To expand on a few of these:

  • There's a good social reason to leave the reception sooner rather than later: staying conveys the message that you and your new spouse would prefer to spend the first hours after having your relationship finally recognized by God with a large group of people rather than somewhere you can get some privacy*. You're not going to fool your friends, but is this something you want to tell your mother?
  • Your wedding is already personalized. After all, it's your names that are on the program. Writing your own wedding vows is never a good idea; at best, it's neutral. You can, as teleny notes, take out "obey," but when you write your own, it makes your guests wonder what else you're doing that's weird. People take for granted that if you're getting married, chances are at least one of you is in love, and they will probably find it more offensive than charming if you imply your love is better or specialer than anyone else's. Do not confuse special and unique. At least with the traditional vows, no one will snicker when if you get a divorce.
  • Sensible people do not judge the strength of your commitment by how much you spend on the wedding, how many guests you have, or how elaborate the whole thing is. If your mother is not sensible and thus expects you to have a big wedding with all the trimmings, she can pay for it.

In general, remember what the purpose is. It's not to have a big party. It's not to brag about how in love you are (that's what the engagement period is for). It's to publicly declare your commitment to each other in front of the community and any deity or deities you feel you need to involve. Keep that focus in mind when you plan Your Day.

*This is true even of Jewish weddings, where there's a tradition of yichud, or allowing the couple a few minutes alone immediately after the ceremony.