1. Map out your budget. Figure out which categories matter to you most, and give them a proportional budget. Do you want that amazing dress? Go ahead and splurge on it, but save somewhere else.
2. Go non-traditional. Fancy food is expensive. So are banquet halls. We got married in a rustic ski-lodge that rents out in the summer for extra money and had a pig roast for dinner. It saved us a bundle, plus it was really unique and our guests loved it! And the food was way better than any wedding food I've ever eaten. Everybody else though so too. We're still getting compliments.
3. Do it yourself. When I got my first quote for flowers (2,000???) I immediately started researching cheaper options. I (and my friends + family) bought/recycled all different types and sized of jars, and filled them with fresh flowers from www.fiftyflowers.com, a website that ships fresh flowers to your house in bulk a few days before your wedding. It was so easy, and the flowers were gorgeous! For $750, I had bouquets for me, my bridesmaids, my two flower girls, a pile for on top of the cake, and a jars of fresh flowers on every table, and even extra jars of flowers to set around the venue. Plus, we had a ball doing it. You don't need to be a florist to make pretty arrangements with a just-picked look. I also made all the decorations/details and planned everything myself.
If you'd like to see how our wedding turned out, just go here and click on the "Ashley & Nick::Wedding" link. Our password is fackelmanlove2012:) I'll have some pictures up in my bio here soon, I've just been too lazy! Haha.