If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, brace yourself. The current process comes with the hefty price tag of almost $27,000!

We won’t even get into how disturbing it is that some teachers don’t even make that much annually (sigh), but that is quite the reality check, isn’t it? Someone’s salary is what a lot of people’s nuptials end up costing them!

If you’ve got close to $30,000 (in cash) to toss around, go for it! But if you’re like most of us and your budget is kinda tight, there are some things that you can do to keep a few hundred—if not thousand—dollars in your checking (or savings) account?

Are you ready to learn about some of the tried-and-true ways to save money on your wedding and reception?

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Hire a Wedding Planner

You might think it’s odd for us to start this off by encouraging you to spend money, but trust us. One of the best investments you could ever make into your wedding day is hiring a reputable wedding planner! Not only do they have the expertise to make your wedding go off without a hitch, but many of them also have relationships with venues and vendors; that could end up saving you some money, just based on their relationships with people alone.

Pick a Day Other than Saturday

The busiest—and most convenient—day to get married is on Saturday. Venues know this, which is why many of them have no problem charging you a hefty fee. But if you opt for another day (even Friday or Sunday but especially during the week), sometimes you can negotiate as much as 15-25 percent off.

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Avoid Using a Venue’s Vendors

When you decide on a vendor, some of them may try to offer you a package deal. On the front end, it might seem like a money (and headache) saver, but usually that’s not the case. Vendors who are built into the price can cause you to send hundreds more than you planned. Your best bet would be to rent the venue and then hire vendors outside of their package deals. Usually you can negotiate to a price you are more comfortable with; especially if you know some of the vendors personally.

Use Coupons and Promo Codes

Isn’t it odd how, when it comes to weddings, we oftentimes don’t hear words like coupons and promo codes come up? Every little bit of savings counts, so whether it’s your bridesmaid dresses, your wedding party presents or even some of the decorations that you’ll need, take out a couple of days to research paper coupons and online promo codes. Even something as simple as free shipping can make all the difference in the world! (Retail Me Not is one of our favorites!)

This Haiku Mill Wedding in Maui is the Definition of Enchanting -- florals by Teresa Sena Design -- Anna Kim Photography:

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Have Your Wedding and Reception in the Same Place

Some reception sites can be more expensive than a wedding venue! Another way to save a few dollars is to try and have your wedding and reception at the same place. It could be the difference between spending a few thousand extra dollars or only a couple of hundred.

Avoid a Sit-Down Dinner

Depending on how many people you invite to your wedding, serving everyone a sit-down dinner can put you deep into debt. Something that’s pretty popular right now is serving a host of mini-appetizers, having some dessert buffets or even posting up a food truck outside. All of these can be cheaper than going the traditional route.

Sugar Bake Shop Mini Cake | Glazed Gourmet Donuts | Donut Wedding Cake | Glitter Mr. and Mrs. Cake Topper | Donut Display:

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Nix the Wedding Cake

If you do a little bit of digging around, you might be floored to see that some professional tiered cakes are as much as some wedding cakes! How about getting a small one made for you and yours and serving cupcakes or donuts for your guests? They will love it just the same and you won’t have to put more money on your credit card, just so they can have a slice of cake.

Do Your Own Flowers

Flowers are insanely expensive too. Although you might want to hire a professional florist for your wedding venue decorations, if you’re going with fresh cut flowers or simple centerpieces, you and your bridesmaids (and other family members) can do these on your own. The key is to use fresh flowers and not wait until the very last minute to put them together. Oh, and have a fridge to store them all in. Flowers are fragile and can wilt rather quickly.

Dress by @BERTA. Photo by Petronella / Hair by Khamit Kinks / Styling by Lerkia of Modage / Makeup by Juicy looks Makeup:

Image via Munaluchi Bride Magazine

Go with UberLUX

Limos are costly too. That said, avoid going with the SUV kind; they tend to be the most expensive. In fact, who said that you had to go with a limousine at all? Do you personally know someone who has a dream vehicle? You might be able to use theirs for free. Or, you might want to hit up a driver service like UberLUX. They offer luxury vehicles, complete with professional drivers.

Have a Schedule for Your Photographer

Photographers charge by the hour, so make each moment count! Provide a schedule for them and let your wedding party know that they need to keep up with it. If you do this thoroughly, you can probably get your photographer in and out in two hours or less.

Nakita & Alex's modern elegant wedding. Bridal party in The Peppy Studio's Light Grey / Silver bridesmaid convertible infinity dresses:

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Get a Friend to Officiate

Unless you’re friends with a pastor or judge and they’re offering their time as a wedding gift, officiants cost too. Keep that extra couple of hundred dollars (that’s the average going price) in your pocket by asking someone close to you to do the nuptials. If they’re not able to officially do the job, they can apply online. Websites like How to Become a Wedding Officiant will provide you with all of the info you need to know.

Call in Some Favors

What are friends for if you’re not able to call in some favors from time to time? If you know a caterer, dressmaker, videographer, cake decorator, hotel manager or anything else you might need, don’t be shy about asking them if you can utilize their services at a discount rate. Most will be more than happy to “plant a seed” into your marriage in this fashion. And, it’s one of the best ways to save some cash. Good luck!