A regular wedding contains a HUGE list of endless items that bride and groom must purchase. My proposal is to cut your list in half. You aren't going to achieve this by simply not purchasing half the items but by making each thing play double duty. For instance...
Instead of favors AND place card holders... use your favor box AS a place card holder. Either print a label or hand print the name of the guest on the favor box and place it at the table setting where you want that person to sit.
Instead of a bouquet AND a bride's maid gift...why not purchase little clutches or purses as gifts and have them stuffed or decorate the outside with silk flowers to double as bouquets or pomodores.
Instead of decor at the wedding AND flowers at the ceremony... have the ceremony pew flowers also drape across the backs of the wedding parties chairs at the reception or use your centerpieces on stands/columns to delinate your aisle. Just have a party member transfer them to the reception site from the ceremony and a few minutes of set up saves a ton
Instead of photographer AND photo booth...have the photographer take silly pics of people with a chalk board slate and props at dinner. put a piece of fabric on a stick and have the person next to them hold it up as a backdrop. You don't want a bunch of pictures of people eating anyway.
Instead of bridal party AND musicians... put them to work. let the talented few of the group lead with a guitar or keyboard and have the others hum or kazoo you down the aisle
Instead of church AND reception hall... find a place where both can be appropriate and you also beat all the fuss with transportation.
Instead of limo AND bridal suite... have the hotel shuttle pick you up. they may even let your friends slap a "just married" magnet on the sideand some pre-fastened streamers.
Instead of DJ and requests...ask your friends for requests after or with their RSVPs and save the songs to your Ipod.
Instead of champagne AND wine... make a wine spritzer or bubbly signature drink that can be good for toasts and accompany dinner
Instead of passed appetizers AND soup... make one of your hor de' vours a shot of soup paired with a little tea sandwich
Instead of a Dessert bar AND a wedding cake... create the cake from plain cupcakes and offer a few toppings for people to decorate their own. fun and less expensive then setting up both
Instead of a guest book AND cards... leave extra blanks cards for people to decorate and then create a gift card booklet that becomes your guest book
Instead of a ceremony gown AND a reception gown... pick a dress that can bustle or that is layered with a jacket that you can remove or a under petticoat that you can remove or adjustable straps to change the look.
Instead of paying for a honeymoon AND registering... have your guests help you pay for your honeymoon with a honeymoon registry and send them a thank you card with the picture of you and your honey doing the activity that they bought.
Instead of having ceremony accessories AND decor at the reception... use your umbrellas as hanging mobiles, scarfs as chair sashes, and fans as wall art at the reception. Merely write the instructions on a tag on the item. and have your guests decorate your venue for free.
Instead of providing programs AND menus... combine the printing. one on the front one on the back, and think of all the trees saying thank you as well.
Instead of paying for postage on the invite AND the RSVP card...direct guests to a free wedding website to rsvp to you (this is a good way to alert guests of your registry as well without mentioning it in a formal invite).
Instead of having a bachelorette party AND a spa day... make it one and the same the day before your wedding. Invite the girls and be pampered ask them to treat you as a bachelorette gift. No hang over either.
Instead of a honeymoon AND a bridal night...go straight to the airport. Maybe you can join the mile high club?
Instead of envelope seals AND labels on things like water bottles, cds or favors... make one type of label (generic 2" square or circle that can be printed at home) and use it to label everything. You will save by buying in bulk as well as create a cohesive look throughout your event.
Be creative. When you see something on your list to buy, think to yourself...is this it's only function... could I use this for something else as well?