Face it, weddings are a big business and all the vendors want your dollars. Unless your family is loaded and willing to pay, you'll need to budget tightly for your day. after all, it will be followed shortly by setting up an apartment and a possible move cross-country. You do not want to start your marriage in debt. Begin planning with dollars in mind, be realistic, and have fun!
Please add helpful links, your tips and ideas, and any experiences you have had, good or bad.
One tip I have is to check out the chapel on base, and the party rooms at the base clubs. Some of the bases have lovely facilities and are very affordable, and do reasonable catering.
I couldn't find a similar link for Virginia. LOL, San Diego is just such a Navy town!
If your sailor has deployed, and you will be marrying upon his return, you may be eligible for a free wedding gown.
I use this company a lot for supplies (not wedding, LOL), so if you don't have a good party store in your area, I can recommend these folks for inexpensive favors and decor:
If you are looking for a good deal on save-the-dates or invitations try Vista Print!
We used Vista Print for our invitations and I was thrilled with the quality and the price! You can also get a pretty fast turn around time. We even got adorable personalized envelope seals and return labels that matched our invitations for really cheap.