Personally, I've always thought that the tradition of having a huge wedding which can range anywhere from $20,000-$100,000 is incredibly stupid to be honest. With all that money, wouldn't it be more prudent to instead spend it on a house, car, baby-supplies (if you plan on having children), your remaining debt or something that will actually benefit you opposed to a big stupid celebration full of people you hardly know that are only there for free alcohol?
My husband and I paid about $2000 for our wedding in 1982.
I made my own wedding dress and veil with blush.
We hired a photographer to video tape and photograph our wedding.
We did not have a ballroom with a dance as my parents were Protestants and did not want to have alcohol nor dancing. That alone cut the costs.
One of our friends owned a mansion in the foothills where we had a fantastic dinner reception for all the guests.
Indeed, there's absolutely no need for the huge, massively expensive weddings that people seem to think is 'required' now. The argument 'I can't afford to marry' is bizarre. My wedding cost about £500 (and I borrowed that from the bank, which was quite amusing when I was met by the whole, "Do you know how much weddings cost?" speech from the manager) back in 2001. Now admittedly we were married in Romania which was much cheaper than here, but that £500 included my brother's flight (he was a student at the time) so you can probably tell that the wedding was hardly extravagant.
If you just want to save money sharing a house is surely just as cost effective as cohabiting, and surely the sex of those sharing is an irrelevance? Not sure if I'm reading things into the thread but I got the impression that people seemed to think the only options were same sex sharing, cohabiting or marriage. Back when I was working in the psychiatric hospital I shared a house with four girls quite successfully. Everyone had their own rooms and there was no bed hopping or anything of that sort, it was just an economic arrangement and it was no different than sharing with other boys (except that it was tidier and likely smelled better) and saved us an awful lot of money.