Weddings are too expensive. True, there’s no way to put a price on a momentous occasion in your life, but do you really have to spend a fortune just to make sure you have a happy and memorable wedding day?

Psychotherapist Fredric Neuman believes that this insistence on elaborate weddings is unnecessary, given that the strength of a marriage doesn’t rely on how much the wedding gown cost, or how big the diamond on the engagement ring was.

What’s worse, most of the time, the couple goes through so much trouble planning everything — every little detail — to make their wedding “perfect” but it doesn’t make them happy. In fact, it makes them tired and even angry. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Bridezillas then you know just how intense the act of choosing the flowers for the bouquet can be.

So why put yourself through these difficulties? A wedding should be the culmination of a relationship — the final step in sealing a lifetime of commitment to each other.

It’s supposed to be a beautiful ceremony, one you would share with the people who truly love and care about you. Now that’s something money can’t buy.

Here Are A Few Tips For Planning A Beautiful Wedding Without Breaking The Bank

Keep The Guest List Small

This is one of the easiest ways to minimize the cost of your wedding, but it’s also one of the most complicated. Why? Certainly, deciding who you want to invite and who gets left off the list can be a spark for a bigger battle.

Sometimes, parents step in and insist on inviting Aunt So-and-So, whom you don’t even remember seeing in the last ten years.

It’s tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to invite only your closest friends (people you are in contact with regularly and truly care about your relationship) and immediate family members. That should quash any conflicts.

Something Borrowed For Your Gown

Instead of buying a new wedding gown, there are a few options you can try.

Maybe your mom has kept her own gown, and it looks just appropriately vintage to still be beautiful today. A few alterations are all you need and it will look good as new, plus there’s the emotional attachment and the connection to the dress because of its history.

Do Your Own Makeup

Really, this is something you ought to at least consider. Of course if you’ve never applied makeup on yourself then this isn’t a good idea. However, if you’ve been applying your own makeup for years now, chances are you know your face better than any makeup artist will.

Don’t hire someone else, just do it on your own. After all, brides aren’t expected to wear makeup like fashion models; you’re supposed to look fresh and vibrant — easy since it’s your wedding day. Plus, you can practice the look months before your big day, so you’re sure you can get the look you want down pat.

Skip the DJ!

A lot of weddings these days no longer have to hire DJs, thanks to technology.

Just create a playlist and set things up.

You can get all the songs you want and there’s no extra expense on your part.

Or, if you’re lucky enough to know friends who are in a band, you could invite them to perform at the wedding for a low price — or free, even, if they’re willing.

Always Negotiate

Never settle for the first price. A lot of companies tend to jack up the prices when you mention the word “wedding”, mostly because they know a lot of couples are willing to pay top prices for their big day.

Make sure you haggle — but don’t antagonize the seller. You’re trying to find a great price, not put off potential suppliers.

Remember Your Priorities

When it comes to weddings, there are some things you can forgo and some things you just can’t skimp on. Spend money on photography, because memories of your wedding will last forever.

Save on things like wedding favors because people don’t like them anyway.

Keep track of your priorities and you’ll be sure to have a wedding you can cherish forever, minus the expensive price tag.