It’s an unfortunate likelihood that the most important day of your life will also be be one of the most expensive. We’d all love to have the perfect wedding, but it can be hard to justify the extra costs these days. The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice everything you want just to save money, if you follow two simple rules: Be flexible, and be willing to do some work yourself.

The number one rule for saving on wedding costs is to be flexible, especially with your timing. If the date and time of your wedding are negotiable, you can save on many of the large expenses. Everyone loves a summer wedding, with perfect weather, birds chirping and groomsmen posing as secret agents in goofy formal pictures. But it’s that demand that drives prices up at venues and with other vendors, such as the photographer and DJ. By choosing a date in the off-season, say November or January, you can reap quite the savings. Hotels and caterers would rather make 75 percent of the normal rates for their services than no money at all. You’ll find that most vendors will have off-season prices advertised, and if not, they’re often open to negotiations if you ask.

A winter wedding can be beautiful, but it’s not for everyone. While one bride may see a sparkling wonderland, another sees miserable, gray slush dirtying the train of her dress. Thankfully, being flexible can still save costs, even if summer is a must. Weddings typically occur on Saturday nights, which is why that night costs the most. But as with seasonal lulls, many vendors offer discounts for Friday or Sunday night weddings even within the peak season. It’s important to be aware of the trade-offs, however. You’ll probably need to start Friday festivities later than a traditional Saturday event, as most of your guests will be arriving after work. A Sunday celebration solves that issue, but then it’s unlikely any guests would stay too late with Monday morning looming. So if you want to party all day long and into the night, perhaps Saturday is your only choice. But if you’re willing to accept one of these compromises, you can shave a significant amount off your largest celebration costs.

Once you secure a time and place for your big day, it’s time to get started on the many details, each of which equals an opportunity to save some cash. A single invitation won’t cost you much, and it’s hard to see how it affords the chance to be thrifty. But if you’ve got to send out 250 of them, saving 75 cents on each will net you nearly $200. With a few free hours, some cheap software and a package of quality parchment paper from a hobby store, you can have professional-looking invitations made in your own home.

To double up on savings, purchase party favors that can double as place cards, like picture frames. Print guests’ names on small slips of paper, slip them into the frame and you’ve got an instant dual-purpose, money-saving favor. DIYing can extend to banquet decorations, floral arrangements and even edibles. Forgo an expensive pastry table for a buffet of tasty candies and cookies. Color-coordinate the candies to the rest of your décor for added personality.

Every aspect of planning a wedding is an opportunity to cut some costs. Each savings may seem miniscule on its own, but they quickly add up. Stay flexible, be creative, and the only limit to your savings will be your own imagination.

If you’re looking to save some money on your wedding accessories visit Stylish Weddings Melbourne. They sell affordable wedding accessories including wedding jewelry, wedding ceremoney and reception decorations, honeymoon gifts and much more. You’ll  see that stylish doesn’t have to mean expensive!