top of page


by Matt Fontana

The Boring Stuff! 

Yes that’s right, you guessed it! Time for a rational conversation about managing the finances of your wedding. For most of us, the budget and dollars part of the wedding can be pretty boring so I’m going to keep this as interesting and practical as possible without telling you that being an Excel wiz is the only way. 

The fact is, I don’t expect everyone to be even half interested in running a spreadsheet and itemising every wedding expense like I would. So, I’d rather be realistic and give you one big picture choice that will be likely to save you thousands at one single decision point.  

And that decision is simply choosing the style of your wedding. When it comes to overall cost, no other decision will dictate the cost of your wedding like style you choose. The four most common options in order of expense are as follows: 

  • Reception style wedding 

  • Cocktail wedding at venue or property 

  • Backyard party at home 

  • Elopement. 

Option 1: The Reception Style Wedding. 

The reception style wedding is awesome because let’s be honest, it’s traditional, somewhat easier in execution and usually combines both catering and a venue in one neat package. You can expect that the venue will provide a ceremony and reception in the same package with food and beverage packages to suit. 

Advantages of this style are that it’s tried and tested, reduces organisational burden on the couple, makes the most of someone else’s hard work. By this I mean there are some great venues around the Geelong area and you get to enjoy them all to yourself on your special day. The disadvantage to this style of wedding is that it is generally harder to customize your wedding to the same degree that you may have with the other styles of weddings.  

Option 2: The Cocktail Wedding. 

This style still maintains both a ceremony and a reception, however you’ll find the setting less formal (usually on a private property or at a purpose-built venue) and the reception won’t be the strict three to five-course dinner that you’d expect from a more traditional setting. Catering will be left up to you, which in most cases will consist of food trucks, specialist caterers and beverage providers. 

The advantage with this option is that you get to customise your wedding to suit your personal taste, while the disadvantage to a cocktail wedding is that there tends to be a few more pieces to bring together which usually can be made easy by an event coordinator. 

You should expect to pay more where your vendors are required to travel a distance from their usual area of work. 


Option 3: The Backyard Party. 

This one is straightforward - you get a celebrant, a sh*t load of booze and caterers and you enjoy your big day in the comfort of your own home or property. 

This style tends to be more casual in terms of dress code and general formalities, while the venue is not usually as prestigious as you’d expect in the other two styles. The advantages of the home wedding is that you have full control over your day and it can be more relaxed, or it can have the reverse impact and end up being more stressful if you aren’t an organiser of things and people. 

Another disadvantage is that you will need to manage all aspects form go-to-woe if you arent’ in a position to hire an event co-ordinator. 

Option 4. Elopement 

This is the situation where you say, I don’t need the party or the big speeches, I just need you! And funnily enough it’s more popular than ever to tie the knot in company of usually no more than a dozen people including the photographer.


The drawback is that you won’t have everyone there to enjoy it with you, however you also won’t have the headache of an endless to do list like the other styles of weddings and the stress of a big event. 


I hope this helps any couple planning a wedding know what they are getting themselves into, it’s always wise to keep a log of your wedding costs as you go but choosing how you want to celebrate is really the first step to a financially savvy wedding. 

bottom of page