Cake- Consider a fake one. Fake cakes look real (no one will ever know!) because real icing is used on Styrofoam tiers rather than real cake tiers. You could always mix a real cake tier for the cake cutting portion of the reception with fake ones- this is what we did…here’s a pic of the cake:
Photographer: consider hiring a student photographer or someone looking to build their portfolio- their prices are going to be a fraction of a professional’s prices. Or, you could opt to make the photo album yourself instead of having the photographer make you one. Depending on the quality of album you go with, you could save hundreds making it yourself! And yes, there are sites online where you can make your own flush mount album (the highest quality album out there).
Flowers: Re-use the bridesmaids bouquets as reception centerpieces. Just have a vase ready at the venue for the flowers to go in. Or, you could put all the bouquets in vases for the head table décor.
Veil: if you plan on wearing a veil for the ceremony, consider buying one online. There are many places online that sell beautiful beaded veils for a fraction of the price that bridal stores are selling them at.
Anything paper: if you like to DIY, save money by making all things with paper yourself (i.e., invitations, programs, escort cards, etc.). If you don’t know where to start, order samples of invitations online…then take them apart to figure out how to make them yourself, using the sample as your template.
Shuttle service: Instead of hiring a shuttle service to transport your guests from the reception to the hotel, have taxis available. This will provide your guests with a safe way to get home without having to pay the additional cost yourself.