Wedding expenses add up quickly. That’s why it’s important to have a budget in mind before beginning so you can easily stay on track with your purchases. You may find that you allowed a specific amount of money for a DJ only to find out that a friend’s brother will play at your reception for significantly less. A budget allows you to identify opportunities while fully assessing your expenses.

Here are five ways to stretch your wedding budget further:

1. Start shopping early.

When you shop as soon as you possibly can after announcing your engagement, you make it easier to find bargains. You’re not pressed to the wire to finish planning. In fact, you’re able to give wedding planning your undivided attention which means you can find the best deals available.

2. Set a strict budget for big-ticket items.

That way, you’ll be able to reasonably afford these items without forgoing other things. You’ll have what you need plus what you want for your special day. If you go over budget on your dress, you’ll know not to go crazy when shopping for shoes or a veil.

3. Keep it simple and elegant.

Less can be so much more. Choosing one thing to decorate tables opposed to two or three can be very elegant. The same can be said about the bouquets being carried, the food being served, and even the photos being taken. An all-white wedding or all-pink wedding can be extremely beautiful and easy to plan.

4. Let others pitch in.

Give other people an opportunity to be of service to you. If a friend wants to serve as your wedding planner and they’re good at making plans, let them. If you know someone who will officiate the ceremony for less, confirm that they’re available to do so on your wedding date. A homemade wedding cake is even more delicious than one that you buy from a wedding cake shop at times. Let others help and revel in the experience knowing that so many people love you and want to see you happy.

5. Make it yourself.

If you’re struggling to find the right item or something within your budget, try making it yourself. You can do this with many of the things you need for your wedding day. Spend money on bridal party gifts and party favors but save on the ringbearer’s pillow, place cards, and invitations by putting your creativity to good use. You can stretch your budget more easily this way.

There are many ways to make the most out of even the smallest budget. Pick and choose which items and details you want to emphasize. Start planning early so you can take advantage of the best deals.

Stretch your wedding budget further with Say It With a Gift. Invest in high quality, attractive wedding party gifts, and party favors. You don’t have to forgo style to save money. In fact, there are many things you can do to cut costs without losing the appeal that you worked so hard to create your wedding theme.