Money. Since we are going to paying for the majority of the wedding ourselves, money is on the mind. Our budget is coming out to be about $11,700 if we include the car rental that just got added today. Mind you, the average for a wedding in Quincy is between $22,992 and $38,320 according to www.costofwedding.com.
We got extremely lucky and found a venue that is right on the water and in our budget. They allow you to bring in your own caterer. Enter Redbones, one of our favorite BBQ restaurants in the city. Since it's BBQ it's relatively low cost and delicious. We are doing cupcakes instead of a regular cake.
Our biggest expenses are (in this order): catering (about $2500), the photographer ($1000), the reception venue ($900 for 8 hours), the Church ($800 for the rental, Priest, and musician), our Day of Coordinator ($600), paper (the invitations, save the dates, rsvps, etc, about $457), my dress ($420, plus alterations), and so on.
I got extremely lucky and got my dress (I know, very early) from Brides Against Breast Cancer. It was $420 and the money all went to charity. Originally I was going to DIY all the paper products but we fell in love with an invitation on Etsy and will be going with that. I am designing the programs and guest book alternative (and maybe the Save the Date cards but we may go with Etsy for that too).
We are purposefully having a long engagement so that we can save enough to pay for the majority of the wedding.