Okay, so I probably should have been more clear when I put down $100 for food. I got quite a few gentle comments asking if I planned to provide dinner for 8 or crackers for 80. We will not be having a sit-down dinner but a buffet, and we will be asking people to help out.
Asking people to help with your wedding seems to be a touchy subject in some circles. (Actually, when it comes to discussing your wedding on the internet, everything seems to be a touchy subject. I am scared of wedding forums! Even the "cool" ones like Indiebride's Kvetch seem to be minefields of drama and judgement.) We're not going to be putting "Bring a plate!" on the invitations. But a lot of our friends and family have offered to help, and we're accepting that help gladly. We'd much rather have friends bring cupcakes and curry puffs and fruit than have them buy us wedding presents. It's much more practical, it costs them less, and it's also really special to me that our wedding will be the product of so many people who love us. I was really inspired by this lovely potluck wedding featured in Offbeat Bride. The idea that our close friends won't just be turning up and watching, but will be an integral part of the process, makes me happy.
So yes, there won't be a "theme" to our food, and it's all be piled up on a big table for people to pick at, and there will be not enough of some stuff and too much of other stuff. People will probably be eating off paper plates with plastic cutlery (although I haven't cleared this with my mum yet; I might be pushing it too far). But everyone will have enough to eat; the food will be delicious; it'll be fun and casual and relaxed; and no-one will be going into debt over it.
Actually, the nicest wedding food I ever had was at a little wedding where there was no sit-down dinner or buffet, just a (seemingly never-ending) stream of finger food. I ate sushi and spring rolls and samosas until I was grateful I'd worn a skirt with an elastic waist! It was delicious, completely satisfying and so much fun. I've been to other weddings where I've sat at the last table looking enviously at the other people being served, eating, and finishing their meals before the staff even got to our table. The food is always 'safe' (meat, fish or bland vegetarian) and made en masse so it's always fairly average. A sit-down dinner just isn't worth the money, in my opinion.