On the Jennifer Zamparelli Show on RTÉ 2FM, Jen chats to Huib and Finn van der Aar who spent less than €2k on their big day.

From flowers and centrepieces to bridesmaid dresses and a band, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a couple to spend, on average, €25,000 on their big day.

But does walking down the aisle really have to be that expensive?

Newlyweds Huib and Finn van der Aar joined Jen on air to explain how they pulled their big day together for under €2,000.

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Finn van der Aar (née Ní Fhaoláin) is a marine scientist, chef and best selling author who holds a BSc in Earth and Ocean Science, an MSc in Marine Biology and a Certificate in Culinary Arts.

She often shares tips for living and cooking more sustainably, so it comes as no surprise that her wedding dress was bought with the Earth in mind.

"I ordered one on Depop," she explained. "The one I had planned to wear was only about €100, still a really nice dress, an Australian designer and all of that. It didn't actually arrive on time so I ordered a back up that was only about €25. When it arrived, it was beautiful. I sewed a little ribbon onto it on the day to finish it off."

"It meant I didn't feel bad if I spilled a glass of wine on it," she adds, laughing.

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Now settled by the sea in Donegal, at the time of getting married the couple were living in Portugal and said that the most expensive cost was hiring a wedding planner who could work as a translator and organise the necessary paperwork.

As for the bouquet, the bride picked up some fresh flowers on the day of the ceremony from some local sellers in the market and tied them together herself.

Although they saved themselves a lot of money, Jen asked if the couple felt stressed out from having to pull everything together on the day.

"I don't know about Huib, but no," smiles Finn. "The day itself we went for a nice swim in the hotel in the morning, had a lovely breakfast. Huib went off to buy a few bits, I got the flowers. It was very chilled."

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Understandably, at such a small cost, the wedding party was very small with just five people including the bride and groom.

"It was kind of peak COVID times," Finn explains. "The plan had been to have some of our family and friends to come but with the travel restrictions, it wasn't possible at the time."

Although Irish listeners may not be able to comprehend having such a small celebration, even during a pandemic, Huib explains that wedding culture in the Netherlands is starkly different to that in Ireland.

"Here, there are so many people that can make jobs out of weddings like musicians and wedding planners, photographers, things like that. In Holland, you couldn't make a career out of working in weddings. There's a lot smaller, they're not huge events."

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Ultimately, Finn says that if the cost of getting married is stressing couples out, she recommends opting for more sustainable options.

"A lot of the times, the nice thing when it comes to weddings, is that the more sustainable choice is actually the more affordable choice. That's not necessarily the case in everything else."

"There's a lot of amazing second hand bridal boutiques around Ireland where you can still get the stunning, amazing designer dress but instead of spending €3k, it might be €500 or something like that."

To hear Jen's chat with the couple in full, listen back above.