Congrats on your engagement! My biggest advice is negotiate as much as you can, with pretty much all of the vendors. Ask about paying cash (if this is an option) and if that will save you on tax. I’m going to have 300 ish at my wedding, so it was much easier for me to negotiate with my venue, based on our guarantee. With less people, you’re going to have less wiggle room, but you can always choose time of day and day of the week to get a better price. Friday nights and Sunday day/night are cheaper than Saturday night. I think Saturday afternoon is also less but be careful with afternoon weddings, as the venue will put a hard stop to the festivities when they have to setup for an evening wedding.
Your venue will be your biggest cost, but you mentioned you want a band, which is a significant chunk of change as well. Any thoughts about scaling down to a DJ and adding a live drummer or sax player or something like that? It gives you a fuller sound without the cost of a band.
I really had no idea about costs when we first started, but these boards definitely helped (especially liweddings.com). Other costs to think about:
photography, music, his tuxes (you didn’t mention in your post), transportation, save the dates, invites, thank you cards, gifts for the bridal party, rehearsal dinner (if you’re paying for it), flowers (you mentioned you’re doing centerpieces but what about bouquets, boutinnieres, ceremony decoration?), hair & makeup, favors (if you’re doing this), stamps, and other incidentals (we’re having a photobooth).
And….to drop a bombshell (sorry!)…TIPS! I think we’re going to be handing out close to $2000 in cash tips (including the venue). I had no idea on the tips until I started reading the boards. You’re supposed to tip pretty much everyone (individual band members, photographer, hair and makeup, valet, photobooth attendants, etc etc).
All of these things add up to a significant chunk of change, so negotiate!! And good luck!