I paid for my own wedding, and it was done cheaply, but not that well. I hadn't been to any weddings before, except for a garden wedding and one in a church basement, so I didn't have anything to compare to when it came to mine. I was the first one of my friends and family to get married (in my age group).
I only had 50 guests and the dinner/reception was in a banquet hall. The meal was just the standard sit down meal that they had back then at the cheaper level. It was a free bar, and there was wine at each table.
If I had to do it over again, I'd cut the guest list to immediate family and close friends, and book a room in a really nice restaurant and have everyone choose what they want from the main menu. I wouldn't worry about flowers, and all that extra stuff. I'd just do candid photography. And I'd concentrate more on the actual day than on the pomp and trying to keep everyone happy with how things are done.
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" Dr. Seuss
"Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does." (unknown)
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." George S. Patton
The poster formerly known as Writer Mom (stolen from Prince)