hsrp: I think you will regret not having a photographer, even if it isn’t a professional. I would call around to various high schools/colleges and see if someone is willing to take the pictures for their portfolio so you can pay them very little or nothing at all, and you can still have someone that will be designated to capture all your special moments. You can do an online album instead of doing prints and then have the prints you like printed out a few at a time at a later date.
If you are doing disposable plates, and silverware, I would consider ordering the ones that look like the real thing. They have the heavy duty clear plates that look like glass, and they have the silverware that is actually silver in color. We always use those for our holiday parties where we have too many people to bring out our regular settings and china. They are actually really pretty and look like the real deal in pictures.
Before you rent tables/chairs, I would call around and see if people you know/your family knows- have folding tables and chairs you can borrow and you can buy some linens at a dollar or discount store. This will be money you can spend elsewhere.
Depending on how your home is set up, you need to consider bathroom facilities and rain. I would keep money in the budget for a tent and possibly for a porta-potty or two (if you don’t have adequate bathroom facilities) and that way you don’t have a ton of people walking through your house.
I would have the bridal party help with setup, decor and making the food for the day of ahead of time (whatever can be made ahead of time). I would see if there is someone you could hire as household help for the day or atleast for a few hours. They can help with the cooking, cleaning, setup and serving. This will allow you and your guests to have a good time and not worry about all of it.
Also, if you choose to do a bar, I would make a cute sign and say that it is a DIY Beverage bar and leave everything set up for people to pour their own drinks. I went to a wedding where they had 1 keg, 1 boxed white wine, 1 boxed red wine, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of whiskey, orange and apple juice, sprite, coke, diet coke, water. (These were all things that they bought throughout their engagement rather than spending it all at once and the liquor were bottles they already had). It was simple, but it was really cute. If you don’t do alcohol, you can just do a simple soda/beverage bar with the same DIY concept.