Well, after my exciting little melt-down last week, we've started brainstorming for other ways to do this. Because in the end what we need is the officiant, the witnesses, and the two of us!
I forget how it even came up, but one of us said something like, "if only we had a really tiny guest list, we could do something like rent [neighborhood cafe] and give everyone a super amazing meal." And then we both stopped, looked at each other, and went, "Ohhhhhhh...."
It seemed like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. A tiny wedding! What was my emotion when people said, "well, there were only 30 people at our wedding"? Envy. That was my emotion. A reception intimate enough that we could give toasts without a microphone, laugh together, spend meaningful time with everyone... That would be nice. REALLY nice.
And, because this IS a budget blog? Let's look at a budget breakdown.
Say we now only need brief use of a chapel, and we want to keep our food budget to $3000, INCLUDING sales tax (6.875%) and 15% gratuity. Assume 50 guests (rounding up), and say:
$3000 = 50X(1.06875) + 50X(.20) = 63.4375X, X = $47.29
This means we could arrange a pretty amazing prix-fixe menu and arrange for a couple or three glasses of wine apiece!