I know it's helpful for me to find other people's cost saving tips, so I thought I'd pass a few along.
1. After I got engaged, I said I wasn't going to buy any bridal magazines. Everything I could want is available on the Internet. Besides, my days of reading magazines and watching tv have gone out the window. Mr A hates it when I do that. He cannot understand how I can watch and read at the same time. If he thinks I'm not paying attention to a show, he'll quiz me on it for reassurance.
Not being bridal magazines is easy. M does get a wedding magazine that she passes on to me. If I want to read a magazine I'll go to B&N and peruse the selection but I usually get bored of them quickly. Also I use my library for all wedding books. I can see if it would something worth keeping. If not, back to the library it goes. If I think it will be useful, I head to Half Price Books to find it.
2. Don't be bound by tradition. Look for alternative ways to accomplish the same thing. Anything with the word wedding on it is more expensive. The wedding aisle of my local craft store has a load of crap. But I can usually find some beautiful things in other parts of the store. Look everywhere for inspiration for your wedding.
3. My new favorite word is repurpose. The wicker basket I'm using for magazines at home can hold a centerpiece at the wedding. After the wedding it can go back to it's original purpose. Everything can have multiple purposes. Don't feel like you have to buy special things for the wedding. Include some of your everyday things in your wedding. It's an easy way to save money and to show your own personal style. Use the serving platters you already have. Ask your friends if you can use theirs too. Create an eclectic arrangement with objects you already own.
I went to a bridal shower once where the hostess gave prizes to people who won the games. The prizes were tea pots that she collected over a few months. Each one was different, but interesting at the same time. She also used them as decoration during the shower. Each had a small potted plant inside too. Very creative. Guests were clamoring to win the games to get their pick of a tea pot!
Having any event (wedding, birthday party, or holiday gathering) can create more waste than necessary. Try not to buy new items. If you do find ways to give them away after the event is over.