@NJmeetsBX: We skipped a lot of things in favor of saving our pocketbook (and sanity!)
We opted to have a friend play songs from our computer’s iTunes library, rather than hire a DJ.
We didn’t get a special cake cutting set, we just borrowed from our church.
We did have monogrammed goblets, but they were a set we borrowed from DH’s parents (they used them at their wedding)
We didn’t have a bubble/sparkler/random other item thrown at us exit. We just walked out, saying goodbyes along the way. We actually left later than a lot of our guests, as we had a relatively short reception, and it was an older crowd.
We didn’t do “favors” that were monogrammed/date stamped. My Aunt made a ton of cookies as an appetizer and left out little doggie bags for guests to fill themselves on the way out the door.
No professional makeup artist. We just had a close friend from the church come shopping with me and my bridesmaids a few weeks before the wedding, and basically taught us to DIY it. She was on hand though at the ceremony, just in case I needed help.
No professional photographer. A good friend and his sister photographed the event for us for $350. Originally, it was just going to be my friend, but he told me he was bringing his sister to assist at no additional charge to me. (I’m still gonna help the guy out though, since he was nice enough to pay his sister some of the original $350) He photographed like a madman, and I’m very happy with all the photographs he returned to me.
No ceremony extras. We didn’t like the idea of unity candles/sand ceremonies/etc. We did choose to include communion, as it was very important to us.
No professional decorator. I designed all the centerpieces myself, and had some friends from church set them up for me. I tried to keep them as simple as possible, to save time, money, and to keep things easier for the folks kind enough to lend us a hand. I also decorated the church two days before the wedding, with the help of the pastor, his wife, their daughter, my in-laws, and DH’s aunt.
No professional florist. I went to Hobby Lobby, bought as many silk hydrangeas as I could get, and a few other do-dads and made all the bouquets, centerpieces, and other miscellaneous floral items at the wedding. The church also had a few ferns/arrangments already available, and I took advangage of that.
No “reserved” signs for pews. I just found some old tulle, tied small, conservative bows on two front rows, and left it at that.
No professional baker. My aunt baked the wedding cake as her gift to us, and my Mother-In-Law baked the groom’s cake. She’s kind of famous for her groom’s cakes, and has made them for just about every wedding in our family/church family.
No aisle runner.
No alcohol. Budget wouldn’t allow it, and we didn’t really need it. My parents did bring a few of those samplers you get from the package store, and made sure they shared with me and a few other folks at their table lol. I found that amusing.
No professional videographer. We were content going completely without, but Father-In-Law and my Uncle both stepped up and decided to film the event. I’m still waiting on the dvd from my uncle.
No group/line dances.
No limo/get away car. Just my trusty little Civic 🙂 Though my poofy dress was difficult to fit into that tiny front seat.
No “reception dress”. I just wore my gown all night, left the ceremony, and changed at the in-law’s house on the way to the hotel. This allowed us to pick up our luggage, as well as leave DH’s tux and my dress to be returned and cleaned. It was nice just getting to wear jeans and a t-shirt on the long car trip to the hotel.
No official ushers, we just had our groomsmen double as ushers. It was a small-ish wedding.
We did choose to keep the garter/bouquet tosses, but they were both, quick, simple, and hilarious. I also bought a small teddy bear for $3, and did a “teddy toss” for all the kids we had. They got a kick out of that, and liked being included among the “tosses”. I also had some really cheap goodie bags for the kids with $1 coloring books, crayons, candies, glowsticks (huge hit!), and a few other trinkets from target. We kept the first dance, father/daughter, and mother son dances, as those were important to us.