10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Everyone has a budget. Even weddings that claim that the sky's the limit, have a ceiling. If you're one of the over 2 million people planning to get married this year, chances are, you're working with a budget. There are hundreds of ways to save money, but these are my favorite ways to cut back without missing out. Take it from a former budget bride and current wedding planner. I've got your back!

1. Pick a "shoulder date." That means getting married on a Friday or Sunday. Venues, caterers, and other vendors often offer a price break for those who aren't getting hitched on the ever-popular Saturday. Things to keep in mind: Friday weddings might need to take place further into the evening to give your guests a chance to come from work, change, and make it in time to see you say "I do."  Sunday weddings often end a little early, because some guests might be anxious to get some sleep before work the next day. If you plan your wedding around a holiday to avoid work conflicts, keep in mind that not everyone wants to give up their long weekend to celebrate your love. That's just the cold, hard truth.

2. Get married in the off-season.  For most areas, wedding frequency spikes during the summer months. If you're looking to get married in the fall or winter, you may find that venues are thousands of dollars cheaper, and wedding vendors are more willing to cut their prices in order to take more work on. If you are flexible on your wedding date, but have a dream venue in mind, ask what their prices are for different months out of the year. You could be surprised by the difference!

3. Hire a wedding planner or coordinator. While it might seems like paying yet another person to plan your wedding might be counter-intuitive to saving money, working with an industry professional will almost always save you more money than you spend on hiring him or her. Not only will their connections and negotiation skills save you dollars, their expertise will spare you plenty of heartache and wasted man hours.

4. Be nice. I can't emphasize this enough. So many people think that being nasty and pushy will get you a price break. The truth is, wedding vendors are more likely to discount their services, offer freebies, and bundle goods for brides and grooms that they like working with. Being a bridezilla will only result in being the victim of the dreaded wedding up-charge. I know a bride who got a free conference room to get ready in on the day of her wedding simply because she was easy to work with.

5. Be clear about what your budget is. When shopping for wedding vendors, be straightforward and say, "I have x amount of money to spend on this service." Chances are, they will be somewhat flexible about their pricing. Even if they can't meet your bottom line, they might be able to recommend a friend who can. Wedding vendors know other wedding vendors. Ask for recommendations. The worst thing that can happen is that they tell you no.

6. Don't get seduced. You're going to hear "it's your special day, why not go all out?" a lot. Prepare yourself. It's just one day out of your entire life. No not succumb to the pressure to make it perfect. And remember, spending tons of money, does not necessarily equal a successful, beautiful, or perfect day. If you need a second to think about the purchase, take that time. Your wedding is not a pack of gum; don't impulse buy.

7. Decide what's important and what's not. For me, flowers were at the bottom of the list. I didn't want to pay thousands of dollars for something that would wither and die. I ended up spending about $100 on a bundle babys breath, that make 4 bouquets, dozens of centerpieces, and I still had leftovers. Because my floral budget was so minimal, I was able to spend a little extra on the entertainment and food, which mattered to me more.

8. Pay your totals upfront. Some wedding vendors offer a price break if you pay the entire balance right away. Your savings could be 10% or more.

9. Get wedding insurance. Here's another one of those spend-money-to-save-money moments. You'll especially want to do this if you are paying for a lot of your wedding up front. Insurance covers everything from no-show vendors, cancellation due to natural disaster, to postponement because of a loss in the family. If something goes wrong at your wedding, you can get out of being held financially, or legally, responsible. Most wedding insurances cost between $300-$600, but could save you tens -- or hundreds -- of thousands of dollars in the long run. So worth it in my book!

10. Slash the guest count. This might be obvious, but if you're looking to save some serious dough, get brutal when it comes to your guest list. Imagine that every person who walks into your wedding will cost at least $100. Cutting out those 10 distant cousins or former co-workers you don't talk to anymore can easily save you a thousand bucks.

I hope these tips are helpful. There are so many ways to save, but in my opinion, these are the most effective. If this list was helpful, stay tuned for next Wedding Wednesday. I've got tons more tips coming up!