This economic crisis has made everyone shaky. We're not unique in trying to save money in general let alone for a major family celebration. The difference between the every day and the celebration budgetting is that I like throwing this party on the cheap. If I won the lottery perhaps I would do some things differently, but honestly, probably not too much. It's so personal this way and relaxed, like us.
1. Be a chef:: it certainly helps to be able to order food wholesale and then to cook it yourself with a little help from your friends
2. Invitations:: design your own based on fancy-schmancy ones you found online and get a stay-at-home/graphic designer to recreate them and then be lucky enough to have found new bloggy friends who are both generous and awesome who will set you up with a printer.
3. Be a regular shopper at The Dollar Tree and IKEA:: decorations and cool cactus margarita glasses for $1 each, pots for centerpieces $2 each
4. Have a friend with a tent business:: where the words "for friends and family we charge..." are sweet words indeed
5. Know a great photographer:: who loves to take pictures even though she's really a school teacher (knowing that one of your best friends has used her almost exclusively for all her kids' pictures since they were babies)