Our local community clubhouse rents for $30 a day and has a full kitchen. Maybe you have something like that in your area. Outdoors in someones back yard isn't a bad idea, especially for a small wedding, but renting tents, tables, chairs etc is very costly. Ask friends and family what you could borrow to use for a wedding. People have nice linens, serving pieces, dishes and decor just laying in a drawer and would love to see it used for a special occasion. Everything doesn't have to match. You already have good advice on finding a dress. If you have attendants, they can wear their own, or it is customary that they purchase their own The best way to control cost is to control the guest list. Obviously it will cost more to have 150 people than it would to have 50. For food you also have some good suggestions. The best one is to have the ceremony early in the afternoon. Then just serve light snacks and cake and punch. It is not necessary to have alcohol, and many people do not. Photography. Well, if I only had one splurge, I would try to find a professional for at least the ceremony and a few formals. If you have a truly talented shutterbug in your family that is certainly an option. You could try craigslist, there are talented photogs there who work cheap to build a portfolio. Ask to see their work first, though. At the least, you can ask all your friends and family to snap away, then build an album from their combined best efforts. Do not depend on distributing disposable cameras for your wedding photography. The result is always disappointing. My best friend's daughter got married last summer. Her mother had just died a few weeks before. The wedding was planned and executed in a little over 6 weeks. We held it in my back yard, with the reception at the $30 community club. We served a meal for 75 people. She got her gown from ebay. I did her photography and made the prints as her wedding gift. She had 3 attendants who wore their own clothes, but in coordinating colors. We bought flowers at the supermarket and made our own bouquets and supplemented with wild flowers. Borrowed linens and serving dishes and plants. Borrowed a classic limo for her getaway car. Shopped at the dollar stores and thrift shops. A friend made her cake. We spent almost $800, not counting their rings. So it can be done for two thousand! My daughter got married in 1998 for slightly under two thousand., and it was elegant and pretty, but it took a fair amount of work! So shop carefully and don't get distracted by the big white wedding industry telling you what you "must" have to make your special day. You day will be special because of the two of you, not because you had fancy frufru everywherre! Good luck!