diahr - I think I read somebody post before that if you don't have 20 people for the reception you can still do the private reception, but you just have to pay for 20... even if you only have 15. That is what we are doing cause my wedding is in April as well and I only have 15 booked right now, and I have a feeling that is all who is coming. Also, I am just doing the iPod for music(saves me $800 for a dj).
Also, since my group is so small, I plan on just doing a "cocktail social" at one of the bars the night before the wedding, probably the lobby bar and just get everybody together and give them their Welcome bags if they hadn't gotten them already. And I am just going to tell everybody to meet for dinner beforehand at one of the restaurants and ask if we can just sit "near each other" since I know they probably won't seat 15 together... which is fine with me! It saves money on a rehearsal dinner!
We are not doing a cocktail hour... I originally booked one, but decided that since everybody is staying at the Royal anyways, that they can just go to one of the bars to get drinks, plus they pass out champaign for the toast after the ceremony and I've read from other brides that they set up the bar for the reception before the reception actually starts and they will serve you early since they are already set up...(at least I'm hoping that is the case for me!) It might be a problem for those not staying at the Royal though... :/
As for the camcorder issue, my FI and I just bought a small one and plan to just have somebody be in charge of it and do the "Pass the camcorder" thing too.. plus we got a "waterproof" one so we can use it the whole trip and not be afraid of it getting damaged in the water or anything.
After looking at a million photographers, I booked Gonzalo Nunez. He is soooo affordable and awesome! And he does underwater pics now so we are going to do that for our trash the dress the next day! He was by far the most reasonable yet really good photog I could find!
Anyways, we are also paying for the wedding ourselves, and we have pretty much no budget.. lol.. but I think we are going to have an awesome wedding without having to spend a lot!! So I am pretty happy at how everything is going to work out!! Good luck!!