(This is in response to the lovely Glasgow Bride's post here. This was originally a comment until I realised it was ludicrously long...)
It's funny - until I actually got proposed to, I had honestly never devoted more than a nanosecond's thought to the issue of what my wedding woud be like, if I ever had one. All I knew was what it wouldn't be like (ie. the family ones I'd been to in the past: church, reception in a golf club/hotel and all the trappings that comes with it).
As soon as I realised I would be in fact, having a wedding, I bought four wedding magazines (which mostly made me feel the same as the family weddings - ie - not for me, and then got a pad of paper. I wrote down some of the following regarding the reception (we already knew that we wouldn't get married in a church but that's another story):
fun - bunting
lots of good booze
and then under a separate column, wrote a 'no' list, containing things like: wedding/conference venue/birdie song/people having to do stuff they don't like and diamante.
BF agreed, adding that he wanted a hog roast and proper beer (ale) and that was it. That's all we decided we wanted. This meant the list of things that became superfluous/optional then became a lot bigger: bridesmaids, colour schemes, flowergirls, big dresses etc etc.
I'm pretty sure I'm sticking to that. If all else fails, that's all I give a damn about. Though I don't think there's much water at the venue, there is a pond. But that bit I could let go. That and a nice ceremony - which is something we're almost decided on...