The average wedding now costs about $30,000 in Canada, according to - including the honeymoon - but there are ways to cut costs without sacrificing your celebration.

One great way to save is to schedule the wedding for any day but Saturday night. Or go for January or February, often the cheapest months.

Another idea: don’t let vendors charge more just because it’s a wedding. Consumer Reports secret shoppers found a good percentage of businesses do just that. 

In its calls, Consumer Reports found photographers and limo services often charged more for weddings than other events. But when asked, some businesses suggested lower-priced alternatives – so don’t be afraid to negotiate for everything.

Consumer Reports also recommends checking every contract carefully. It found that some caterers included a built-in tip as high as 26 percent, and one charged a fee of seven dollars per person to cut a cake brought in from the outside.

Some other ways to save big on your special day:

• Limit the entrée choices.

• Limit the hours of the open bar. Consider serving only beer and wine.

• Send the photographer home an hour early. A lot of guests will have left by then.

• Let your florist pick flowers that are in season. They’ll be the least expensive.

Jeannine Avelino is a CTV employee who's also a Vancity Bride blogger. She had these suggestions:

• Rent your wedding dress or bridal accessories

• DIY your invitations. You can buy custom templates that you can then print and put together yourself

• Use silk flowers

• Have a cocktail reception instead of dinner

• Use an all-inclusive venue