if someone else is paying for the wedding i couldnt give a shit how big it is. go crazy.
Not so sure about that. If someone is paying for $100k wedding (big numbers are fun), and not putting anything into helping the couple buy a house, I'd much rather they provide $50k for smaller wedding and $50k for downpayment toward a house. However, it's not worth a fight since it's a gift and you really shouldn't argue with people about gifts they are giving you.
Globe, why are you going back and forth with Mad Hatter? Everyone knows generally you let the woman have a few things (like a wedding or ring of her dreams) for marital harmony. Unless she turns into a nut job over the few things.