Fewer people want to go into debt for a one time event.
I saw this article about throwing an inexpensive wedding for about 20 guests, the bride, groom, and two witnesses; then a cupcake and champagne reception for 50. This may seem like a very small group, but even if you wanted to do something more or just have the wedding and then have a reception with a champagne toast it would still be possible to have something elegant.
Since I’m craft inclined, I could see some other things that I could do to cut down on costs. Though people are craft impaired may not be able to just buy loose flowers and create their own bouquet, or assemble elements to make favors, spending a lot of money on a wedding has not become the in thing to do. Years ago, many people would just get married and maybe have a reception. If they did, it was in the church hall or in someone’s yard. Decades have passed and now the trend is coming full circle, spending less on a wedding. Of course there were always people who spent a lot of dresses, flowers and receptions and shows like Platinum Weddings is interesting and gives you an idea that for the cost of a wedding you could have bought a house or a small island.
Spending as little as possible for a wedding is great because you won’t have to go into debt as a new couple just for the wedding. Some brides have had their wedding dresses sewn by a friend or family member which will dramatically reduce the cost of the dress. If you really want to have a sit down meal for a reception, you could check out dining packages at restaurants for luncheon meals. Dinner is always more expensive. Also, by having a lunch, fewer people would be likely to drink and you could serve wine instead of hard liquor and beer and just have champagne for the toast.