1. Save the dates - Just send an email, create an FB page, tweet an engagement photo, or Instagram a photo of a mock save the date. You don't need to mail out a fancy piece of paper to tell people you're getting hitched in this day of social media. Save it for the invitations.
2. Favors - Favors have been done to death. Most of your guests have loads of these trinkets by now. And if they are traveling, they may not have a way to get them home. Even the "donation in lieu of" misses the point. You've given them a lovely evening and a great meal; you don't need to give them anything else. The point of a favor is to thank each guest for coming. Be sure to take the time to thank each guest in person at the event, and again in your thank you notes.
3. Fancy shoes. Except for that one photo in your album, no one is going to see your shoes. You'll probably want to kick them off when the dancing starts anyway. And by the end of the night they're usually trashed. Buy the plain white satin ones from Payless -- and save yourself a couple hundred $$. (p.s. The same might be said for veils.)
4. Appetizers. I've seen people spend so much on food before dinner, that no one is hungry at dinner. Still, you do need to provide some nibbles, especially if people are drinking. Don't be afraid to stick with the old fruit and cheese tray, and some pretzels, popcorn, or nuts. You might ask the caterer if you can pick these up at Sam's to save some $$ and put a little extra into dinner itself.
5. Pew markers. These are the flowers, bows, or lanterns that line your ceremony aisle. They provide a brief wow as your guests arrive, make an appearance in a couple of photos, and 30 minutes later they're gone. You might think they're worth it because you'll reuse them at the reception. But, honestly, by the time the guests have left and your coordinator has packed them up and moved them, the guests are already at the reception. (And moving those hot candles can be perilous). Better to spend a little more on reception flowers and keep the ceremony decor as simple as possible.
Thanks for reading. If you have some other good "do withouts", post a comment so I can share it with other brides on a budget.