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Now that you are on your way to planning your big day you may be surprised to see how everything is just adding up and the budget is going out the window. That does not have to be the case, with these cost saving tips you can save a couple bucks and splurge on what really matters to you.

1. Instead of having an 18 person bridal party and a large guest count opt for cutting down the numbers. This will save cost on food, invitations, favors, and centerpieces.

2. Have your wedding in the off season. Some venues will offer lower costs in late fall and winter months. It may be cold outside but there are many venues that have beautiful indoor spaces that can work as a ceremony space along with different areas for cocktail and reception. For photos you can have fur accents to keep you warm but also look trendy with the colourful fall trees or snow as your backdrop.

3. Ask your florist to provide you with a list of images of what flowers are in season at that time and choose those instead of orchids or peonies that may not be in season and can be 5 times more expensive.

4. Signature cocktails are a fun way to personalize your event and save on the cost of alcohol. Instead of having a fully stocked bar wheres venues can charge you for a full cost of the bottle even if one drink was made from it opt for a couple signature cocktails. Or beer, wine and champagne just for the toast. Buy a couple of frames from the dollar store and print out an elegant looking bar drink menu.

5. Cakes are extremely expensive and not all the guests will eat the wedding cake. Consider having a 2-3 tier cake with a sheet cake hidden in the kitchen to serve at the sweet table along with the other desserts. Not into cake? The sky is the limit you can have a cookies and milk station, cupcakes on multiple tiers in the shape of a cake, or a cheese wheel cake. If you are a cake person and dream of that statement masterpiece have the top tier real just for the cake cutting and all the bottom tiers can be faux with styrofoam and fondant on top which resembles real cake. In doing this you will have great photo op with your stunning cake that did not break the bank.

6. Have favors double as escort or thank you cards or both! Think of a mini champagne bottle with a tag and ribbon that says thank you on on side and the guests name other.

7. Find a venue that does not have a preferred vendor list. These vendors may be great at what they do but but they can come with a high cost. Not being constrained to a preferred vendor list with give you the flexibility to hire your own vendors.

8. Have your ceremony and reception in the same venue. This saves on transporting the bridal party and travelling from one place to the other.

9. Create you own photo booth. This can be done by cutting cardboard to make a large frame. Stick on a couple of fake flowers. buy some props from a party store and there you have it!

10. Make the most out of your centerpieces. Tall grand centerpieces can cost double or triple the cost of small low centerpieces. To have the impact but same on the dollars have a couple of the grand centerpieces placed strategically throughout the room and the rest of the tables with the low centerpieces. The guests won't know the difference and think it was intentional. Just make sure the colours and style of all the centerpieces tall or low are cohesive throughout.

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