Streamers and balloons are better suited to a birthday party. You could get a nice, catered buffet meal, pretty flowers, and a dj and venue for $5000. Look into a VFW or American Legion hall. I had a lovely reception at a bowling alley banquet hall.
Enjoy your day!
Go to the "Dollar Store" in your area and see what they have. Also have you contacted a "Cooking College" in your area? I am unsure if talking to the Instructors if your party can be used as a "final" or perhaps as a subject for their training.
Isn't somebody else supposed to offer to do a reception? My now "ex" and I eloped in 1964 and within a month his parents hosted a reception for us and a month later neighbors of my parents threw a reception for us where my parents live. They were nothing fancy, but nice.
I could probably host four-five receptions for 100 people with $5,000. The major expense would be rental of a hall for the event. Make it an open house type deal timed for 2-4PM or 7:30-9:30PM.
That way all you need for food, is cake, coffee, tea, and punch. You could make sandwiches if you want to. Have a guest book, some balloons, a few flowers (if you want) and maybe some crepe paper streamers hanging from the ceiling. You don't need a lot of decorations.
Eliminate a dance and have close friends or relatives make sure the food line is going smoothly. Enlarge various photos of the two of you at various stages of your romance, and doing things you enjoy, to make a display. Events like this don't have to cost a lot.
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