Meeting planners and social planners alike can probably all agree that they've experienced sticker shock with many components that are critical to the success of their event. Many weddings aren't much fun without a bar just as many meetings aren't very successful with out some form of presentation. These are two critical, yet pricey components!
Rather than pick and choose which elements are more important than others, put together a list of related variables that are necessary for your event and request a package. Knowing this is even possible will give you a leg up in the sales phase. For example, rather than paying for a screen, projector, podium, microphone, lavalier microphone and all corresponding equipment individually, be prepared to offer the sales manager your request for all of them in a package if the price is lowered.
Much like buying things at the store in bulk, you can rent items from hotels in bulk - the option just isn't publicized. In fact, I offered a package to a client just today. You can save as much as 50%!
Another example is the bar package. Let's say you know you want a five-hour open bar for your wedding, a very specific list of domestic beers, wines, liquors and cordials along with one specialty drink. Lump them together into one grandiose request for the ultimate, personalized bar package. Avoid the nickel and dime factor and show knowledge that this is possible - I guarantee you'll have yourself a deal!