@vegas: I think it’s technically possible but unlikely that you & your guests would be happy with the result. The rule of thumb is that about 1/2 of the budget will be spent on the reception. You have 76% (16k/21k) on the reception. I tried to do something similar and I found that although it’s possible, it’s really hard. It just feels wrong if the budget is too lopsided, like buying a really nice house and then sleeping on a bed made of cardboard boxes.
If you’re doing your invitations online, that will help a lot with your budget for postage. But I think you still need to send out thank you cards in the mail, so don’t forget to add $22.00 of postage & $5 thank you cards.
With a low budget for photography (I’m assuming $400-$600 for just the ceremony) you will not have a lot of photographers to choose from.
Flowers from Costco still cost money, could be $500-$700+ plus the cost of your materials like vases, ribbons, etc.
iPod for music means you still need someone to make announcements. Do you have someone in mind that would be able to do that for you? Also, you would need someone to cue up the ceremony music. Would you need to buy music for the iPod?
I noticed you left out things like:
* Marriage license ($30)
* Hair & nails ($30-$200)
* Shoes ($50)
* Bridal party & family gifts ($50-400)
* Not sure if you included alterations, undergarments, accessories, etc. in the cost of your dress.
* Cake (is this included in the food/drink cost?)
Edited: I just read you’re doing in in LV – that makes me more confident you would be able to do it. I think you should budget a bit more for non-reception costs, but it’s more do-able knowing that.
As an example of a challenge, though, do you have plan to arrive three days ahead of time and have a huge fridge in your hotel room to have the bulk flowers sit?