking to camera about how terribly the wedding is going. Basically, it’s a disaster. While it’s definitely sad, it’s also some pretty excellent television.
Pretty much, the show comes down to the fact that if you love each other, you can make any budget work. But if you’re not all that into each other, you probably shouldn’t be getting married. On any budget. So if you’re looking to feel better about your wedding budget, or you just are as delighted by the name, “Jindalee Bowls Club” as I am, search “Cheapest Weddings” on Netflix… now.
Written by: Kimmy Foskett