Well, more clearly than Wednesday night, at any rate.
We've found a reception site that offers the same amenities as the other place for the lowly sum of $500. Yep, knocked an entire zero off the end. YAY. And, we've found another place that would include everything (catering costs, too) for $4000 less than the old site plus their catering estimate. So that's another nice option. AND, I've got a backup backup plan of doing it in a friend's gorgeous cabin north of Santa Fe.
And, I bought a dress on ebay this week for $50- not sure if it's the right dress, but it's pretty darn good and the price is absolutely right. Fits perfectly, too... It's nice to know I have a backup if I don't find anything else. And, $50 for a new, never worn dress with the tags still on! YAY!
My uncle is a former wedding photographer who offered to do our wedding when we first got engaged., and I may still take him up on that. I'd also like him to be able to be a guest. Using him would save us $2000, but seeing as how I've just saved us at least $4000 on the reception venue and between $500 and $2,000 on a dress, this might be a valid splurge.
I'm still amazed by how much this stuff costs, but I feel like things are looking up. Thanks for all your fabulous suggestions- keep them coming!