It was definitely fun. I come from a family of cheapa***s, so no one batted an eye. My grandma used to drill into us that saving $1 here and there adds up and to never spend full price if you don't have to unless there's a darn good reason.
My wife and I had the same general philosphy, we both wanted a wedding and we wanted it to be as nice as we could afford. We did a long engagement (~14 months) and saved for the wedding. In the end though, this didn't keep the awkward parental conversations from happening.
My mother-in-law had her own ideas of how a wedding should be for her only daughter. We were pretty adament we weren't going to go beyond our budget, but her mom had these visions and ended up gifting us certain aspects of the wedding that weren't going to pay for. The biggest was our original intent to just hire a DJ but her mom felt that we needed a full band. I have no idea how much she paid for the band and we didn't ask, it really made the reception pretty awesome and we were lucky to be gifted that.
The other thing her family paid for, I was originally just going to do beer and wine, which we were buying on our own. The venue was in deep South Texas and one of the few venues that didn't require us to actually a hire a TABC certified bartender. Her cousin though, who hosts a lot of parties at his place and has a portable bar ended up providing us with a bartender and the full set-up for an open bar, I don't know what the selection was like as I stuck to beer and Prosecco (yes we did Prosecco instead of Champagne, it wasn't the price difference but the fact both of us prefer Prosecco -- our wedding our terms).
Needless to say, if I was to guess just based on some of the stuff her cousin and parents provided, the wedding probably cost twice what we put in. We are very happy about the outcome. Her Dad was unable to to pay for the big quinceanera for my wife when she was a teenager so I think part of that for her Mom and Dad was making up for that. Her Dad also paid for her wedding dress, which was unexpected.
But enough about me, my suggestion to anyone is that you have to stay wrong against family desires, unless they are paying for things they really have no say. It can be very tough, mothers/daughters especially. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how big the wedding is or what kind of wedding it is, if you get married at the courthouse that is fine. You can have annivesary parties or celebrate your love later on in life too Making memories is awesome but make those memories on your own and don't let others make it seem like your wedding is less if it costs less.