ooh...thank you for asking, I love being able to talk about this topic!
We planned all this with him on one coast and me on the other, tried to keep initial costs down as we thought we'd be paying for everything ourselves. My parents (long divorced) did decide/offer to pay, and that was a special gift all in itself.
We were married at a Lodge at a public park - gorgeous grounds, nice kitchen facility, beatiful cobblestone fireplace. We planned to be married outside under some apple trees - had rented an brass arch (doubt this is how one puts it but you get the picture) which was to be decorated with fresh flowers...however, it was grey, windy and threatening rain. I couldn't do that to my family, a lot of whom were elderly.
So the arch was set up in front of the cobblestone fireplace and it worked out just fine.
Though my husband is Catholic, he met with and we agreed to be married by a retired Methodist minister who was very special to me when I was growing up.
I had my gown designed and made by a seamstress who came highly recommended and finding the fabric and lace was something else (kept costs down if I found/bought the fabric myself)...with an online friend knowing the best place for me to buy shantung silk, a west coast place having the lace front and back piece I wanted...it turned out so beautiful and was still under $1,000.
My Matron of Honor and my 3 bridesmaids were all my best friends - and I made sure to choose dresses that weren't the traditional bridesmaid dresses - my Matron of Honor wore maroon, and the bridesmaids were in a rose, blue and purple, each had flowers where the ribbons matched the color of their dress exactly. The two flower girls (both daughters of my friends) did not have matching dresses...we simply went and found two lovely dresses for each, and handmade headband with ribbons and artificial flowers.
The groomsmen were 3 of my husband's 5 brothers and looked SO gorgeous!
The caterer we found on a recommendation - went to the restaurant they had first, to trial their food, and then did hire them..they made a dish my husband to be had created, and just were super. They came, set up in the kitchen, set up the buffet table and did clean up..it was so convenient!
They also rescued my wedding cake (we have this on video - though I didn't hear about it until after the wedding!)...the cake's top layer began to lean worse than the Tower of Piza - the chef managed to gently righten it without indenting the frosting
The cake itself was quite a story. I had wanted an Italian rum cake and we had a cookbook with a famous Utica bakeries recipe (the Florentine bakery) but the gal we hired to make the cake (known for her lovely icing work especially) let us know two days before the wedding that she couldn't get the recipe to work! My sweet aunt who lives in Utica, went down to the bakery and got what she calls a cafe cake - it had the flavors I wanted, we gave that to our cake maker, she scraped off their icing, used it as one of the 3 tiers of the cake and did her basketweave magic, with some fresh flowers also decorating the cake.
For the cake topper, we had an artist whose work we were introduced to when dating, make a custom piece (NOT expensive)..it was two cats - one in a tux with straight ears, one in a wedding dress with curled ears...real whiskers on each
and our names/date on the base they were standing on. My step-father carved a computer mouse which was also placed on the cake (since we met online).
Anyhooo....this is long enough. It was relatively small - under 100 I think. Both my Aunt Mamie and my mom stepped up and made Italian cookies that my husband and I served to our guests at the reception.
Our program, dh designed himself and printed up the day before at Kinkos. It featured a poem I began years before, and finished when I met my husband...which we now have framed with a fancy border, and hanging on our wall. It was about the longing of my heart for a soul mate.
For music we hired a quartet of music teachers who worked together doing such events for the pre-wedding music and processional.
My wedding present from a very special pair of friends who are professional musicians was for them to sing one of my favorite songs - The Wedding Song (she played bass and he placed accoustic guitar..it was so lovely and the quartet also played for this
Honeymoon - we simply drove up to the Thousand Islands where my mom at that time had a small victorian vacation home and spent a couple of days there.
Then we drove my cats (my packed up house and car my mom and step-dad drove for us...it was one processional cross-country!) cross-country...but that's a story for another day.
Sorry this is so long...