If I were you, here is what I would do:
VENUE: Park – free, lots of lovely parks in the OC area! If you have less than 50 people, check out the Great Park in Irvine – they have free helium balloon rides and a free carousel!
FOOD: DIY, expect to pay about $300, depending on what you have. That’s what I spent for a wedding of 100 guests. Don’t forget plates, cups, and utensils for about $50.
CAKE: DIY cupcakes, about $25. Wilton has stuff to make really cute cupcakes! You can buy it at Jo-Ann’s. You can make your own cake stand for cheap too, maybe $25!
LINENS: Buy sheets at the thrift store for tableclothes, and cut some up and hem them for napkins. If you must have table runners, check out the fabric district in LA. You can get fabric for $1/yard. I would estimate $30 for this.
RENTALS: Chairs and Tables from Lakewood Rent – All, with 15 tables at 6.75 each, and 100 chairs at .80 each, is $181.25
DECORATIONS: Make fabric bunting and tissue flowers to string, and make a crepe paper backdrop for the ceremony, about $40.
FLOWERS: You can get TONS of flower at the Flower District. I had a post about this about 9 months ago. Flowers for bridesmaids, centerpieces, and the bride, an easy $80. You can get the vases at DollarTree.
MUSIC: Ask around for a family member that has a battery operated sound system, then hook CD’s or an iPod up to it
PHOTOGRAPHY: Designate a few family members as photographers
INVITATIONS: Print them yourself on cardstock. You can get a pack of 50 flat cards and 50 envelopes at Target for $10. OR, splurge, and go to Barnes and Noble and get pretty flat cards there. Don’t forget postage – for 50 invites, that is about $25.
YOUR DRESS: Get a white bridesmaids dress from Davids Bridal for less than $200, or you can sew one for cheap if you get the fabric from the fashion district. I got mine from Dressilyme.com for about $240. You can sew your own veil for less than $10, and buy shoes at Payless for $25. Get your jewelry from the Fashion district – I got my earrings and hairclip for less than $20.
HIS OUTFIT: Likely he has a white shirt already, so add brown pants, a brown vest, and a DIY bow tie (lots of tutorials out there), and he has a cute outfit for about $80. Try Nordstrom Rack and Burlington Coat Factory! Even Target might have something good.
OFFICIANT: Have a family member get ordained online.
LICENSE: $90 at the registrar’s office.
TOTAL: $1190 for the wedding. 🙂