If you have a small budget and are planning on getting married -- or just planning to invest a lot of money in something practical like a down payment on a new home -- there are plenty of things you can do to save money on a wedding. First and foremost of all the recommendations I'd suggest is to keep it small. Seriously, who said you needed to invite the whole world to your wedding?
There are plenty of benefits to a small wedding. It is more intimate for one thing. I know some people feel pressured to invite random people they hardly know because it seems like the polite thing to do, but that is unnecessary; limiting your own guest list for your wedding that you are paying for is not rude. If you don't have a lot of money, you don't; that's just reality.
Also, if you do invite random people, they might be at your wedding, but they won't really be a part of your wedding anyway if they don't have an emotional connection to what is going on. And it may be nearly impossible to have any meaningful interaction with your guests on a personal level if there are tons of people at your wedding. Besides the limited time to interact with your guests -- unless you have a huge budget, which if you are broke you don't -- you would likely have to settle on items of inferior quality (food, seating, etc.) to afford to host a large crowd.
If you keep it small, or at least limit the guest list, not only could you save money on venue size, refreshments, invitations, keepsakes, you may be able to invest money on higher quality items that otherwise would be sacrificed for quantity, still spending less overall on a nice small wedding than you would on a big one with poorer quality items. Also, your wedding will have a more personal atmosphere than it would be by adding a bunch of random people like that uncle you never knew you had until your engagement. Speaking of the people you don't know, an added bonus of limiting the guest list to very close friends and family is it makes things less awkward.
If you have awesome crafting skills, now may be the time put those to work. I'm a practical girl, so personally I really don't see the benefit of having a bunch of random plants (plastic ones are even more pointless in my opinion) and stuff I can't even eat for decoration's sake; you can make you own center pieces, keepsakes, and other items if you'd like. If you think by doing things yourself to save money there isn't a big benefit in cutting the guest list, there still is: if you don't have to make as many things, you can take your time to make sure each item is well made with less stress because there isn't that pressure of having to make as many which can be distracting.
Knowing how to sew always pays off. If you know what you want and have the skills to do it, you can look for wedding dress ideas and then make your own or at least customize your own wedding dress for far less than having a dress made and/or altered for you. Also you can find some nice dresses online. I know that may sound strange as most people may consider going into bridal shops. But seriously, you can find some nice dresses online for less than in a bridal shop. You may even want to consider renting the clothing just for the day; but unless the cost is very low it may be best to just buy some nice clothes you can keep and wear again later. Just consider that you might have to have some things tailored and the possible added cost of having it done for you, if you don't want to risk messing up your clothes due to lack of experience with clothing alteration; but any clothing purchased might require alteration, regardless.
You could also consider having your wedding in an off season -- a time that may not be as popular for weddings such as winter, late fall, or early January. Off season for weddings may vary depending on where you live; in some places the weather may be nice all year. If you do this, you might able to book a nice venue for less when there isn't as much competition. Also, if you are having a small wedding as I suggested, you might not need to pay for a place to hold the wedding ceremony at all; maybe you could use your own home or a friend's home instead. But if you decide to have your wedding in a small local venue, there may not be as much worrying about how much it will cost you for everyone to fit.
So all in all, there is no valid reason nor is it necessary to go into debt by spending large amounts of money for a wedding. You don't have to make a huge show of it to prove you are happy. Marriage is about commit to someone you love, not a cake, venue, or dress. That is not to say it can't be nice, but to point out you don't have to feel pressured to put up a false front and pay for more than you can actually afford. You can have a wonderful day even if you are on a tight budget, and you can enter into your married life without tons of stress from debt from the start. You and your partner should be far more concerned about the amount of investment put into your marriage in terms of the relationship throughout the years than what people think of how much money you put into your wedding dress or cake on one day.