I'm a bit worried about the expense...
Stern Grove was one of the cheaper places we've considered, and they will cost a good $1000 for the site rental and staff fees alone. Catering is likely to cost a mint if we have any significant number of guests, and Ziggy's insistent on doing some sort of webcast. I have savings but they are earmarked for buying a house someday; I don't want to cut too deeply into them. Since we've moved to the city our expenses are higher, so after maxing out my retirement contributions I don't have a whole lot left over each month.
After looking at Stern Grove we sat in a West Portal coffee shop (no extra charge for soymilk, kudos to them) and brainstormed a list of everyone who we might possibly invite. We came up with close to 120 people, but we were both certain that a good number of them would not want to or be able to come. My ex was insistent on having no more than 50 people at my first wedding, and I prefer smaller affairs myself, but I don't want people to feel left out.
We could always elope, but this is Ziggy's first wedding, and I don't want to deny him the happiness of sharing our special day with friends and family. He's thinking that since most of his friends are back East, the webcast would be a good way to have them share the wedding without extra expense of traveling on their part, or catering on ours. Still, I know from experience how quickly these expenses can add up. I really don't know if it is worth it for a middle-class couple to spend upwards of $10,000 for a one-day experience.
Looking to the more immediate future, my birthday's coming up on Feb 3. I'm not doing a joint party at the Zuckershack this year, but I still don't have much room to have people over at my apartment. So I was thinking of doing karaoke at the Mint. I just don't know if anyone will show up based on the last time I tried to get a group going there, so I'm not sure if I should bother to try to reserve a table.