Practically everything! For my first wedding, I was still in law school. My parents and his paid most of the cost. The wedding took place in my husband’s home town, and his parents were involved in a lot of the planning. He invited his large extended family, which far outnumbered mine, and we had very few friends present. We worked very hard on not personalizing the wedding. We declined to write our own vows, had engraved cream-colored invitations, left the wedding music up to the organist, left the chuppah up to the synagogue, and left the flowers up to his mother. The ketubah was written by the groom’s brother-in-law, and was just plain text on a white background, with no English at all. His parents walked him down the aisle, and mine walked me down the aisle. My wedding gown was white, long-sleeved, and quite simple with no train. I wore no jewelry with it. I did not have anyone do my hair or makeup. The veil was a plain tulle circle with a comb, and no tiara. My shoes were plain white sandals. The reception was an open bar and lunch in a restaurant that we took over for the occasion, with no dancing. We did not have a guestbook or wedding album.
This time around, there is no groom–my fiancee is also female. We are paying for the wedding ourselves, with no assistance. We’re having the wedding in Massachusetts, where we know virtually no one. There will be under 20 people at our wedding and luncheon immediately afterward, but we will have a big party in DC for all our friends afterward. Neither my parents nor hers will be there, but my ex-husband and children will be. We have done all the planning ourselves. My fiancee designed the invitations. We have a very artistic ketubah designed by a professional, with custom text in both Hebrew and English. We are building our own chuppah. We wrote the entire ceremony, and more than half our guests will have speaking parts in it. We picked out all the ceremony music, which we are putting on a CD. My fiancee and I will be walking down the aisle together. For the reception back home, we have a nontraditional venue, so we are arranging all the food, decoration, and entertainment ourselves. My gown is ivory and strapless with a split front and a chapel length train. I’ll be wearing a crinoline, opera gloves, bridal slippers, pearls, and a tiara with it. We’re having someone come to the synagogue to do our hair and makeup. We will have a local musician playing at our reception, and will have dancing. We are taking dance lessons so we can have a swing dance as our first dance. We’ll have fun touches like a chocolate fountain and a DIY "photobooth" that will produce souvenirs for our guests, a unique guestbook for us, and pictures for an album that a friend is making us.
In real terms, our budget this time is probably less this time than it was for my first wedding. However, this one will be far more personalized, and less focused on what we "ought" to do.