With the cost of weddings averaging between $30,000-35,000 these days, it is certainly not a mystery why the planning processing can be a stressful time for the bride and the groom-to-be; especially financially. But the reality is that it doesn’t have to be.

It’s not wishful thinking to want to have the wedding of your dreams and keep money in your pocket in the process. It’s all about sitting down and coming up with a plan (which includes having a budget) and then getting a little creative.

If you’d love to know some surefire ways that you can save a few dollars—and then some—on your upcoming way, we’ve got a few ideas to make you (and your bank account) smile.

Don’t Get Married on Saturday

Funny Wedding Photo Poses http://ilsognodiunavita-thedreamofmylife.blogspot.it/2013/10/funny-wedding-photo-poses_26.html

Image via Jackie Bronish

The most popular day to get married is on a Saturday. It’s also the most expensive. While it is convenient to have a wedding on that day (especially if you plan on having out of town guests), you can save as much as 25 percent if you opt for another day. Maybe a Friday evening wedding, a late Sunday morning one or on a holiday even if it falls during the week. It’s unique. Plus, people still tend to be off on holidays.

Hold Your Wedding and Reception at the Same Venue

I could def see Tala from Shifter's Heart designing her event like this.

Image via Francesca LiVolsi

Double the venue, double the price. Nip this challenge in the bud by holding your wedding and reception at the same place. Also, try and find a spot where the venue doesn’t require you to use their vendors. You can probably find cheaper ones on your own.

Consider Renting a (Vacation) House

Hudson Woods by Lang Architecture

Image via House Architecture

Speaking of venues, something else that you can do to save money is rent a large vacation house. It might sound expensive at first, but it can actually save you hundreds (if not thousands). You can use it to have your wedding and reception and/or to house some of your guests. That way, you can also save them and yourself money on lodging. (Plus, it can be a lot of fun!)

Ask for Favors

A Pair & A Spare | Creative Wrapping Idea: DIY Fabric Wrapped Gifts

Image via A Pair & A Spare

A lot of us don’t get what we want in life, simply because we don’t ask. Rather than ending up with a lifetime worth of linen via wedding gifts, don’t be afraid to call in favors instead. If you have a cousin who is a DJ, ask if they’ll be willing to spin some reception tunes at a discount. If your fiance’s sister is a seamstress, ask if she’ll do the alterations on you and your bridesmaids dresses at a lower cost. You’d be surprised how many people would be honored to help—and possibly even willing to do what you ask for free as wedding presents!

Cut Down Your Guest List

Garden weddings can also welcome their guests in style. Flowers by Lace and Lilies, Colorado.

Image via Bodas Y Weddings

We recently read that more and more engaged couples are postponing their wedding, simply because they can’t afford it. If you’re one of them, a big trend this year is going with a smaller and more intimate wedding. You can hold your ceremony for a smaller “crowd” and then host a party later up the road when financially it makes more sense (and you have more cents).

Offer A Signature Drink

The Blushing Bride sounds delicious!

Image via Sweet Sips

Don’t feel pressured to spend hundreds of bucks on a free bar. If you want to serve alcohol, a far cheaper (and more memorable) way to do it is to create a signature drink. You can even make two—one for you and one for your groom. It saves money and tends to be a lot more memorable for your guests as well.

“Wedding Cake Is Optional”

Elegant Tropical Coastal Blue and Green Wedding Reception Dessert Table with White and Blue Ombre Single Tier Round Wedding Cake and Light Blue and Seafoam Green Frosted Mini Doughnuts on Three Tiered White Cake Stand, with Natural Coastal Greenery and Blush Rose Flower Arrangements in Low Round Glass Vases | Tampa Bay Wedding Cake Bakery The Artistic Whisk

Image via Day of Cake

Something else that is super expensive is the wedding cake. There are a few different ways to get around this one. You can have a smaller cake and serve your guests sweets from a dessert bar. You can “fake the cake” by having a top tier for you and yours (and pictures) while the bottom is made out of something like Styrofoam and icing. Or, you can forego the cake altogether and feature something like a three-tier donut display (which is pretty popular right now).

Hire a Wedding Planner

Wedding Binder! EVERY bride should have one of these. someone showed this to me and now I am sharing...Hope this helps all brides out there!

Image via My Future Wedding

We know this might seem like a slick way to get you to hire our services (being that we’re wedding planners ‘n all), but this really is a viable tip! Studies show that having a wedding planner can easily save you at least 25-30 percent in your overall wedding costs. A big part of that is because we have relationships with vendors; that can result in you having discounts that you wouldn’t be able to get any other way. Plus, we can keep your stress levels down as well which is priceless, right? Just something to think about. Happy wedding planning (and saving)!