sieacox : How many people are you having? That will drive the costs the most; fewer people means food and drinks can be a smaller portion of your budget. Without knowing that, here are some ideas to trim costs:
-Look at BHLDN, pre-owned wedding dresses, sample sales, basically anything that isn’t a big box dress store for your dress. Also, consider a non-white dress or short dress that you could rent from something like Rent the Runway.
-Look into having your reception at a restaurant. You can get away with less decor usually, and you won’t have to rent tables, linens, chairs, etc. Some restaurants also won’t charge for use of a private room with a certain food and beverage minimum.
-If the majority of guests are local, have a brunch, afternoon, or late evening (after 7:30) cocktail reception. Having the wedding at a non-meal time can mean you don’t have to serve a full meal. Also, if the majority of guests are local, consider either Friday or Sunday, as some services may be cheaper (this might not work for Out of Town guests, though).
-Don’t have a wedding party. This cuts out wedding party flowers, gifts, and possibly a rehearsal dinner.
-DIY bouquets and button holes (this works best if above no wedding party advice is followed). Or, skip all the flowers.
-Don’t have favors, programs, or any printed materials other than the official invitation. Save the dates, RSVPs, directions, etc can all be done via remain or a free wedding website service.
-If a restaurant wedding doesn’t work for you, make sure you book a venu with no restrictions on vendors, and ideally one that will let you provide your own alcohol. Then, buy all the drinks from a store that permits returns.
-Skip dancing, or have an iPod set up in lieu of a DJ.
Again, these are starting points; we can probably give you better ideas if you have at least a rough guest count.