I don't think I would be comfortable even touching a dress that cost $2,000. I would probably ruin it. . ....
I wouldn't have been comfortable in such an expensive dress either. That's why I chose to find a dress on ebay.
The homemade invitations sound like a great idea. The craft stores are such a good place to find the paper and some come with software to create invitations.
The whole idea for a wedding is to create a day that you and the groom will both enjoy. Cook-outs are great because everyone can be relaxed and have fun. It should reflect your personalities.
My wedding to my ex-husband was not enjoyable. It was at the home at a coworker, but everything was so formal. There was fancy food I didn't like and multiple forks to eat with. My family was definitely out of place. My sister, aunt, uncle, and grandmother were at a table. None of them knew which fork to use. So my grandmother picked up a fork and everyone followed her lead. But it was the wrong fork. We laugh about it now, but I regret that I didn't stay true to myself.
So I vowed that when I married bwren I would do something that was personal and perfect for us.