I have to admit that I was one of those girls who got a bit sucked in to the whole commercialized wedding industry. If I had it to do all over again I would make it simpler, I think. But looking back on it, I really like how my wedding turned out. My mom and a bride's maid's mom made all the bride's maids' dresses and we had both the wedding and reception in our friend's parents' yard (ok, so they have a gorgeous house on a ranch over looking the ocean in southern california. so sue me) and I had a florist friend do the flowers for a serious discount. We had connections to get most of the stuff we bought at a discount, which was pretty cool. But I think I would skip the catering and go pot luck (or some variation thereof).
anyways, check out my pics here: http://www.shekinahstudios.com/wedding
I think that the most important thing is just to remember what the day is all about, and to do what you want, not what other people tell you you need to do. I was in a wedding not too long ago where the bride wanted to please everyone else so badly that she snapped and turned into bridezilla. Don't do it. It's not fun for anybody.
Good luck to all you brides and remember that your wedding is just the beginning!