You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on your wedding in order for it to be beautiful. Some of the most expensive aspects of a wedding are the reception, the alcohol, flowers, the cake, and photography. All of these things can be done for less money than you might think. You can have a chic, but cheap, wedding.
Saving Money On The Reception
Receptions are expensive, but they don't have to be. Having the reception at your home can save a bundle since all you have to pay for is the food. If that won't work, consider renting out a bed and breakfast. These tend to be cheaper than renting out banquet halls. Many people rent out fire halls. While not the most attractive venue, it can be pulled off with the right decor.
Slashing Floral Expenses
Use flowers that are in season. Consider flowers grown locally or at least domestically. You can incorporate shells, vines, or other non-floral elements to cut costs without making it look like you're cutting costs.
Save Money On Your Cake
A wedding cake can be very expensive. As soon as you mention the word "wedding" to a baker, expect to pay more for the cake. You have a few options. First, you can learn how to make your own cake. Second, if you have a friend who is handy in the kitchen, you can have him make your cake. Offer to pay him a reasonable fee. Miniature wedding cakes are becoming very fashionable these days, but they're expensive. Consider making elaborate cupcakes as an affordable substitute.
Professional Photographs Without a Pro Photographer
A good DSLR camera can go a long way to replicate what a professional photographer can do for you. The Nikon D5000, for example, is an excellent camera that produces professional-quality pictures. If you know an amateur photog, call him up and pay him a few bucks to shoot you and your new spouse at the wedding and the reception. If you don't know anyone that's good with a camera, or you don't already have a DSLR camera, call up a local university or college. Talk to someone in the art department. Offer to pay a student to take your wedding photos.
Save Money On Booze
Even though champagne is typical fare for weddings, it might not be in your budget. You can always substitute sparkling grape juice or some kind of sparkling wine instead. Check with your local wine store about suitable substitutes. Family-owned or local wineries are also an invaluable source when it comes to getting a good deal on wine. If you absolutely must have champagne, a local winery or wine store might even be able to find you a good low-cost option that won't offend your guests' palates.