The cost of getting married is at all-time high. According to a study conducted by TheKnot, the average U.S. wedding costs just under $30,000 — a price that does not include the honeymoon. The good news is that couples can greatly lower the cost of their wedding by following some simple steps.

Hire a Photography Student

Photography is one of the costliest wedding-related expenses, with couples spending an average of $2,440 on photos alone. Rather than paying a premium for professional wedding photography, however, you can save money by hiring a photography student. Call around to some of the local colleges in your area to see if they have a photography class. If they do, ask the teacher if there are any students who would be willing to work your wedding.

Get Married During the ‘Off Season’

Because wedding venues do most of their business during the spring and fall, you can save money by getting married in January, February or March. Fewer couples get married during the winter months, so venue owners and service providers usually reduce their prices. Of course, you should familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of winter wedding before making a final decision.

Buy a Used Wedding Dress

Some brides may turn their head at the thought of wearing a used wedding dress on their big day, but it’s actually a great way to lower the cost of your wedding. Used wedding dresses often sell for 50% of their original value, yielding huge savings for couples looking to tie the knot. Furthermore, used wedding dresses are typically only worn for a couple hours at most. Check some of the wedding boutiques in your area to see if they have any used dresses for sale.

Hire a Local Musician

The right music can make a world of difference in creating a romantic and memorable ambiance at a wedding. But how are you supposed to find a first-class musician without breaking the bank? Well, you can book a local musician through SGM Events. Whether it’s Andy Mauser, Rico DeLargo, or any of the dozens of other musicians, you can rest assured knowing that you are getting the best possible entertainment at a low price.

Skip the Extras With Your Cake

Having a multi-tiered wedding cake that’s embellished with fancy molds and toppers may sound appealing, but how much of a difference is it really going to make? Guests aren’t going to pay much attention to the cake, so try skipping the extras.

Choose in-Season Flowers

Decorating the ceremony and reception venues with flowers that are currently in season can also save you big bucks when planning a wedding. Florists will typically offer a wide variety of flowers, some of which are grown and harvested during different times of the year. These “out of season” flowers are more expensive because they require greater resources and labor to maintain. Talk with your florist to see which varieties of in-season flowers he or she recommends for your wedding.