If your future wife is super hot and is going to be high maintenance and you don't mind, then forget about a cheap wedding. Cave in on the 30k wedding, since it is a pretty ambitious budget for a nice wedding to begin with (especially if it includes the cost of a rehearsal dinner the night before). The big challenge will be to stay firm at the 30k cap. The costs could easily be double that for a nice wedding and it will be tough for you to hold the line, since there will be all sorts of compromises to keep the budget at 30k. If you want a nice wedding for < $5k (as described by many in this thread), then find someone else to marry who doesn't care about impressing people and just wants to have a good time and be married to you.