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Weddings don't have to be expensive.

Whether you’re planning to get married this year, or just want to stay prepared for when your big day is on the horizon, it’s a good idea to start thinking about the costs sooner than later. The reality is weddings can get expensive—fast. Don’t stress, check out these common wedding costs and how to save on them:

The Date

When it comes to planning a wedding, the date can be all-important. Weddings during the middle of summer or on Valentine's Day tend to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. By contrast, weddings that are planned for the winter months can often be quite a bit cheaper. For extra savings, check dates on Fridays, Sundays, or even during the week.

The Flowers

Floral arrangements form an important part of any wedding, but they can be quite expensive. Speak with your florist about using in-season flowers only for the wedding, as this should save you quite a bit of money. A good florist will be able to tell you which seasonal picks will go best with your color scheme.

The Dress

For many brides, the dress is the most important part of the wedding. To avoid spending thousands of dollars on the dress at a boutique bridal store, consider visiting prom shops, department stores, or depending on your personal taste, vintage or second-hand outlets. Many of these retailers will have beautiful or unique dresses available at a fraction of the price.

The Photographer

Photographers can take up a large percentage of your overall cost. Consider limiting their hours at the event. For example, if you think a talented friend or relative could do a good job of shooting the reception after the wedding, then you will only need to hire them for half the day.

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