As someone who is on a small budget and two weeks from the wedding: elope.
I’m not joking. I really wish we had.
Anyway. For 85 people (which includes us, the bridal party, the photographers, and our guests), we’re spending about $9500, which includes the dress/shoes, his tux, and our rings. It also includes our all-inclusive reception venue (but not alcohol, because we’re doing consumption service), and also a s’mores bar (which is totally frivolous).
Dress: actually, my FMIL paid for most of my dress, but it was a $700 Venus dress. Mori Lee has LOTS of dresses under $1000, David’s Bridal has some gorgeous dresses, as well, OR you can always go with a replica site. We used Dressilyme for our bridesmaids dresses and they turned out gorgeous.
Photography: booked a wonderful local photographer (without looking at anyone else/other prices) whose work is beautiful and prices are very low.
Flowers: purchased from FiftyFlowers.com (but check your local Costco/Sam’s Club, or even grocery stores!) for $220, FMIL’s friend is putting them together for us.
Favors: skip ’em. My grandma offered to do ours, so I let her, and she’s making edible chocolate suckers.
Food: using the caterers that come with our reception venue–$24/pp buffet.
Music: using the DJ that comes with our venue. Ceremony music (all two songs) will be done on an iPod with borrowed speakers, run by my MOH’s fiance.
Decor: all DIY. Saved up wine bottles and painted them, bought cheap runners, lots of frames and votive holders from the Dollar Tree (for seating chart, table numbers, etc.), borrowed milk glass pieces, designed a lot of decor/table numbers/seating chart/menus/etc. myself and printed them off. Also, paint.
Invitations: envelopes from envelopemall.com (only because I was picky), designed all of the paper goods myself and printed through Vistaprint using Groupons. I believe our total for 80 each save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, reception cards, and thank you cards came to around $70.
Cupcakes: done by a family member.
Officiant: we kind of splurged on this because we wanted someone who understood our vision, and this local officiant couple has been wonderful. If there’s someone you’d like to officiate for you, they can get ordained online for pretty cheap.
Ceremony venue: rented a local amphitheatre, which includes seating, for $140. We made a backdrop, and will be purchasing some planters to anchor it, and bought an old frame at Goodwill for $4, painted the glass with chalkboard paint, and will be writing out the program on that.
IF you’d like to have a small ceremony, does anyone in your family have some nice property that they’d allow you to use? Our backdrop wasn’t hard or expensive to make (used wood). You could borrow tables and chairs from a church, if anyone’s a member. Purchasing your own linens can be cheaper than renting (plus you can resell). You can get catering from a local restaurant–so many of them will cater (and love to cater) events, at a much lower cost than a traditional reception venue.