Not only were we going to pay for a wedding, we also had to save for a house. I rented an apartment and he rented a room at his parents house. We aren't rich. I'm a local government employee. He's working minimum wage at a pizza shop. I was debt-free and he had a car loan eating about $350/mo from his income.
We set up a time schedule. We wanted to make sure to be in the house before the wedding but we wanted to make sure to have enough saved that it wasn't tough to do both. To me, that means each of us setting aside $500/mo for the house.I also needed to set aside money for the wedding...my goal budget was $1800 including rings, dresses for me and our bridesmaid, and his suit.
I think EVERYONE needs a budget to live by and to live within their means. I understand tough times. In the past three years, He and I both had been unemployed for an extended amount of time.
For me, my take home pay was roughly $1500/mo. It sounds like a lot but when you're saving for house, wedding, and retirement as well as normal bills, it adds up quickly. I ended up having about 100-200/mo for gas and food.
In walks the joys of couponing, restaurant.com, swagbucks, and mypoints. I'm not going to go into detail about how to do these three. But I will say that it made life bearable.
I was able to bring my food budget down from $300/mo (we dined out at least 2-3x/week and split costs) to about $80-100/mo. I used restaurant.com vouchers to bring the cost of a normal meal $20-30 to about $12. We ate at home more with cheaper foods thanks to couponing. It took me a month or two to really get into the swing of things but once we started saving. WE STARTED SAVING.