Freinds of mine came to me after the father of the bride offered to buy the couple a new car instead of paying for a wedding. So, doing a wedding on the cheap became my "Special" project. First, the bride found numerous used wedding gowns at Good Will. Alterations were done by her aunt. The groom bought is tuxedo in parts from a tuxedo rental store. Many of them sell prior rentals very cheap. His cost about fifty bucks compared to a hundred and fifty dollar rental. Good to know if you have a prom or cruise in the near future! We shopped around for a church for the service. Easy enough to find one that took a donation. The reception was done in a large tent borrowed from a local cemetary. (I know, but it was cheap.) The cake we had two choices, the vo-tech or the supermarket. The vo-tech was cheaper and nicer (10% over the cost of materials). Food was bought from a local Italian restaraunt. Trays of meatballs, Baked ziti, lasagna, and salad. They tossed in rolls, paper plates, plasticware, and napkins as a gift to the bride and groom. (Very nice!) The mothers of the brides brought a turkey and a ham. Several guest brought sides like potatoe salad and baked beans. The fathers of the bride bought a couple of kegs of beer and some cheap champagne for the toast. Music came from a freind who set up a stereo system and played D.J. for the night. Most guest brought along tapes and records (Yes, it was a long time ago) to play. Dress for the reception was more casual, but a good time was had by all. The couple, for the honeymoon, went camping. They picked out their new car when they got back. All and all, weddings are about coming together. Most of the guest didn't mind pitching in to help set up or bring something. All understood why.
Twenty years later, my own daughter got married. She took my suggestion to have her bachlorette party at a local bowling alley. Her future husband thought it was a good idea and had his bachelor party on the other side of the bowling alley. My son and wife provided safe transportation for both groups. My wife and I sprung for the honeymoon as a wedding gift. I spoke with the hotel and explained about the rental. Not only did they give me a good price but the also decorated the room as well (Again, very nice!)