If you cannot afford a wedding that includes everyone you might like to celebrate with, elope (with maybe a few people -- parents, sibs, honor attendants -- but maybe not) and have an "at home" or open house (you can have several, if you need to) when you get back. Just as nice, more correct, and significantly cheaper to make up for all those gifts you will not be getting. If your family wants to throw a "to meet..." Or "in honor of..." party, that is fine, too, as long as you don't pretend it is a wedding. I agree with "event of the century" thinking causing this highly overblown wedding-takes-a-year and everyone-you-ever-met-must-participate nonsense. An industry is once again creating a spurious "need" and moving into the breech to fill it. If something like this happens in my life, I will be delighted to send the gift of an etiquette book.