No matter how bad the economy gets, people will still have babies and get married. You don't have to spend thousands to have that wedding of your dreams. The first step is to figure out a realistic budget. You don't want to start out your new life still paying on your wedding years later. We saved a lot of money by doing many things ourselves. We had a buffet style lunch, which is actually very common in this area, and we were able to buy the items at a good discount through a food distributor. You can save money on alcohol by getting kegs of beer and boxed wine or skip it completely. I know some people have saved money by having a cash bar.
There are many great sites that have quality wedding invitations at a fraction of the cost. Many of these sites also have wedding favors like napkins and such. You can buy your dress on clearance or it might be cheaper to have it made. Of course this would be cheaper if you know someone that might offer a discount, and if you want a simpler design. We also saved money by skipping the limo since the hall was so close to the church. You can also save money by doing the bouquets yourself or someone you know. You might be surprised at how many people have a talent that can help you. Many people will offer a nice discount or do it for free as a wedding present. I got our wedding cake this way. My mom had a cousin that owned a small bakery, and we asked her to do my cake. She offered to do it for free as a present to us. All we had to pay for was the topper which cost us $25 at her cost. I also saved money by using a tuxedo shop that offered us a great special. If we rented 10 tuxes, then my husband got his free. That wasn't a problem since we had 8 groomsmen, and both the dads also wanted to rent a tuxedo. We did pick simpler tux but it still saved us $80. There are many great ways to save money and still have a wedding you will never forget.