@Akennedy01: I am having my wedding in Louisville, KY. I originally had a budget of $2000 (which is impossible with what I wanted) but thanks to friends and family that budget has been pushed to $6000 and the budget is working out perfectly even with splurging in a couple of areas.
Photographer: Photos are VERY important to me because that is how you remember the day for years to come and I wanted a professional that was very good at it. I searched Craigslist for months for photographers that were less than $1000 for what I wanted, and studied their pictures. I finally found one I loved that looked like she should be charging the $2000 that most photographers charge. She was only $580! (included 6 hours, engagement session, high res photos on disc, dvd of wedding photos set to music, and edited photos)
Food: Hopefully if you are going with family you are getting a deal anyway. I decided to go with an appetizer reception because I love appetizers and I wanted more of a mingling reception so their isn’t a seat for everyone to sit down at once. We are having it at a restaurant with a great reception room and they don’t charge a room fee. It looks like the food is going to come out to about $2000
DJ: I also kept an eye on Craigslist for this and ended up contacting the first 5 DJ’s I saw on Craigslist and on one of the wedding site lists. I got a quote back for $250 for 4 hours and that includes lights. They only charge $25 for each additional hour.
So for me, these three things combined come out to $2,830 which for you would still leave $2000 for everything else.
Flowers: I bought my flowers (Calla Lilies) at Hobby Lobby for $1 each during a 50% off sale and I am making all of the bouquets out of those. I am using a total of around 70 flowers. Other than that, unless there is some money left over right before the wedding, I will not be purchasing any real flower arrangements. Total $70
Hair and Makeup: I am paying for my 5 bridesmaids and my flower girl to get their hair done and also the makeup for my Maid/Matron of Honor. The total cost including tip will be $380
Ceremony Venue: This is where I splurged. There were many much cheaper options and really the only reason I looked at this place is because they had another room that was half the price and while I was there I just took a look at this one because I loved it. One of my bridesmaids came with me and when she saw it she was like “You have to have it!” So she paid the difference from what I could afford. The total cost was $1280
Wedding Dress: I went to Davids Bridal and tried on dresses until I found one that I loved. I then went searching online for the same dress in the same size that someone else might be selling. I lucked out and found the exact same dress in the right size with tags still on it, and it included the slip and a veil. At David’s Bridal the dress by itself was $649, but I paid $160
I am not doing centerpieces because of the restaurant style seating and the beauty of the room on its own. It doesn’t need it so I am just going to set out some votive candles. I am still debating on a limo just to get the wedding party around for pictures, it would be $72/hr but I would only need it for 2 hours. Another thing to consider is to find a limo company that offers transfers. That way they will charge you one price to take you from point A to point B instead of renting it by the hour.
I hope this helps!