Married at First Sight fans were invited into Jules Robinson and Cam Merchant’s second wedding on Tuesday night, with 1.1 million people tuning in to watch an extended special on A Current Affair.
But after 60 minutes of wedding frivolity, many viewers were left with one lingering question; how much did Channel Nine fork out to pull together such an extravagant affair?
Some of the inclusions were indeed a little over the top, like the crystal chandeliers that were hung from suspended floral arrangements over the bridal table, or the fact that there were 2,000 roses that had to be hand-peeled open by professionals on the day.
Jules had two wedding dresses – or three if you count the dress she changed into to walk out of the venue at the end of the night – and Cam two suits, including one he only wore to confuse awaiting paparazzi ahead of the ceremony so they wouldn’t know what colour jacket he would actually be wearing down the aisle.
Then there was the swanky inner-city Sydney reception venue, that admittedly looked very much like the place the MAFS cast had their weekly dinner parties, and served the couple’s one hundred-plus guests a selection of prawn and vongole saganaki, and baked halloumi with lemon-infused ouzo.
“Sylvia must have seriously maxed out the Channel 9 credit card paying for this wedding,” one person quipped on Twitter, referring to pregnant Nine’s Sylvia Jeffreys, who was hosting the special.
“Off camera you can imagine Sylvia handing over the channel 9 cheque book to the dressmaker, the venue, the florist..” said another viewer, while a third questioned, “I’m assuming this entire wedding is going on the channel 9 credit card?”
Others pointed out how many company names were dropped throughout the special, suggesting that vendors were promised coverage in exchange for their services.
“Forget business cards these days, just host a reality wedding on tv and throw your products at it including the venue,” one viewer said.
Forget business cards these days, just host a reality wedding on tv and throw your products at it including the venue, Alpha in Sydney... #9ACA— Sonia (@Sonia3044) November 19, 2019
Meanwhile, an insider claimed to the Daily Mail that Cam and Jules were paid $75,000 to give ACA cameras exclusive access, meaning the couple had to impose strict rules on guests, including signing a non-disclosure agreement, to protect the deal.
For the more money-savvy couples, there are plenty of tricks and tips to be gleaned from other brides and grooms who have managed to keep the costs down on their big day.
Recently, Showpo founder Jane Lu got married in a $300 wedding dress, with the brand now stocking a number of styles in that price range.
ASOS also sell bargain wedding gowns for between $190 and $590, while Revolve stock a couple around the $1,500 price point.
Jules’ dresses were custom designs by Sydney boutique Velani, and while we don’t know exactly how much each of her gowns cost, they general asking price for custom Velani is upwards of $10,000.
Another thrifty bride saved money on her wedding last year by slashing $500 off her floral bill with fake flowers from Kmart, while a third bride managed to plan her whole wedding for just $800 using some cost-saving hacks.
For more info on keeping wedding costs down, check out these four tips from Aussie brides.
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