With the average wedding budget over $25,000, it is critical to take advantage of every opportunity to save. While it is possible to spend practically nothing on a legal wedding at city hall, these tips can help you put on your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

You can save big (really big) if you hold your reception at a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors. Here's how much you can expect to save on a 100 person wedding.
  • - If you are able to select a caterer who charges $25 per plate, you’re doing much better than a hotel’s in-house catering service that charges $50 per plate. Estimated savings: $2,500
  • - By shopping around for your DJ and photographer, you are able to take advantage of lower prices while still hiring high quality vendors. Estimated savings: $1,000
  • - Supplying your own alcohol can save at least $5 per drink versus what a hotel bar would charge. Estimating 3 drinks per guest, the savings can be enormous. Estimated savings: $1,500
In addition to the enormous cost savings, you also get flexibility of choosing the perfect vendors to fit your desires.

The wedding cake can be another major expense, but that means there is a lot of potential for saving! Instead of feeding all of your guests from a decadent masterpiece, consider getting a small cake for just the bride and groom. You can provide sheet cake or another dessert for your guests. If you still want a multilayered cake, have the bakery decorate styrofoam wheels for the bottom layers. Estimated savings: $500

Consider scheduling your wedding outside of peak wedding season. By picking a less popular weekend, you can likely book your venue at a discount. As well, you likely will have a better selection of venues, as many are booked every weekend over the summer. Weekends in the spring, fall, and even winter can still make for great weddings. As well, you can save by scheduling your wedding just one week before or after the peak summer season. Estimated savings: $500

By printing your own photos, you can save hundreds off the cost of a professionally prepared wedding album. Your album will have the same photos no matter where they are printed, so do your wallet a favor and take care of this yourself. Estimated savings: $500

Lastly, recruit your guests to help out at the wedding instead of hiring vendors. Surely you have a talented photographer among your invited guests. Ask if they would photograph your wedding as their gift. The best baker among your friends will could a great recipe to do your wedding cake. You can also set up a Playlist and have friends MC instead of hiring a DJ or band. As well, just about anybody can help with setup and cleanup. Estimated savings: $2,000

By taking advantage of all of these savings, you could trim your wedding budget by an estimated $8,500! That money will go a long way as you start your married life.