In general I would say all Weddings and Receptions can be broken down to some very basic elements:
*Entertainment and Music
There are many ways of doing all of these that can be perfectly romantic and pleasant whist being quite affordable.
It may be tempting to splash out and spend $10,000+ but in our times of economic uncertainty it is imprudent to start your married life with an enormous debt. So here is my suggestions on how to have a wedding as cheaply as possible.
Step 1: Pick Your Dress
There is a vast array of dress designs you can choose from on Google Images.
There is also a vast array of Chinese Dressmakers who you can access through eBay. If you seek out a store on eBay that makes custom dresses from China you should be able to get your desired dress for around $155 materials included, although it can take 2-4 months to arrive.
Make sure the images you select to send to the dressmaker are clear and highly detailed. Also make sure you have taken your measurements accurately. If you plan on loosing weight for your big day then adjust your measurments accordingly.
If this is all too much for you you can try buying a second hand dress over eBay, newspaper ads or second hand shops. You may also have a relative who would lend you their dress for some vintage style and added meaning.
Most men own suits but if your beau lacks one try the local second hand store. You'd be amazed at what you can find there sometimes.